Flame-proof Telegraph Key

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Description (Brief)
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code and can spark when the circuit opens. Flame-proof telegraph keys, like this one made by American Marconi, were designed to contain the spark within a sealed chamber. These keys were necessary on early aircraft and in confined spaces such as aboard ships and submarines where the spark might ignite flammable gasses.
Currently not on view
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 3 3/8 in x 2 3/4 in x 9 in; 8.5725 cm x 6.985 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Franklin Wingard
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History