Rodgers telegraph relay

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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 telegraph relay appears similar to early units from the 1850s and '60s. The frame is marked "J. Rodgers New York" about whom we have no current information.
Location
Currently not on view
maker
J. Rodgers
place made
United States: New York
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 5 1/2 in x 8 1/4 in x 6 3/4 in; 13.97 cm x 20.955 cm x 17.145 cm
ID Number
EM.181420
catalog number
181420
accession number
31652
Credit Line
from Western Union Telegraph Co.
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Relays & Repeaters
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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