Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
L. G. Tillotson and Company of New York made this telegraph register about the time of the U. S. Civil War. It is stamped with serial number 1479. 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
date made
ca 1865
L. G. Tillotson & Co.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
copper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 6 3/4 in x 12 in x 4 7/8 in; 17.145 cm x 30.48 cm x 12.3825 cm
ID Number
collector/donor number
accession 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