Telegraph Register

Description (Brief)
Made by D & H Precision Tool Company and used by Western Union, this telegraph register features two ink pens to mark the paper tape. This object shows that telegraph registers continued in use well into the 20th Century. 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 1940
D & H Precision Tool Co.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
copper (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 10 1/2 in x 7 in; 13.97 cm x 26.67 cm x 17.78 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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