Telegraph Sounder and Resonator

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. A resonator like this was used to amplify the sound, making it easier for an operator to hear his or her own sounder when working in a room filled with these devices. This resonator is the only one in the collection holding two sounders.
Location
Currently not on view
maker
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 5 in x 7 in x 7 1/2 in; 12.7 cm x 17.78 cm x 19.05 cm
each sounder: 3 1/2 in x 3 in x 5 1/2 in; 8.89 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
EM.332779
accession number
294351
collector/donor number
100-764
catalog number
332779
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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