Home:   Telegraphy

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Telegraphy from the Greek words tele = far and grahein = write, is the long distance transmission of messages electronically, eventually involving the use of Morse Code.

A Brief History of Telegraphy

A Brief History of Telegraphy

A Short History of the Galvanometer

A Short History of the Galvanometer


Image of EARLY MORSE KEY, 1910

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EARLY MORSE KEY, 1910

Early Morse key, not dated but marked Marconi.

By its shape and size similar to keys fitted to large ships after 1910.

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A0236

Image of WW1 MORSE KEY AND SOUNDER, 1916

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WW1 MORSE KEY AND SOUNDER, 1916

Morse sending and receiving station. On the side of the unit (out of view) is a standard P.O jack No8 for Telephone plug No406, possibly for a headset, or even a telephone line.
May have been used by the Military although not marked as such.

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A0231

Image of WWII BUG OR PADDLE MORSE KEY, 1942

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WWII BUG OR PADDLE MORSE KEY, 1942

Known as a 'Bugs' key and originally developed as the 'Vibroplex' or semi automatic key.
The word Bug comes from a telegraphers insult to those who were poor at the craft.
A common problem with telegraphers was an affliction known as 'Glass arm' or 'Telegraphers paralysis' caused by repetitive strain, this type of key was to help sufferers but originally was too slow (pre Vibroplex), however with future designs this problem was overcome and eventually keys of this type were being sold as 'Speed keys'.

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A0250

Image of WWII WAR DEPARTMENT PRACTICE MORSE KEY

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WWII WAR DEPARTMENT PRACTICE MORSE KEY

Training key for the Air Ministry

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A0248

Image of WWII BAUMUSTER (GERMAN) MORSE KEY

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WWII BAUMUSTER (GERMAN) MORSE KEY

Morse key for equipment unknown

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A0249

Image of GAMAGES MORSE KIT AND BUZZER, 1940's

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GAMAGES MORSE KIT AND BUZZER, 1940's

Bought as a toy for youngsters and adults to learn or practice Morse.
With two units connected it was possible to send and receive simultaneously,
also provided was a lamp for sending signals without any wires.

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A0251

Image of WWII AIR MINISTRY ENCLOSED MORSE KEY TYPE D

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WWII AIR MINISTRY ENCLOSED MORSE KEY TYPE D

Used on the high voltage portion of circuitry in a transmitter, therefore the unit is fully enclosed to protect the operator.

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A0245

Image of MUSONIC OR TOY MORSE TRAINING KEY, 1940's

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MUSONIC OR TOY MORSE TRAINING KEY, 1940's

Either a toy for learning Morse or simply a training aid, it could be used as a simple local sounder, or connected to a line with another remote unit.

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A0780

Image of SPEED MORSE  KEY, 1950's

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SPEED MORSE KEY, 1950's

Key known as a 'speed' key, the familiar shape had nothing to do with increasing the operator speed, just a selling point.

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A0724

Image of LARKSPUR MORSE  KEY K   MK 3, 1950's

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LARKSPUR MORSE KEY K MK 3, 1950's

Morse key for use with the Larkspur range of Transceivers made by Pye after WW2.

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A0244

Image of MORSE KEY WITH LAMP, 1950's

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MORSE KEY WITH LAMP, 1950's

The bulb with this key can be used for training by sending without the need for wires.


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A0960

Image of GAMAGE TRAINING KEY or MORSE STATION, 1930's

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GAMAGE TRAINING KEY or MORSE STATION, 1930's

Made for training amateur radio enthusiasts. Not to be considered as a toy more a training aid.
A small Galvanometer in the centre was used for indicating the direction of the message. More than one station like this can be connected, all the units receiving the same message, the needle will indicate where the message originated, Up line or Down line (Rail terminology). See the history of telegraphy.

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A0889

Image of 'SPEED' TYPE MORSE KEY JAPANESE, 1960's

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'SPEED' TYPE MORSE KEY JAPANESE, 1960's

The name 'speed' is loosely used and in fact this style of key is not a 'speed' Key . It was common for manufacturers to abuse the name which refers to a totally different type of key. This item made in Japan.
See item A0250. and A0724.

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A0723

Image of POST OFFICE GULSTAD 304 RELAY, 1900's

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POST OFFICE GULSTAD 304 RELAY, 1900's

The Gulstad Relay was invented by K.Gulstad of Copenhagen in 1898

The Relay was used in telegraphy for amplifying the power. The coil is energized by a very small amount of power which activates a contact moving larger locally supplied power.
Post Office Gulstad Relay
This relay is more sensitive to vibrating at high speeds than other P.O. Relays. It achieves this by overcoming delays in movement due to residual magnetism. Up to 200 words per minute is possible using this relay, the average rate of transmission was improved by 50% by fitting these relays on Duplex Systems, see item A0253. Recognised by the letter “G”or the name itself. Suitable for a single needle telegraph or double plate sounder.
For types of P. O. relays see A0252.

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A0238

Image of POST OFICE  RELAY 'B' No 14802, 1920's

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POST OFICE RELAY 'B' No 14802, 1920's

Relay used in telegraphy acting as a form of amplifier for the signal, sensitive coils moved the contacts which controlled equipment that could be powered locally.

Post Office Standard Relay “B”

This relay replaced earlier forms known as “A” having coils of 100 ohms instead of 200 and being shorter in length. Relay “B” also sometimes having differential coils (two winding on each coil) It can be of the polarised (see item A0239) or non polarised type the polarised version has a magnet and can be neutralised, as in use with the double plate sounder item A0227, provided it has double throw contacts, which means the pole or tongue “T” is held between M(mark) and S(space) contacts.

The relay shown only has a single throw contact, and is not polarised (no Magnet).

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A0278

Image of POST OFFICE RELAY 'B' No 5462, 1920's

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POST OFFICE RELAY 'B' No 5462, 1920's

Odd version marked as 'B' but more like a 'D' relay, for information on Telegraphy relays see item A0252. it has a single throw contact is non polarised (no magnet) has only one coil, with no other markings.
Resistance 500 ohms.

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A0277

Image of POST OFFICE RELAY TYPE G, 1920's

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POST OFFICE RELAY TYPE G, 1920's

Used in telegraphy systems to amplify power and and enable equipment to be powered locally. Post Office Relay “G” on a pluggable base.

The “G” Relay is a later model of the Gulstad Relay see item A0238. It works best in Duplex Systems. “Duplex working consists in the simultaneous transmission of two messages in opposite directions over a single wire connecting two stations “(sic) P249 Telegraphy T.E. Herbert 1906 see item A0252 for types of telegraphy relays.
Suitable for use on a single needle telegraph or double plate sounder.It has double throw contacts and is polarised, (has a magnet).

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A0253

Image of POST OFFICE RELAY TYPE B No 9534, 1920's

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POST OFFICE RELAY TYPE B No 9534, 1920's

Relay used in telegraphy acting as a form of amplifier for the signal, sensitive coils moved the contacts which controlled equipment that could be powered locally. Post Office Standard Relay “B”
This relay replaced earlier forms known as “A” having coils of 100 ohms instead of 200 and being shorter in length. Relay “B” also sometimes having differential coils (two winding on each coil) It can be of the polarised (see item A0239) or non polarised type the polarised version has a magnet and can be neutralised, as in use with the double plate sounder item A0227, provided it has double throw contacts, which means the pole or tongue “T” held between M(mark) and S(space) contacts. The relay shown only has a single throw contact, and is not polarised (no Magnet).

Types of telegraphy relays

“A” Relay earlier version of relay “B”.
“B” Relay can be polarised or none polarised. With differential coils. And single or double throw contacts.
“C” Relay larger magnet and similar to “B” Relay
“D” Relay not polarised and does not have differential coils. (Much cheaper).
“G” Relay later version of Gulstad Relay

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A0252

Image of POST OFFICE RELAY  TYPE B No 7938, 1920's

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POST OFFICE RELAY TYPE B No 7938, 1920's

Used in Telegraphy to amplify the power lost on long cables, by activating a sensitive coil which moves contacts that operate equipment powered locally. Post Office Standard Relay “B” taller version.

This relay replaced earlier forms known as “A” having coils of 100 ohms instead of 200 and being shorter in length. Relay “B” also having differential coils (two winding on each coil) It can be of the polarised (see item A0239) or non polarised type the polarised version (taller) has a magnet and can be neutralised as in use with the double plate sounder item A0227, provided it has double throw contacts, which means the pole or tongue “T” held between M(mark) and S(space) contacts. The relay shown has a single throw contact. and is polarised (Has a magnet).
See item A0252 for types of telegraphy relays.

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A0254

Image of SIEMENS GIANT TELEGRAPH RELAY, 1930's

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SIEMENS GIANT TELEGRAPH RELAY, 1930's

Hermetically sealed (watertight) Large Telegraphy Relay in Brass container.

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A0774

Image of GPO REVERSING RELAY, 1950's

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GPO REVERSING RELAY, 1950's

Relay used for reversing polarity of lines, made from an old Morse sounder.
Originally sold at the BT Museum Auction

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A0081

Image of BRITISH RAIL  RELAY, 1957

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BRITISH RAIL RELAY, 1957

Originally sold at the BT museum auction .
Last used in 1957

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A0082

Image of ABC TELEGRAPH COMMUNICATOR TESTER, 1850's

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ABC TELEGRAPH COMMUNICATOR TESTER, 1850's

The ABC telegraph was an early form of communication where an arm was turned to a letter sometimes by a pulse, and sometimes by buttons opposite each letter, the arm being held by a return spring and latched on the letter required, a button was pressed releasing the arm which returned back to the beginning sending a number of pulses relating to the letter chosen i.e. the letter C would give 3 pulses the letter B would produce 2 pulses. The receiving unit would be driven by an internal solenoid counting the arm up to the required letter, after each letter was sent it was necessary to reset the unit and start again, sometimes this was achieved automatically. Such units were used while Morse code was being devised, around the 1840's, and continued in some countries long afterwards. This unit was simply a testing device for checking received signals only.

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A0232

Image of L.DOIGNON CHARACTER PRINTER , 1880's

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L.DOIGNON CHARACTER PRINTER , 1880's

The printer used Baudot's 5 bit code, using five telephone lines, to receive a signal that could be printed on a strip of paper. It was all driven by an electric motor. On receipt of a start signal the five bit code would latch five solenoids that would enable the mechanism to print a character by turning the wheel and engaging the correct letter. After printing a character the solenoids released ready for the next one.
Designed by M.Carpentier and known as a 'Rapide' Receiver.

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A0234

Image of BLICKENSDERFER TELEPRINTER No 5, 1890

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BLICKENSDERFER TELEPRINTER No 5, 1890

This machine has been converted to a Teleprinter from the famous No5 machine, hence no keyboard. Instead are 5 solenoids with linkages to decode the 5 bit code into text. The whole machine is driven by a pulley connected to an electric motor (not present).
In 1891, George C. Blickensderfer (1850-1917) invented a small portable writing machine that featured the ability to change type styles at will. This unique design formed the basis of a typewriter manufacturing business that lasted almost thirty years.
The 5 was one of the first truly portable typewriters with a full keyboard.

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A0756

Image of CARPENDIER PUNCH TAPE READER, 1890's

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CARPENDIER PUNCH TAPE READER, 1890's

Punch tape reader for five bit Baudot coded tape, as the tape is pulled through the trough five fingers are able to move upwards into the holes in the tape, contacts inside the unit detect this and pass on the information to other equipment.

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A0235

Image of DOUBLE PLATE SOUNDER, 1900's

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DOUBLE PLATE SOUNDER, 1900's

In the early days of Morse all railway stations were equipped with the new morse code technology. Hearing the clatter of a Morse receiver, known as a sounder, could be a problem in a noisy environment. A gentleman called Charles Bright invented 'Bright's Bells' in 1855, a crude version of the exampe shown here.

The double plate sounder has two solenoids and clappers hitting two plates of differing tones. By placing it in a hood the audibility of the dots and dashes would be greatly improved. Also provided is a relay which enables the unit to be powered locally, removing the problem of the loss of power over long telegraph wires.

Charles Tilson Bright (later Sir Charles Bright) was to become one of Britain's foremost telegraph engineers in the nineteenth century, responsible for major advances in submarine cable technology.

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A0227

Image of POST OFFICE INKER No. 128, 1900's

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POST OFFICE INKER No. 128, 1900's

Inkers were used to print dots and dashes on to a strip of paper to enable easier reading; known also as a Direct Writer. This item uses a clockwork motor to drive the paper forward

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A0242

Image of ATM STOP START INKER, 1910's

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ATM STOP START INKER, 1910's

Morse Inker for recording dots and dashes on a strip of paper.
This unit can be started automatically and then stopped at the end of the message, however as it is powered by a clockwork motor to drive the paper forward it would still need constant attention.
Known as a Direct Inker ( does not include key or Wheatstone needle ).

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A0243

Image of NON-POLARISED MORSE SOUNDER, 1920's

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NON-POLARISED MORSE SOUNDER, 1920's

A simple Morse Sounder used for receiving Morse. It may have been made by Gamage who specialized in telegraphy equipment in the 1920's. Non polarized unit similar to a design used by the Post Office and purchased by those who wished to learn the 'Art' of Morse telegraphy. And indeed it was an art. Morse code requires very high skills, strange that when it became adopted as a standard for communication by Samuel Morse in 1844 many other simpler forms of sending characters by wire were being developed, and yet Morse surpassed them all, probably because of the desire to improve or own a skill that others could not achieve, in today's world skills are avoided by modern computing. It was possible for the operator to distinguish whether the arm of the unit was up or down, by the different sound as the spaces between the dot or dash identified the end of a character, spaces between words could also be given as larger gaps, but most skilled operators omit this and join all the words up, making it important to write down what is heard immediately to avoid confusion.

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A0887

Image of POST OFFICE POLARISED SOUNDER, 1890's

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POST OFFICE POLARISED SOUNDER, 1890's

Receiving instrument for Morse code, invented by CC Vyle in the late 1800's and in use until the 1960's.

A bar (armature) is moved between two stops, pulled down by a permanent magnet positioned underneath the cores of two coils; offsetting this force is an adjustable spring pulling the armature upwards. If the coils are energised by a positive current it assists the magnet and pulls the armature down. A reverse current defeats the magnetic force and allows the armature to rise. The same principal is used in polarised relays. The device can be adjusted such that the tension will allow the bar to stick on the bottom stop until a reverse current is applied. Adjusting the spring can also vary the current needed to operate the armature, this is useful in certain applications. The sounder's advantage lies in its sensitivity, requiring very low current to move the bar (armature), normally a positive current would give a dot or a dash and a negative current a space. Non Polarised Sounders do not have a magnet.

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A0229

Image of WHEATSTONE NEEDLE TELEGRAPHY STATION, 1930's

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WHEATSTONE NEEDLE TELEGRAPHY STATION, 1930's

In 1851, Samuel Morse and his code was accepted around the world. (See 'A brief History of Telegraphy' above)
Devices for sending and receiving intelligent information were needed to inprove communication on the railways. One such piece of apparatus was the Needle Telegraph, devised by William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, in 1936, from an idea by Baron Pawel Schilling, demonstrated around 1832.
Information could be read if a needle was moved to the left or right, on this model the movement can also be heard hitting the plates on either side giving different tones. The single needle unit was a further development of Wheatstone and Cookes 5 needle system, which did not use Morse Code, and was replaced by the single needle system, which would be used in signal boxes around the World for the next 100 years.

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A1235

Image of SINGLE NEEDLE TELEGRAPH  (WHEATSTONE NEEDLE), 1930's

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SINGLE NEEDLE TELEGRAPH (WHEATSTONE NEEDLE), 1930's

Information can be read if a needle is moved to the left or right. The single needle unit was a further development of Wheatstone and Cookes 5 needle system, which did not use Morse Code, and was replaced by the single needle system. This unit is clearly marked with the complete alphabet in Morse code on its face, and was probably used by the British Post Office.

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A0228

Image of RAF MORSE INKER, 1930's

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RAF MORSE INKER, 1930's

Morse inker which transferred Morse Code into dots and dashes printed onto a strip of paper.
Driven by a clockwork mechanism to drive the paper forward.
This unit was used by the R.A.F. between the wars.
Known also as a Local Inker ( when it does not include key or galvanometer ).

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A0233

Image of GPO NON-POLARISED 20 Ohm  SOUNDER, 1930's

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GPO NON-POLARISED 20 Ohm SOUNDER, 1930's

Post Office Polarised Sounder

Receiving instrument for Morse code, invented by CC Vyle in the late 1800’s and was in use until the 1960’s.

A bar (armature) is moved between two stops, pulled down the cores of two coils, offsetting this force is an adjustable spring pulling the armature upwards.
If the coils are energised by a current it pulls the armature down.
Adjusting the spring can also vary the current needed to operate the armature, normally a positive current would give a dot or dash and no current a space.
Non Polarised Sounders do not have a magnet.

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A0803

Image of CREED 7E TELEPRINTER, 1931

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CREED 7E TELEPRINTER, 1931

Frederick George Creed was born in Canada and spent the early part of his life working on Morse equipment. He was convinced he could do better. He then moved to Scotland and developed a method of sending messages by text. Later he formed Creed and Company Ltd, and in 1921 they were at Telegraph House East Croydon.

The 7E series of machines used a code based on the Murray code; they were very successful and were used throughout the war at places like Bletchley Park. Creed died in 1957. The 7 series finished in 1958 and this unit was converted to 240 volts AC in 1962.

Donated by Mr Geoff Robinson

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A0936

Image of CREED TELEGRAM TELEPRINTER  47B, 1950's

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CREED TELEGRAM TELEPRINTER 47B, 1950's

Used in Post Offices throughout the world for typing Telegrams. The Creed model 7 page teleprinter, whilst not the first
teleprinter to be produced by Creed & Company Limited is,
without doubt, the most well known of their machines, and is
considered by many to be the teleprinter that helped the Allies
to win World War 2. Many thousands of model 7’s saw service
with the Armed Forces, sending vital messages around the
world, and sending top secret messages to and from the code
breaking teams at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.

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A0098

Image of TIN CONTAINING ROLLS  OF GUMMED TAPE, 1950's

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TIN CONTAINING ROLLS OF GUMMED TAPE, 1950's

Paper tape used in telegraphy machines, such as the Creed 47B item NoA0098. Not to be confused with punch tape, the paper is too narrow for this, the gum is used to stick it to the Telegram sheet. As it says on the tin!

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A0531

Image of G.P.O. No83 GALVANOMETER IN LEATHER CASE, 1930's

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G.P.O. No83 GALVANOMETER IN LEATHER CASE, 1930's

GPO engineers Tangent Galvanometer in leather case Type No 83 maker unknown.

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A1527

Image of SILVERTOWN TELEGRAPH WORKS GALVANOMETER, 1930's

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SILVERTOWN TELEGRAPH WORKS GALVANOMETER, 1930's

Used to detect current in either direction in Telegraph circuits on receiving or sending stations. Also used as test equipment and known as a differential type. Made at the Telegraph Works Silvertown.

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A1469

Image of GPO 970  DIFFERENTIAL GALVANOMETER, 1930's

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GPO 970 DIFFERENTIAL GALVANOMETER, 1930's

Used to detect current in either direction in telegraph circuits on receiving or sending stations. In Differential mode two coils deflect the needle left or right; if the current through both coils is equal then the needle will remain central.
Also used as a piece of test equipment.

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A0239

Image of POST OFFICE GALVANOMETER GPO 41, 1930's

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POST OFFICE GALVANOMETER GPO 41, 1930's

Used for indication of signal direction ( Current ) in telegraphy systems also as a test instrument.

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A0241

Image of EDISWAN GALVANOMETER, 1930's

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EDISWAN GALVANOMETER, 1930's

Used to detect current in either direction in telegraphy systems.
Also as test equipment.

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A0240

Image of SILVERTOWN GALVANOMETER, 1916

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SILVERTOWN GALVANOMETER, 1916

Used as either a piece of test equipment or to send or receive Morse.
The needle could deflect either left or right dependent on the direction of the current,or could measure the strength of the current by the deflection measured in degrees.

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A0328

Image of 1965/6 TELEGRAMS, 1965

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1965/6 TELEGRAMS, 1965

Two examples of machine printed tape on Telegrams. See Item A0098 in Sounders and Stations section.

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A0197

Image of BRASS BASE SINGLE CORE CABLE, 1900's

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BRASS BASE SINGLE CORE CABLE, 1900's

Single core Telegraphy cable with steel armour for under ground use.
Insulation may be Gutta Percha.

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A0573

Image of SINGLE CORE ARMORED CABLE, 1900's

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SINGLE CORE ARMORED CABLE, 1900's

Early under ground or under water telegraphy cable.
Insulation may be Gutta Percha. Gutta percha was obtained from a variety of guttiferous trees throughout the Pacific Rim although different varieties produce materials of differing quality. The differences generally reflect the quantity of resin in the product with that from Pahang having the lowest resin content. Balata has one of the highest resin contents and was obtained from trees in the tropical regions of South America.

There is much confusion in the literature, and amongst collectors, as to “what gutta percha is”. In practical terms, and when addressing collectors’ items, the material is probably the whole residue from the latex, dried after collection from whichever tree was its source. This material tends to range from dark yellow through red to black. It is possible that it has undergone some degree of purification but, given the variations in initial composition, it would be extremely difficult to confirm this, even by detailed chemical analysis.

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A0571

Image of SAMPLE OF CABLE LAID BY GREAT EASTERN, 1865

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SAMPLE OF CABLE LAID BY GREAT EASTERN, 1865

The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from the Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island, in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland.
The transatlantic cable bridged North America and Europe, and expedited communication between the two. Whereas it would normally take at least ten days to deliver a message by ship, it now took a matter of minutes by telegraph.

Five attempts to lay it were made over a nine-year period—in 1857, two in 1858, in 1865, and in 1866—before lasting connections were finally achieved by the SS Great Eastern captained by Sir James Anderson with the 1866 cable and the repaired 1865 cable. Additional cables were laid between Foilhommerum and Heart's Content in 1873, 1874, 1880 and 1894. By the end of the 19th century, British-, French-, German- and American-owned cables linked Europe and North America in a sophisticated web of telegraphic communications.
The sample is held together by three steel wires wrapped around it

Nortel Collection

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A1317

Image of CENTRE SECTION OF 1st TRANSATLANTIC CABLE, 1860's

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CENTRE SECTION OF 1st TRANSATLANTIC CABLE, 1860's

The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from the Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island, in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland.
The transatlantic cable bridged North America and Europe, and expedited communication between the two. Whereas it would normally take at least ten days to deliver a message by ship, it now took a matter of minutes by telegraph.

Five attempts to lay it were made over a nine-year period—in 1857, two in 1858, in 1865, and in 1866—before lasting connections were finally achieved by the SS Great Eastern captained by Sir James Anderson with the 1866 cable and the repaired 1865 cable. Additional cables were laid between Foilhommerum and Heart's Content in 1873, 1874, 1880 and 1894. By the end of the 19th century, British-, French-, German- and American-owned cables linked Europe and North America in a sophisticated web of telegraphic communications.
A card Attached Reads: "A scrap- the centre portion of the first Atlantic Cable ever thought to be laid and this was I believe ???in laying of common coatingsand coverings wre used - bringing the full cable up to a large size= but this shows the wires.C.E.N. has kept this from about the time of laying - but which year- cannot now say." C.E.N. refers to C.E.Neate who died in 1907 and was Mr H.G.W. Reilly's Grandfather. Donated by H.G.W.O'Reilly ITT Business Systems - Private Communications Division Maidstone Sidcup Kent.

Nortel Collection

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A1316

Image of COHERER DEMONSTRATION BOARD, 1920's

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COHERER DEMONSTRATION BOARD, 1920's

The first radio transmissions were made using a spark transmitter and a receiver known as a “Coherer”.
In 1890 Edouard Branley found that if high frequency oscillating currents were passed through a series of metal fillings in a glass tube, the fillings tended to coherer and become more conducting.
Without the influence of the radio frequency currents, the fillings passed very little current.
Later this arrangement gave place to a device called a crystal detector
The coherer was a primitive form of radio signal detector used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, consisting of a capsule of metal filings in the space between two electrodes.
It was a key enabling technology for radio, and was the first device used to detect radio signals in practical spark gap transmitter wireless telegraphy. Its operation is based upon the large resistance offered to the passage of electric current by loose metal filings being decreased under the influence of radio frequency alternating current.
The coherer became the basis for radio reception around 1900, and remained in widespread use for about ten years. The coherer saw commercial use again in the mid 20th century in a few primitive radio-controlled toys that used spark-gap transmitter controllers.

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A1284

Image of COMMUTATOR KEY, 1930's

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COMMUTATOR KEY, 1930's

Polarity reversing key known as a "Commutator Key".
Used with Double plate sounder item A0227 and Wheatstone needle item A0228.

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A0237

Image of TRANSATLANTIC CABLE IN PENDANT  AND LETTER, 1866

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TRANSATLANTIC CABLE IN PENDANT AND LETTER, 1866

Detail of Letter
"Mr Cowburn, Thanks for the trouble you have taken regarding the piece of Submarine Cable. It's history so far as I can state is as follows: About 60 years ago my Granfather(sic) kept the Victoria Hotel, Grimsby, and the cable was given to him. recently my Mother came across it amongst other curios my Granfather(sic) had collected and handed it to me thinking that I would be interested. The only information my Mother could give me about it was that it was a piece of a Submarine cable laid between Grimsby and Holland. Sorry I cannot furnish more definite information". (Sgd) E. Stanhope, Male Clerical Officer, Telephone Manager's Office, Liverpool. 14.6.39

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A0567

Image of SINGLE CORE POST OFFICE TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1900's

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SINGLE CORE POST OFFICE TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1900's

Early armour protected cable for under ground use. Insulation may be Gutta Percha. Gutta percha was obtained from a variety of guttiferous trees throughout the Pacific Rim although different varieties produce materials of differing quality. The differences generally reflect the quantity of resin in the product with that from Pahang having the lowest resin content. Balata has one of the highest resin contents and was obtained from trees in the tropical regions of South America.

There is much confusion in the literature, and amongst collectors, as to “what gutta percha is”. In practical terms, and when addressing collectors’ items, the material is probably the whole residue from the latex, dried after collection from whichever tree was its source. This material tends to range from dark yellow through red to black. It is possible that it has undergone some degree of purification but, given the variations in initial composition, it would be extremely difficult to confirm this, even by detailed chemical analysis.

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A0572

Image of 4 CORE ARMORED TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1900's

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4 CORE ARMORED TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1900's

Telegraphy cable heavily armoured and further protected with layers of hemp saturated in a water proof compound, for under sea use. It is possible of course that this could have been used for Telephony.

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A0576

Image of SINGLE CORE TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1930's

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SINGLE CORE TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1930's

Early Telephone or Telegraphy cable possibly for under sea use.
The insulation may be Gutta Percha. The Brass bands hold the sample together.
See Item A0572

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A0570

Image of 4 POLE SWITCH WITH PEGS, 1920's

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4 POLE SWITCH WITH PEGS, 1920's

Early method of switching circuits using removable pegs.
Probably for bench testing in the Telegraphy or Electronics industry.

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A0805

Image of 4 WAY SWITCH WITH CRANK, 1930's

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4 WAY SWITCH WITH CRANK, 1930's

School Laboratory Switch supplied by Griffin & George for Universities and Colleges.

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A0806


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