The telegraph was invented out of grief. In 1825, artist Samuel Morse was hired to paint a portrait, and his wife suddenly fell ill while he was traveling. It took days for the news to reach him, and she was already dead and buried by the time he returned. He was so upset that he quit his art career, focused on finding a faster way to communicate, and turned an old, bulky telegraph design into a practical, single-wire machine that sent signals which we now know as Morse code. Source Source 2 Source 3