Morse, Samuel Finley Breese. Born in 1791. American electrician. Son of a Congregationalist minister in Massachusetts. Having graduated from Yale, went to England in 1810 and, becoming a pupil of West, exhibited "The Dying Hercules" at the academy in 1814. He afterwards abandoned art for science and, in 1837, took out a patent for his electric telegraph, the first overhead message being sent from Washington to Baltimore in 1844. It was afterwards generally adopted, the inventor receiving an international testimonial in 1858. Disputes subsequently arose with Professor Henry as to priority of invention, and on account of the infringement of Morse's patent. Died 1872.