Rodgers 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 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
Object Name
relay
telegraph relay
maker
J. Rodgers
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
place made
United States: New York
ID Number
EM*181420
catalog number
181420
accession number
31652
subject
Communications
Telegraph Relays & Repeaters
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Relays & Repeaters
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Western Union Telegraph Co.
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.