Click on photographs then click "GO BACK" to return to text.
(The instruments are in approximate chronological order: Oldest first.)
* = (Items no longer owned.) ** = (Items in other collections.)
9905 BOXED SET OF SAMUEL F.B. MORSE MEMORABILIA: 11 Pictures, articles,
patents, and letters. All are excellent copies.
9910 EARLY VISITING CARD SHOWING 19th CENTURY
TELEGRAPHER AND TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT:(19KB)This is an
interesting view of an early telegrapher with two box relays
in position on the table in front of him.
9912 EARLY WESTERN UNION & POSTAL TELEGRAPH CREDIT CARDS:(BIG File)(91KB)
These early cards were issued to The Honorable Daniel Smiley of the Board of Indian Commissioners to allow him to use the services of Western Union and Postal Telegraph-Cable Companies without paying for the telegrams and to have the telegrams billed to the government at the special government rates. The Western Union card is signed by Thomas Vail, President of Western Union and the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company card is signed by Clarence H. McKay, President of the company.
9912a THE BACK OF EACH CARD:(84KB)
9915 ADVERTISING CARD FOR NATIONAL TELEGRAPH INSTITUTE:(24KB)
This card promises wonderful salaries of $70 per month or more.
9915a The reverse side shows the morse characters:(22KB
9925 * BOXED PIECE OF THE 1858 TRANSATLANTIC CABLE:(20KB)
This is a 4-1/2 inch section of
cable with brass label reading "ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLE Guaranteed by
Tiffany & Co. Broadway, New York. 1858". In wooden box stamped Original
Transatlantic Cable. 1858. Guaranteed by Tiffany & Co.
(This cable is now in the Samuel F. B. Morse Museum, Poughkeepsie, NY.)
9925a Closer view of the cable section:(23KB)
9925b Close-up view of end of cable showing layers:(8KB)
Tiffany sold the cable sections in the box accompanied by a certificate
of authenticity in the form of a letter
dated: New York. Aug. 21st, 1858. "This is to certify that I have sold
the balance of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable now on board of the USS
"Niagra" to Tiffany & Co. Jewelers of 550 Broadway of this city and that
the piece which accompanies this is a genuine section thereof." Cyrus W.
Fields." "Entered According to Act of Congress AD 1858 by Tiffany &
Co. in the Clk's office of the dist Ct of the S dist of N.Y."
9925c The letter which accompanied the cable:(29KB)
9925d A 75dpi scan of the letter / certificate:(41KB)
9925e A BIG, slow loading 300dpi scan of the letter:(116KB)
9925f The box and cover shown alone:(23KB)
9925g A closer view of the cover of the box:(23KB)
9925h The box alongside a copy of the letter:(23B)
9935 EARLY FRENCH SUBMARINE TELEGRAPH CABLE:(7KB)
It was customary to preserve several lengths of each submarine
telegraph cable in a way that would allow the cable to be displayed.
This usually involved wrapping the cable with brass bands to keep it from
unraveling and stripping it so that the individual layers could
be seen. This cable was laid from France to England in the 1870's
and is an interesting example of early telegraph cable design.
9935a A closeup view of the layers of the cable:(8KB)
9935b A closeup view of the base of the cable:(24KB)
9940 EARLY COMMEMORATIVE SIEMENS-HALSKE SUBMARINE
When a submarine telegraph cable was laid to connect two countries, it was
generally a momentous occasion. Several pieces of this cable were generally
saved and made into museum and display pieces to commemorate the laying of the
cable. This process usually involved applying a metal band to one end of the
cable, peeling back the other end to display the internal layers and
construction, and signing the metal band with the maker's name.
This is a commemorative piece of a submarine telegraph cable which was laid over 120 years ago to connect France and England. It was manufactured by Siemens and Halske whose name appears on the metal band. They were makers of many kinds of telegraph apparatus. It has a heavy protective outer wrapping of 12 thick steel cables to protect it from damage from rocks on the bottom. This outer wrapping is covered with a light protective winding of tar- impregnated hemp and another layer of hemp protects the three conductors in the center of the cable and their insulation which consists of Gutta Percha, a sap found in certain trees. This is a very early cable which does not have the protective layer of copper sheeting used to protect the gutta percha insulation from the torado worms on the ocean floor. These worms tunnel into the gutta percha and rapidly short out the insulation and virtually all cables laid after the 1870's had this additional protection.
9940a A close-up view of the bottom of the cable showing the construction and layers:(42KB)
9940b A close-up view of the manufacturer's name engraved into the metal band at the end of the cable:(33KB)
9950 RECOVERED PIECES OF AN EARLY SUBMARINE
This early cable was laid between Florida and Cuba and recovered by
Tom Perera in 1997 on a diving expedition. (See story and other pictures
and cables referenced in main museum pages as follows:)
1998 DIVING EXPEDITION AND CABLES:(4KB)
1997 DIVING EXPEDITION AND CABLES:(2KB)
9970 ** MURRAY WILLER, VE3FRX DEMONSTRATES THE USE
OF 'TELEGRAPH FLAG SIGNALS' AT THE 2001 AWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE:(33KB)
Murray Willer has been collecting and studying light signalling devices
for many years and here he demonstrates the proper use of signal flags.
9970a ** MURRAY WILLER, VE3FRX DEMONSTRATES ANOTHER FLAG SIGNAL:(40KB)
9975 ** MURRAY WILLER, VE3FRX DEMONSTRATES A VERY
EARLY OIL-BURNING SIGNAL LAMP AT THE 2001 AWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE:(34KB)
Murray Willer specializes in light signalling devices and here he
shows a very early signal light. As you can see in the next picture,
moving the lever causes the cylinders around the wicks to move up and
down and exposes more or less of the wick to oxygen, thus controlling
the intensity of the light.
9975a ** A Close-up view of the signal light:(35KB)
9980 THE PRESIDENT'S PRIVATE TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH
BUREAU AT THE WHITE HOUSE - 1906 POSTCARD:(27KB)
This postcard postmarked Dec 1, 1906 was sent from a New York
address. It has a photograph of the 'President's Private
Telephone & Telegraph Bureau, White House, Washington, D. C.
9980a A higher-resolution view of the photo:(113KB)
9985 * EXTREMELY UNUSUAL WESTERN UNION CEREMONIAL TELEGRAPH
SET:This unsusual set was built by Western Union and used at major
ceremonies such as the opening of a bridge or tunnel or roadway or building
where a ribbon was to be cut. When the set received the appropriate signal,
it activated the large metal 'Ribbon Cutter' in the center of the set and
simultaneously flashed a very large Press-sized flashbulb. The remote signal
was presumably sent by an important person such as the president of the United
States who may have been unable to attend the ceremony in person. The device
was excellent advertising for Western Union because it used the Western Union
Telegraph Lines and therefore a large Western Union sign was prominently
displayed along with the unit.
9985a Another View of the WESTERN UNION CEREMONIAL SET:
9985b Another View of the WESTERN UNION CEREMONIAL SET:
9985c The outside of the box of the WESTERN UNION CEREMONIAL SET:
9985d The Sign that accompanied the WESTERN UNION CEREMONIAL SET:
9990 FIRE ALARM KEY AND RELAY AND LIGHTNING
ARRESTOR:(32KB)Fire Alarm keys and apparatus are often mistaken
for telegraph instruments. This is an example of a fire alarm key,
relay, and lightning arrestor. Many Fire Alarm devices were manufactured
by Gamewell and this helps to identify them and differentiate them
from telegraph instruments.
9990a Another view of the Fire Alarm Instrument:(31KB)
9991 FIRE ALARM KEY OR 'TAPPER' WITH CAMELBACK LEVER:
Fire Alarm keys and apparatus are often mistaken for telegraph instruments.
Since they were made as early as the very early telegraph keys, they often
look and are very old. This is an example of a fire alarm key that has the
camelback or 'humpback' design of some of the earliest telegraph keys but
it was not used to send Morse Code signals. These keys are also
called 'Tappers' because they were used to 'tap' out the code which identified
the location of a fire. Fire alarm codes were numeric and 3-taps,
followed by 5-taps, followed by 2-taps: xxx xxxxx xx signalled that the
fire was at location 352. Keys such as this often have a device which makes
it impossible to activate the key accidentally and you can see this mechanism
under the lever. Pressing the mechanism to one side locks the key and
pressing it to the other side unlocks the key.
9991a Another view of the Fire Alarm Key or 'Tapper' showing the complete mechanism.:(55KB)
9991b A right-side view of the Fire Alarm Key or 'Tapper' showing the complete mechanism.:(54KB)
9991c A view of the Fire Alarm Key showing the set of contacts under the base.:(46KB)
9993 FIRE ALARM KEY WITH UNUSUAL ANGLED LEVER:
This Chrome Plated camelback key was used to send fire alarm signals on local
and city-wide fire alarm circuits. This one was designed to be mounted on a
vertical wall thus explaining the angular lever. Often mistaken for land-line
telegraph keys, these fire alarm keys (sometimes called 'tappers') were widely
used in fire stations as early as the 1860's (This key is much more recent).
The coded location of the fire was sent by the key and received in the form of
bell signals at the remote stations.
9993a The contacts on the angled fire alarm key:
9995 CHILDREN'S BOOK: SAMUEL MORSE AND THE
This is a children's book in comic-book format that introduces young readers
to the history of the telegraph. It was published in 2007 by Capstone Press:
www.capstonepress.com and it's ISBNs are: ISBN-13: 978-0-7368-6846 and
NOTE: I AM ALWAYS LOOKING TO BUY OR TRADE TELEGRAPH KEYS !
Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University