Home:  Sounders & Stations: DOUBLE PLATE SOUNDER, 1900's


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In the early days of Morse all railway stations were equipped with the new morse code technology. Hearing the clatter of a Morse receiver, known as a sounder, could be a problem in a noisy environment. A gentleman called Charles Bright invented 'Bright's Bells' in 1855, a crude version of the exampe shown here.

The double plate sounder has two solenoids and clappers hitting two plates of differing tones. By placing it in a hood the audibility of the dots and dashes would be greatly improved. Also provided is a relay which enables the unit to be powered locally, removing the problem of the loss of power over long telegraph wires.

Charles Tilson Bright (later Sir Charles Bright) was to become one of Britain's foremost telegraph engineers in the nineteenth century, responsible for major advances in submarine cable technology.

Your comments:

  • They were great to use,I last used this sounder type in 1968 in Lancaster railway telegraph office we had six or more circuits and they were all fairly high speed around 25 to 30wpm for sending railway telegrams and train reports I bought the last set of keys and the sounder for ten Bob and still have them also have a copy of the rule book in use at the time - often look back with affection at those days of sounders and single needle machines can still use them as well as those days she b videos for posterity.
    .......... trev bate, oxfordshire United Kingdom, 23rd of August 2015

  • In 1973 I bought a set of this kit from a dealer in a London market. It was from the Silvertown Works in East London. Replacement parts were still being shipped abroad then ! The relays and hood were in very dusty original paper wrapping but in new condition ex-works.

    The kit was reliable and needed no mains electricity supply. Simple to maintain.
    .......... Terence Wright, Crediton, Devon UK, 30th of May 2010

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