Glass Case - Telegraph System Model, Myers, circa 1881 Object Reg. No: ST 43466 1

Original glass panels for Telegraph System Model made by Myers in 1881. Proper left and proper right sides.

This object is a model of a Morse telegraph set, to approximately half-scale, and consists of a key, a sounder, and a spring-driven inking register, all mounted on a wooden baseboard. On one sideplate of the register is the inscription: 'W. Myers / Maker / Melbourne'.

Early demonstration system comprising Morse key, code tape embosser, and a Gray's Harmonic Telegraph (?), all mounted on a wooden base board, with the embosser and harmonic telegraph enclosed in a glass sided cover. An early Museum label affixed to this unit gave 1858 as the date. This is remotely possible, but the harmonic telegraph dates to 1881. The embosser is marked "W. Myers maker Melbourne". The wooden base board is not finished in a way which suggests a commercial provenance (e.g. the cutout of the hole for the embosser). There are 4 brass screw terminals. The embosser appears to be half the normal scale, although it is standard half-inch paper tape used in it. Probably at least part-made in Australia about the middle of the 19th century.

In the 'Official Record of the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880-1881, Jury Reports, Jury Section XXIX, Class 63, Telegraphic Apparatus and Processes, p. 161, Electric Telegraph Instruments', there appears the entry:
'Myers, N., Melbourne. Model Morse Apparatus. This is a small working model of a complete table set of Morse's instruments, of the older style, fairly constructed. Fifth award.'
The 'Age' for 4 October, 1880, in reviewing the Victorian exhibits at the International Exhibition, mentions that, with others,
'? William Myers, 65 Little Lonsdale-street west, each show clocks of various sizes, which serve to indicate the several styles which are now made, and which are fairly creditable productions.'
The Sands & McDougall Directory for 1880 lists a William Myers at 65 Little Lonsdale-street west, but has no listing for an N. Myers anywhere in Melbourne.
It thus appears possible that this object is a model Morse telegraph system, made by William Myers, possibly a clockmaker, of 65 Little Lonsdale-street west, and exhibited at the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880-1881.
D. Demant 16 February 2007
Panes of glass, currently wrapped in tissue paper. Both panes are broken at one corner, the broken piece of the proper right side is wrapped with it.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Miss A. Short, 1941
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 224 mm (Height), 150 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Measurements for each piece, if unbroken.

More information

Tagged with: morse keys, morse printers, printing equipment, telegraph equipment, telegraphy
Themes this item is part of: Telegraphy Collection, Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Telegraphy
Tertiary Classification: output

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No