Keyboard for transmitting telegraphic messages, 1845-1851

Made:
1845-1851 in London
maker:
John Watkins Brett

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Keyboard for transmitting telegraphic messages, probably made by John Watkins Brett, London, England, 1845-1851.

This keyboard is believed to have been part of the printing telegraph used by John W Brett (1805-1863) to send the first telegraphic message under the ocean, from Dover to Cape Gris-Nez in 1851. It had 40 keys, but only 29 different symbols, as commoner ones were repeated. Brett acquired a UK patent for his 'improvements in electric telegraphy' based on the inventions of Royal House (1814-1895). The cable that carried the message was laid between Dover and Cap Gris Nez in 1851.

Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1862-150
Materials:
metal (unknown), mother-of-pearl, steel (metal), velvet and wood (unidentified)
type:
telegraph peripheral
taxonomy:
  • component - object
  • telegraph instrument
credit:
From John Watkins Brett