Telegraph Sounder

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Description (Brief)
Telegraph sounders convert electrical pulses into audible sounds and are used to receive Morse code messages. The message travels as a series of electrical pulses through a wire. Short pulses make a dot, slightly longer pulses make a dash. The sequence of dots and dashes represent letters and numbers. The pulses energize the sounder’s electromagnets which move a lever-arm. The arm makes a loud “click” when it strikes a crossbar and the operator translates the pattern of sounds into the original language. The type 1-B sounder was a very common model for main line use. This unit was inspected by Western Electric, probably during the time the Bell System owned Western Union.
Currently not on view
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 6 in x 4 in x 3 in; 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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