Telegraph Sounder

Description (Brief)
Telegraph sounders convert electrical pulses into audible sounds and are used to receive Morse code messages. The message travels as a series of electrical pulses through a wire. Short pulses make a dot, slightly longer pulses make a dash. The sequence of dots and dashes represent letters and numbers. The pulses energize the sounder’s electromagnets which move a lever-arm. The arm makes a loud “click” when it strikes a crossbar and the operator translates the pattern of sounds into the original language. According to Western Union this “crude” sounder was not only a practical instrument but saw actual service. “It was improvised by an operator who had at hand no other means of providing himself with desired apparatus to complete his office equipment.”
Location
Currently not on view
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in x 4 1/2 in; 12.065 cm x 13.335 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
EM.230789
catalog number
230789
accession number
43225
Credit Line
from Western Union Telegraph Company
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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