— — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. .*
Originally developed by the American artist Samuel Morse in 1837, Morse code came to prominence over the course of the 19th century with the spread of the telegraph. The use of this series of dots and dashes has lasted up to the present day.
In its early days, learning Morse code became a means of social mobility as it took a relatively brief time to learn (approximately a month) and provided steady work in the booming field of telegraphy. While the use of Morse code has undoubtedly declined in recent years, it still maintains several vital functions. In areas of geographic remoteness, where the use of modern technology is awkward, the regular use of Morse code survives. In addition, it can be used in times when other means of communication, such as radio or email, is being monitored by enemy forces. Of course, Morse code has a following among military re-enactment enthusiasts intrigued by its historical associations. Crucially, Morse code can be used by people with motion disabilities or paralysis who can convey messages by means of blowing and sucking in a tube or blinking their eyes. In addition, the U.S. government has Morse code in place as a backup system should it be faced with a situation where more modern means of communication may be unavailable—perhaps in times of crisis.