As I understand schemes for sending different symbols over different wires were implemented but the simplicity of Morse's dot or dash made it the easiest to read and/or implement. It seems similar to early computer design have instead of binary digits decimal representation which ultimately were impractical because the precise machining necessary was too expensive.

(Perhaps the Jacquard loom was another example but I do not think there were competing designs -- I am interested in binary winning out over competing approaches.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Morse is not actually a binary code. The spaces between letters are a third symbol. $\endgroup$
    – user466
    Sep 24 '20 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell: but it is ultimately connected or unconnected, no? $\endgroup$
    – releseabe
    Sep 24 '20 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know how practical or useful it was, but there is the 1605 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon%27s_cipher $\endgroup$ Sep 25 '20 at 14:22

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