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Morse key; duplex - a Connected Earth artefact, now at Amberley Museum Morse & Vail

Samuel Morse, the American pioneer of the telegraph, had a wealthy backer called Alfred Vail who was himself a skilled engineer.

So not only was Vail able to provide Morse with financial backing, he was also able to provide production support and expertise.

But Vail was no 'sleeping partner' - he was an innovator and intellect in his own right - and it was Vail, more than Morse, who actually developed Morse Code.

fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...