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Telegraph Key & Sounder - Siemens, Portable, 1865-1916 Object Reg. No: ST 008463

Summary:
Portable telegraph key and sounder. Used by personnel working on telegraph lines in the field to transmit and receive messages.

To transmit signals the operator depressed a pivoted metal lever (the key) to complete an electric circuit and transmit current along the telegraph line. Releasing the key broke the circuit and cut off the current. Letters and numbers were represented by a sequence of short and long current pulses, transmitted according to a defined code. The most widely used code was generally known as "Morse code".

When receiving signals, the incoming current pulses energised the coils of the receiving instrument, or "sounder". The operator interpreted the signals by listening to the sounds made by the sounder mechanism.
Description:
Ebonite base. Straight brass key with ebonite knob. Two horizontal coils with ebonite covers. Brass screw terminals. Base fitted with small circular magnetic compass.
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 50 mm (Height), 96 mm (Width), 110 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: morse keys, telegraph equipment, telegraphy
Themes this item is part of: Australia and the global telegraph network 1854-1902, Copy of text for label for Pocket Line Sounder & Key - Siemens Pattern, 1916, The Australian telegraph network 1854-1877, The Australian telegraph network 1854-1877, Telegraphy Collection, Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Telegraphy
Tertiary Classification: input/output
Inscriptions: Base engraved:
"Siemens Bros.
London"
Manufacturer: Siemens Bros Dynamo Works Ltd, London, England, Great Britain, 1865-1916

The Siemens organisation in the United Kingdom was renamed Siemens Brothers in 1865.

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