Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Laurel in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The First Telegram

“What Hath God Wrought”

 
 
The First Telegram Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dudeindacorner, April 14, 2007
1. The First Telegram Marker
Inscription. The first telegram “What Hath God Wrought” was sent from the Capitol in Washington to Baltimore May 24, 1844 over wires laid along the right of way of the B&O Railroad adjacent to this highway. The telegraph was invented by Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872).
 
Erected by the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland State Highway Administration.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) marker series.
 
Location. 39° 6.157′ N, 76° 50.526′ W. Marker is near Laurel, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is at the intersection of Main St and 1st Street, on the right when traveling east on Main St. Click for map. Marker is one block east of 2nd Street (US Route 1). Marker is in this post office area: Laurel MD 20707, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Laurel Railroad Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Laurel: Half-way between Baltimore and Washington (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Laurel's Civil War Hospital (approx. 0.3 miles away); Avondale Mill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Avondale Mill: A Lost Treasure
The First Telegram "What Hath God Wrought" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, October 13, 2007
2. The First Telegram "What Hath God Wrought" Marker
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Riverfront Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Patuxent River (approx. 0.4 miles away); First United Methodist Church of Laurel (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Laurel.
 
Also see . . .
1. Photograph of The First Telegram. From the Samuel F. B. Morse papers at the Library of Congress. (Submitted on April 14, 2007.) 

2. Photo of Samuel Morse’s Telegraph Register. This device marked dots and dashes on a strip of paper. (Submitted on April 14, 2007.) 

3. Before Mobile Phones: The Telegraph. “Most people would be lost today without mobile phones. Cell phones and other mobile devices are often the main ways that people keep in contact with each other, at any time and over any distance. Before the 1800s people only communicated by letters, which often would get lost and took a great deal of time. Other forms of communication in previous societies included smoke signals and signal fires to send messages quickly from a distance, but these also were very simple messages; however, during the 1800s a remarkable machine appeared that would revolutionize the world by making communication almost instantaneous and able to be accomplished easily over great differences.
Railroad and Signals near The First Telegram marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, October 13, 2007
3. Railroad and Signals near The First Telegram marker
These signals inform the train crew about the condition of the track in the upcoming block. The indication of the signal on the left side is "Absolute Stop," which would tell the engineer of any train to stop at this location and have the train stay where it is. The reason for this instruction is obvious; there's another train coming in the opposite direction. The indication of the signal on the right side is "Clear Proceed," instructing the engineer of an approaching train to operate his train at the maximum speed for this section of track.
This machine was called the telegraph.” (Submitted on May 8, 2012.) 

4. The Victorian Internet. The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers. 2007 book by Tom Standage (Submitted on May 8, 2012.) 

5. All About Signals. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
6. Railroad Signalling. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
7. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (Railroad Color History). (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
8. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (MBI Railroad Color History). (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
9. Chessie System (MBI Railroad Color History). (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
10. CSX (MBI Railroad Color History). (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
11. History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
12. Impossible Challenge: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Maryland. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
13. Impossible Challenge II: Baltimore to Washington and Harpers Ferry from 1828 to 1994. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
14. Royal Blue Line. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
15. Royal Blue Line: The Classic B&O Train Between Washington and New York. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
 
Additional comments.
1. The Telegraph and the Railroad
The telegraph was an important method of communication and train control for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It allowed the development of the "manual block" system where a train's location was determined as being between two stations. Telegraph poles and lines were common sights on main lines throughout the United States. Telegraph has since been replaced by radio communication and Automatic Block Signals (ABS), which can be located at regular intervals determined by the maximum braking distance of a train.
    — Submitted October 15, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.

 
Categories. CommunicationsNotable Events
 
The First Telegram Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, December 28, 2015
4. The First Telegram Marker
Marker is on the right of this picture, behind the stop sign.
The First Telegram Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, December 28, 2015
5. The First Telegram Marker
The First Telegram marker is on the right side of this picture, and the Laurel Railroad Depot marker is on the left side of this picture.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dudeindacorner of Laurel, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,288 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on , by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Dudeindacorner of Laurel, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on , by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement