Motor-driven Telegraph Transmitter

Motor-driven Telegraph Transmitter

Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. A semi-automatic key repeated the Morse code dots rapidly, much like holding down a key on a keyboard for repeated letters. This motor-driven, semi-automatic telegraph transmitter from 1923 was used for sending Western Union cablegrams from New York to San Francisco through thirteen repeaters. The wire distance was over 3,000 miles.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electric motor unit
telegraph transmitter
semi-automatic key
sending machine
date made
Fluharty, William G.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 4 1/2 in x 7 3/4 in x 9 1/8 in; 11.43 cm x 19.685 cm x 23.1775 cm
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor 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
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object