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. This sounder is rated with a resistance of 4 ohms. Low resistance sounders were typically used on so-called "local lines" up to a few miles in length.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph sounder
Western Electric
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 4 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 10.795 cm x 13.335 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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 Western Union Corporation
Additional Media

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