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 miniature sounder was made by C. I. Ways as a working replica of a commercial sounder made by Bunnell and Company.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph sounder
date made
ca 1900
C. I. Ways
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 7/8 in x 1 3/8 in x 13/16 in; 2.2225 cm x 3.4925 cm x 2.06375 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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