[SIGCIS-Members] Gleick "sounder"

JD Fleming jfleming at sfu.ca
Thu Mar 17 16:32:21 PDT 2016

Dear historians of information, 

With apologies if this question leads way before or outside anybody's area of interest. In his book "The Information," James Gleick records indifference about early telephone networks (at the start of the 20th century) from potential business clients. One is reported as saying: "If I want to send a message, I use a sounder, or employ a boy to take it" (p.189). My question is: What, in this context, is or was a "sounder"? 

Grateful for any replies 
JD Fleming 

J ames Dougal Fleming 
Associate Professor 
Department of English 
Simon Fraser University 

Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada. 

"You will be careful to keep them separate, citizen?" 
-- A Tale of Two Cities 

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