The museum is open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free timed-entry passes are required. Review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

Telegraph Sounder

Telegraph Sounder

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
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. According to Western Union this “crude” sounder was not only a practical instrument but saw actual service. “It was improvised by an operator who had at hand no other means of providing himself with desired apparatus to complete his office equipment.”
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph receiver
telegraph sounder
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in x 4 1/2 in; 12.065 cm x 13.335 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
EM.230789
catalog number
230789
accession number
43225
Credit Line
from Western Union Telegraph Company
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Sounders
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object