Telegraph Key

Description (Brief):

Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code and can spark when the circuit opens. This wireless telegraph key features a large disc on the knob to protect against the accidental shock. Until recently “wireless” meant radio, and early wireless equipment often used high voltages.

Description (Brief)

A standard wireless telegraph key. Stamped on base: "Boston Key Clapp-Eastham Co." and on lever: " Clapp-Eastham Co". All metal parts are of nickel-plated brass except for the steel pin that forms the central bearing. Mounted on an engraved formica base. Current is carried through the heavy conductors directly to the binding posts. Current rating of this unit is unknown, but Boston Keys were manufactured in ratings of 10, 20, 30, and 50 amperes. Reference: Clapp-Eastham bulletin FZ-1922, page 27.

Date Made: 1922

Maker: Clapp-Eastham Co.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Electricity, Telegraph Keys, Communications


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: from Franklin Wingard

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: EM.320854Catalog Number: 320854Accession Number: 241556

Object Name: telegraph keysemi-automatic keysending keyOther Terms: telegraph key; Radio

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in x 8 in; 4.445 cm x 8.89 cm x 20.32 cm


Record Id: nmah_705843

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