Jun - Aug 2012 Mystery Object

Can you guess what the Mystery Object was?

Look at the video and images and tell us what you think it is. These questions might help you guess:

  • What material is this object made from?
  • Where have you seen something like this object in the past?
  • Who might have used this object?
  • For what purpose might they have used it for?
  • How could you use the object?

 Scroll down for the answer.






A machine used to receive Morse code (David, age 52)
Morse code (Nicole, age 14)
A train (Mathew, age 8)
String for tying up parcels (Erin, age 6)
Morse tape (Sam, age 8)
A Morse code tape writer that impresses the Morse code signal received on a tape of special paper (Col, age 66)
A windup auto Morse code machine with a standard message that was used at signals by drivers or guards (Malcolm, age 42)
Early safe working telegraph/electrical instrument (Sam, age 17)
Morse code paper tape recorder (Terry, age 59)
A wind up timed switch, for a signal switch for unmanned railway stations so the engineer can set if off before departing the station (Nick, age 28)
A train set (Darrell, age 12)
Ticket machine (Pippy, age 7)
Battery charger (Shanice, age 15)
Telegraph machine (Adam & Sharee, age 38 & 40)
Radio (Tom, age 9)
Vacuum pump (Katie, age 32)
Ticket machine (April, age 7)
Radio or music maker (Lilly, age 11)
Flux capacitor (Rachel, age 30)
Message thing (Renee, age 11)
Wind up telegraph sender/receiver (Bruce, age 63)
Engine (Jessica, age 6)
Ticket number maker (Aileen, age 29)
Signal sender for trains (Brooklyn, age 10)
Compressor (Saige, age 16)
Ticket machine (Emma, age 8)
An indicator (Graeme, age 74)
Telegraph machine (Connor, age 9)
Morse code set (Dennis, age 62)
Ticket machine (Alex, age 9)
A device to warn of a trains approach (Tanis, age 17)
Ticket maker (Sam, age 8)
Communicator (Sally, age 23)
Telex - morse code type (Robyn, age 62)
Ticket stamp (Kay, age 53)
Telegraph receiver (Rebekah, age 13)
Ticket printer (Oliver, age 3)
Clockwork thing (Alexander, age 6)
Franking machine (Kaylie, age 30)
Ticket machine (Mia, age 8)
Coding device (Connor, age 4)
Annet key (Neil, age 70)
Morse code telegraph (Cole, age 14)
Horn (Lachlan, age 7)
Ticket machine (Chloe, age 8)
A windup master clock unit for driving electric clocks around The Workshop so they all read the same time (Geoff, age 57)
Ticket machine (Stuart, 47)
Morse code machine (G.V, age 80)


A Morse Code Receiver.

Before there were telephones people could communicate with each other using Morse Code, developed by Samuel Morse. The code was a series of sounds – short for a dot and long for a dash with a short pause between. This Receiver imprinted these dots and dashes onto a spool of paper, thus creating a record of the messages received. The operator had to write the date on the paper strip each day and these were kept as a record. Morse Code was important for the operations of the railways. A Morse Code operator was highly skilled at rapidly sending messages using a Morse key and also able to decipher the sounds directly as they were received or through reading the paper tape. The series of dots and dashes translated into letters of the alphabet and consequently a message could be read. By the end of the 19th Century telegraph wires criss-crossed the globe with lines even running under the oceans so continents could communicate with each other. Morse code is still in use today and was used at some stations by Queensland Railways into the 1970s.