Telegraph Key

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Description (Brief)
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. The message travels as a series of electrical pulses through a wire. The operator pushes the key’s lever down briefly to make a short signal, a dot, or holds the lever down for a moment to make a slightly longer signal, a dash. The sequence of dots and dashes represent letters and numbers. This key has a switch on the side called a circuit-closer that takes the key off-line when not in use.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1915
Charles Cory & Son, Inc.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 1 3/8 in x 2 7/8 in x 5 in; 3.4925 cm x 7.3025 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Paul G. Watson
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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