Morse Code

The thick and thin lines you see on our monogrammed cutting boards are a visual representation of Morse code. In the board on the left, the bottom row says dot-dot-dash-dot, dash-dot-dot-dot for "FB." The world changed for the better when Samuel Morse developed this code back in the 1840s, allowing people to communicate quickly across vast distances. Those connections set the stage for the networked world we live in today.

(c) Ken Knowlton, 1999

Samuel F. B. Morse was a renaissance man and a fascinating figure. In his earlier days, he was a renowned portrait painter and founded the National Academy of Design

It was the death of his wife that prompted Morse to start developing a rapid, long-distance form of communication. Working on a commission in Washington, DC, Morse received news that his wife--back at home in New Haven--was becoming gravely ill. But, tragically, by the time he received the news and made the journey home, she had already been laid to rest. From that point, Morse focused his efforts on creating a system that would change human communication forever.

These days, Morse code is rarely used for communication, but it still works. It's not dependent on a medium, it's an idea--and a brilliant one at that--and is a system that was designed to be used by people, not machines. In that way it's different from the barcodes or 1s and 0s that power communications today. It's something we can learn and it will never really be obsolete.

The telegraph and Morse code brought people closer together and enabled all sorts of new conversations. One of the timeless ways humans communicate with each other is through the ritual of food. Exploring, creating, and eating food have brought friends and family together for thousands of years. Here, we like to look to shared meals as a way to stay close to one another and share our experiences. Whether you're familiar with Morse code or not, these boards are a great story to tell.

Invite your friends over and share it with them.