Why Morse Code?

Morse code has been starting conversations for 170 years.

Dinner should do the same thing.

BK, vertically, for Bilotta Kitchens

The thick and thin lines you see on the cutting boards are a visual representation of Morse code – that dot-dash-dot way of communicating that Samuel Morse developed back in the 1840s. The world changed for the better once people were able to communicate quickly across vast distances, and those connections helped set the stage for the networked world we live in today.

These days, Morse code is rarely used for communication, but it still works. It’s not dependent on a medium, it’s an idea (and a brilliant one at that) and is a system that was designed to be used by people, not machines. In that way it’s different than barcodes or the 1s and 0s that power communications today – it’s something we can learn and it will never really be obsolete.

(c) Ken Knowlton, 1999

Samuel F. B. Morse was a blend of Art and Science, which is part of why I find him so fascinating. He was a renowned portrait painter prior to his work with the telegraph as well as a founder and the first President of the National Academy of Design. He developed the system of communication after his wife died in New Haven while he was in Washington, DC working on a commission. Sadly, news of his wife’s rapidly failing health did not reach him quickly enough, and by the time he returned home, she had already been buried.  From that point, he focused his efforts on creating a system for rapid long-distance communication.

The telegraph and Morse code brought people closer together and enabled all sorts of new conversations. I look to dinner to do the same thing. I hope you find my pieces interesting graphically whether you’re familiar with Morse code or not, but if you do, it’s a great story to tell.

Invite your friends over and share it with them.

You can read more about my take on the Morse code motif here.

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