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Telegraph Lightning Arrester - late 19th Century Object Reg. No: ST 007101

Summary:
Telegraph lightning arrester, used to protect telegraph equipment from damage due to lightning strikes on the telegraph line.

At a telegraph station, the lightning arrester is positioned in the wiring circuit between the telegraph line itself and the various instruments at the station, such as the relay, the sounder, the register and the telegraph key. The arrester provides an alternative path to earth across an air gap which the high lightning-induced current jumps but which blocks the normal telegraph line current.

The lightning arrester could not be guaranteed to provide absolute protection of the telegraph station instruments and recommended operational practice during severe thunderstorms was, where possible, to cut the station out of the line completely.
Description:
Three vertical brass plates on a marble base. The two outer plates are fitted with sets of points directed towards but not touching the centre plate. Brass fittings and terminals.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr John Thompson, 1915
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 80 mm (Height), 150 mm (Width), 150 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: telegraphy
Themes this item is part of: The Australian telegraph network 1854-1877, J.J. Thompson - donor of telegraph objects to the Museum, Telegraphy Collection, Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Telegraphy
Tertiary Classification: components
Collector: Mr John Thompson, Armadale, Victoria, Australia, 27 Apr 1915
References: The structure and function of the lightning arrester is described in 'Practical Telegraphy: A Guide for the Use of Officers of the Victorian Posts and Telegraphs Department' (Jenvey, 1904).
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], H. Jenvey, Practical Telegraphy: A Guide for the Use of Officers of the Victorian Posts and Telegraphs Department, 1904, 1904

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