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 made for the British Post Office. Unlike in the United States where privately owned companies like Western Union controlled the telegraph system, many other countries considered telegraph systems to be public property and left them to government control.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph sounder
date made
ca 1900
maker
British Insulated & Helsby Company, Ltd.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4 5/8 in x 3 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in; 11.7475 cm x 8.255 cm x 13.335 cm
ID Number
EM*332373
serial number
9599
accession number
294351
catalog number
332373
subject
Communications
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 Western Union Corporation

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