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 is an example of the earliest type of key used by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1843
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
mahogany (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 6 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
EM*181410
catalog number
181410
accession number
31652
Credit Line
from Western Union Telegraph Co.
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

Add a comment about this object