Samuel Morse Day


Last Saturday (April 28, 2018) I attended the Samuel Morse Day celebration at the former N&W depot in Boyce, Virginia. Samuel Morse was the inventor of the telegraph which was adopted by the railroad in its earliest days.

Mr. Abram Burnett, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was on hand to demonstrate the early telegraph and he graciously agreed to let us make a video as he demonstrates the telegraph and relates some of its history. In the video, we are inside the N&W depot in the trainmaster’s office overlooking the current Norfolk & Western tracks. The office retains much of its original furnishings and looks very much like it would have looked nearly one hundred years ago.

Edd Fuller

2 thoughts on “Editor’s Notebook

  1. Very interesting. I remember seeing the key in the tower when I went with my father as a kid, it was not in use and I asked him to take it but he never did. Then one day they were gone. He told me when he hired on there were old timers that would talk on the wire to each other. This was on the lower Harlem Division of the NYC

  2. Edd, great explanation of how early communication changed everything. When I worked at South Norwalk, there was a sounder on the desk although nobody used it (and it is still there). The union I paid dues to as a Tower Operator in 1968 was the Brotherhood of Railroad Telegraphers. When not conducting railroad business over the wire, many telegraphers relayed news reports, baseball game scores, and so much else we take for granted today.

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