Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
This telegraph register made by J. H. Bunnell and Company was used on a fire alarm system. When a person activated a call box to report a fire, this register would receive the signal and record which box had been activated.
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
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 11 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in; 20.32 cm x 29.845 cm x 19.05 cm
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
Communication, telegraph
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Registers
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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