Author Topic: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...  (Read 849 times)

Offline John S

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Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« on: March 09, 2014, 09:37:40 AM »
I found a very cool Western Union Telegraph Messenger.  It still works when I turn the crank.  It has a very cool sound.  The parts inside are marked Western Electric.  The gadgets inside are simple-quality made.  The base feels like porcelain.  Its heavy for its size.  Nice piece of history...

John S.

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 10:34:22 AM »
Does it generate a specific Morse code message when the crank is turned?

Larry

Offline paul-f

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 10:58:16 AM »
Nice find!
 
The code is a simple 3-digit pulse train.  The "code wheel" is visible in the middle photo, and is marked 452.  (Yes, it could be Morse H5I, but probably not intended.) You can count the teeth for at least the 5 and 2 and see the cam follower at its rest position just before the first notch for the 4.
 
Here is a photo of a similar unit, with the code wheel identified.  It generates a 245.
 
(I'm looking for a handle for one of these.  Let me know if you have a spare.)
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline John S

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 11:14:44 AM »
Paul-

Thanks for the reply and pictures.  Mine is a 452.  I am really not sure what it was used for?  The cover on mine is metal.  The one you posted has a porcelain cover which is really cool.  Thanks for sharing the information.

I don't have a extra handle. 

John

Offline poplar1

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 11:22:55 AM »
When a businessman wanted to send a telegram, he would turn the knob. At the dispatch office, the signal would be decoded and a messenger would be sent to the correct destination to pick up the text, then carry it back to the dispatcher at Western Union. WU made certain that you didn't need a telephone (from their competitor) in order to send a telegram.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline dsk

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 11:34:25 AM »
Much more fascinating than Yahoo's Messenger!

dsk

Offline paul-f

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 02:41:58 PM »
You're welcome, John.
 
I wasn't expecting you would have also found a spare handle, but was hoping someone else might have one in the parts box.
 
You can make a nice demo by putting it in series with a battery and buzzer.  Imagine how thrilled your family will be!   ;D
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Western Union Telegraph Messenger-Western Electric...
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 07:12:49 AM »
Much more fascinating than Yahoo's Messenger!

dsk

It's pretty much the same process with an instant messenger client, only these days it's all electronic and virtually instant... :)

But the mechanical way is easier to understand... ;D