Message to MARC Members from James Wades WB8SIW

 James Wades

Email Address:

Subject: Assistance with Telegraph Activities

Message: Hello:

As President of the Morse Telegraph Club, an association of retired railroad and commercial telegraphers, former telegraph industry employees and others with an interest in the history of telegraph, I am contacting radio clubs in the Michiana area to seek volunteers with an interest in telecommunications history, who may want to assist with a forthcoming project.
In the coming months, our organization will be constructing telegraph exhibits at the Heston Steam Museum at Heston, Indiana. In addition to building a historically accurate telegraph office at the railroad depot, we will also be recreating a portion of the "War Department" telegraph office from the movie "Lincoln" using the original materials from the movie set. This will be a functional telegraph relay office, which will be activated for special events, such as during Civil War encampments at the museum and so forth. Our goal is to have sufficient volunteers from the surrounding ham radio community to staff these exhibits on occasional weekends or during special events.
Volunteers would be available to explain the history of telegraphy to visitors and, if they desire, demonstrate the use of the instruments. Some knowledge of CW or land-line telegraphy in either American Morse Code or International Morse Code would be helpful, but is not absolutely necessary. Volunteer radio amateurs will be provided with background on telegraph history, talking points, and will be familiarized with the use of the instruments in the office, which will also have some interactive components, which do not necessarily require a knowledge of land-line Morse. In other words; all that is required is some background as a CW operator and an interest in history, railroads or steam engines!   We start construction on the depot telegraph office this week.  It should be completed by the end of April. The relay office will take longer, but should be done by the end of June. The museum runs the narrow gauge railroad and other exhibits summer through autumn, or basically Memorial Day through early October. There are some special events afterward, such as Halloween trains, Christmas trains, and so forth. Ideally, if we could get perhaps a dozen volunteers from throughout Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan and perhaps the Chicago area, most volunteers would only need to contribute a day or two per season. It's actually very enjoyable; meeting people, explaining telegraphy to children (and adults), and providing a few nuggets of historical context in the process. 

Those interested can contact me at:
Thank you!
James Wades (WB8SIW)
International President,
Morse Telegraph Club, Inc.