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 was a made by J. H. Moss of Cleveland, Ohio and is the only Moss sounder in the collection. The design of the frame is distinctive.
Currently not on view
Moss, J. H.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 3 5/8 in x 3 1/8 in x 5 3/8 in; 9.2075 cm x 7.9375 cm x 13.6525 cm
ID Number
collector/donor number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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