THE JOHN MILTON WILLIAMS TELEGRAPH COLLECTION (A FEW SAMPLES)

W1TP TELEGRAPH AND SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUMS: http://w1tp.com

John Williams has been collecting early telegraph keys and unusual scientific instruments for many years. His huge collection includes extraordinary and significant examples of many extremely rare and unusual telegraph keys and instruments. He has acquired many instruments with complete histories of their use (provenance) and makes determined efforts to find out as much as he can about the history and use of each item in his amazing collection. The following are a few samples from his collection.

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THE JOHN MILTON WILLIAMS TELEGRAPH COLLECTION ( A FEW SAMPLE)


  • UNUSUAL NEEDLE TELEGRAPH SET:(28KB)
    This lovely early needle telegraph set is an example of the type of telegraph system that was used before Morse's dramatic demonstration of the telegraph in 1844. Used primarily in England on the railroads, a swinging handle places different polarities of voltage on the line which cause a galvanometer needle at the other end of the line to swing left or right to signal dots or dashes. This example has an unusual brass mounted handle.

  • VERY EARLY FRENCH NEEDLE TELEGRAPH:(23KB)
    This telegraph sender and receiver used the principles pioneered by Wheatstone to move a pointer to a specific letter. The large handle or key in the lower part of the apparatus sent an electrical pulse to one of the two electromagnets that rotated the pointer either left or right to reach the desired letter. An enlarged view of the face of the dial is shown below. Circa 1860s.

  • CLOSEUP OF THE DIAL OF THE VERY EARLY FRENCH NEEDLE TELEGRAPH:(19KB)
    The electromaget coils that rotate the pointer to the left or right may be seen through the cnter of the dial.

  • PRE-CIVIL WAR LINEMAN'S POCKET TEST SET:(28KB)
    This 'pocket test set' is a complete key and sounder combination that has been designed to fit into the metal box shown alongside of it. It was carried by telegraph linesmen and frequently used by spies to tap into the enemy telegraph lines and even send false and misleading information to the enemy. Most of these sets are mounted on black bases but this set, with its wooden base was probably made well before the Civil War. Circa 1850s.

  • VERY EARLY STRAP KEY:(24KB)
    Strap keys of this type were the first telegraph key designs. Although more elaborate keys were soon developed, strap keys such as this continued to be used throughout the history of telegraph.

  • VERY RARE CHARLES WILLIAMS DUPLEX KEY:(8KB)
    This is one of the only 3 keys of its type made. It was a prototype for the Stearns Duplex Telegraph System. Circa 1868.

  • UNUSUAL CASED BUNNELL TELEGRAPH SET:(26KB)
    This lovely Bunnell key and sounder (KOB) set was obtained from Jesse Bunnell's wife after he died. It had been part of the Bunnell Museum and, although no special markings indicate it, it may have been mounted in this box as some sort of commemorative piece. No other examples of Bunnell KOB sets mounted in this sort of box have been located.

  • VICTOR KEY MOUNTED WITH A BOX RELAY:(13KB)
    The "Victor Patent Key" was patented in 1882 and used knife-edge pivots rather than a round trunnion.

  • UNUSUAL GENERAL RADIO CO. 'RADIO RELAY KEY':(20KB)
    This unusual key was used by the United States Navy to key a high powered spark transmitter. It is marked 2KW RADIO RELAY KEY made for NAVY DEPARTMENT (BU.S.E.) by GENERAL RADIO CO. for NAVY YARD, Boston, Mass. Contract No. 235. Date 1918. Type CAG 497. 500 Cycles. AC Amps: 50.

  • VERY EARLY 1840s 'MEDICAL'INDUCTION COIL:(15KB)
    This is a very early induction coil used to step up a low battery voltage of around 3 volts to a high voltage of about 1000 volts. It was used to administer 'therapeutic' electric shocks to a patient which were thought to be curative of most ailments. These 'quack medical devices' remained in use until the FDA found that they were inneffective and outlawed their sale although some are being sold to this day as 'personal hygiene or exercise machines' to avoid the FDA classification as medical devices. The hand-wound coils are typical of these early designs as is the bright gold trim meant to impress a patient and help convince him/her of the effectiveness of the machine.

  • VERY EARLY 1840s VERTICAL 'MEDICAL'INDUCTION COIL:(12KB)
    This is a very unusual vertical coil version of an early 'medical' induction coil as described above.

  • FARADAY PHILOSOPHICAL MOTOR:(37KB)
    This early motor was used to demonstrate the turning force of an electric current passing through a wire. It consists of two circular pools which are to be filled with mercury. Into these pools dip contacts at each end of a vertically mounted iron bar that is suspended by two pivot points at the top and bottom. When electricity is applied by way of the mercury pools, the bar rotates in a horizontal plane. One of these motors is on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. Circa 1830s.

  • EDISON STOCK TICKER ON ORIGINAL STAND:(8KB)
    This Edison Stock Ticker printed the identification and price of stocks that were traded on the stock exchange in the offices of subscribers. It is difficult to find these tickers these days, and especially difficult to find them on the origianl mahogany stand.

  • VERY EARLY EDISON ELECTRIC FAN:(18KB)
    This is a fine example of an early Edison open frame electric motor driving a fan.

  • UNUSUAL 'POCKET RADIO' Made by Auto Indicator Co.(23KB)
    This 'pocket radio' is the only one of its kind known to have survived. It was made by the Auto Indicator Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan and uses one tube. It would be hard to fit it into even the largest pocket.
For more information contact:

John Milton Williams c/o


Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University

Internet On-Line Telegraph & Scientific Instrument Museum:
http://w1tp.com
or:
http://www.chss.montclair.edu/~pererat/telegrap.htm
Internet ENIGMA Museum: http://w1tp.com/enigma