All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

The Museum

Museum Treasures

Ship's Telegraph

Image of Ship Telegraph 1
Seen here is an engine order telegraph or E.O.T. This communications device was used on a ship by the pilot on the bridge to order engineers in the engine room to power the vessel at a desired speed. In early vessels, from the 1800s until about 1950, the device usually consisted of a round dial about nine inches in diameter with a knob at the center attached to one or more handles, and an indicator pointer on the face of the dial. 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 moved their pointer to the position on the dial selected by the bridge. The engineers heard the bell and moved their handle to the same position to signal their acknowledgment of the order, and adjusted the engine speed accordingly. Such an order is called a "bell."
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