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. This sounder was used by the Postal Telegraph Company, a long-time rival of Western Union. The two companies merged in 1945.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph sounder
date made
ca 1900
maker
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4 in x 3 in x 5 1/2 in; 10.16 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
2013.3040.07
nonaccession number
2013.3040
catalog number
2013.3040.07
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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