Semi-automatic Telegraph Key

Description (Brief)
This semi-automatic telegraph key was designed by William G. Fluharty around 1915. Fluharty worked for Western Union whose operators were prime users for these semi-automatic keys.
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 spring or weighted pendulum to quickly make and break contact in the electrical circuit. The operator still makes the dashes manually.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1915
Fluharty, William G.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 8 3/4 in; 13.97 cm x 8.89 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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