Samuel Morse, That's Who!: The Story of the Telegraph and Morse Code

By: Tracy Nelson Maurer

Illustrator: el primo Ramón

Back in the 1800s, information traveled slowly. Who would dream of instant messages? Samuel Morse, that’s who! Who traveled to France, where the famous telegraph towers relayed 10,000 possible codes for messages depending on the signal arm positions—only if the weather was clear? Who imagined a system that would use electric pulses to instantly carry coded messages between two machines, rain or shine? Long before the first telephone, who changed communication forever? Samuel Morse, that’s who!
This dynamic and subtsantive biography celebrates an early technology pioneer. Perfect for fans of Gene Barretta's popular inventor series.
,br> Time line with photographs. Further information about Samuel Morse, telegraphs, and Morse code. Bibliography. Author’s note. Full-color illustrations were created with pencil and charcoal and colored digitally.

ISBN: 9781627791304

JLG Release: Sep 2019


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872) , Telegraphs , Morse code , Inventors , Painters , Biography , Nineteenth-century US history

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Who makes a great topic of a picture book biography? Samuel Morse, that’s who! Maurer tells the story of Morse’s invention of the telegraph and Morse code in an engaging, light text. Pencil-line drawings with digital coloring by Ramón convey a strong sense of time and place, and the heavy use of white space makes the layout appealing for young Who makes a great topic of a picture book biography? Samuel Morse, that’s who! Maurer tells the story of Morse’s invention of the telegraph and Morse code in an engaging, light text. Pencil-line drawings with digital coloring by Ramón convey a strong sense of time and place, and the heavy use of white space makes the layout appealing for young readers. Maurer begins by emphasizing some of Morse’s failed endeavors, including unsuccessful inventions and his passion to become an artist. While Morse enjoyed painting, he was never critically successful; however, in his travels to become a better artist, he discovered the French optical telegraph system, which inspired the telegraph and Morse code. He eventually turned his focus to his invention and the development of a U. S. telegraph line. The simple text provides relevant connections for students in its portrayal of great success spawned from failure and revision of plans and ideas. Endpapers include a time line of Morse’s life, facts about the telegraph, an extensive bibliography, and an author’s note that connects Morse’s code to the modern binary language of computers. This is an excellent biography on a lesser-known figure; add to collections looking for inventors and makers. As it turns out, . . . amuel M - - - r . . . e was a predecessor of the maker movement.

Horn Book

Maurer (John Deere, That’s Who!) puts Samuel Morse’s (1791–1872) failures front and center in this spirited picture-book biography. “The water pump he designed with his brother? Almost nobody bought it. His marble-cutting machine? Already patented.” These pithy examples, which Maurer shares early on, help to humanize the famous inv Maurer (John Deere, That’s Who!) puts Samuel Morse’s (1791–1872) failures front and center in this spirited picture-book biography. “The water pump he designed with his brother? Almost nobody bought it. His marble-cutting machine? Already patented.” These pithy examples, which Maurer shares early on, help to humanize the famous inventor—and quickly draw readers in. Morse initially “fancied him-self an artist—and a fancy one at that.” But his paintings “earned little attention and even less money.” In 1829, Morse sailed to Europe, intent on studying its famous painters and creating his own masterpiece. His Gallery of the Louvre painting didn’t garner much interest, but his travels did have an unexpected payoff. While in France, Morse observed an optical telegraph system: a series of towers whose movable arms displayed coded messages viewable only in good weather and daylight. Inspiration struck: Morse wondered if “liquid lightning,” a.k.a. electricity, could be harnessed for a more effective communication system. On his homeward voyage, he jotted down ideas for an electric telegraph machine and a code based on sequences of dots and dashes. Mishaps and delays, which Maurer goes on to discuss, frequently impeded the first inventor of “instant messages”—making for a valuable lesson in grit and determination. The pencil drawings by el primo Ramón, digitally colored with earth-toned hues, feature soft charcoal accents. Final pages include a timeline, a bibliography, an author’s note, and addi-tional facts about Morse.

Book Details

ISBN

9781627791304

First Release

September 2019

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 11"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.1; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level AD700L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872), Telegraphs, Morse code, Inventors, Painters, Biography, Nineteenth-century US history,

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