Telegraph Register

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Description (Brief)
L. G. Tillotson and Company of New York made this telegraph register later in the 19th Century. It is stamped with serial number 171 and used a spring-wound tape drive. 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
L. G. Tillotson & Co.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 5 in x 10 in; 20.32 cm x 12.7 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Princeton University, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, thru Dean Howard Menand
Communication, telegraph
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Registers
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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