Bulkley telegraph repeater patent model

Description
Telegraph repeaters 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, limiting the distance a message could travel. Repeaters remedied that problem by detecting a weak signal and using a local power source to re-energize and re-transmit the signal down the line.
This working model of a repeater was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office by inventor Charles S. Bulkley only six years after Samuel Morse sent "What Hath God Wrought." In November of 1850 he received patent #7769 for his "Double-Acting Telegraphic Repeater." Bulkley, of Macon, Georgia, had conducted experiments in 1848 to send messages between New York and New Orleans using repeaters.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
repeater
telegraph repeater
telegraph relay
date made
1850
maker
Bulkley, Charles S.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 5 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in x 15 in; 13.97 cm x 16.51 cm x 38.1 cm
ID Number
EM*251253
catalog number
251253
accession number
48865
patent number
7769
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
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.