J.H. Bunnell


The catalogue that you see here was published in 1900 by the J. H. Bunnell Company and has been included on this website to highlight the fact that Amateur Radio has its roots firmly planted in the creation of the telegraph, or also known as signalling with electricity.

The earliest electrical telegraphs originated in Europe and were improved upon by Samuel Finley Breese Morse and his colleague, Alfred Vail. The first successful demonstration of Morse’s telegraph was held on May 24, 1844 using a 38 mile line running from Washington, DC to Baltimore, Maryland. The first message sent over that wire was, in code, “What hath God wrought?”

By 1900 there were about sixty manufacturers of telegraph equipment in North America and J. H. Bunnell was probably the most prominent. How many aspiring Amateur Radio Operators learned Morse code on a Bunnell key ?

Note the use of “73” and the format of telegraphic messages, still in use today.

From the telegraph to radio, radar, telephone, television, fax, the internet and …….?

“What hath God Wrought” indeed.

J.H. Bunnell & Co. Inc., Abridged Catalogue and Manual of Telegraphy, 28th Edition, 1900

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