Morse sounder, unknown maker, 1835-1910. Used by the Post Office from 1874
Morse sounder, unknown maker, 1835-1910. Used by the Post Office from 1874.
Morse code was the standard code for communicating by telegraph. The code uses a series of short and long connections in the electric current, usually called 'dots' and 'dashes'. These dots and dashes could then be decoded to reveal the message being transmitted. A telegraph sounder comprises a spring-loaded metal arm, pivoted near the middle. At one end is an electromagnet and at the other, an anvil. When a current passes, the electromagnet pulls the arm down, making a 'clunk'. When the current ceases the arm springs back against the anvil with another clunk. A dash is about three times as long as a dot, so the time interval between clunks indicates the dot or dash. The arrangement frees the operator to write down the message as it is received.
- Object Number:
- component - object
- Donated by H.M. Postmaster General
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.