Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
This telegraph register, typical of those in service during the U. S. Civil War, used a weight to drive the tape mechanism. The register was made by Knox & Shain, a noted Philadelphia maker of telegraph equipment. 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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph register
date made
ca 1860
maker
Knox & Swain
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 7 in x 6 in x 13 in; 17.78 cm x 15.24 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
EM*216045
catalog number
216045
accession number
40788
subject
Communication, telegraph
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Registers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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