In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrated their telegraph machine in New Jersey.
Before 1838, the idea of a telegraph machine was an idea. As an unpaid professor, Samuel Morse did not have the funds to construct a working model of the telegraph. By 1837, Morse found the funding and two partners. Alfred Vail and Leonard Gale worked with Morse to create a working prototype. Alfred Vail convinced his father to lend the funding.
Finally, in 1838, the trio demonstrated the prototype. At the time they could only do a range of about two miles. It took another six years to convince the United States government to fund the manufacturing and the production of the telegraph. This device inspired many of the communication devices we use today.