Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
This telegraph register from the World War I era, called a punch register, proved very robust in operation. The paper tape moved from a reel (missing) mounted on the long arms, passed over the shorter guide arm and ran in front of the electromagnet coils. The coils punched holes in the tape. 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 1917
Kleinschmidt Co.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 1/4 in x 8 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 20.955 cm x 21.59 cm x 3.81 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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