Sameul F. B. Morse: Patron of the arts and science
A fresco in the U.S. Capitol building depicts three of America’s greatest inventors, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Fulton, and Samuel F. B. Morse with Minerva, the goddess of the arts. Moreover, the stories of Fulton and Morse bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. Fulton conceived and built the first efficient and profitable steamboat, and heralded a new age of transportation while Morse developed the first efficient telegraph and heralded a new age of communication. There is more. Fulton wanted to become a great painter and went to London to study under Benjamin West, a painter to the court of George III, founder of the Royal Academy, and known in London as the "American Raphael." Morse did exactly the same thing. He, too, went to London to become a great painter, and with Benjamin West’s help became a student at the Royal Academy. Although Morse more than Fulton achieved great acclaim as a painter, both men subsequently gave up painting and pursued their other passion, inventions, leaving an indelible mark on global history.