Bunnell Ink Writing Registers, Automatic Paper Winder, Strap Keys

Bunnell Ink Writing Registers, Automatic Paper Winder, Strap Keys

18A       The ink register is basically no more than an evolutionary improvement of Morse's original steel pen register. The first device gave way to the sounder when operators found they could copy fast and reliably by ear. But the register had its niche where a record of the message was necessary.

      Ink registers were made by various companies including Foote Pierson. Those with a beveled glass top over the gearworks provide a look into the mechanism as it operates.

      Bunnell also offered its ink writing register in a Recording Combination Set consisting of the register, a main line relay, a steel lever key and a lightning arrestor mounted on a mahogany base. The price in 1918 was $110.00.

18B      The inked paper comes from the reel on the register, passes under the marking mechanism, and then might fall to the floor. Or it might be wound on this winder that aptly demonstrates the dictum that "form follows function." The floor, or a bucket, may have been favored; winders are scarcer than registers.

18C       They're called strap keys because the lever is a simple strap of springy brass. With its mahogany base, the strap key made a good portable key for testing or temporary use.

      The illustration, showing three terminals, is of the double contact model. Bunnell also had a heavy duty double-contact strap key promoted for railroad use; it can br identified by a beveled edge around the top of the base.

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