1847 Born on February 11th at Milan, Ohio.
1854 Moved to Port Huron, Mich.
1857 Set up a chemical laboratory in the cellar of his home.
1859 Became a newsboy and "candy butcher" on the trains of the Grand Trunk Railway, running between Port Huron and Detroit.
1862 Printed and published "The Weekly Herald," the first newspaper ever to be typeset and printed on a moving train. The London Times features a story on him and his paper, giving him his first exposure to international notoriety.
1862 Saved - from otherwise certain death in a train accident - the young son of J. U. Mackenzie, station agent at Mount Clemens, Mich. In gratitude, the child's father taught him telegraphy.
1862 Strung a telegraph line from the Port Huron railway station to Port Huron village and worked in the local telegraph office.
1863 Obtained his first position as a regular telegraph operator on the Grand Trunk Railway at Stratford Junction, Canada.
Later, is resigned by them to help develop a duplex system of telegraphy
1863-1868 Spent nearly five years as a telegraph "tramp operator" in various cities of the Central Western states, always experimenting with ways to improve the apparatus.
1868 Entered the office of Western Union in Boston as a telegraph operator. Becomes friendly with other early electricians - especially a later associate of Alexander Graham Bell named Benjamin Franklin Bredding - who was much more knowledgeable than both himself and Bell on the state-of-the-art of telegraphy and electricity. Entered the private telegraph line business on a very modest scale. Resigned from Western Union - was about to be fired anyway - in order to conduct further experimentation on multiplexing telegraph signals.
1868 Came up with his first patented invention, an Electrical Vote Recorder. Application for this patent was...