Leadership

The Fire Alarm Telegraph Circuit

Issue 8 and Volume 119.

The Fire Alarm Telegraph Circuit Samuel Morse started it and it’s still growing Part 1: From hand-cranked boxes, to spring-wound coded signals, to the sophisticated central station of today New York City was the first American city to provide means for sounding a general alarm of fire. In 1845 the city was divided into districts, each with a bell-equipped tower and an around-the-clock watchman. When a watchman discovered a fire in his district, he would strike the number of his tower on his bell; this signal would be passed along manually by each watch tower in the city. For outof-sight fires within buildings, the person discovering the fire ran to the tower, requesting the watchman to sound the alarm. Need for an improved method was apparent, and into this breach stepped the scientist. Samuel F. B. Morse, Jr., in 1842 demonstrated, after several years of experimentation, the first practical means…

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