Notes on the Operation of Telegraph Lines

ID: SIA2011-0829

Creator: Vail, Alfred


Date: c. 1850

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7055, Box 5, Folder: 8

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Alfred Vail's notes on the operation of telegraph lines include a list of cities on the lines and various phenomena that may occur during transmission. On the left page is also a list of materials and prices.


Morse, Samuel Finley Breese 1791-1872


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Alfred Vail was a key partner to Samuel Morse and is credited with designing the machine and alpha code used in the creation of the electromagnetic telegraph.
  • For other materials relevant to Vail's work, see Negatives SIA2011-0824 to SIA2011-0828 and SIA2011-0830. For letters between Vail, Morse, and first Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry, see Negatives SIA2011-0814 to SIA2011-0823.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7055, Box 5, Folder: 8

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


c. 1850

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Electric apparatus and appliances
  • Telegraph
  • Inventions
  • Science
  • Notebooks
  • Telecommunication
  • Electromagnets
  • Electromagnetic telegraph
  • Electromagnetism

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 12.25w x 7.5h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

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