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.
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- Donated by H.M. Postmaster General
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