Doug's Telegraph Stuff   

The telegraph collection here comprises both manual and printing telegraphy.

Manual Telegraphy

There are a couple of items in the manual telegraphy collection that have their original boxes.  It is very unusual to come across items like this!  Pictured here is a Signal Co. telegraph sounder with its original box.
This is a another Signal Co. item, a 4 ohm telegraph relay with its original box.
There is also a Navy key with its original box in the collection.  This is labeled "One N.A.F. No. 213235-2 KEY, TRANSMITTING -- ASSEMBLY Manufactured by Telephonics Corporation, N.Y. for U.S. Navy."  From the contract number on the box, it looks like it was made in 1956.
Here's another brand-new military key, though without its original box.  I don't have any numbers for this item, but it is perhaps for a field or airborne radio since it has the straps to tie it onto the leg of the radio operator.
This is an interesting item, a telegraph test set of some kind.   It appears to have been manufactured by Western Electric since it contains a WE key and sounder.  There is a milliammeter on the front of the unit and looks like it could be mounted on a rack. It originally came with some plug-in cords that were hopelessly rotted.  The rest of the unit is in fine shape, however.
This is a Western Union telegraph call box, manufactured by the T.A. Edison Company. It is a clockwork mechanism device that, when activated by turning the knob above the words "Western Union," pulses out a predetermined code which would have been sent to the local telegraph office. Upon receiving the coded signal, the telegraph office would know which location desired service and would dispatch a messenger to that location.
This is a similar call box, made for the competing Postal Telegraph Company. This box was manufactured by the D.S. Plumb Company of Newark, NJ, but the internal components look very similar to the WU call box made by the Edison Company. Note the external screw terminals at the top of this box. The electrical connections for the Western Union box are all internal. The three screw terminals and the internal configuration of the Postal call box allow it to be used on either open or closed signalling circuits. This call box is missing the original knob. Anyone have one??
This is a Western Electric telegraph sounder and stand. The triangular box at the top of the stand allows the sounder's output, if you will, be directed towards the telegraph operator. Many operators would further enhance this sound by wedging a Prince Albert tobacco can between the sounder and the back of the hood. The empty can added further resonance to the sounder, allowing it to be heard over other noises in the telegraph office or railroad agent's office. The base and stem of the stand is very much the same as a Western Electric candlestick telephone.
Here's a shot from a few years back of yours truly at the op's desk of the Orchard Park, NY former BR&P RR station, "RK" now owned by the Western New York Railway Historical Society.  My telegraph friends and I are invited out now and then to set up a working telegraph display at the old depot.  We string a line from the office of the depot to the Society's early 1900s "bobber" caboose parked on a siding near the station and visitors to the site can send themselves a telegram from one end of our line to the other.

Printing Telegraphy

Now for the printing telegraphy. This is a "28 Compact" teleprinter, made by the Teletype Corporation, and is also known by the more formal nomenclature of UGC-20. This machine is capable of copying speeds of 60, 67 and 100 WPM by simply changing the internal gears with a little lever to the left of the keyboard, not visible in this photo. The typing unit is a standard Model 28 typing unit and the keyboard is similar to that found in a Model 32 TTY machine.
And here's one you don't see every day - a Model 12! One of the very first production teleprinters made by Morkrum-Kleinschmidt (later to become Teletype) in the mid-1920s, this is one rugged Teletype machine! It weighs a ton and one book about teletypes noted that these "sound like a cement mixer" when running. It is an accurate observation...  I been poking along at refurbishing my Model 12 and I have a few pictures of the slow progress of that project.
Here's a Western Union 2B tape printer. This is my first piece of printing tape gear. The printer came in this heavy-duty carrying case, which I am told is how the servicemen (yes, they were all men in those days!) carried replacment units to the job site. The broken printer was swapped out for the new one and transported back to the shop in the case. This unit, like all the other printing telegraphy gear in the collection, works.
Also in the collection is that "Cadillac" of all Teletypes: the Model 28ASR.  Mine is shown here with a few of the front covers off as I was working on some of the internal wiring at the time this photo was taken.  The machine works very nicely and is in the local loop in the house where most of the machines in the collection are connected and can communicate among one other.
The newest item in the Teletype collection is this Model 26 ... that I bought for one dollar!  Originally developed as a small, light duty machine for the new TWX market in the mid-1930s, the machine proved to be too expensive to manufacture and maintain as compared to the existing Model 15 line.  The Model 26 was phased out in the 1940s and became one of the first teleprinters that ham radio operators could obtain from the Bell System in the early 1950s for the hams' new RTTY (radio teletype) mode.

My Model 26 is of interest to some because the ID plate on the cover, base and typing unit say it is the property of the Postal Telegraph Company.  You can click here for a close-up of the keyboard area to see the plate.  There is also a shot with the cover off showing the compact, vertically oriented typing unit

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since September 2004

Updated February 22, 2015