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
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
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
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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