Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
This Western Electric register is one of the few for which we also have the weight, used to power the tape drive mechanism. The string holding the weight passed through the hole in the unit’s base and wrapped around the brass drum. Like a mechanical clock, the operator would rewind the unit when the weight reached the floor.
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
date made
ca 1885
maker
Western Electric
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
lead (overall material)
copper (overall material)
brass (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in x 13 in; 16.51 cm x 14.605 cm x 33.02 cm
weight: 4 in x 3 1/2 in; 10.16 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
EM.330823
catalog number
330823
accession number
312604
Credit Line
from C. H. McDonald, thought T. Boyle
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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