Telegraph Register

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Description (Brief)
This telegraph register may have been used in a fire alarm system. When a person activated a call box to report a fire, registers of this type would receive the signal and record which box had been activated. Telegraph registers are electrically-activated printers that receive Morse code messages. The message travels as a series of electrical pulses through a wire. The pulses energize the register’s electromagnets which move a lever-arm holding a pen or stylus. A clockwork mechanism pulls a strip of paper across the pen or stylus, recording the message. Short pulses draw or emboss a dot, slightly longer pulses a dash. The sequence of dots and dashes represent letters and numbers.
Currently not on view
Foote, Pierson & Co.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paper (overall material)
iron (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 5 in x 10 1/2 in; 22.86 cm x 12.7 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, thru John A. Tucker
Communication, telegraph
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Registers
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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