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Telegraph Sounder & Box Relay - American Morse Code
Telegraph Sounder & Box Relay - American Morse Code
Published: 2010/01/10
Channel: JimWB8SIW
American Morse Code Telegraph Player
American Morse Code Telegraph Player
Published: 2017/03/31
Channel: fayeval1entine
A American Morse code railroad alphabet demonstrate practise Vibroplex by Leebm29
A American Morse code railroad alphabet demonstrate practise Vibroplex by Leebm29
Published: 2008/10/01
Channel: Lee Mason
We wish you a Merry Christmas American Morse railroad code
We wish you a Merry Christmas American Morse railroad code
Published: 2010/12/17
Channel: Lee Mason
#229: American Morse Equipment KK1 morse code key assembly
#229: American Morse Equipment KK1 morse code key assembly
Published: 2016/01/31
Channel: w2aew
IMG_0382.MOV  American Morse paddle key
IMG_0382.MOV American Morse paddle key
Published: 2011/12/31
Channel: BnT Smith
American morse code?
American morse code?
Published: 2013/01/10
Channel: hawke917
American Morse Code on The Walking Dead? - ZomTalk
American Morse Code on The Walking Dead? - ZomTalk
Published: 2016/11/16
Channel: ZomTalk With DrLola
Morse Code Demonstration (Landline Telegraphy) (Railroad Code)
Morse Code Demonstration (Landline Telegraphy) (Railroad Code)
Published: 2008/07/29
Channel: VA3TY
Practice Morse code CW recognition
Practice Morse code CW recognition
Published: 2015/12/30
Channel: ThePress Man
KX-1 and American Morse Key
KX-1 and American Morse Key
Published: 2013/01/12
Channel: BnT Smith
Morse Code QSO on Straight Key Night 2017
Morse Code QSO on Straight Key Night 2017
Published: 2017/01/01
Channel: Richard Carpenter
QRPGuys Morse Code Paddle Kit Build.
QRPGuys Morse Code Paddle Kit Build.
Published: 2017/02/25
Channel: Radio Prepper
army morse code pt 01
army morse code pt 01
Published: 2009/09/08
Channel: scotthedberg
Making of a CW Morse Code Straight Key "The Titan"
Making of a CW Morse Code Straight Key "The Titan"
Published: 2017/05/04
Channel: Kelly Klaas K7SU
Railroad Railway American Morse code using Vibroplex key and sounder American railroad
Railroad Railway American Morse code using Vibroplex key and sounder American railroad
Published: 2008/11/11
Channel: Lee Mason
American Morse Equipment Porta Paddle-II
American Morse Equipment Porta Paddle-II
Published: 2012/07/24
Channel: W5CYF / TinkerJohn
Admiral Jeremiah Denton Blinks T-O-R-T-U-R-E using Morse Code as P.O.W.
Admiral Jeremiah Denton Blinks T-O-R-T-U-R-E using Morse Code as P.O.W.
Published: 2014/02/25
Channel: Audie Murphy American Legend
Morse Code Transmission (Battle of Corregidor, 1942)
Morse Code Transmission (Battle of Corregidor, 1942)
Published: 2016/07/24
Channel: Jonny
Morse Code QSO using an American military J-38 telegraph key
Morse Code QSO using an American military J-38 telegraph key
Published: 2016/11/01
Channel: mythicalireland
Learning  to use a Cootie : Sideswiper -- Morse code key
Learning to use a Cootie : Sideswiper -- Morse code key
Published: 2016/12/21
Channel: Richard Carpenter
Railroad Railway American Morse code Joshua
Railroad Railway American Morse code Joshua
Published: 2008/10/05
Channel: Lee Mason
Original Morse Code receiver
Original Morse Code receiver
Published: 2013/04/11
Channel: Bruce Land
American Morse Code Instructograph
American Morse Code Instructograph
Published: 2013/11/25
Channel: Skot Yted
DCP Morse Paddles from American Morse
DCP Morse Paddles from American Morse
Published: 2008/11/23
Channel: Mark VandeWettering
Morse Code Radio Operator Training "Technique of Hand Sending" 1944 US Navy 10min
Morse Code Radio Operator Training "Technique of Hand Sending" 1944 US Navy 10min
Published: 2012/02/19
Channel: Jeff Quitney
KX-1 and American Morse Paddle Key
KX-1 and American Morse Paddle Key
Published: 2012/11/13
Channel: BnT Smith
Bushwhacker from AME
Bushwhacker from AME
Published: 2009/10/22
Channel: Milton Riutort
AME Porta-Paddle 2 and QRPGuys Keyer Build
AME Porta-Paddle 2 and QRPGuys Keyer Build
Published: 2016/06/06
Channel: N0SSC
Morse code American Railroad SLOW.avi
Morse code American Railroad SLOW.avi
Published: 2010/04/05
Channel: Lee Mason
International Morse Code: Hand Sending pt1-2 1966 US Army Training Film
International Morse Code: Hand Sending pt1-2 1966 US Army Training Film
Published: 2012/03/04
Channel: Jeff Quitney
An American Morse Code MOLE ~ Stoplight Cop.
An American Morse Code MOLE ~ Stoplight Cop.
Published: 2016/09/20
Channel: Rich Kretzschmar
Denton Jr Blinking Morse Code T-O-R-T-U-R-E
Denton Jr Blinking Morse Code T-O-R-T-U-R-E
Published: 2012/01/16
Channel: VideoFrontPage
1 Morse code Railroad American original.avi
1 Morse code Railroad American original.avi
Published: 2010/05/15
Channel: Lee Mason
The Life of a Fascinating and Profoundly Troubled American Genius: Samuel F. B. Morse (2003)
The Life of a Fascinating and Profoundly Troubled American Genius: Samuel F. B. Morse (2003)
Published: 2016/09/30
Channel: The Film Archives
MORSE CODE - How to Learn Morse Code Alphabet in 3 steps - Tutorial
MORSE CODE - How to Learn Morse Code Alphabet in 3 steps - Tutorial
Published: 2016/04/07
Channel: how-to in 3 steps
Beginning Learning Morse Code -- Straight Key Vs Paddle
Beginning Learning Morse Code -- Straight Key Vs Paddle
Published: 2015/11/24
Channel: Richard Carpenter
Vintage 1944 Radio Operator Training: How to Send Morse Code (CW) by Hand
Vintage 1944 Radio Operator Training: How to Send Morse Code (CW) by Hand
Published: 2013/12/08
Channel: NW7US
Morse Code
Morse Code
Published: 2016/04/11
Channel: Museum of the Bible
Railroad Railway American Railroad Morse Code Dakota Mason telegraph train order
Railroad Railway American Railroad Morse Code Dakota Mason telegraph train order
Published: 2008/10/26
Channel: Lee Mason
Morse Code Radio Operator Training: "Technique of Hand Sending" 1944 US Navy
Morse Code Radio Operator Training: "Technique of Hand Sending" 1944 US Navy
Published: 2016/08/14
Channel: Jeff Quitney
Morse Code Translator
Morse Code Translator
Published: 2016/02/18
Channel: Kyle Gabriel
A American Railroad Railway Morse code  Demonstration Train Order using Vibroplex
A American Railroad Railway Morse code Demonstration Train Order using Vibroplex
Published: 2009/10/12
Channel: Lee Mason
Morse Telegraph Club Telegraph Demonstration Aug 27 2011.avi
Morse Telegraph Club Telegraph Demonstration Aug 27 2011.avi
Published: 2011/08/30
Channel: JimWB8SIW
Porta Paddle
Porta Paddle
Published: 2012/03/25
Channel: ur599bk
morse code
morse code
Published: 2007/04/13
Channel: cinemadaz
Telegraph Key Morse Code 2
Telegraph Key Morse Code 2
Published: 2011/05/22
Channel: marekmagda1
[Morse code] Keying practice with telegraph key and paddles
[Morse code] Keying practice with telegraph key and paddles
Published: 2013/12/25
Channel: Radiotelegrapher
American Railroad railway Morse code Bennett hand key SLOW
American Railroad railway Morse code Bennett hand key SLOW
Published: 2008/10/04
Channel: Lee Mason
Telegraph Key Morse Code
Telegraph Key Morse Code
Published: 2011/05/22
Channel: marekmagda1
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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1911 Chart of the Standard American Morse Characters

American Morse Code — also known as Railroad Morse—is the latter-day name for the original version of the Morse Code developed in the mid-1840s, by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail for their electric telegraph. The "American" qualifier was added because, after most of the rest of the world adopted "International Morse Code," the companies that continued to use the original Morse Code were mainly located in the United States. American Morse is now nearly extinct—it is most frequently seen in American railroad museums and American Civil War reenactments—and "Morse Code" today virtually always means the International Morse which supplanted American Morse.

History[edit]

American Morse Code was first used on the Baltimore-Washington telegraph line, a telegraph line constructed between Baltimore, Maryland, and the old Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The first public message "What hath God wrought" was sent on May 24, 1844, by Morse in Washington to Alfred Vail at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) "outer depot" (now the B&O Railroad Museum) in Baltimore. The message is a Bible verse from Numbers 23:23, chosen for Morse by Annie Ellsworth, daughter of the Governor of Connecticut. The original paper tape received by Vail in Baltimore is on display in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

In its original implementation, the Morse Code specification included the following:

  1. short mark or dot (▄▄)
  2. longer mark or dash (▄▄▄▄)
  3. intra-character gap (standard gap between the dots and dashes in a character)
  4. short gap (between letters)
  5. medium gap (between words)
  6. long gap (between sentences)
  7. long intra-character gap (longer internal gap used in C, O, R, Y, Z and &)
  8. "long dash" (▄▄▄▄▄▄, the letter L)
  9. even longer dash (▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄, the numeral 0)
The first public telegram in America, "What hath God wrought" sent by Samuel Morse in 1844.

Various other companies and countries soon developed their own variations of the original Morse Code. Of special importance was one standard, originally created in Germany by Friedrich Clemens Gerke in 1848, which was simpler—it eliminated the long intra-character spaces and the two long dashes—but also included changes in the sequences for eleven of the letters and most of the numerals. The Gerke code had a distinct advantage for use on undersea telegraph cables. Cables suffer from a type of distortion called dispersion that gets progressively worse with the length of the cable. Dispersion severely limits the rate that Morse can be sent because of intersymbol interference. For instance, the first transatlantic telegraph cable of 1858 could only sustain a transmission rate of less than 1 words per minute.[1] This interference is worse with American Morse because it has a greater proportion of closely spaced dots than the Gerke code.[2]

The Gerke code was adopted as a standard for transmission over cables by the Austro-German Telegraph Union (which included many central European states) at a conference in 1851. It was necessary to have a common code as the Union had also agreed to direct connection of cables across borders (as opposed to recoding and retransmission by an operator).[3] The code was adopted as the European standard in 1865, and was known at first as "Continental Morse," although as its use spread it also became known as "International Morse." At this point the original Morse Code started to be called American Morse, to differentiate between the two main standards.

There was some resistance to adopting International Morse in the US. This resulted in international Morse operators in the US needing to be proficient in both codes since messages on transatlantic cables were in the international code, and incoming messages needed to be recoded and sent on in American Morse. An attempt in 1854 to make International Morse the standard within the US was rejected by the telegraph companies. Overhead wires, used for most land routes in the US, have nowhere near as big a problem with dispersion as undersea or underground cables and the companies had no wish to retrain their staff.[4]

In the late 1890s, radio communication—initially known as "wireless telegraphy"—was invented, and used Morse Code transmissions. Most radio operators used the version of the Code that they were most familiar with—the American Morse Code in the United States, and Continental Morse in Europe. However, because of the long range of radio signals, a single international standard was needed, especially for seagoing vessels.

At the Radiotelegraphic Convention meeting in London in 1912, the section of the Convention covering "Transmission of Radiograms" included the statement that "The signals to be employed are those of Morse International Code." Even after this, the original Morse Code continued to be used throughout much of the United States. American Morse remained the standard for U.S. landline telegraph companies, including the dominant company, Western Union, in part because the original code, with fewer dashes, could be sent about 5% faster than International Morse. American Morse also was commonly used for domestic radio transmissions on the Great Lakes, and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. However, International Morse predominated for ocean-going vessels, and many U.S. shipboard operators became skilled in transmitting both versions of the Code as needed.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

As already mentioned, American Morse is less suitable for use on cables because of the high density of dots. However, this same feature, together with the shorter dash, leads to the advantage of a more compressed code and a faster sending rate. The same operator could send at least 20% faster with American Morse than with International Morse.[5]

The greater complexity of American Morse meant that it was easier for operators to make errors. American Morse has multiple lengths of dashes and spaces and inadvertently transmitting the wrong ones and other timing errors by novice operators is known as hog-Morse.

Later developments[edit]

Over time, with the disappearance of landline telegraphy, and the end of commercial radio use of Morse Code, American Morse has become nearly extinct in some states. In the United States, the ranks of amateur radio operators used to include many active and retired commercial landline telegraph operators, who preferred to use American Morse for their amateur radio transmissions, so the CW (continuous wave) amateur bands used to have a mixture of American and International Morse. However, today even U.S. amateurs use International Morse almost exclusively.

Comparison of American and International Morse[edit]

Letter International
Code
American
Morse
Letter International
Code
American
Morse
Digit International
Code
American
Morse
A ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ N ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ 0 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
B ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ O ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄ 1 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄
C ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄ P ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄ 2 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄
D ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ Q ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ 3 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄
E ▄▄ ▄▄ R ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄ 4 ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄
F ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ S ▄▄ ▄▄ 5 ▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
G ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ T ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ 6 ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄
H ▄▄ ▄▄ U ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ 7 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄
I ▄▄ ▄▄ V ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ 8 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄
J ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ W ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ 9 ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄
K ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ X ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄
L ▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ Y ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄
M ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ Z ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄

Common punctuation[edit]

Symbol International
Code
American
Morse[6]
Symbol International
Code
American
Morse[6]
Period [.] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ Comma [,] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄
Question mark [?] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ Apostrophe ['] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
Exclamation mark [!] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ Slash [/] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
Parenthesis (open) [(] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ Ampersand [&] ▄▄▄▄▄[note 1] ▄▄[note 2]
Parenthesis (close) [)] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄ Hyphen [-] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄
Colon [:] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ Quotation mark (open) ["] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
Semicolon [;] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄ Quotation mark (close) ["] ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Not officially recgnized by the ITU
  2. ^ Not given in Coe

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chesnoy, p. 19
  2. ^ Coe, p. 69
  3. ^ Coe, p. 69
    • Lyall, p. 19
  4. ^ Coe, p. 69
  5. ^ Coe, p. 70
  6. ^ a b Coe, p. 68

Bibliography[edit]

  • Chesnoy, Jose, Undersea Fiber Communication Systems, Academic Press, 2002 ISBN 0080492371.
  • Coe, Lewis, The Telegraph: A History of Morse's Invention and Its Predecessors in the United States, McFarland, 2003 ISBN 0786418087.
  • Lyall, Francis, International Communications: The International Telecommunication Union and the Universal Postal Union, Routledge, 2016 ISBN 1317114345.

External links[edit]

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