Telegraph Registers

With their large size and ornate machining, registers are probably the most impressive of the telegraph instruments. This gallery presents a timeline of telegraph registers from the earliest weight-driven registers to the more modern spring wound registers.

The first 2 pictures and picture #8 are probably the most famous registers. First we have the Vail Register which was used in the famous 1844 demonstration of the telegraph between the White House in Washington DC and Alfred Vail's home in Baltimore Maryland. Next, we have the 2 registers patented by Samuel Morse: The 1846 register (patent #4453) which looks quite similar to the Vail Register, and the 1849 register (patent #6420) which is a more compact, modern looking design. President Obama has the 1849 patent model on display in the Oval Office.

Below are some pictures of Telegraph Registers from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Click on each thumbnail to view the full size image:

Original Alfred Vail Register from the 1844 Demonstration Samuel Morse 1846 Patent Model (Smithsonian Museum) Possibly J. Burritt, Ithaca NY, Ca. 1846 J. Burritt, Ithaca NY, Ca. 1848 (Smithsonian Museum)
A Pair of Early Daniel Davis Registers. Ca. 1848 Daniel Davis Demo Register, Boston. Ca. 1848 Palmer & Hall Demo Register (Successors to Daniel Davis), Boston. Ca. 1849 Samuel Morse 1849 Patent Model
Early William Clark Harp Register. Philadelphia. Ca. 1847 (Smithsonian Museum) Another View of the Clark Harp Register. The Large Geared Wheel Was Used to Run a Flywheel for Speed Control William Clark Harp Register, Philadelphia. Ca. Late 1840's Very Early Italian Weight-Driven Register by Carlo Dell'Acqua, Milano. Ca. 1848-1850
Henry J. Rodgers, NY. Ca. 1850 Very Early Chubbuck Register. Utica, NY. Ca. 1850's James Clark Harp Register. Ca. 1850's James Clark Harp Register Ca. 1850's (
Hinds & Williams, Boston. Ca. Early 1850's JW Norton, NY. Ca. Early 1850's Self-Winding Register by James Clark, Philadelphia. 1853 Another View of the Clark Self-Winding Register
Early German Weight-Driven Register by Siemens-Halske. Ca. 1854 Unknown Early Register. Ca. 1850's Thomas Hall, Boston. Ca. 1860 Caton Instrument Shops, Ottawa Illinois. Ca. 1860
Thomas Hall, Boston. Ca. 1860 Caton Instrument Shops, Ottawa Illinois. Ca. 1860 GM Phelps, NY. "Football" Register. Ca. Early 1860's GM Phelps, NY. Ca. 1860's
AS Chubbuck, Utica NY. Ca. 1860's Charles Chester, NY. Ca. 1860's Charles Williams, Boston. Ca. 1860's (Edison Museum, Ft. Myers FL) Charles Williams, Boston. Ca. 1860's
Thomas Hall, Boston. Ca. 1860's Charles T & JN Chester, NY. Ca. 1860's Early Austrian Weight-Driven Register. Ca. 1860 JS Keeling, NY. Ca. 1865
Another View of the Keeling Register James Clark, Philadelphia. Ca. Mid 1860's German Weight-Driven Register. Siemens. Ca. 1860 LG Tillotson, NY. Ca. 1860's
Early German Weight-Driven Register. Ca. 1860's Fleming-Potter, Philadelphia. Ca. 1870 ( Knox & Shain, Philadelphia. Ca. 1870 Electrical Construction Co, San Francisco. Ca. 1872
George Bliss, Chicago. Ca. Early 1870's (Smithsonian Museum) Charles T Chester, NY. Ca. 1870's Hochhausen, NY. Ca. 1875 A Very Late Weight-Driven Register by Partrick-Bunnell, Philadelphia, Ca. 1872
Another View of the Partrick-Bunnell Register. The Design is Nearly Identical to the Later Registers Made by Charles Chester, NY GM Phelps Spring Wound Register. Ca. 1875 Spring-Wound Register by L.G. Tillotson, NY. Ca. 1870s Another View of the Tillotson Spring-Wound Register
Early Spring Wound Register Styled Like a Tillotson Weight-Driven Register. JH Bunnell, NY. Ca. Late 1870's (Smithsonian Museum) Austrian Register by K.K.T.W. (Kaiserliche Konigliche Telegraphen Werstatte). Ca. Late 1870's Frederick-Pearce, NY. Ca. Late 1870's Another View of the Frederick-Pearce Register
Frederick-Pearce, NY. Ca. 1880 JH Eckling, Austria. Ca. 1880 Lewert-Berlin. 1881 French Register by Digney
A Small Embossing Register by Breguet Another View of the Breguet Embossing Register Swedish Register by Anton Oller. Ca. 1880's Oki Japanese Boxed Register & Key. 1890
A Later Embossing Register Possibly Made by ES Greeley, NY. Ca. 1890s A Swiss Register by Hasler & Escher, Bern Dutch Register Made by Caminada, Rotterdam (PA3EGH Collection) A Dutch Register Made by Funckler, Haarlem
An Italian Register by Standard Elettrica Italiana An Italian Register by Societa Telefonica Lombarda A Combination Set Consisting of a Key, Register, Galvanometer, and Relay by Siemens-Halske Another Siemens-Halske Key & Register Set With a Galvanometer on the Side
French Key, Register & Galvanometer Set by Ste. Indelle des Telephones Another View of the French Combination Set Showing an Unusual Candle Holder Attachment to Provide Illumination for the Operator French Register by Vinay French Register-Breguet. Ca. 1900
Swedish Register-LM Ericsson. Ca. 1900 A Very Complex Swedish Key & Register Set by LM Ericsson Danish Register-Evald Andersen. Ca. 1900 Swiss Register. Hasler & Escher. 1909
Austrian Register. Nissl & Co. Vienna. Ca. Early 1900's Austrian Register, Key, and Galvanometer on Board A Danish Key, Register, and Galvanometer Set by Store Nordiske Telegrafselskabs Close-Up of the Name on the Galvanometer
Italian Register. Ca. Early 1900's Small German Register by Gebrueder-Naglo, Berlin. Early 1900's Unusual Australian Register Used by Victoria Railways Close-Up of the Australian Register Showing the Lever That Forms Part of a Sounder
Dutch Demonstration Register by Van Sonsbeek & Co, Utrecht (PA3EGH Collection) Dutch Demonstration Register by Merkelbach & Co, Amsterdam (PA3EGH Collection) Dutch Demonstration Register by M. Prins & Co, Utrecht (PA3EGH Collection) Small German Demonstration Register
A Hungarian Novelty Key & Register Attached to a Dance Card. 1915 A View Inside the Dance Card. Measures Only 87x60mm Register, Key & Galvanometer Set Used by the French Military Another View of the French Military Set
Italian Army Register, Key, and Galvanometer in Carrying Case by Pio-Pion, Ca. 1920 Another View of the Pio-Pion Register Set Compact Portable Set with Register, Key, and Galvanometer. Maker Unknown, Probably German Another View of the Portable Register Set
Miniature Italian Key & Register Set. Just 4.5" Wide Oki Japanese Register. 1939 Australian Key, Register & Galvanometer Set Russian Register, Key, and Galvanometer Set. Ca. Early 1940's
  Unusual Register Built Into a Carrying Case. Made by Foote-Pierson, NY Register Contains a Sheet Listing Codes Associated With Different Cities. If Anyone Knows How This Register was Used, Please Let me Know  



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