Vibroplex Telegraph Key

Description (Brief)
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. Horace G. Martin patented a practical semi-automatic telegraph key in 1903 and his company dominated the market for these devices. Keys like Martin's "Vibroplex" automatically produced rapid morse code dots by using a weighted pendulum to quickly make and break contact in the electrical circuit. The operator would make the dashes manually but could send much faster than with an ordinary key.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
sending key
telegraph key
maker
Martin, Horace G.
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
copper (overall material)
slate (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 8 in; 6.35 cm x 8.89 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
EM*315160
catalog number
315160
accession number
217659
subject
Communications
Telegraph Keys
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from J. Vanderhoof
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.