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 is a very simple design called a strap key.
Currently not on view
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 2 in x 4 in; 3.81 cm x 5.08 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Princeton University, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, thru Dean Howard Menand
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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