Picture of first telegraph with receipt of $1,000 for its purchase, 1837

The electrical voice and data network that we use today had its start in 1837 with the invention by Samuel Morse of the electric telegraph. This sent and received short electrical pulses over iron wires that could be strung up for thousands of miles. Short and long pulses became the dots and dashes of Morse Code. This photograph of the first Morse telegraph is accompanied by the actual receipt for its purchase, several decades later, at the then-astronomical price of $1,000.