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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Electromagnetic telegraph exhibit, Arts and Industries Building, 1930sElectromagnetic telegraph exhibit, Arts and Industries Building, 1930s

Although Samuel F. B. Morse and Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian, both claimed to have invented the telegraph, by the 1860s Morse was generally given credit and installed in the pantheon of American inventors. This exhibit included the first telegraph receiver, donated by Western Union to the Smithsonian in the 1890s; a portrait; and some of the many medals Morse received for his invention.

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