Wheatstone ABC telegraph receiver, 1942

Made:
1842 in England
inventor:
CHARLES WHEATSTONE

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
King's College, London| Enquiries to Science Museum, London

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
King's College, London| Enquiries to Science Museum, London

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
King's College, London| Enquiries to Science Museum, London

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
King's College, London| Enquiries to Science Museum, London

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
King's College, London| Enquiries to Science Museum, London

Early ABC receiver (c. 1842). From a colour transparency in the Science Museum Photographic Archive.
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
King's College, London| Enquiries to Science Museum, London

Early ABC telegraph receiver, invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone, unknown maker, England, 1842.

Charles Wheatstone was always interested in developing electric telegraph systems that did not require knowledge of a code. The ABC telegraph worked like a rotary telephone dial and could be used with little training. To transmit, letters were selected by pressing the appropriate buttons and rotating the handle continuously. The indicator stepped round the dial until the desired letter was reached, sending the correct number of electrical impulses to the receiver whose indicator stepped round in unison. It was slow, only transmitting 15 words a minute, but was simple to us. As such, it was popular for private telegraphic communication in wealthy households and with the Post Office for their lightly-used telegraph services.

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Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cable

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Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1949-320
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), paper (fibre product), textile, wood (unidentified)
type:
telegraph
taxonomy:
  • component - object
credit:
Lent by King's College London
status:
Loan

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