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S. F. B. Morse: A Great American Who Invented The Telegraph
by [?]

Then as now, “eats” formed a vastly important part of boys’ life, it seems.

At that time Jeremiah Day was teacher of natural philosophy at Yale, and Prof. Silliman, of chemistry, and to these men young Morse owed much of his later achievement. One day in class Prof. Day told his pupils to all join hands while a student touched the pole of an electric battery. At once a shock was felt down the long line of boys. Morse described it as being like “a slight blow across the shoulders”. This experiment showed the pupils the wonderful speed at which electricity travels. Another day the laboratory was darkened and a current of electricity passed through a row of metal blocks placed at a short distance apart, while the boys in awed silence watched the white light flash between the links of the chain and the blocks.

So interested did Finley become in experiments along that line, that when at vacation time he found he could not afford to take the trip home, he was not much disappointed, but spent his time making tests in the laboratory. That his problems were much the same as those of young men of today is shown by this letter to his father. He says:

“I find it impossible to live in college without spending money. At one time a letter is to be paid for, then comes up a great tax from the class or society, which keeps me constantly running after money…. The amount of my expenses for the last term was fifteen dollars expended in the following manner:

Postage $ 2.05
Oil .50
Taxes, fines, etc 3.00
Oysters .50
Washbowl .37-1/2
Skillet .33
Axe, $1.33; Catalogues, 12c 1.45
Powder and shots 1.12
Cakes, etc. etc. etc. 1.75
Wine, Thanks Day .20
Toll on bridge .15
Grinding axe .08
Museum .25
Poor man .14
Carriage for trunk 1.00
Pitcher .41
Sharpening skates .37-1/2
Circ. Library .25
Post Papers .57
Lent, never to be returned .25
Paid for cutting wood .25