SPARK AND WIRELESS / RADIO TELEGRAPH KEYS
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SPARK KEYS AND WIRELESS / RADIO KEYS - - - - - - - - - - (4001 - 5500)

As Marconi's radios became popular after 1896, markets developed rapidly for keys that could switch the high current keying circuits of spark transmitters.

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


4005 MARCONI SPARK KEY AS USED ON THE TITANIC: (52KB)
After many years of searching, I have finally found one of the very few existing examples of this rare key. This is the exact model of Marconi key used on the Titanic. It has an auxilliary set of contacts which are moved when the key is depressed and which deactivate the receiver when the transmitter is in operation. It also has an emergency switch on the left side which was used to break the circuit if the contacts should become welded together by the high currents. This switch would disconnect the keying line from the transmitter if it was pulled upward. A rope hanging down from the ceiling was usually attached to the eyebolt on the side of the switch lever. The rope could be easily found in an emergency and pulling it would disconnect the circuit to the transmitter.
As you can see from the pictures below, disassembly of the base of the key reveals that the key carries serial number 24.

4005a Another left side view of the Marconi Spark Key:(62KB)

4005b A top front view of the Marconi Spark Key:(54KB)

4005c A top front view of the Marconi Spark Key showing the label:(99KB)

4005d A closeup view of the label on the Marconi Spark Key:(22KB)

4005e A back end view of the Marconi Spark Key:(22KB)

4005f A right side top view of the Marconi Spark Key:(43KB)

4005g Another right side top view of the Marconi Spark Key:(36KB)

4005h Another right side view of the Marconi Spark Key:(33KB)

4005i A view of the auxilliary receiver control contacts:(90KB)

4005j Another view of the auxilliary receiver control contacts:(70KB)

4005k Another view of the auxilliary receiver control contacts:(89KB)

4005m A closeup view of the Mag Key No. 1 Terminal:(68KB)

4005n A closeup view of the Mag Key No. 2 Terminal:(41KB)

4005o A closeup view of the Main Terminal:(29KB)

4005p A view of the bottom side of the key with the base cover removed showing some of the pencilled-in manufacturing numbers and the serial number 24 written in pencil.:(42KB)

4005q A view of the bottom side of the key with the base cover removed showing the serial number 24 pencilled on the wood.:(35KB)

4005r A view of the base of the key after it was unscrewed from the bottom of the key. If you look very carefully at the very center of the lower part of the base where the painted wood changes to unpainted, you will see the number 24 stamped into the wood. :(46KB)

4005s A closeup view of the number 24 stamped into the wooden base of the key.:(29KB)

4005t A view of the Marconi Spark Key as-found in the house in England where it was located.:(40KB)

4005u Another view of the Marconi Spark Key in as-found condition.:(26KB)

4005v A closeup view of the label on the Marconi Spark Key in as-found condition.:(66KB)


4015 * MARCONI SPARK KEY SIMILAR TO THE ONE USED ON THE TITANIC:(18KB)
This lovely spark key is similar to the one used on the Titanic but it does not have the emergency switch on the side of the key. It is owned by collector Pete Malvasi - W2PM.


4016 REPRODUCTION OF THE MARCONI SPARK KEY USED ON THE TITANIC: (44KB) This beautiful key was constructed to closely duplicate the key used on the Titanic by taking measurements from a key used on the Titanic's sister ship. The maker's call letters - W2CUV, are stamped under the base.

4016a Another view of the reproduction Marconi key:(20KB)

4016b Another view of the reproduction Marconi key:(21KB)


4017 CURRENT REPRODUCTION OF THE MARCONI KEY MADE BY "KENT":(28KB)This key is made and sold by the Kent Company in England. It looks somewhat like the original Marconi Key and carries a

LABEL which reads: "R.M.S.Titanic. G.Marconi":(20KB)


4018 EXCEPTIONALLY UNUSUAL ARTICULATED LEVER OIL BREAK SPARK KEY:(51KB)This is a very unusual oil-break spark key with an open oil cup, an articulated lever, and a rather unusual round skirted knob. The oil lies in an open cup and surrounds the contacts. Oil kept oxygen from reaching the contacts while they were making and breaking the circuit and this reduced contact disintegration due to sparking. The lever is split in the middle to allow the knob end of the key to be raised high above its normal position. It is thought that this was done to allow extra movement and thus make it easier for the contacts to be broken apart if they had become welded together by the high current spark. In this way, the split lever functions in a manner similar to the side-lever of the Marconi Titanic key shown above which could break the circuit if the contacts had become welded together. Look closely at the following photographs and you will see the key in the normal open position as well as in a position with the knob end of the lever raised upward to enlarge the contact gap.

4018a Another Left Side view with the lever in the extended UP position:(39KB)

4018b A Close-up view of the open oil cup and the contacts in the extended OPEN position:(71KB)

4018c A Right Side view with the lever in the lowered (normal) position:(38KB)

4018d A Right Side view with the lever in the extended UP position:(39KB)

4018e A Right Side Close-up view of the open oil cup and the contacts in the extended OPEN position:(66KB)

4018f A Right Side Extreme Close-up view of the open oil cup and the contacts in the NORMAL position:(59KB)

4018g A Top view of the key showing the construction of the articulated lever:(43KB)

4018h A view of the bottom of the base of the key showing the construction and glue residue indicating that it may have been glued to another larger base or to the operating table:(59KB)


4019 EXCEPTIONALLY UNUSUAL MINIATURE GERMAN WW-I AIRCRAFT HIGH-KNOB SEALED-CAN OIL BREAK SPARK KEY:(45KB) This is a very unusual oil-break spark key that was used in German WW-I aircraft. It has a sealed oil container that kept the oil in place even during inverted flight maneuvers. It has a very high and thick knob that was easy to use by aircraft radio operators wearing thick gloves for the cold temperatures at high altitudes in open-cockpit aircraft. It also has a mechanism whereby the lever can be swung up to a vertical position to allow refilling the oil can, inspection of the contacts, and replacement of the contacts if necessary... all without changing the adjustments for contact spacing. Look carefully at the end of the key away from the knob and you will see a horizontal piece of metal that can be pivoted up and out of the way. When it is raised, the entire lever of the spark key can pivot up to a vertical position. The key is very small and can be removed from the wireless transmiter by simply pulling it upward.

4019a Another view of the oil break spark key in the palm of my hand showing its small size:

4019b Another view of the oil break spark key showing the small metal bar that pivots upwards to allow the lever to be lifted to add oil or change the contacts:

4019c A close view of the oil cup of the oil break spark key:

4019d Another view of the oil break spark key showing how the lever is raised to allow filling of the oil cup or changing of the contacts:

4019e Another view of the oil break spark key with the cover removed from the oil cylinder and showing the upper and lower contacts:

4019f Another view of the oil break spark key showing the contacts that are pushed into the transmitter:


4021 FRENCH LAGIER OIL-BREAK SPARK KEY:(31KB) This is a French Oil-Break Spark key made by Lagier.

4021a Left side view of the Lagier key:(32KB)

4021b Closeup view of the maker's label:(30KB)

4023 ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE AND UNUSUAL "AMPLIFYING HAND BREAK SPARK KEY": This is a very unique spark key. Its most unusual design characteristics are the multiple spring-loaded mechanisms that allow three heavy spark contacts to be closed and opened in a specific temporal sequence.

Although nothing is currently known about where or how it was used, a careful examination reveals some clues. The label clearly reads: AMPLIFYING HAND BREAK KEY, A.C. VOLTS 220, A.C. AMPS 10, RADIATION AMPS 10, TYPE {blank}, The serial number is blank and the Number is DRG RN 26F216.

The label is in English suggesting that it was made and used in England or America. A check of the threads on the screws shows that they are American.

Russ Kleinman, WA5Y is probably the world's most thorough researcher of spark keys. His Website is at: http://www.zianet.com/sparks/ He has deciphered the "DRG RN 26F216" for me. It identifies the Drawing (DRG) number for the key. He writes that nearly all of the US Navy drawings or books from 1918-1923 started with an "R". The "N" means that it was designed by the Norfolk Navy Yard. The "26" refers to transmitting keys of any kind. The "F" refers to the size of the drawing and the "216" is the exact drawing in the series."

Russ suggested that I examine the National Archives either in person or by hiring one of their researchers to track down the specific drawing number 216 and find out from it exactly what the key was used for. Since this will take a good deal of time, I will have to report on the results when I can obtain them.

Russ included the following list of drawing numbers and corresponding keys:
RB 26F 107 SE 86
RB 26F 111 SE 144
RB 26A 104 SE 144
RB 26F 113 SE 653
RB 26F 117 SE 923
RW 26F 153 SE 1865
RB 26F 102 SE 68
RB 26F 102 & 18RE 26A 1089 SE 68A
RB 26F 112 SE 137 2&5 KW Relay Key
RB 26F 119 SE 137B
RM 26F 103 SE 976 20KW morse hand sending key for Morse set
RM 26F 103 Morse hand sending key for 20 KW arc set SE 993
RM 26F 105 Unit type radio relay key for 20 KW arc set SE993
RM 26F 107 Relay condenser for SE 993
RM 26F 108 Relay key resistance for use with 20KW arc set SE993
RN 24F 121 Selector Switch for subterranean antenna
RN 25F 106 2 KW Radio Transformer
RN 25F 121 5 KW 500 cycle transformer
RN 25F 105 Reactance for 5KW transformer
RN 25F 144 1 KW Navy standard transformer
RN 21F 110 5 KW Motor Generator

Additional contacts on a spark key are not unusual but they are usually small and clearly designed to carry only small currents. The multiple sequenced high-current contacts on this key were probably used to switch on and key a very large and powerful transmitter either directly or through an "Amplifying" Spark Relay.

Poulsen Arc transmitters are known to use multiple-contact keys. Here, for example is a multiple-contact key recovered from the Poulsen Arc transmitter of a German warship that had been sunk in Scappa Flow:
Poulsen Arc transmitters were used by British, German, and eventually American stations from 1906 into the 1920s. Poulsen arc transmitters oscillate and generate RF continuously. Keying involves shifting the frequency of this continuous wave to the desired operating frequency during key-down and off to a remote frequency during key-up. This is typically achieved by shorting out a few turns of a resonant tuning inductor with high current key contacts. Later uniwave keying designs switched the continuous RF energy into a non- inductive resistor during key-up periods. The critical operational parameter was that the transmitter needed to always see a load so it was necessary to switch in the dummy load before disconnecting the transmitter from the antenna. With its multiple sequentially-closing contacts, it seems possible that this key was used with a Poulsen arc transmitter especially since several arc keys are included in the list that Russ sent.
Neil McEwen, K5RW discusses Arc keying in a fascinating article at: http://www.telegraph-office.com/pages/Federal_Telegraph_Relay.html He mentions sequential contact operation and the keying of a chopper circuit.

Careful examination of the action of the key reveals that the lifting force applied to the main lever by the main spring is counteracted by the downward force applied to the two large main adjusting screws by the two auxilliary contacts with the help of their individual springs. This means that the key was designed to be easy to push down since downward pressure is aided by the downward pull of the two auxilliary levers. In practice, however, it results in a rather "mushy" feeling.
Note also that the two large main adjusting screws on the right and left are insulated from the main lever by large insulating washers. The sole purpose of these screws is to exert sequential upward force on the two auxilliary keys as indicated by the fact that if you push up on the big adjusting screws they and their washers simply slide upwards freely in the lever.

Below you will find a number of detailed photographs showing the complex parts of this unusual key.




4023c Another view of the right side of the Amplifying Key showing the two complex additional contact keys:

4023d Another view of the right side of the Amplifying Key showing closer views of the complex additional contact keys:

4023g A closer view of the right side of the Amplifying Key showing the two additional contact keys:

4023i A view of the right side of the partially disassembled Amplifying Key showing the large contact sequencing screw assembly with its insulating washer that has been lifted out of its hole in the lever. This picture also shows one of the trunnion screws and the hole in the lever that accepts it:

4023k A much closer view of the right side of the Amplifying Key showing the heavy contacts on one of the two additional contact keys:

4023m A view of the right side of the Amplifying Key showing the main spark contact and one of the two heavy contacts on the two additional contact keys:

4023n A very close view of the main spark contact showing the burn marks in the base made by the high voltage sparks:

4023p A view of the brass strap that mounts the knob of the key showing how it is riveted to the main metal casting of the key's lever:

4023s A close view of the left side of the Amplifying Key showing the two additional contact keys:

4023t A general view of the left side of the Amplifying Key showing the two additional contact keys:

4023v An overall view of the left side of the Amplifying Key showing the two additional contact keys:

4023w A close view of the label on top of the Amplifying Key:

4023y An overall top view of the Amplifying Key:

4023z A view of the bottom of the base of the Amplifying Key:


4022 LEMKUHL NORWEGIAN SPARK KEY WITH FINNED CONTACTS:(14KB) This early Norwegian spark key was made in Oslo by Ingenior J. Lemkuhl. The lower contact has a set of metal fins which help to dissipate the heat generated by switching the high currents of a spark transmitter. The serial number is 962.

4022a Another view of the Lemkuhl spark key:(14KB)

4022b A close view of the label on the key:(16KB)


4024 * UNUSUAL LOWENSTEIN SPARK KEY:(18KB) This unusual little spark key was made by Lowenstein. The design is quite unique. -> WA5Y.

4024a Another view of the Lowenstein Spark Key:(20KB)

4024b Another view of the Lowenstein Spark Key:(19KB)


4025 MINIATURE MARCONI SPARK KEY: (15KB) This miniature spark key made by Marconi has a 5" lever on a 2x4" slate base which is stamped B116.


4027 * MARCONI BALL-CONTACT SPARK KEY: (22KB) This large Marconi Spark Key is particularly unusual because it uses a captive round ball to complete the contact. The ball is self-centering and centers itself with every depression of the key. The key is stamped: T.S.N197 Nr. 548.

4027a * A view of the right side of the key:(22KB)

4027b * A view of the ball-contact:(27KB)

4027c * A view of the labeling on the key:(23KB)


4028 * MARCONI BALL-CONTACT SPARK KEY: (18KB) This is very similar to number 4027 above. This large Marconi Spark Key is particularly unusual because it uses a captive round ball to complete the contact. The ball is self-centering and centers itself with every depression of the key. The key is stamped: H.T.395 Nr. 18109.

4028a * A Left Top view of the key:(18KB)

4028b * A Right Side view of the key:(19KB)


4030 MARCONI "ROAD MAP" SPARK KEY:(26KB) This spark key was nicknamed the "roadmap" because of the conductors traced out on its base like a map.


4032 * MARCONI MODEL SE-86 WW-I SUBMARINE SPARK KEY: This Marconi 1/2 KW spark key was designed for use in American Submarines. The contacts are enclosed to prevent open sparks.

4032a * The other side of the Marconi SE-86:

4032b * The underside of the base of the Marconi SE-86:

4032c * Closeup of the label of the Marconi SE-86:


4034 MARCONI MODEL CM-425 SPARK KEY LABEL AND COUNTERFEIT VERSIONS OF THIS KEY'S LABEL:(35KB) The Marconi 425 spark key was a popular and well-made key which is considered to be a very nice find for a collector. Unfortunately, Phil Weingarten made quite a few reproductions of this key which he offered as being original Marconi Keys. He did such a good job of copying the key that it is difficult to tell the original from Phil's copies. This picture of the original label and the Weingarten label should help collectors to identify the copies.

Chuck Brydges, W4WXZ has put together this list of differences between original and counterfeit Marconi 425 keys that should help in determining the authenticity of a key:
1. BEVELING AROUND TOP EDGE OF BASE: Original: Wide beveling. Repro: Narrow Width Bevel.
2. ID TAG ORIENTATION: Original: To read the label hold key knob-end to LEFT. Repro: To read label hold key knob-end to RIGHT.
3. KNOB CONSTRUCTION: Original: 1-piece single button knob. Repro: 1-piece skirted knob.
4. ID TAG LETTERING: Original: Lettering is larger and all letters and numbers are NOT the same size. Repro: Lettering is smaller and all letters and numbers are the same size.
5. PLATING: Original: Nickel plating originally on lever, lever hardware, trunnion adjustment hardware and binding post nuts (May be very worn). Nickel plated or silver ground strap. Repro: Never had any nickel plating. Shiney copper ground strap from lever to base.
6. CONTACTS: Original: 5/8" silver contacts marked '507' in numbers considerably smaller than the thickness of the contacts. Repro: numbers '507' almost the thickness of the contacts.
7. COMPRESSION SPRING: Original: Wider-spaced COPPER spring. Repro: Closer-spaced STEEL spring.
8. BASE HARDWARE: Original: Thinner and smoother 'roadmap' hardware. Repro: Thicker and more bumpy 'roadmap' hardware.


4035 MASSEY SPARK KEY (Phil Weingarten Reproduction): (16KB) This huge key was designed to key the Massey Spark Transmitters used around 1915. This key was made by Phil Weingarten and it is an accurate reproduction of the actual key with a few notable exceptions such as the label and internal screw as noted below. Collectors can use these details to help identify counterfeit versions of this key.

4035a This is the actual DESIGN DRAWING for a Massey key:(45KB)

4035b ENLARGED VIEW OF LABEL OF THE 'REPRODUCTION' MASSEY KEY:(16KB) This label appears to have been made from a sand casting of an original label. It is much rougher than the original and is perhaps the easiest way of identifying a reproduction.

4035c Close-up view of the cadmium 1/4-20 bolt holding the knob to the key:(14KB)This bolt is one of the things that give away the fact that it is a reproduction key. In the actual Massey Key, the bolt is brass.


4037 ** MASSEY SPARK KEY:(10KB) This unusually long Massey spark key is in the collection of Pete Malvasi - W2PM.


4038 ** MASSEY SPARK KEY:(25KB) This unusually long Massey spark key is in the collection of George Rancourt, K1ANX.

4038a Another view of the Massey Spark Key:(24KB)


4040 * MURDOCH SPARK KEY:(28KB) Lovely all plated key mounted on a grey marble base. The label reads: Wm. J. Murdoch, Co. Chelsea, Mass, Chicago, San Francisco. The lever is somewhat sculptured and flat and the 1/4 inch contacts are removable and replaceable.


4041 MURDOCH SPARK KEY ON WOODEN BASE:(16KB) Lovely all plated key mounted on a wooden base which might be a replacement. The lever is somewhat sculptured and flat and the 1/4 inch contacts are removable and replaceable.

4041a Another view of the Murdoch Spark Key:(15KB)


4042 * MURDOCH SPARK KEY ON WOODEN BASE:(24KB) Similar to Number 4041 above. This key is in the George Rancourt, K1ANX collection.

4042a * Another view of the Murdoch Spark Key:(21KB)


4045 * EASTERN PRECISION SPARK KEY ON MARBLE BASE:(17KB) Lovely all plated key mounted on a marble base which has been chipped and then repaired. This key is very easy to mistake for a Bowman (See number 4150 below.) key because of its wide flat lever. It is also easy to mistake for a Clapp-Eastham Boston key (See number 4110 below.) because the mechanism is similar. This is a very hard-to-find key. -> Tony Rogozinski.

4045a Another view of the Eastern Precision Spark Key:(17KB)


4047 * UNKNOWN SPARK KEY:(17KB) This is a well made spark key mounted on a black base. The manufacturer is not known. It is in the George Rancourt, K1ANX collection.

4047a * Another view of the Unknown Spark Key:(18KB)


4048 * UNKNOWN SPARK KEY (Similar to above):(25KB) This is also a very well made spark key mounted on a brown base and showing many similarities to number 4047 above. The manufacturer is not known. It is in the Jim Jarvis, N2EA collection and he has kindly provided these pictures and allowed me to include them in the museum.

4048a * A closer view of the UNKNOWN SPARK KEY:(25KB)


4050 A.W.BOWMAN SPARK KEY: (22KB) All plated spark key integrated with a marble base. Large 5/16th inch diameter silver contacts. Lever stamped "A.W.B.&CO." Made by A.W.Bowman Co. Circa 1915. Many of these keys were made by Bowman without their name stamped into the lever and offered for sale by Sears and Montgomery Ward.


4052 * UNUSUAL A. W. BOWMAN KEY: (19KB) This key is stamped A. W. Bowman and is the only example of this style key that I have seen with the Bowman label. All of the other Bowman keys that I have seen are like number 4050 above. This key was shown to me by a collector at the Dayton 2000 hamfest and he allowed me to take this picture and display it in my museum.


4055 GENERAL RADIO 2KW SPARK RELAY KEY:(18KB)This unique key combines a horizontal-action spark key with a spark relay. It can be operated by pressing the key knob or by activating the relay coil which is enclosed in the black box.
Pressing the down the key lever closes the

4055a large 5/8-inch silver contacts with cooling fins visible on the left:(13KB)

4055b The label reads:(27KB) '2 K. W. RADIO RELAY KEY. Made for NAVY DEPT. (Bu. S. E.) by General Radio Co. for NAVY YARD, Boston, Mass. Reg. No. 156 NSA. Cont. No. 233. Date 1918. Type C.A.G. 457 Serial Number __ 500 cycles, A. C. AMPS 30.'


4058 SE68 NAVY SPARK KEY FROM WW1 SUB CHASER:(20KB) 1918 U. S. Navy 20 ampere key. All cast brass construction mounted on a black bakelite base. Very large 5/8 inch diameter replaceable silver contacts. Legs end flush with base. Label reads: AUXILIARY HAND SENDING KEY. 500 Cycles. Made for Navy Department BU SE by Lowenstein Radio Incoporated, Brooklyn New York. KW: 2, Reg No. 1689 NSA, Cont. No. 38279, Date 1918, Type No. SE-68, Serial No. 193L, A.C.Volts: 250, A.C. Amps: 20.

4058a This photo shows the tag:(27KB) Which reads: :NAVY KEY USED BY JOE, W2BE, IN WORLD WAR 1, 1918. ABOARD SUBMARINE CHASER U.S.S.C. #43. IN NORTH ATLANTIC CONVOY AND PATROL SERVICE.


4060 * SE68A NAVY SPARK KEY:(26KB) 1918 U. S. Navy 50 ampere key. All cast brass construction mounted on a black bakelite base. Very large 5/8 inch diameter replaceable silver contacts. Legs end flush with base. Label reads: AUXILIARY HAND KEY. Volts 250, Amperes, 50, Cycles 500, Type S.E.68A Serial No. B1067. Mfg'd by MACH'Y DIV, NAVY YARD, BOSTON. TRADED TO: WB2BYQ 1995.
4061 Same as 4060 but with long legs.(4061* -> traded
4061A Same as 4060 but with very long legs and S/N 1297

4061B Same as 4060 with very long legs and s/n B1282:(14KB)

4061Ba Another view of 4061B:(12KB)

4061Bb A close view of the label of 4061B:(20KB)
4062 SE68A NAVY SPARK KEY: Similar to 4060 but with repro label.


4063 * U.S. NAVY SPARK KEY: (19KB) This example of the above key is in the George Rancourt, K1ANX collection.


4070 U.S. NAVY SPARK KEY: (46KB) Unusual variant of 1918 U. S. Navy 50 ampere key. All silver? plated cast brass construction with ribbed lever mounted on a black bakelite base with long legs, washers, and nuts. Very large 5/8 inch diameter replacable silver contacts stamped "504". Found new in original box which has since been lost.


4078 ** WIRELESS SPECIALTIES SE-653 FLAMEPROOF SPARK KEY:(11KB)This unusual key is similar to the larger Marconi SE-86 Spark Key. It's contacts were enclosed within a metal cover to allow it to be used in explosive environments. (This key in in the collection of Pete Malvasi - W2PM.)


4080 MINIATURE WIRELESS SPECIALTIES SPARK KEY: (20KB) Massive lever similar to 4060 and 4078 but much smaller overall dimensions with an oval all-brass base with legs for mounting and making electrical connections.


4085 LARGE JAPANESE WW-1 NAVY SPARK KEY ON MARBLE BASE:(20KB) This large Japanese Navy spark key uses the classic Japanese heavy straight lever. It has large, easily replaced main contacts and a receiver-shorting contact to protect the receiver circuitry when the transmitter is keyed on. It also has the typical large connectors found on Japanese keys through WW-2 but it has screw slots instead of the horizontal pins found on the later versions. The key also has a skirt to protect the operator's fingers from the hot spark. I was told that the key was removed from a Japanese ship at the end of WW-1. I suspect that the wooden base is not original.

4085a Another view of the Japanese Spark Key:(20KB)

4085b Another view of the Japanese Spark Key:(20KB)


4090 LARGE BRITISH WIRELESS & LIGHT KEY: (44KB) This key was used for blinking the lights on Navy vessels and frequently as a wireless key. It has heavy brass parts and an

4090a the unusual cam operated shorting switch.(45KB)

4090b * The same type and model of key as it was recovered from a SHIPWRECK. Picture sent to me by another collector.


4095 LARGE CANADIAN MARCONI SPARK KEY: (18KB) This massive spark key was made by the Canadian Marconi Company. The only marking on the key is an XXIII carved into the base. The key was found at the 2001 Dayton Hamfest and the seller had found it in an antique shop about 20-miles from Dayton.

4095a A left-side view of the Canadian Marconi Spark Key: (16KB)

4095b A different right-side view of the Canadian Marconi Spark Key: (22KB)

4095c A different left-side view of the Canadian Marconi Spark Key: (22KB)

4095e A view of the bottom of the base of the Canadian Marconi Spark Key: (25KB)


4097 VERY EARLY FRENCH SPARK KEY:(30KB) This is a very early French spark key.

4097a Another view of the Early French Spark Key:(26KB)

4097b Another view of the Early French Spark Key:(26KB)

4097c A view of the very heavy conductors under the base of the Early French Spark Key:(45KB)


4098 EARLY FRENCH SPARK KEY: This is a early French spark key.

4098a Another view of the Early French Spark Key:(26KB)


4099 FRENCH RADIO KEY MADE BY MANITONE: This French key was made in rather large quantities by Manitone and used for radiotelegraph transmissions and practice.

4099a Another view of the French Manitone Key:


4100 * WWI NAVY SE-1443A WIRELESS KEY: (33KB) The contacts are enclosed in a heavy, plated-brass flameproof box.-> W2PM


4101 * WWI NAVY SE-1443A WIRELESS KEY: (21KB) This example is in the George Rancourt, K1ANX collection.

4101a * Another view of the Navy SE-1443A Wireless Key: (21KB)


4102 ** UNUSUAL GERMAN SPARK KEY:(11KB) This massive high-current key is marked: H.T. 3 No. 3362. (It is in the collection of Pete Malvasi - W2PM.)


4103 UNUSUAL GERMAN WW-1 LUFTWAFFE AIRCRAFT SPARK KEY:(13KB) This interesting key was used by the German Luftwaffe during WW-1. Notice the interesting similarity of the lever of this key to the lever of the preceding German Spark Key (Number 4102). The reason for the high wooden knob is not known. They appear on several German keys. One possibility is that the high knob allowed the operator to use the key while wearing the heavy gloves required during high altitude flight in open cockpit aircraft.


4104 ** FEDERAL TELEGRAPH COMPANY NAVY KEY:(9KB) This key has an unusual knob which can be moved up and down on a central cylinder presumably to allow it to be adjusted to suit the preference of different operators. (It is in the collection of Pete Malvasi - W2PM.)


4106 SIMPLE GERMAN PHYWE AIRCRAFT SPARK KEY WITH HIGH WOODEN KNOB: This is another German key as indicated by the unique spring-supported contacts. It has the same kind of high knob seen in number 4103 above suggesting that it was designed for use in aircraft. The label suggests that it was made by PHYWE.

4106a A left side view of the simple German Aircraft key:

4106b A top view of the simple German Aircraft key:


4108 LARGE AND UNUSUAL EMILIO CIAMI ITALIAN WIRELESS KEY:(16KB) This huge key weighs almost 10-pounds and measures almost 12-inches long. As you can see from the label, the Tipo or type is ''pesante'' which translates into the word ''heavy''.

4108a A view of the other side of the key:(15KB)

4108b A view of the label on the front of the key:(15KB)


4110 CLAPP-EASTHAM "BOSTON" SPARK KEY:(35KB) The classical nickel plated Clapp-Eastham mechanism on a black base stamped: BOSTON KEY, CLAPP EASTHAM CO. The company also made these keys on a brown base and on a marble base (See below).
4112 * CLAPP-EASTHAM "BOSTON" SPARK KEY: Same as above. -> W2PM

4114 * BROWN BASED CLAPP-EASTHAM "BOSTON" SPARK KEY: (85KB) Same as 4110 but with an unusual brown base.

4116 CLAPP-EASTHAM "BOSTON" SPARK KEY WITH MARBLE BASE:(20KB)This key is in the collection of George Rancourt, K1ANF.

4116a Another view of the Marble-Based Clapp-Eastham "Boston" Spark Key:(28KB)


4120 * RUSSELL & STOLL WIRELESS / SPARK KEY:(18KB) Very early all brass mechanism with brass lever mounted on a thick black wrinkle finished cast base which contains the original mica insulating strips and insulators and a condenser labeled Stromberg Carlson Quality Condenser, Code No 21. Electro Static Capacity 1MFD. Inspected.Brass label on top of base reads RUSSELL & STOLL CO.New York.


4122 * WW-I SPARK KEY RECOVERED FROM THE SUNKEN USS SAN DIEGO:(17KB)This key was recovered by diver Mark Silverstein from the radio room in the wreck of the USS San Diego which lies off the coast of Long Island, NY. He was unable to recover the entire base but plans to make another attempt shortly. It is one of the prized artifacts in his collection. The key looks somewhat similar to the "Overland" spark key number 4125.

4122a Another view of the recovered key:(16KB)

4122b Another view of the recovered key:(14KB)


4125 * "Overland" Spark Key:(14KB) The "Overland" spark key was sold by W. B. Duck Co. of Toledo, Ohio. It was probably made for them by RECo. or WSA? This key belonged to David Meirowitz who used it before the start of WW-I as station "1EG". His son Richard recalls that it was used with a spark transmitter built on a marble base. When the war began, he was forced to dismantle his equipment and, at the end of the war, he was issued the call "W1TOA". He reapplied for his original call and was issued W1EG. The key is mounted on a marble base which is inscribed "20A".


4126 * "Overland" Spark Key:(28KB) Similar to Number 4125 above. This key is in the George Rancourt, K1ANX collection.

4126a * Another view of the "Overland" Spark Key:(28KB)


4127 * McINTOSH ELECTRIC SPARK KEY WITH TWO SHORTING SWITCHES:(17KB) This small spark key has two shorting switches. The bottom of the base is marked: 2250 - L - 4. It looks as though it may have been mounted on a spark transmitter.


4130 MIGNON SYSTEM WIRELESS KEY:(17KB) This simple key is

4130a stamped: "MIGNON SYSTEM":(12KB)


4134 PILOT RADIO COMPANY RADIO KEY:(20KB) This interesting little flameproof key has

4134a both gap spacing and spring tension adjustments:(20KB)

4134b Underside view of the Pilot Radio Key:(20KB)


4140 BUNNELL SPARK KEY: Heavy all brass key with rectangular base with corners cut inwards and stamped JHBunnell & Co. New York, USA. Mica insulators and 1/8 inch silver contacts. circa 1915.

4140a BUNNELL SPARK KEY:

4140.gif Another BUNNELL SPARK KEY:(16KB)


4142 BUNNELL SPARK KEY IN ORIGINAL BOX:(22KB) All plated brass key mounted on a black bakelite base. Lever is stamped J.H.Bunnell & Co. New York, USA. 1/4 inch silver contacts which can be replaced easily by unscrewing them.

4142a Right side view of Bunnell Spark Key:(24KB)

4142b View of Bunnell Spark Key in its box:(25KB)


4144 BUNNELL SPARK KEY:(22KB) All brass key stamped JHBunnell & Co. New York, USA. This is the "Triumph" key designed for spark use. It has no shorting switch and has an all brass lever. The silver contacts measure 1/4 inch in diameter. Key is screwed to a wooden base. circa 1915.


4145 * BUNNELL SPARK KEY IN ORIGINAL BOX:(19KB) All brass key stamped JHBunnell & Co. New York, USA. This is the "Triumph" key designed for spark use. It has no shorting switch and has an all brass lever. The silver contacts measure 1/4 inch in diameter. The key is in the origianl Bunnell box.

4145a Another view of the boxed key:(16KB)


4148 "DIME KEY" SPARK-MODIFIED KEY:(13KB) Many hundreds of ham radio operators who could not afford the price of the commercial spark keys soldered dimes to the upper and lower contacts of inexpensive land-line keys. The dimes were made of silver at that time and could stand up to the high currents of spark transmitters.

4148a Close-up view of "dime" contacts:(15KB)


4160 UNKNOWN SPARK KEY:(13KB) Unusual all plated brass key with stamped lever integrated onto a black bakelite base. 1/4 inch silver contacts.

4160a Another view of the unknown spark key:(14KB)


4165 UNKNOWN SPARK KEY:(16KB) Unusual all brass key with Clapp-Eastham 'Boston' key-like long tapered spring mounted on a wooden base.


4167 SIGNAL ELECTRIC SPARK KEY:(15KB) All brass key with solid oval brass base engraved SIGNAL ELECTRIC MFG. CO. MENOMINEE, MICH: Mica insulators and 3/8 inch silver contacts. Bottom of base engraved 19 with a trade mark.

4167a A view of the bottom showing the mica insulation:(20KB)


4170 * SIGNAL ELECTRIC SPARK KEY:(15KB) All brass key with solid oval brass base engraved SIGNAL ELECTRIC MFG. CO. MENOMINEE, MICH: Mica insulators and 3/8 inch silver contacts. Bottom of base engraved 19 with a trade mark.

4170a Another view of the Signal Electric Spark key:(20KB)
4172 * Same as above mounted on a wooden base with 1/4 inch diam. contacts.
4176 * Same as 4170 above but has no name on brass base and not mounted.
Keys like this were often manufactured for Sears without mfgr name on the key.
4178 * SIGNAL ELECTRIC COMPANY SPARK KEY. All chromed base.


4220 * VERY EARLY JAPANESE SPARK KEY: (36KB) Plated mechanism with replacable contacts on a black base which is stamped with Japanese symbols. An extremely unusual key with a post sticking way up, Multiple polarity switching contacts, and binding posts with horizontal bars through them. >W2PM
4221 * Similar to above but of more recent manufacture.W/O Japanese symbols.


4230 BRITISH AIR MINISTRY WIRELESS/SPARK KEY:(33KB) Large British Air Ministry all brass key integrated with a black bakelite base with 3/8 inch square spring-loaded silver contacts. Knob engraved "ref no 10A/7790". Removable brown cover encloses entire key and is marked "KEY.MORSE. TYPE D. Ref No. 10F/7373 A M Serial Number (blank). This key is also called the 7373 key and one old-time operator who was trained to use the key suggests squeezing an English penny under the rear contact plate to suppress bounce.


4232 * BRITISH ADMIRALTY (NAVY) KEY:(20KB) This massive key was usually enclosed in a sheet metal cover through-which the high knob protruded. (This key is in the Pete Malvasi - W2PM collection.)


4240 RCAF AIRCRAFT SPARK KEY:(14KB) All brass key with straight lever and doorknob style knob integrated onto wooden base which is labeled RCAF Ref No 10A/556. 1/8 inch diameter silver contacts. circa 1917.
4242 * Same as above. -> W2PM


4243 BRITISH AIRCRAFT SPARK KEY WITH BLINKER LIGHT:(27KB) This interesting key is similar to the RCAF Aircraft Spark Key above but the lower contact is mounted on a metal strap, there is a heavy wire between the lever and the support piece and there is a socket for a signal light.

4243a Another right side view of the spark key:(33KB)

4243b A left side view of the spark key:(27KB)

4243c A closeup view of the lower contact:(14KB)


4250 UNUSUAL EDDYSTONE / MARCONI TYPE 365EZ WIRELESS KEY:(14KB) Until this key appeared, I had thought that the only key that carried the Eddystone name was their bug-shaped bug. This key appears to be patterned after the well known Marconi Model 365 series keys. It is enclosed in a metal cover and has a spark suppression inductance/capacitance network mounted alongside the key mechanism. The lever is supported by ball bearings as is the lever in the Marconi 365. It has been suggested that the box is the ONLY part of the key which was manufactured by Eddystone and that, since Marconi was and is located in Chelmsford, they made the key under the M.I.M. name which stands for: Marconi International Marine Communications Company Limited. Marconi purchased Eddystone in 1965 and the 2743P inscribed inside the box was probably the Eddystone box part number.

4250a A view of the key with cover removed:(15KB)

4250b Another view of the key with cover removed:(15KB)

4250c A view of Eddystone name inside the cover:(16KB)

4250d A view of the label:(21KB) which reads: TRANSMITTING KEY. Type No. 365EZ. Serial No. 13705. Made in England. The M. I. M. Co., Ltd., Chelmsford.


4255 ** CLASSIC MARCONI 365 WIRELESS KEY:(26KB) Collector Tim Heasman, G4LMH has given me permission to display these pictures of his classic Marconi 365 key. This smooth sending and hefty key was very popular and widely used on many ships.

4255a ** A view of the Marconi 365 key with the metal cover in place:(21KB)


4260 GERMAN WIRELESS KEY WITH TWO SPRINGS:(14KB) This is a very unusual German telegraph key which has two tension springs. The spring-mounted lower contacts identify it as being a German key but the two two tension springs are absolutely unique. It is unclear why a key would need a spring in front of the trunnion and a spring in back of the trunnion.

4260a A bottom view of the 2-spring key showing the two spring mounting screws:(19KB)

4260b A close-up view of the two tension springs:(12KB)


4262 GERMAN WIRELESS KEY WITH TWO SPRINGS:(14KB) This is a very unusual German telegraph key which has two tension springs. The spring-mounted lower contacts identify it as being a German key but the two two tension springs are absolutely unique. It is unclear why a key would need a spring in front of the trunnion and a spring in back of the trunnion. In this key the usual plastic enclosure for the end of the lever has apparently been broken or lost and the lever has been wrapped in tape instead. It is thought that the plastic enclosure was meant to protect an operator from electric shocks.


4270 EARLY GERMAN LUFTWAFFE WIRELESS KEY: (17KB) This key has a most unusual knob. It is thought that it may have been notched in this way to make it easier for the wireless operator to hold it as the aircraft bounced in turbulence. It is clearly marked on both the top and bottom with the BAL Bau Amt Luftwaffe symbol. It has the spring-mounted lower contacts which are characteristic of most of the German keys. The right side of the keys is stamped: CHARLOTTENBG, MOEGES.

4270a Another view of the Luftwaffe key: (17KB)

4270b A view showing the BAL marking on the top of the key: (22KB)

4270b A view showing the BAL marking on the bottom of the key: (19KB)


4290 RUSSIAN WIRELESS KEY: (32KB) This is a heavy duty military key designed to key a high-current transmitter. It is enclosed within a metal cover.


4480 BUNNELL SPARK RELAY:(17KB) This very unusual item consists of a classic Bunnell sounder with two 5/8 inch silver contacts attached to the armiture and anvil. Very heavy wires run from these contacts to a set of binding posts that match the sounder binding posts. This relay was used to allow land-line keys and bugs with small contacts to switch the very high currents of a spark transmitter.

4480s Close-up of the contacts:(13KB)


4490 * LEACH SPARK RELAY:(21KB) This spark relay was used to switch the high currents of a spark transmitter when keying with a small key. It is stamped: Leach Relay Co. CA. PR-9, 6 Volts, DC.

4491 Another view of the LEACH SPARK RELAY:(17KB)


4492 * LEACH SPARK RELAY:(20KB) This relay is slightly different from number 4490. This spark relay was used to switch the high currents of a spark transmitter when keying with a small key.


4494 DUAL SILVER CONTACT SPARK RELAY:(20KB) This spark relay has two separate sets of silver contacts for switching the high currents of a spark transmitter when keying with a small key.

4494a Another view of the dual contact spark relay:(17KB)


4496 SPARK RELAY:(18KB) This spark relay was used for switching the high currents of a spark transmitter when keying with a small key.


4540 * VERY SIMPLE SPEED-X RADIO KEY: This key is extremely simple in design and construction.


4550 * SPEED-X RADIO KEY:(19KB) This key is very similar to the Signal Electric Co. Spark and wireless keys (See 4170.) It is all chrome plated with "SPEED-X"stamped on lever top and H-15.681 inside the base. Silver 3/16" contacts.
4551 Same as above but no engraving on lever or inside base.

4552 * Same as above:(12KB)The Base is black wrinkle finish cast metal.
4553 Same as above but inside of black base is marked "H15-621 WM. M. NYE CO. INC. Bellevue, WA, MADE IN USA". All the rest of the key is brass.

4554 * Similar to 4550:(10KB) But oblong plastic base also stamped "SPEED-X".

4555 * TRIUMPH STYLE SPEED-X RADIO KEY: All plated copy of Bunnell Triumph key with "SPEED-X" stamped on top of lever and & H15.682 under base. Lower contact mfgd on "U" to elevate it.

4555a * TRIUMPH STYLE SPEED-X RADIO KEY:(20KB) This is a copy of the Bunnell Triumph Key. It is similar to the above number 4555 key. The lever is stamped: Speed-X and the base is painted with black wrinkle-finish paint.

4556 * SIGNAL ELECTRIC CO. STYLE KEY: All chromed key looks like the standard Signal Electric design with solid oval chromed base & 1/4"silver contacts, but the base has a black wrinkle finish in its recessed center & bearing posts. Quite unusual.

4557 * SIGNAL ELECTRIC CO. STYLE KEY: Similar to above but much less well made with smaller 3/32 inch diameter contacts. Lever held in place by metal bracket with no lateral adjustment. Similar to 1940s E.F.Johnson114-300 but.. black wrinkle finish metal base.


4558 T.R.McELROY (FIRST MODEL) STREAM KEY:(16KB) The first Stream Key had a chromed teardrop-shaped base with a label which reads: Stream Key. Mfg. by T.r.McElroy. World's Champion Telegrapher, Boston, USA.

4558a Another view of this First Model Stream Key:(16KB)

4558b A Close-up view of the label:(16KB)


4559 * T.R.McELROY (SECOND MODEL) STREAM KEY:(15KB) The second models of the Stream Keys all had much more rounded teardrop shaped bases with no labels. The levers were chrome plated and the bases were black wrinkle-finish.


4559a * T.R.McELROY "AMATEUR" MODEL 100 STREAM KEY IN ORIGINAL BOX:(20KB) This key had a chromed lever and black wrinkle-finished base.


4560 * T.R.McELROY LATER PLASTIC "AMATEUR" MODEL 100 STREAM KEY:(21KB) All plated key integrated onto a black plastic base which is engraved: Stream key. Manufactured by T.R.McElroy. Boston, Mass. USA (Traded to W2PM).


4562 * McELROY GREY BASED STREAM KEY:(16KB)

4562a Another view of the Grey Base Stream Key:(16KB)


4565 * McELROY / TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. CODE PRACTICE OSCILLATOR "INTERNAL" KEY:(14KB)This key is a McElroy Model 100 Metal-based Stream Key which has had its base cut off to allow it to fit inside a Telegraph Apparatus Co. (A McElroy Company.) "Oscillatone" code practice oscillator.

4565a Another view of the special cut-off key:16KB)


4567 * "FAKE" MCELROY KEYS:(16KB) Someone made many thousands of copies of the popular McElroy Stream Keys. These copies were made with very cheap "pot metal" base castings and cracks often develop around the upright portions of the base.
The only reliable way to tell a copy from the real keys is to see whether the base is attracted by a magnet. The real McElroy keys are attracted by a magnet.

4567a Another view of the "FAKE" McElroy:(15KB)

4567b Close-up view of the cracks in the base casting:(18KB)

4567c Extreme Close-up view of the cracks in the base casting:(25KB)


4568 * McELROY DELUXE MODEL 300 STREAM KEY:(17KB) All Chrome-plated key with 5/16inch contacts. There were several very minor variations in the bases.


4570 McELROY COMMEMORATIVE ALL CHROME STRAIGHT KEY:(17KB) Very unusual key is exactly like the Bunnell 1888 Triumph key with oval base. It has typical McElroy design shorting lever and hardware and the chromed lever is stamped "McELROY Electronics Corp". Special memorial key made to commemorate McElroy. Only 100 of these beautiful and hard to find keys were made.


4574 RARE McELROY MILITARY J-38 STRAIGHT KEY:(16KB) This is the key that McElroy Electronics Co. built for the U.S. Military. The only known example was in the McElroy collection until a small number of them showed up at the 1999 Dayton hamfest.

This is another view of the key:(16KB)

This is a close-up view of the M in the work McElroy as it appears under the hot contact strip:(23KB)

This is a close-up view of the narrow clearance between the shorting lever screw and the gap adjusting screw:(35KB)


4576 * RADIO KEY:(21KB) Very unusual design. Has cast aluminum base made of aluminum & painted green. Lever is chrome plated. The knob and terminal tightening knobs look like 1950s binding post knobs. It is an exceptionally UGLY key.


4582 TINY "SPY" RADIO KEYS:(15KB) These tiny keys were thought to have been integrated into field sets and clandestine portable radios. The keys have metal shorting levers and knobs numbered from 1 to 4. Actually, they came from a Western Electric Telegraph Line Test Set. (See 4582a below).

4582a * WESTERN ELECTRIC TEST SET & TINY KEYS:(41KB)

4582b Closeup of Western Electric Mini-Key:(8KB)

4582c * A LATER VERSION OF THE WESTERN ELECTRIC TEST SET SHOWING ALL 4 OF THE TINY KEYS:(46KB)
4583 * Same as above.


4585 * TINY "SPY" RADIO KEY:(9KB) Slightly larger than 4582, this tiny key was thought to be a spy key but actually from a military field telephone and telegraph set.


4586 * TINY "SPY" RADIO KEY:(8KB) Tiny key thought to be a spy key but actually from a military field telephone and telegraph set. (See 4586a).

4586a * MILITARY FIELD SET AND KEY:(48KB) Similar to above but slightly larger with no shorting lever.


4588 * TINY COMPLEX "SPY" RADIO KEY:(22KB) These unusual and fairly complex keys were thought to be spy keys but actually came from military field telephone/telegraph sets. (See 4588a)

4588a * MILITARY FIELD SET AND KEY:(51KB)


X4700 ** Norwegian Radio Key:(13KB)
This 1960's vintage key is owned by collector Einar Hogseth. email: einar.hogseth@kj.uib.no.


4710 UPSIDE DOWN SPY RADIO KEY:(9KB) This tiny key with 3-1/4" metal lever and brown 2-3/4" x 1-1/2" bakelite base is constructed so that the mechanism is on the bottom of the base and the knob extends upwards and out of the radio set. It was manufactured in 1935 for the Italian Allocchio Bacchini set.


4720 TRAP-DOOR SPY RADIO KEY:(39KB) This tiny key has a 3-3/4" x 1-1/4" base that is mounted vertically on the side of the radio set. Pulling on a small knob allows a trap-door to swing down and exposes a tiny knob and key lever that operates normally open and normally closed contacts. It was manufactured in 1935 for the Italian Radio-Marelli sets.


4730 BRITISH SPY RADIO KEY:(17KB) Large British all brass key with straight lever, doorknob style knob, and 1/8 inch contacts integrated onto reddish bakelite base which has been removed from original radio transmitter and mounted on a wooden base.

4730a Another view of the British Spy Radio Key:(11KB)


4740 PRACTICE RADIO KEY:(22KB) British all brass key with straight lever, doorknob style knob, and NO electrical contacts at all. Key is integrated onto a wooden base and makes a clicking sound when it is depressed.


4850a * AWA TELEGRAPH KEY MADE BY AMALGAMATED WIRELESS of AUSTRALASIA: This wireless / radiotelegraph key is labeled ''AWA TYPE R655A MANIPULATING KEY''. It was made by Amalgamated Wireless of Australasia in the 1930s. I donated this key to the AWA (Antique Wireless Association: http://www.antiquewireless.org ) Museum where it may be seen.

4850b * Another view of the AWA Telegraph Key:

4850c * The Label on the AWA Telegraph Key:

4850d * The underside of the base of the AWA Telegraph Key:


4900 DOW PRACTICE RADIO KEY:(22KB) This key was manufactured by the Dow Key company in Canada and used for practice and as a radio key.

4901 ANOTHER DOW PRACTICE RADIO KEY (In better condition):(32KB)


5000 * AUSTRALIAN CLIPSAL KEY:(55KB) This key was manufactured during and after WW-II by Gerard Industries. Collector John Kaesehagen of Adelaide, Australia was kind enough to send me this

description of the company and some of its activities:(125KB)
It is a LARGE file but interesting to read. John says that the name "Clipsal" was derived from: "Clips-all" which was a term used to describe the range of adjustable fittings for conduits that were manufactured by the company.

5000b The original Guarantee that accompanied the clipsal key:(65KB)


5001 * AUSTRALIAN CLIPSAL KEY WITH ORIGINAL BOX:(13KB) This key is the same as number 5000 above but has the original box.

5001a Another view of the Clipsal key and box:(11KB)


5010 * BRITISH "KENT" KIT KEY:(14KB) This key is sold in kit form and was mounted on a plastic base by its owner.


5020 * CURRENT JRC (JAPANESE RADIO CORP.) RADIO KEY:(15KB)This currently produced radio key is very similar to the earliest Japanese spark and wireless keys. (Same as number 9689.)

5020a Another view of the JRC radio Key:(15KB)


5045 SWEDISH RADIO KEY: This is a fairly large Swedish Radio Key with the classic long Swedish-style lever.


5050 * CURRENT SWEDISH RADIO KEY:(16KB) This currently produced Swedish radio key was patterned after the very early Swedish land-line telegraph keys with their long levers. It has no trunnion bearings but instead supports the lever on a flexible leaf spring. It is supplied in its own wooden box. (This key is the same as number 1125.)


5060 * EARLY DANISH - GREAT NORTHERN TELEGRAPH WORKS KEY: This Danish key carries a label that reads: Great Northern Telegraph Works, Copenhagen, Denmark. No. 77773. It is not likely that 77773 of these keys were made since they do not show up very often. I think it is more likely that the manufacturer started with a high serial number. The picture was sent to me by another collector.

5060a * The Label on the Early Danish key:


5070 * LATER DANISH - GREAT NORTHERN TELEGRAPH WORKS KEY: This appears to be a later version of the Danish key above. This Danish key carries a label that reads: Great Northern Telegraph Works, Copenhagen, Denmark. No. 13779. Since it is not likely that 13779 of these keys were made it is more likely that the manufacturer started with a high serial number. The picture was sent to me by another collector.

5070a * The Label on the Danish key:

5070b * The Underside of the Danish key:

5070c * The Removable Base of the Danish key showing the modular connectors:


5110 GERMAN "LEYBOLD" KEY:(19KB) This simple key was made in Germany. The company still exists in 2005 but manufactures mainly apparatus for the chemical industry.


5200 * HAM-KEY RADIO KEY WITH BLACK BASE:(20KB) This is a common key with nice feel. It is in current production.


5201 * HAM-KEY RADIO KEY WITH GRAY BASE:(20KB) This is a common key with nice feel. It is in current production.


5460 * EXTREMELY COMMON JAPANESE COPY OF BUNNELL TRIUMPH KEY:(17KB)This key has been in production for at least 20 years and hundreds of thousands of them have been sold. It is a convincing copy of the Bunnell Triumph Key but can be identified by the ball-bearings at the end of the trunnion shaft, the hollow brass-look base and the word Japan on the underside of the base casting. The contacts are steel and constantly become dirty making for very poor keying performance.

5460a Another view of the Japanese Copy:(18KB)

5460b A closer view of the ball-bearings:(20KB)


5480 * EXTREMELY COMMON JAPANESE COPY OF SIGNAL ELECTRIC KEY:(12KB)This key has been in production for at least 20 years and hundreds of thousands of them have been sold. It is a plastic based copy of the metal-based Signal Electric Radio Keys. The trunnion shaft is held in place by the springiness of the trunnion shaft supports. The contacts are steel and constantly become dirty making for VERY poor keying performance.


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