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Department of State

New Jersey Historical Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary

It Happened Here: New Jersey
Invention of the Telegraph

Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail sent the first telegram using Morse code, and the first in America, on January 11, 1838 in Morristown, New Jersey from the Speedwell Ironworks. It was the beginning of a revolution in communications, as soon there were lines linking all the major cities on the East Coast. By 1861, the telegraph connected the West Coast to the East Coast, bringing an end to the Pony Express.

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