Telegraph Key

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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
key
telegraph key
date made
1891
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 1/2 in x 3 in x 6 1/4 in; 6.35 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
EM*181119
accession number
25412
catalog number
181119
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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