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. 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
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
Credit Line
from C. I. Ways
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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