The very name Chadburn is synonymous with the ship’s telegraph. On top of that, original brass telegraphs – oft-copied, as a quick eBay surf will show you – are becoming extremely rare and will soon disappear from circulation. Which is why, whenever we see one, we grab it if we can. (We also have a brass Robinson telegraph in the shop, and there’s an Italian brass telegraph heading our way early in 2017.)
Maritime history aside, this would make an exquisite piece of statement nautical decor.
Our double-faced Chadburn telegraph dates circa 1940s-50s. It has been extensively polished (compare with the photograph of the same telegraph in original salvaged condition in our image gallery). There is no glass in either face and the faces themselves have been copied from the originals, which were too damaged by age and wear to save. The brass bodies are original. The price reflects this.
A bell chimes as either handle is moved around the face of the telegraph, signaling the desired speed of the vessel.
Not including the handles, the Chadburn telegraph is 80cm tall, the head depth is 20cm wide and the face has a diameter of 25 cm.
Early Chadburn history:
1870. London, 01 September 1870 – patent No.2384 applied for, in the names of Chadburn,C.H. and Chadburn,William. Thus started the business for: telegraphs, mechanical – for use in ships, but also in railway stations, mines, buildings etc.The joint inventors hailed from Sheffield, Yorkshire, as opticians.
1875. The first vessel fitted with their Telegraph appears to be SS IONA III, built in Glasgow 1864.
1884. By this year, 3000 installations had been made.
1898. CHADBURN’S (SHIP) TELEGRAPH CO. LTD was formed and the brass pedestal telegraph was by now well established. It included vertical levers and scales for Bridge use, with a reply telegraph in the Engine room, but also steering and docking telegraphs.