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Fire at night and smoke at daylight have for centuries been the only means to communicate fast over long distances. To understand each other man had to agree over the meaning of signals. It is evident that for communication to succeed there was a dependence on the weather. In 1809 the German physician S. Sömmeringh demonstrated a primitive telegraph based on the development of gas bubbles in a galvanic cell. Other scientists developed machines that used the deflection of pointers on a scale. In the USA there was much experimentation: ¹Samuel Morse was working on an apparatus that was based on a stylus being attracted by a magnet. The first telegraph connection between two cities came into being in 1844. The first trans-Channel connection between Dover and Calais 7 years after that, in 1851.

The developments in physics made it possible to communicate by the speed of light. Samuel Morse invented the language needed to work efficiently with the new medium. The well-known dash-dot code; the mysterious beeps on the radio that manifested itself once in a while when tuning for a new radio station and that evoked associations of ships in distress on the high seas, coal and steam engines. Radio London’s signature tune during WWII: dot-dot-dot-dash, the V for victory! The morse code has been used until recently. Developments in modern electronics made the morse code much a part of history. the morse alphabet is brilliant in its simplicity, built as it is with dots and dashes. Different combinations of dots and dashes form codes for letters, numerals and even punctuation marks, an ideal secret code!

In the late eighties of what is now the previous century many experiments were going on in Pycke’s Workshop with the possible combinations of text and shape; this resulted in a collection of braille jewellery and shortly after that the morse collection. Still, there were a few snakes in the grass: in order to apply morse code to a ring a computer program had to be developed that transposed written text into morse code and simultaneously made a division into degrees, minutes and seconds; then the text could be cut around the ring. Only after that had succeeded, the collection could have its beginning. The starting point was a piece of jewellery with an integrated text which means a name or a small personal message applied to it without the bearer showing it off. For the first presentation in the glass show cases a standard text had to be made up so as to make sale of the jewellery possible.

Love” is the standard text that is still being used. But most buyers prefer a text of their own choosing or initials. The collection expanded and was updated over the years so that now there is a choice from diverse styles and materials: from 18 carat gold to plastics. Practical wedding rings, but also very provocative, bold rings for special occasions. For practical purposes a working person may rather choose for a less risqué model from the basic collection. The principal part of the collection is formed by rings, next to those there are pendants, a bracelet and cufflinks. Recently it is possible to put more text in a ring by using cutters with a smaller diameter. This option is limited to the ‘blue inch’ collection. Since we have much experience with these collections, we can deliver on very short notice.

S.O.S. … “Save Our Souls”, maybe the widest known use of the morse code; in 1912, the radio operator of the sinking Titanic was able, by sheer staying power, to save 700 human lives. The International Maritime Organisation did away with the morse code as of February 1st, 1999. The army, however, is still using it because even under bad atmospheric conditions a good reception keeps up. The internet has a lot of morse sites; there you can find blue prints for transmitting keys, several educational courses, the morse alphabet, software, clever aids to remember the code by, info on Samuel F.B. Morse, etc. Aficionados may rest assured: the language is still being taught.

¹ The actual role of Samuel Morse is being discussed in historical and scientific circles.

© MMII Jan Pycke. All rights reserved.
morse® is a registered trade mark.

suggested retail price: € 225,-
suggested retail price: € 215,-
suggested retail price: € 155,-
suggested retail price: € 170,-
suggested retail price: € 225,-
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