PRE-1881 TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT

EARLY PRE – 1881 TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT (PART I) W1TP TELEGRAPH AND SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUMS: http://w1tp.com

PLEASE **WAIT** FOR ALL PICTURES TO LOAD ! (If some do not load, click “Reload Page”.)

  • Click BACK to Return to the Previous Page.

VERY EARLY LAND-LINE TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT (1) (prior to 1860s) – – (50 – 159)

(The instruments are in approximate chronological order: Oldest first.) * = (Items no longer owned.) ** = (Items in other collections.)

PART I

50a THE VAIL ‘CORRESPONDENT’:(41KB) This simple so- called ‘strap key’ was used in early tests by Morse and Vail that led up to the 1844 demonstration. It was given the name ‘strap key’ because it consisted of just a simple strap of spring brass.

50x A REPRODUCTION OF THE VAIL LEVER CORRESPONDENT MADE BY KENT IN ENGLAND:(38KB) This key has the same design and measurements as the original key but it has been given a sand-blasted finish which makes it look quite different from the polished brass of the original.

50y A LEFT side view of the Lever Correspondent Reproduction by Kent:(42KB)

51 ** EXTREMELY EARLY PALMER AND HALL BOXED COMBINATION TELEGRAPH KEY AND RELAY SET: This extremley rare Palmer and Hall telegraph set is contained in a wooden box that protects the early camelback key and relay from damage. One end of the box folds down to allow operation of the set while still in the box. The relay and the box are labeled: Palmer and Hall and the box label reads: PALMER & HALL electricians, 158 Washington St. Boston, Mass. The box measures: 8.5 x 6 inches. The owner was kind enough to allow me to include these photographs in my museum prior to selling it on ebay.

51a ** The Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set in its Original wooden box.

51b ** A different view of the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set showing the telegraph key more clearly.

51c ** The operator’s end of the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set.

51d ** The Maker’s Mark on top of the relay in the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set.

51e ** A close view of the far end of the key and a terminal in the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set.

51f ** The underside of the base of the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set.

51g ** The front of the box of the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set.

51h ** The inside of the cover of the box of the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set showing the Palmer and Hall paper label.

51i ** A close view of the dovetailed corner of the box of the Palmer & Hall Telegraph Set.

The left instrument appears to be a Thomas Hall relay similar to the

number 68 ** Palmer & Hall relay shown in my museum:(16KB)

Although it is difficult to see all of the details in the ambrotype because the head of a minstrel gets in the way, most details seem to match the catalog illustration.

52f ** HOMEMADE MODEL OF THE PALMER & HALL CAMELBACK:(10KB)This key is in the Tom French W1IMQ collection. It appears to have been modeled after the above key.

52fa ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(11KB)

52fb ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(11KB)

52fc ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(10KB)

52fd ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(10KB)

52fe ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(10KB)

52fg ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(11KB)

52fh ** Another view of the homemade camelback:(14KB)

54 ** POSSIBLY THE EARLIEST TELEGRAPH DAGUERREOTYPES: These daguerreotypes are exhibited with the permission of Mark Koenigsberg whose daguerreotype museum at: http://www.geocities.com/~daguerreotype contains many other early pictures on other subjects. They are copyright (c) Mark Koenigsberg and are the earliest images of telegraphers and telegraph instruments that I have found.

56 CATON TELEGRAPH KEY:(12KB) This early straight lever key was made by the Caton Instrument Co., Ottawa, Ill. The long legs pass through holes in the operating table and wires are attached to binding posts at the end of each leg. The lever is stamped CATON, OTTAWA, ILL 7?? (illegible), and the base is stamped with the number 494. Circa 1860’s.

60 VERY EARLY ELABORATE CAMELBACK KEY & SOUNDER:(63KB) This all brass key with leaf spring has a massive elaborately curved lever of the earliest “camelback” or “humpbacked” shape which was adopted soon after Morse’s demonstration. These keys were only made for a short time because the steel shaft, press fit into the lever, tended to work loose with use. The sounder is also heavy brass but, although it was mounted on a board along with this key, I believe that the sounder may be from a later period. The original wooden base is missing. The two instruments came from a burned railroad station in Canada. Circa 1848. The lever shape and large dished adjusting screw heads are very similar to the two keys shown below. It has been suggested that these keys were all made by the Dominion Telegraph Company in Canada but unfortunately, we have very little information about Canadian Telegraph Companies.

63 VERY EARLY ELABORATE STRAIGHT LEVER KEY:(32KB) This extremely early all brass straight lever key is very similar to the two extremely early camelback keys above. Note that the shorting lever and adjusting screws are virtually identical to those above. Like the two camelbacks, it was also located in Canada and it may have been made by the Dominion Telegraph Company. Circa 1850’s. Collector Pete Malvasi, W2PM owns a sounder which appears to match this key and which is labeled Dominion Tel Co. and this lends credence to the suggestion that Dominion made this key although the key below is very similar to this key and carries the label: FOSTER, Toronto suggesting that this key might have been made by Foster.

63a Another view of the early straight lever key:(16KB)

63b A closer view of the early straight lever key:(16KB)

63c A still-closer view of the early straight lever key:(32KB)

65 * 1850 TELEGRAM AND TAPE FROM A ”HOUSE PRINTING TELEGRAPH”:(14KB) This telegraph message was printed on the paper tape by a ‘House Printing Telegraph’ instrument in 1850. The ‘House’ was first patented in 1848. The tape was delivered to the addressee in the envelope which carries the date of receipt of the message.

65l Higher Resolution View of the telegram:(70KB)

67 VERY EARLY THOMAS HALL CAMELBACK KEY:(15KB) This lovely camelback key was made by Thomas Hall of Boston circa the 1850’s.

67a The other side of the Hall camelback:(15KB)

69 VERY EARLY THOMAS HALL SOUNDER:(26KB) This lovely early sounder was made by the firm of Thomas Hall of Boston sometime between 1847 and 1859.

69a Another view of the Thomas Hall Sounder:(28KB)

69b Another view of the Thomas Hall Sounder:(30KB)

71 VERY EARLY CHARLES CHESTER TELEGRAPH KEY:(12KB) This lovely straight lever key was manufactured by Charles T. Chester of New York in the 1850’s or 1860’s. The lever is 5″ long and the base is 3″.

74 * VERY EARLY TILLOTSON WEIGHT-DRIVEN REGISTER:(45KB) This lovely and very early register was made by Tillotson & Co of New York in the 1850’s. It’s design appears to be identical to the Knox & Shain Registers made in Philadelphia. It is an embossing register which records dots and dashes on the paper tape by making indentations in the tape with a pointed stylus. This picture is displayed with the permission of the owner/collector.

76 VERY EARLY CHUBBUCK WEIGHT-DRIVEN REGISTER:(29KB) Very similar to number 75 above.

76a ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CHUBBUCK REGISTER:(31KB)

76b ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CHUBBUCK REGISTER:(35KB)

76c ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CHUBBUCK REGISTER:(30KB)

76d ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CHUBBUCK REGISTER:(30KB)

THE CIVIL WAR:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *