Rare early telegraph certificate from the Racine & Rock River Telegraph Company issued in 1852. This historic document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the company name. This item has the original signatures of the Company's Secretary, and is over 161 years old.
In 1853, the Racine and Rock River telegraph company had a line completed from Racine to Beloit, touching at all the intermediate villages. An electrical telegraph was independently developed and patented in the United States in 1837 by Samuel Morse. His assistant, Alfred Vail, developed the Morse code signalling alphabet with Morse. The first telegram in the United States was sent by Morse on 11 January 1838, across two miles (3 km) of wire at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey. On 24 May 1844, he sent the message "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT" from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol in Washington to the old Mt. Clare Depot in Baltimore. This message (quoting Numbers 23:23) was chosen by Annie Ellsworth of Lafayette, Indiana, the daughter of Patent Commissioner Henry Leavitt Ellsworth. The message was all capital letters because the original Morse code alphabet had no question mark or lower case. The Morse/Vail telegraph was quickly deployed in the following two decades; the overland telegraph connected the west coast of the continent to the east coast by 24 October 1861, bringing an end to the Pony Express. History from Encyberpedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service)