Flame-proof Telegraph Key

Flame-proof Telegraph Key

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Description (Brief)
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code and can spark when the circuit opens. Flame-proof telegraph keys, like this one made by International Radio Telegraph Company, were designed to contain the spark within a sealed chamber. These keys were necessary on early aircraft and in confined spaces such as aboard ships and submarines where the spark might ignite flammable gasses.
Marked on plate: "Flame-proof Key and Winker / Type CA-1213 Serial 48080 / International Radio Telegraph Co." Reference: Clark Collection: Navy Type Numbers, 1918, page 106.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph key
wireless key
date made
International Radio Telegraph Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 3 3/8 in x 2 3/4 in x 8 in; 8.5979 cm x 6.985 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Franklin Wingard
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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