A Vintage Double Handed & Faced Ship's Telegraph


Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1920
Height: 8 inches
Width: 6 inches
Depth: 3 inches

The traditional engine order telegraph or Chadburn with a double face and hand, with the overall size suggesting the telegraph has possibly come from a launch or tug boat. The dial can be clearly read with the many dial indications such as half, slow and full whilst the handles are both in operation. The makers name is stamped as Hyland Ltd, Wakefield, England.

This kind of telegraph was present in early vessels, from the 1800s until about 1950. Traditional E.O.T.s required a pilot wanting to change speed to "ring" the telegraph on the bridge, moving the handle to a different position on the dial. This would ring a bell in the engine room and move their pointer to the position on the dial selected by the bridge. The engineers hear the bell and move their handle to the same position to signal their acknowledgment of the order, and adjust the engine speed accordingly.

Ship's Telegraphs are among the most poignant of wreck finds. Along with wheels and compasses, they are highly symbolic as the instruments, which once controlled a ship. It is for this reason we think objects like these only need a drop or two of imagination to transform them into tabletop objects to fascinate and delight.