Telegraph Register

Description (Brief):

This register, made in London, England, features a paper tape reel that is hidden in the drawer below the printer. The tape passes from the reel, over two wooden rollers, and then through the slit cut in the base plate before being fed into the printer. Presumably this design was used to save space and prevent the paper tape from being accidentally broken. This register was used at the cable station in St. Johns, Newfoundland to record messages received via a submarine telegraph line.

Description (Brief)

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.

Date Made: ca 1883

Maker: Meinrad W. Theiler & Sons

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 Corporation

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: EM.331408Accession Number: 294351Collector/Donor Number: 01-05Catalog Number: 331408

Object Name: telegraph receivertelegraph register

Physical Description: wood (overall material)brass (overall material)copper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 8 1/2 in x 12 in x 14 1/2 in; 21.59 cm x 30.48 cm x 36.83 cm


Record Id: nmah_890761

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