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 has an unusual structure behind the armature yoke and we are uncertain of its purpose. The Western Union tag indicates this sounder was used in Havana, Cuba in the early twentieth century.
Location
Currently not on view
maker
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4 in x 8 1/2 in x 4 5/8 in; 10.16 cm x 21.59 cm x 11.7475 cm
ID Number
EM.332187
accession number
294351
catalog number
332187
collector/donor number
100-838
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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