Experimental Telegraph Key

Description (Brief)
This experimental semi-automatic telegraph key was judged a failure by William Fluharty of Western Union. This design made it "impossible to split dots or crowd signals," rendering the message garbled.
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. A semi-automatic telegraph key allows an operator to send messages at a much faster rate than with an ordinary key. The key automatically produces rapid morse code dots by using a weighted pendulum to quickly make and break contact in the electrical circuit. The operator still makes the dashes manually.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
bug
semi-automatic key
sending key
telegraph key
date made
1922
maker
Fluharty, William G.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 8 in; 6.35 cm x 8.89 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
EM*331688
accession number
294351
collector/donor number
73-03
catalog number
331688
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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