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. Instruments of this type were donated by the manufacturer tor use in the American Telegrapher's Tournament Association Contest held at Philadelphia on October 30 and 31, 1903. The price in 1905 for this sounder with an aluminum lever was $2.25, today that would be about $58.00.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph sounder
date made
ca 1905
Manhattan Electric Supply Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 4 in x 6 1/2 in; 12.065 cm x 10.16 cm x 16.51 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 Manhattan Electric Supply Co.
Additional Media

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