Semi-automatic Telegraph Key

Semi-automatic Telegraph Key

Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This semi-automatic telegraph key was designed by William G. Fluharty around 1915. Fluharty worked for Western Union whose operators were prime users for these semi-automatic keys.
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. A semi-automatic telegraph key allows an operator to send messages at a much faster rate than with an ordinary key. The key automatically produces rapid morse code dots by using a spring or weighted pendulum to quickly make and break contact in the electrical circuit. The operator still makes the dashes manually.
Currently not on view
Object Name
semi-automatic key
telegraph key
date made
ca 1915
Fluharty, William G.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
overall: 5 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 8 3/4 in; 13.97 cm x 8.89 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
from Western Union Corporation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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