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 moves this key’s lever from side to side to make signals. Called a simplex-duplex key, this key can send messages either on one-way circuits (simplex) or on circuits designed to send messages on lines designed to carry two messages at once (duplex.)
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph key
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 3 1/2 in x 7 in; 5.08 cm x 8.89 cm x 17.78 cm
ID Number
maker number
collector/donor number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation

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