POST - 1881 LAND LINE TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT (PART II)
W1TP TELEGRAPH AND SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUMS: http://w1tp.com

PLEASE **WAIT** FOR ALL PICTURES TO LOAD !
(If some do not load, click "Reload Page".)

EARLY LAND-LINE TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT (2): Approximately 1890s-1960s (1501-3000)

EARLY STEEL LEVER KEYS (2): (Approximately 1890s-1960s (1501-3000)

After the Civil War, Railroads, Telegraph Companies, and Businesses provided a growing market for the many types of apparatus being produced. Attempts to avoid patent infringement led to new and interesting designs.

KEYS (1001-1500), KEYS & SOUNDERS (1501-2000), SOUNDERS (2001-2500), REGISTERS, RELAYS, & OTHER (2501-3000)

(The instruments are in approximate chronological order: Oldest first.)
* = (Items no longer owned.) ** = (Items in other collections.)


Click Here for Part I:

Part II:


1505 STEEL LEVER KEY KOB:(60KB) Made just after the camelback era. Has no spring adjusting screw. Cast iron base key with shorting switch engraved J.H.Bunnell & Co New York. Arm engraved "Patented Feb 15, 1881". Mounted on wooden base with J.H.Bunnell & Co, New York USA 20 ohm sounder.

1507 STEEL LEVER KEY KOB:(41KB) As above but has no stamping on key or sounder.

1508 STEEL LEVER KEY KOB:(45KB) As above but has no stamping on key or sounder.


1520 UNUSUAL PROTOTYPE/EXPERIMENTAL ALUMINUM-LEVER KEY KOB:(10KB) This is a classic early Bunnell KOB with an unusual ALUMINUM KEY LEVER. I believe that this lever was made by the Bunnell Company in an attempt to study the advisability of making Aluminum-Lever Keys. They could have thought that the lighter-weight Aluminum might give a potentially faster action. There is an old-style steel trunnion pin press fit into the Aluminum lever which leads me to believe that this is an early experimental key. The press-fit steel trunnion pin was abandonned when the all steel lever triumph key was invented in 1881. The steel trunnion pin was known to come loose with extended use and it would then allow the key lever to slide left and right making the key useless.


1540 J.H.BUNNELL "COMMEMORATIVE MINIATURE SOUNDER:(12KB) This unique and fully functional Bunnell Miniature Sounder was presented to each of the guests at a dinner in honor of Andrew Carnegie in 1908. The dinner was held to celebrate his "73rd" birthday and was attended by hundreds of important people including Thomas Edison and many members of the Civil War Military Telegraph Corps including four members who had actually received his call for volunteers over the telegraph lines in 1861. The dinner concluded with the singing of "Auld Lang Sine" by Samuel Morse's Grandaughter.

A special brass plaque:(9KB) on the bottom of the sounder reads: TELEGRAPHER'S DINNER in honor of ANDREW CARNEGIE, Hotel Manhattan, New York, November 27, 1908. The plaque also has a big "73" engraved on it over the other writing. It was reported that each guest had one of these sounders at his place setting and that the host sent messages to his guests' sounders in code.


1550 J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY and 1551 SOUNDER:(60KB) This is the tiny brass Bunnell miniature key with the ring for attaching it to a watch chain. The steel lever is stamped J.H.Bunnell, N.Y. Oval brass base measures 1" long. These keys are fully functional and were sold either plain or with a ring or pin. It is mounted on a small wooden board with the #1551 sounder.

1550a Another view of the J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY and SOUNDER:(48KB)

1550b Another view of the J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY and SOUNDER:(57KB)

1550.gif J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY and 1551 SOUNDER:(11KB)


1551 J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY:(34KB) This is the tiny Bunnell key with the ring for attaching it to a watch chain.

1551a Another view of the Bunnell Miniature Key:(38KB)


1552 J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY AND SOUNDER:(44KB)This is the tiny Bunnell Miniature Key and Miniature Sounder with 1-1/8 inch long brass base mounted on a black base stamped J.H.Bunnell & CO. New York, USA. It is fully functional.

1552a Another view of the Bunnell Miniature Key and Sounder:(43KB)


1553 J.H.BUNNELL MINIATURE SOUNDER:(34KB) This is the tiny Bunnell Miniature Sounder. It is fully functional and all adjustments work.

1553a Another view of the Bunnell Miniature Sounder:(38KB)


1555 ** NEW MANUFACTURE BUNNELL MINIATURE KEY & SOUNDER:(37KB)This miniature Bunnell KOB is being offered by Dr. Joe Jacobs who is now the owner of the J.H.Bunnell Co.


1575 * BUNNELL "Trainmaster" PORTABLE RESONATOR-BOXED KEY & SOUNDER:(31KB) This unique portable telegraph set consists of a resonator box with a handle and a brass "BUNNELL 160 OHMS" label on top, an unboxed box sounder, and a modified Bunnell steel-lever key.

The closed box looks like this:(31KB)

Another view of the inside:(34KB) showing the steel-lever Bunnell key on the right, and the unboxed box-sounder on the left as well as a place to coil the wires in the cover.

The key has an unique additional bar riveted to the shorting bar:(25KB) That allows the shorting bar to be operated from the left side of the key. This is necessary because of the restricted space inside of the box.


1700 WESTERN ELECTRIC-MILANO PORTABLE BOXED REGISTER, KEY, SOUNDER, METER, BELL, SWITCHBOARD ETC:(25KB) This is a complete ink-writing portable telegraph set consisting of a miniature ink register with folding paper tape reels, an Italian style telegraph key with Ivory knob, an unique sounder that rings a bell, a plug-style switchboard, and ink well, an ink applicator, with fitted pliers and accessories for field use.

The 8" x 7" x 20" brass edged wooden box:(22KB) has brass reinforcements around all edges. A brass label in the center reads 284. Another brass tag in the front left reads MATR 92 21-72.

This view shows the register with its arms folded:(34KB) The set is obviously designed for field use with all metal parts plated.

This close-up view shows the ink register:(31KB) which is stamped WESTERN ELECTRIC ITALIANA-MILANO. Telephonici-telegrafici Societa anonyma. Number 15998.

This close-up view shows the early telegraph key:(19KB)

This close-up view shows the sounder/bell and switchboard:(42KB)


1720 TWO CLASSIC GERMAN SIEMENS KEY-REGISTER SETS:(28KB)These sets were the most widely used telegraph stations in Europe. They were found in every town telegraph office across the continent. They consist of a telegraph key, ink-writing register, and galvanometer which measured the electrical condition of the telegraph line. A roll of paper tape is stored in a special drawer in the wooden base. Ink writing registers were required because it was illegal to copy Morse Code by ear since that method was not thought to be reliable.

1720a Another view of the two sets:(30KB)


1730 * BRITISH SIEMENS BROTHERS KEY-REGISTER SET WITH UNIQUE SOUNDER-OPERATED REGISTER:(18KB) This interesting set is typical of those used throughout Europe where copy-by-ear using sounders was not trusted. The set is labeled: Siemens Brothers & Co. London. No. 17022. and there is a tag on the unique sounder mechanism which reads: A. E. Co. Ltd. A.T.M. Liverpool. A roll of paper tape is stored in a drawer under the register.

The key:(16KB) is a typical straight-lever European style key.
The ink-writing register is operated by an

Unique Sounder Mechanism:(19KB) which is directly coupled to the Register mechanism.


1745 RUSSIAN REGISTER PROBABLY MADE BY SIEMENS: (26KB) The Siemens company of Germany made most of the registers used in European telegraph offices. Some of these registers were labeled with other names. This one carries Russian identification marks which read: FRANTISEK, STEPANEK, & SPOL, V SPOLECNOST S.R.O, v PARDUBICCICH and the number 195.

1745a Another view of the Russian Register: (26KB)

1745b Another view of the Russian Register: (26KB)

1745c A view of the Russian Register which shows the makers name:(26KB)


1747 AUSTRIAN EMBOSSING TELEGRAPH REGISTER: (26KB) This is an early Embossing Telegraph Register made in Vienna, Austria. It is marked: CZEIJA NISSL, WIEN, 769. Embossing registers recorded dots and dashes on a moving paper tape by pressing a sharp point into the tape. The sharp point 'embossed' a depression into the paper tape.


1755 BRITISH GPO KEY-SOUNDER-GALVANOMETER:(40KB) Huge all brass key Engraved M.W.T.Co. Ltd. 372. 1915, and sounder engraved G.P.O.16830 and Galvanometer Engraved EDISON & SWAN, No. 18220. 1917, mounted on wooden base and fitted into wooden box with brass handle.
Historian and collector Neal McEwen K5RW has researched this unit and reports that it is properly called a 'direct working single current intermediate baseboard set.' He traced out the schematic and found that the sounder is in the circuit only on receive. The sounder is out of the circuit on send. The telegraphist apparently watched the galvanometer or listened to the galvanometer needle ring as the needle hit the stops to monitor his sending. The galvanometer is in the circuit on both send and receive so the telegraphist can see the galvanometer even if the sounder is mal-adjusted.
Neal believes that the galvanometer started out as a traditional ''Q and I'' detector, which is an application of galvanometer technology for linemen to check bateries, find faults, etc. It measures relative current, not absolute current. The Q and I detectors were turned into galvanometers for use on the baseboard sets. On Neal's galvanometer he can see the original Q and I connections that have been puttied up.
Neal believes that these sets were made for the British Army and that the traditional single current galvanometer was too big to make the set portable. Hence the small galvanometer made from the Q & I meter.


1810 * ADAMS-MORGAN (AMCO) KEY & SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(35KB) This small and simple practice set was described in a book of do-it-yourself projects. It is surprising to see one that was commercially manufactured with the letters AMCO enclosed in a diamond outline stamped on the base. The key and sounder are very simple but the unusual sounder has its two coils lined up under the armiture.>>W2PM


1825 * "MOTLEY" TELEGRAPH KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(22KB) This brass KOB carries

a label:(18KB)that reads: THORNTON N. MOTLEY & CO., NEW YORK, U.S.A.


1830 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(36KB) Early brass key and sounder on wooden base Key and sounder stamped J.H.Bunnell & Co., New York. Key stamped Patented Feb 15, 1881 on steel lever. Sounder is old horizontal spring design. Has brass switch lever on base.

1830a Another view of the KOB:(45KB)


1832 * Same as above:(40KB) with vertical spring sounder w/aluminum armiture. No switch.

1834 * Similar to above:(39KB) but key stamped "MESCO". No ID on sounder. Has switch.


1836 VERY PRETTY BUNNELL KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(38KB)This is an unusually attractive and clean Bunnell KOB with 20-ohm sounder.


1838 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND ''SNARE-DRUM'' SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(42KB) Early brass hardware key with black cast base, steel lever and shorting switch on a wooden base. Sounder is early "Snare-Drum" style. Base stamped J.H.Bunnell Type 220, 35-Ohms.

1839 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND ''SNARE-DRUM'' SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(17KB) Similar to 1838 above.

1839a Another view of the Snare-Drum set:(15KB)

1840 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB): Early brass hardware key with black cast base and steel lever and shorting switch on a wooden base. Sounder stamped J.H.Bunnell & Co, New York U.S.A.
1842 * Same as 1840 above.

1844 * Same as above:(27KB but sounder stamped "Manhattan Electric Supply Co.New York".
1846 Same as above but sounder stamped "MESCO".
1848 Same as above but key & sounder stamped"Signal Electric Co.Menominee,Mich".

1849 Same as above but unmarked:(46KB)

1850 * Same as above:(40KB)
but key and sounder both mounted on individual wooden bases and stamped "Signal Electric Mfg. Co., Menominee, Mich".
1852 * Same as above but key only on its wooden base and not stamped.
1854 * Same as above but key only on wooden base & not stamped.No shortg switch.


1860 * SKIRROW-POSTAL TEL CO KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(20KB) Very early steel lever brass key and unique diagonal-frame magnetic-flux-adjustable sounder on wooden base stamped "Postal Tel Co. 150 ohm. Number 1428. SKIRROW PAT Dec. 10, 1901. (Postal Telegraph Company owned the "Skirrow" patent which involved the use of a rack-and-pinnion mechanism to adjust the coil-to-armiture distance to allow the sounder to be made more or less sensitive to the tiny currents on long telegraph lines.


1860A * SKIRROW-POSTAL KOB:(16KB) similar to 1860.


1861 * POSTAL TEL CO KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB).(48KB)
Vy early steel-lever brass Bunnell key & Large Bunnell main-line sounder with the unique cam operated magnetic flux adjustment mechanism. Base stamped: "POSTAL TEL CO. 150 OHMS.

1861a Another view of the Skirrow-Postal KOB:(22KB)

1861b Another view of the Skirrow-Postal KOB:(42KB)


1862 * BEEKO-LIKE LEARNER'S KOB SET:(47KB) Interesting early set with chromed key lever without spring adjusting screw held in bent sheet metal base. Has chromed shorting switch that looks a little like a McElroy design. The sounder has a sheet metal base but chromed lever and anvil. Oak base.

1862a Another view of the Beeko-Like KOB Set:(15KB)


1863 * BEEKO SEPARATE COMPONENT KEY AND SOUNDER SET:(18KB) Typical key and sounder set. The key is mounted on a separate wooden base and has a steel key lever and no spring adjusting screw. The lever is supported by a bent sheet metal base. The sounder also has a sheet metal base. Many thousands of these sets were produced butg they were so toy-like that most were eventually thrown out making it more difficult for collectors to find them.

1863a A view of the Beeko key alone:(21KB)

1863b A view of the Beeko sounder alone:(16KB)


1864 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND BEEKO SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(27KB) Early brass hardware key with black cast base and steel lever and shorting switch on a wooden base. Sounder has very simple design with no bearing adjustments and sheet metal frame. It is stamped J.H.Bunnell & Co, New York U.S.A.

1866 * Same as above:(28KB)


1865 BEEKO TELEGRAPH KEY AND SOUNDER ON BASE (KOB):(42KB)This is the classic BEEKO practice set made by Bunnell. Both the key and the sounder have simple sheet metal frames making this set very inexpensive to produce and sell.

1868 * SIGNAL ELECTRIC CO. KOB SET: All-brass key with steel lever & Signal Electric Co. style sounder with armiture simply stamped"MENOMINEE".


1870 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND BUZZER ON BASE:(27KB) Very early brass hardware key with steel lever mounted on a wooden base with a very early wood encased buzzer.


1872 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND BUZZER ON BASE:(32KB) Brass hardware, steel lever key with black cast iron base mounted on a wooden base with a round chrome buzzer.
1874 * Same as above.

1875 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND BUZZER ON BASE:(13KB) Similar to 1872.
1876 * Same as above with unenclosed brass buzzer.

1877 * TELEGRAPH KEY AND POCKET WATCH STYLE BUZZER ON BASE:(18KB) This cast iron base key has been mounted on the same base as an old pocket watch style buzzer.

1877a A close view of the pocket watch style buzzer with cover removed.(23KB)

RESONATORS:
The 'RESONATOR' is a wooden box which channels and acoustically amplifies the sounds made by a sounder to help an operator to hear the clicking sounds. The typical resonator is made of 3/8-inch thick cherry or similar wood. If you would like to build one, the dimensions are as follows: The base is 6-7/8 inches wide and 4-7/8 inches deep overall. The height of both the back wood panel and of the front edge up to the peak is 7-7/8 inches.


2030 SOUNDER IN CANDLESTICK-BASE RESONATOR:(23KB) The resonator is mounted on a metal candlestick phone style base. The sounder is marked MANHATTAN ELEC SUPPLY CO, NEW YORK.

2031 *, 2032 * Same as above:(23KB)


2035 SOUNDER IN SWING-ARM MOUNTED RESONATOR:(20KB) Resonator is mounted on a two section adjustable cast iron arm with screw down base. Sounder is Bunnell.

2040 * SOUNDER IN RESONATOR. Resonator is roughly constructed on a wooden upright base and looks home made. Sounder is Bunnell.


2050 * GEOHEGAN PATENT BUNNELL SOUNDER:(15KB) This sounder has two special adjustments to allow its sensitivity to be adjusted so that it could respond to weak incoming signals. First, there is a cam which is activated by the round brass wheel on the vertical frame and which adjusts the coil-core to armiture spacing. Second there is a knob activated adjuster which allows the spring tension to be adjusted very precisely.

2051 SOUNDER: * Very Large brass sounder on a wooden base. Sounder engraved "J.H.Bunnell & Co, New York. Patent applied for".

2052 SOUNDER: * Large brass sounder on a wooden base. Sounder engraved "Patented in U.S.A. March 6, 1917". and "J.H.Bunnell & Co, New York.


2054 * MAIN LINE SOUNDER:(19KB) Large brass sounder on a wooden base. Sounder engraved Western Electric. Base engraved W. U. Tel. Co. Main Line Sounder 3B(?) 20 ohms.


2056 * SOUNDER:(22KB) This is a very old style medium size brass sounder mounted on a wooden base stamped 20. The sounder has an interesting horizontal spring and is engraved J.H.Bunnell & Co, New York.

2058 * SOUNDER: Medium size brass sounder on a black wood base. Base labeled "Western Electric Company" & stamped "20 ohms" on top &12519(H) on bottom.


2060 * SOUNDER:(20KB) Medium size brass sounder on a black wooden base. Sounder engraved "Western Electric". Base engraved "SOUNDER 3B 20OHMS".


2062 * SOUNDER:(19KB) Medium size brass sounder. Wooden base.Sounder engraved "Western Electric".Base labeled "Western Electric Company" and stamped "20 OHMS(H)"

2064 * SOUNDER: Medium size brass sounder on a wooden base. Sounder engraved "Manhattan Electric Supply Co. New York". Base engraved "20 OHMS".

2066 * SOUNDER: Medium size brass sounder. Wooden base. Sounder engraved "SIGNAL"


2080 * VERY UNUSUAL SOUNDER:(16KB) The lever of this sounder is separated from the iron armiture by an adjustable spring mechanism. The separation distance and the spring tension can be adjusted by the knob on top of the sounder.

2080a * A closer view of the Unusual Sounder:(37KB)


2095 * VERY UNUSUAL SOUNDER MECHANISM:(16KB) This strange sounder looks as though it was made to fit into some larger wooden structure.


2100 UNFINISHED SOUNDER MECHANISM:(17KB) This sounder was never assembled nor varnished. It gives us an idea of what sounders looked like during the assembly process.

2255 * BRITISH GPO SOUNDER: Sounder like the one in the combination set number 1755. This sounder is mounted mounted on its own wooden base.


2520 MORSE REGISTER made by FOOTE PIERSON & Co:(45KB) With chromed case and glass encased brass movement. Spring mechanism starts when character is received. With roll of original paper tape. Case stamped FOOTE PIERSON & CO. NEWARK, NJ. F-5570 F-2.

2525 * MORSE REGISTER: as above but with brass case and beveled glass- encased brass movement. Case stamped FOOTE PIERSON & CO. 160-162 Duane St., New York. 10243.


2550 * EARLY BUNNELL CURVED POLAR RELAY:(17KB) Lovely flowered curved magnet polar relay on large wooden base. (Traded to John Casale - W2NI.)

Another view of # 2550(17KB)


2553 * UNUSUAL EARLY BUNNELL RECTANGULAR POLAR RELAY:(19KB) This is an unusual rectangular box-shaped polar relay made by J. H. Bunnell.

2553a Another view of the Bunnell polar relay:(19KB)


2555 * EARLY CURVED POLAR RELAY:(19KB) Unique curved frame.Smallish wooden base stamped 60 ohms.>>W2PM


2557 * WESTERN UNION POLAR RELAY:(20KB) This polar relay was used in duplex and multiplex circuits which allowed several signals to be carried simultaneously on the same wires.

2557a A closer view of the contacts:(19KB)


2558 * JESTER-COOPER REPEATER RELAY:(15KB) This repeater/relay was used in duplex and multiplex circuits which allowed several signals to be carried simultaneously on the same wires. The label reads: J-C Repeater System, Patent No. 1,116,591. Ohms, 250. Type D. Serial-661. Jester Cooper Company, Houston, Texas.

2558a A different view of the repeater:(15KB)


2559 * BUNNELL REPEATER RELAY:(19KB) This repeater/relay was used in duplex and multiplex circuits which allowed several signals to be carried simultaneously on the same wires.

2559a A closer view of the special contacts:(15KB)

2560 * EARLY TELEGRAPH LINE RELAY OF UNUSUAL DESIGN. All brass relay with unusually large vertical coils with large adjusting screw and odd design on wooden base on cast iron base.


2562 * UNUSUAL REPEATER RELAY:(16KB) This small repeater/relay was used in duplex and multiplex circuits which allowed several signals to be carried simultaneously on the same wires.

2565 * EARLY TELEGRAPH LINE RELAY OF UNUSUAL DESIGN. Medium size all brass relay with curved iron armiture and string-spring tensioning. (50 Ohms).


2570 * SMALL POLAR-LIKE TELEGRAPH LINE RELAY:(23KB) Very unusual small relay with two coils pulling on a shared armiture which is adjustably tensioned by a spring/string. One coil can be moved toward and away from the armiture. The wires in the wooden base are sealed in beeswax. Old cylindrical terminals. * TRADED OUT: 1995.


2575 * TELEGRAPH RELAY:(17KB) Unusual small brass relay on wooden base stamped "MFD by L.F.C., SIGNAL RELAY 3-D on top and N.Y.R.S.4-29 on bottom.


2580 * TELEGRAPH RELAY:(24KB) Large Brass relay on black bakelite and metal base which is inscribed "RELAY TYPE SW-37".


2581 * WESTERN UNION 4-D TELEGRAPH RELAY:(18KB) Large plated relay on black bakelite and metal base which is inscribed ''WU TEL CO. MORSE RELAY 4-D. 100 OHM.''


2582 * WESTERN UNION 22-A TELEGRAPH RELAY:(18KB) Large plated relay on black bakelite and metal base which is inscribed ''WU 22A''

2585 * TELEGRAPH RELAY: Large Brass relay on wood and metal base which is inscribed "Signal Electric Co. Menominee, Mich 150 ohms".


2588 LARGE BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY: Large Brass relay with very large coils mounted on wood and metal base. The shape of the frame has led people to also refer to this as a 'spectacle relay' since the coil supports resemble a pair of spectacles. Labeled: J.H.Bunnell & Co. N.Y. 250 ohms.

2588a Another view of the Bunnell Telegraph Relay:


2590 LARGE BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY:(33KB)Large Brass relay with very large coils mounted on wood and metal base. The shape of the frame has led people to also refer to this as a 'spectacle relay' since the coil supports resemble a pair of spectacles. Labeled: J.H.Bunnell & Co. N.Y. 250 ohms.


2591 LARGE BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY:(35KB)Similar to above.


2592 MEDIUM SIZE BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY:(33KB) Medium-size brass relay on wood and metal base with metal ''bowtie-shaped'' Bunnell label.


2593 SMALL BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY:(19KB) Small plated brass relay on wood and metal base with metal ''bowtie-shaped'' Bunnell label.

2593a Another view of the Small Bunnell Telegraph Relay:(46KB)


2594 SMALL BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY: Small plated brass relay on wood and metal base with metal ''bowtie-shaped'' Bunnell label.

2594a Another view of the Small Bunnell Telegraph Relay:(46KB)


2595 * SMALL BUNNELL TELEGRAPH RELAY:(19KB) Small Brass relay on wood and metal base which is inscribed "J H Bunnell & Co. N.Y. 100 ohm".

2597 * Same as above but 4 ohm:(15KB)

2598 * Same as above but just stamped 20 ohms:(21KB)

2599 * Same as above but just stamped 20 ohms:(14KB)


2600 * SKIRROW-PATENT POSTAL TELEGRAPH CO. RELAY:(18KB) An unusual relay with the "Skirrow" patented rack-and-pinnion adjustment for the coil-to-armiture distance. Postal Telegraph Co. owned this patent.

A close-up of the Patent on the tension adjustment knob:16KB)

A close-up of the label:(15KB)

A close-up of the Skirrow mechanism:(10KB)


2605 SMALL PLATED MESCO TELEGRAPH RELAY:(15KB) This is a small plated brass telegraph relay which was made by the Manhattan Electric Supply Company (MESCO) It is labeled under the armiture.

2605a Another view of the SMALL PLATED MESCO TELEGRAPH RELAY:(47KB)


2607 * SMALL SIGNAL ELECTRIC COMPANY TELEGRAPH RELAY:(15KB) This is a small relay which was made by Signal Electric Company. Many thousands of these relays were made and used and they are very common.


2610 * ASSOCIATED PRESS WHEATSTONE POLAR TELEGRAPH RELAY:(11KB)This polar relay is housed in a cylindrical casing with a beveled glass top cover.

2610a A closer view of the label and contacts:(15KB)


2630 * VERY SMALL TELEGRAPH RELAY:(15KB) Very small mostly brass relay on grey marble base.


2640 * "SPARK"? TELEGRAPH RELAY:(22KB) Unusual small brass relay on grey marble base with vertically mounted coils and 3/8 inch carbon contacts. May have keyed spark transmitter.


2805 WESTERN ELECTRIC BOX SOUNDER / ROD-LEVER KEY:(31KB) The key on this early Western Electric combination box sounder and key has the uniquely Western Electric designed lever made of two parallel steel rods.

2805a A closer view of the key on the Box Sounder / Rod-Lever Key:(34KB)

2805b A closer view of the box sounder on the Box Sounder / Rod-Lever Key:(34KB)

2810 * OLD BUNNELL BOX RELAY/KEY. Key is steel lever style with "patent applied for" on shorting switch and extremely narrow lever area under knob. This may be the first model "Triumph Key" made just before the 1881 patent was issued.


2815 * TELEGRAPH BOX RELAY/SOUNDER AND KEY:(45KB) Old brass JH Bunnell key with steel lever and brass shorting switch mounted on wooden base with an all wooden boxed brass combination relay and sounder. The base has a metal label reading: 150 Ohm.J.H.Bunnell & Co., N.Y.


2816 * TELEGRAPH BOX RELAY/SOUNDER AND KEY:(18KB) Old brass JH Bunnell key with steel lever and brass shorting switch mounted on wooden base with an all wooden boxed brass combination relay and sounder. The base has a metal label reading: 150 Ohm.J.H.Bunnell & Co., N.Y.

2816a A closer view of the telegraph key:(15KB)

2816b A closer view of the relay/sounder:(13KB)


2820 * TELEGRAPH RELAY/SOUNDER AND KEY:(31KB) Old brass key with steel lever mounted on wooden base with a brass combination relay and sounder. Labeled: "J.H.Bunnell New York,N.Y. RELAY, Type 405, 150 ohms.

2822 * TELEGRAPH RELAY/SOUNDER AND KEY:(15KB) Similar to above.

2822a * Another view of # 2822:(17KB) 2824 * Same as above but labeled "Western Electric Company, Pat'd".
2826 * Same as above but labeled "W. U. Tel. Co., Pat'd", 35 ohms.


2825 * UNUSUAL RIGHT-ANGLE KEY AND RELAY SET:(16KB) This is a very unusual combination of a right-angle telegraph key and a sensitive relay mounted on a thick bakelite base with contact pins sticking down to make contact with some kind of sub-base.

2825a A closer view of the telegraph key:(15KB)


2930 * TELEGRAPH LINE LIGHTNING ARRESTOR:(12KB) Lovely brass mechanism on round wooden base. Lightning spark gap can be adjusted by turning large brass wheel.


2932 * TELEGRAPH LINE LIGHTNING ARRESTOR:(32KB) Lovely brass mechanism on rectangular wooden base. Lightning spark gap is the double sawtooth design. Brass pins can be inserted to ground various lines.Engraved J.H.Bunnell & Co.NewYork.
2934 Similar to above engraved L.G.TILLOTSON, 8 Dey St. New York.

2936 * TELEGRAPH LINE LIGHTNING ARRESTOR. Lovely brass mechanism on rectangular wooden base. Lightning spark gap is the double sawtooth design and a brass pin can be inserted to ground various lines. Brass wing nuts are used to connect to the lines. The wood base is engraved N.T. CO. Which probably stands for National Telephone Company the competitor to the British Post Office until nationalized in 1912.


2940 * SWISS TELEGRAPH TEST SET:(17KB) This is an unusual Swiss Telegraph Test Set.


2950 * WESTERN UNION - BUNNELL 18-A TELEGRAPH RHEOSTAT NETWORK:(19KB) This is a network of switchable resistors which can be switched into a circuit to help balance it.

2950a A closer view of the label of the rheostat:(22KB)

2950b A closer view of the dial of the rheostat:(22KB)


2960 TELEGRAPH LINE IMPEDANCE MATCHING NETWORK:(29KB) Black box marked Western Electric with many brass switches for selecting combinations of capacitors and resistors to simulate a second line for duplex setups and to balance line impedance over very long distance lines.


2968 BRITISH GPO TELEGRAPH TEST METER SET:(18KB) This set consists of a multimeter with many voltage ranges which is marked GPO and accompanied by numerous shunts to increase the ranges.

2968a A closer view of the meter:(16KB)


2970 * TELEGRAPH LINE SWITCH:(23KB) 2-pole,3 position sliding line switch mfg by Bunnell.

2970a Another view of the switch:(18KB)
2972, 2974 * Similar to above but use brass pins (missing) to make the contacts.


2972 * TELEGRAPH LINE SWITCH:(23KB) This is a 4-pole, 2 position telegraph line switch.


2980 * WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH CALL BOX:(17KB) When you turned the handle of this box it sent out a coded call and dispatch a messenger to your location to pick up a telegram.


2985 20-LINE TELEGRAPH OFFICE INPUT PANEL:(26KB) This is the input panel for 20 telegraph lines coming into a telegraph office. It has a separate fuse for each line and a jack for connecting the office instruments to each line. It is labeled: Western Union Telegraph Company.

2985a The other side of the panel:(29KB)

2985b Another view of the panel:(35KB)

2985c A close-up view of the label:(24KB)


Keys used in Fire Departments and Fire Alarm Circuits:

2990 * FIRE ALARM KEY & LIGHTNING ARRESTOR:(15KB) Many interesting and early keys were used in early fire-alarm systems in which the location of the fire was transmitted as a series of short electrical pulses and long or short spaces. The signals were received as a series of bell rings in every fire house in the city. Fire alarm keys such as this one are often mistaken for telegraph keys. In trying to determine whether a key is from a fire-alarm or telegraph system, it is helpful to remember that Gamewell and Roland made exclusively fire alarm apparatus. In addition, the keys do not usually have fine adjustments and are designed for rather large movements of the knob. Many, such as this one do not even have any adjustment for knob-travel or spring tension.

2995 UNUSUAL ANGLED FIRE ALARM KEY:(15KB) This unusual upward-angled key was mounted vertically on a Fire Alarm Bureau test panel. Keys like this were used in test circuits in the Fire Alarm Bureaus of major city Fire Departments like that in Boston. In the early days before telephone and radio, these keys were sometimes also used to send Morse Code messages between the Alarm Bureau Staff and the Linemen that were working to maintain the circuits.
In rare emergencies involving the breakdown of the Chief Dispatcher's desk equipment, these test board keys were used to send actual fire alarm signals on local and city-wide fire alarm circuits.
The Chief Dispatcher's key was referred to as a "tapper". The coded location of the fire was sent by the "tapper" and received in the form of bell signals at the remote stations. Every 'tap' on the key would ring alarm bells in all the fire statgions in the city to identify the location of the fire.
These keys were widely used in fire stations as early as the 1860's (This key is much more recent).
2995a A view of the contacts of the Fire Alarm Key:(15KB)

2998 CAMELBACK STYLE FIRE ALARM KEY:(33KB) This Chrome-plated camelback key was probably used by a Chief Dispatcher because it is horizontally-oriented. Chief Dispatcherts used this type of key to send fire alarm signals on local and city-wide fire alarm circuits. Often mistaken for land-line telegraph keys, these fire alarm keys (sometimes called 'tappers') were widely used in fire stations as early as the 1860's (This key is much more recent). The coded location of the fire was sent by the key and received in the form of bell signals at the remote fire stations.


NOTE: I AM ALWAYS LOOKING TO BUY OR TRADE TELEGRAPH KEYS !


Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University

Internet On-Line Telegraph & Scientific Instrument Museum:
http://w1tp.com
or:
http://www.chss.montclair.edu/~pererat/telegrap.htm
Internet ENIGMA Museum: http://w1tp.com/enigma