Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
This telegraph register shows refinements made by the late 1800s. A heavy brass casing holds the spring-powered clockwork mechanism while the mass-produced electromagnets are set outside the case at one end. 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
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph register
date made
E. S. Greeley & Company
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
copper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in; 13.97 cm x 11.43 cm x 24.13 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Telegraph Registers
Communication, telegraph
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Registers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from the E. S. Greeley Co.
Additional Media

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