Telegraph Key

Telegraph Key

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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 has a switch on the side called a circuit-closer that takes the key off-line when not in use.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
telegraph key
date made
ca 1900
maker
J. H. Bunnell & Co.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 1 1/4 in x 2 7/8 in x 5 in; 3.175 cm x 7.3025 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
2013.3040.09
nonaccession number
2013.3040
catalog number
2013.3040.09
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Communications
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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