Miniature Bunnell main-line telegraph relay

Description
Telegraph relays amplified electrical signals in a telegraph line. Telegraph messages traveled as a series of electrical pulses through a wire from a transmitter to a receiver. Short pulses made a dot, slightly longer pulses a dash. The pulses faded in strength as they traveled through the wire, to the point where the incoming signal was too weak to directly operate a receiving sounder or register. A relay detected a weak signal and used a battery to strengthen the signal so that the receiver would operate.
This miniature relay was made by the donor as a replica of a commercial main-line relay made J. H. Bunnell & Company. Ways made an operational set of miniature telegraph pieces that included this relay.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1900
maker
C. I. Ways
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
brass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 1 3/4 in x 3 in x 2 in; 4.445 cm x 7.62 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
EM.313153
catalog number
313153
accession number
177205
Credit Line
from C. I. Ways
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Relays & Repeaters
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

Add a comment about this object