Telegraph Sounder

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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. Charles Williams, Jr. of Boston began making telegraph instruments in the late 1850s and by the 1870s had diversified into a full range of electrical devices. Well regarded as a craftsman, he made many early telephone instruments for Alexander Graham Bell in the late 1870s.
Location
Currently not on view
maker
Charles Williams, Jr.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 3 3/8 in x 4 3/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 8.5725 cm x 12.065 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
EM.332366
accession number
294351
catalog number
332366
collector/donor number
06-13
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
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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