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 pushes the key’s lever down briefly to make a short signal, a dot, or holds the lever down for a moment to make a slightly longer signal, a dash. The sequence of dots and dashes represent letters and numbers. This key is a very simple type known as a strap key.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1910
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 4 in x 2 in; 5.08 cm x 10.16 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
maker number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History