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Morse Code (-- --- •-• ••• • -•-• --- -•• •)

Morse Code is named after Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872), a painter and founder of the National Academy of Design, who, along with Alfred Vail (1807-1859) a machinist and inventor, and the physicist Joseph Henry (1797-1878) developed the electromagnetic telegraph and the code that assigns a set of dots and dashes or short and long pulses to each letter of the English alphabet. The first working telegraph was produced in 1836. This made transmission possible over any distance. The first Morse Code message, "What hath God wrought?", was sent from Washington to Baltimore in 1844.

Today experienced operators copy received text without the need to write as they receive, and when transmitting, can easily converse at 20 to 30 words per minute. Morse Code will always remain a viable means of providing highly reliable communications during difficult communications conditions.

Morse Code can be transmitted using sound or light, as sometimes happens between ships at sea. It is used in emergencies to transmit distress signals when no other form of communication is available. The standard international distress signal is •••---••• (SOS)

Since December 2003, Morse Code has included the @ symbol: it is a combination of a and c: •--•-• and is the first change to the system since before World War II.

Morse Code can be used to transmit messages in English and many other languages. For languages not written with the Latin alphabet other versions of Morse Code are used. There are versions of Morse Code for the Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic and Hebrew alphabets, and for Japanese a version known as Wabun Code (和文モールス符号), which maps kana syllables to specific codes, is used.

The Chinese telegraph code is used to map Chinese characters to four-digit codes and then those digits are sent using standard Morse code. Korean Morse code uses the SKATS (Standard Korean Alphabet Transliteration System) mapping, originally developed to allow Korean to be typed on western typewriters.


Morse code letters, puntuation and numerals


Information about Morse Code

Online Morse Code lessons and guides

Morse Code and Phonetic Alphabets

Morse Codes (Russian, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese & Korean, etc.)

Information about SKATS (Standard Korean Alphabet Transliteration System)

Information about Chinese telegraph code

Wabun code for Japanese (和文モールス符号)

Morse Code Music

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Language-based communication systems

Maritime Signal Flags, Morse code, Semaphore

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