Telegraph Register

Description (Brief):

This incomplete telegraph register is an early example and shows the large electromagnets typical of Morse units of the 1840s although it is missing much of the tape drive. This object came to the Smithsonian in 1897 from Western Union and we are uncertain if it is a demonstration or experimental piece. 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.

Location: Currently not on view

Web Subject: Communication, telegraph


See more items in: Work and Industry: Electricity, Telegraph Registers, Communications


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: from Western Union Telegraph Co.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: EM.181414Catalog Number: 181414Accession Number: 31652

Object Name: telegraph receivertelegraph register

Physical Description: wood (overall material)brass (overall material)copper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 7 in x 6 in x 13 1/2 in; 17.78 cm x 15.24 cm x 34.29 cm


Record Id: nmah_706649

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