3¢ Telegraph Centenary
Issue Date: May 24, 1944
City: Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, MD
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10.5
Color: Bright red violet
U.S. #924 was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first official telegraph. Its inventor, Samuel F.B. Morse, sent the transmission on May 24, 1844. That day, Morse sat in the Supreme Court chamber of the Capitol and tapped out the message, “What hath God wrought!” This phrase is included in the stamp design among the telegraph wires.
The First Transcontinental Telegraph
The telegraph was the first device to send messages using electricity. Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) is credited with inventing the telegraph. He first demonstrated the telegraph in 1837. Morse also created “Morse Code,” a “dot and dash” system used to send information through the telegraph’s clicking sounds. In 1840, Morse received the patent for the telegraph.
The telegraph soon became an important form of communication in the United States. Railroad companies used the telegraph to coordinate schedules and improve safety. By the 1850s, telegraph offices existed in every major city. In October 24, 1861, the Western Union Telegraph Company completed the first transcontinental telegraph line in Salt Lake City. This accomplishment ushered in a new age of communications in the U.S.
FDR – The Stamp-Collecting President
President Franklin Roosevelt was instrumental in the design and issuance of U.S. #924. Introduced to stamp collecting at a young age by his mother, Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to his collection throughout his life to relax and unwind.
Elected President four times, Roosevelt served in the nation’s highest office longer than any other chief executive – 12 years. During those 12 years, Roosevelt shared his love of stamps with the nation, personally approving each of more than 200 stamp designs. He suggested topics, rejected others, and even designed some himself. It was his aim to use stamps not just to send mail but also to educate Americans about our history. And as he entered America into World War II, he saw these stamps as an outlet to raise spirits and bring hope.