Semi-automatic Telegraph Key

Description (Brief)
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. The Mecograph Company created a right-angle semi-automatic telegraph key around 1906. They competed with Horace Martin's Vibroplex Company until Martin purchased Mecograph in 1914. A semi-automatic key repeated the Morse code dots rapidly, much like holding down a key on a keyboard for repeated letters. The operator still keyed the dashes but could work much faster.
Currently not on view
Object Name
semi-automatic key
telegraph key
Mecograph Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 2 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in x 5 7/8 in; 5.715 cm x 10.795 cm x 14.9225 cm
ID Number
model number
collector/donor number
accession number
catalog number
Telegraph Keys
See more items in
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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