Telegraph Sounder

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 Dec. 3, 1889 patent date stamped on the binding screw refers to US Patent #418288, issued to Patrick B. Delany of New York City. The patent covers the design of the electrical binding post.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph sounder
date made
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 3 1/4 in x 5 in x 3 in; 8.255 cm x 12.7 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Telegraph Sounders
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Sounders
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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