Samuel F.B. Morse, named professor of sculpture and painting in 1832, perfected his invention of the telegraph in the old University Building. Morse’s first successful demonstration of the telegraph occurred in Washington Square on January 24, 1838. About ten miles of copper wire was coiled on drums in the laboratory of his aide and collaborator, Professor Lewis Gale, leading out into the square, and wrapping itself around several trees, before returning inside the University Building. Although Morse’s invention would not be practically implemented until 1844, the painter and scientist had started NYU’s long tradition of innovation.
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