SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT LABELS AND DATING:
The dates on Japanese key labels give the date in the reign of a specific emperor. For instance, 9640a shows the date as "Showa 19 years, 9 months". This is the 19th. year and the 9th. month of the reign of the Showa Emperor. Showa was the formal regnant title of the Emperor we know as Hirohito which was his personal name. (Thanks to Edwin Lowe, VK2VEL for this information.)
(The instruments are in approximate chronological order: Oldest first.)
* = (Items no longer owned.) ** = (Items in other collections.)
9620 JAPANESE SPARK KEY: (36KB) (See description under "SPARK KEYS".) Very large heavy contacts to handle the high currents. Very similar in design to current JRC key number 9689. (Traded to W2PM, 1995.)
9625 JAPANESE SPARK KEY: (24KB) Very Similar to key number 9620 above.
9625a Another view of the Japanese Spark Key: (20KB)
9625b A third view of the Japanese Spark Key: (21KB)
9630 JAPANESE MILITARY KEY FROM WW-2:(17KB) This is a Japanese Military Radio key from WW-2. It has the classic straight lever design.
JAPANESE TELEGRAPH KEY FROM THE LATE 1930's:(15KB) This is another straight-lever Japanese radio key.
another view of the Japanese key:(15KB)
9640 EARLY JAPANESE MILITARY KEY: (35KB) All plated key with doorknob style knob integrated into a black bakelite box which completely covers the key. It is mounted on a wooden base which carries a label in Japanese which shows the date as "Showa 19 years, 9 months". This is the 19th. year and the 9th. month of the reign of the Showa Emperor. Showa was the formal regnant title of the Emperor we know as Hirohito which was his personal name. (Thanks to Edwin Lowe, VK2VEL for this information.)
9640a Close-up view of the label: (28KB)
EARLY JAPANESE MILITARY KEY:(23KB) This key is very similar to number 9640 above.
Here is another view of the key:(24KB)
And here is a view of the key with the cover closed:(20KB)
9650 CAPTURED MINIATURE JAPANESE KEYS:(14KB) This small key was brought back by a 24th Division Signal Company officer, Ed Shakalis (KD1BJ), who removed it from a captured Japanese command car in which it was being used on the Philippine island of Mindanao during WWII. The key is enclosed in a black plastic cover and slides into a lead-weighted base that was screwed to a shelf on the back of the front seat of the command car. Another similar key is shown in the background with the elaborate Japanese label on top of the case.
9650a This closeup view shows more of the details:(23KB)
9651 CAPTURED MINIATURE JAPANESE KEY:(13KB) This view shows the elaborate identification label on top of the case.
9651a A size comparison view of #9651:(13KB)
9660 CAPTURED JAPANESE WWII NAVY KEY: (39KB) Brought back from the Pacific Theatre after WWII. This key has both open and closed circuits. It is plated brass on a black base mounted on a metal bracket. It is enclosed in the original wooden box with a sliding wooden cover which was apparently mounted to a radio or table by metal brackets which are part of the box. The writing on the bottom of the box says "electric button" in Japanese.
9665 JAPANESE WWII NAVY KEY: This key is very similar to the boxed key shown above. The difference, however is that this key carries a label written in Japanese and mounted on the metal base directly under the lever.
9665a A different view of this key:
9670 JAPANESE AIRCRAFT KEY:(26KB) This small key was mounted on the side of the cockpit of Japanese "Zero" fighters used during World War II. It is enclosed in its metal mounting bracket.
9672 * JJ-38 JAPANESE COPY OF A J-38 WORLD WAR II UNITED STATES MILITARY KEY:(21KB) At first glance, this key appears to be a standard World War II vintage J-38 United States Military Key. However, it is marked JJ-38 and the key mechanism is the familiar imported Japanese design with the ball-bearings at the end of the trunnion that has been widely distributed in this country since the 1960's.
9674 JJ-45 JAPANESE COPY OF A J-45 WORLD WAR II UNITED STATES MILITARY CLIP-ON-THE-LEG KEY:(21KB) At first glance, this key appears to be a standard World War II vintage J-45 United States Military Clip-on-the-leg Key that was widely used in mobile communications applications. However, it is marked JJ-45 and it carries a complex metal label written in Japanese where the American J-45 simply carries the 'J-45' stamped into the metal leg clip. Scott Hill, K6IX has the only other known example of this key but it simply has a large 'JJ-45' stamped on the side of the leg clip and no label. Tetsuo Yamamoto, JA3PYC, has translated the label as follows:
Leg Clip Key JJ-45
Parts Number 0390-0011-0000
Serial Number (Blank)
TOHO DENKI KABUSHIKIGAISHA (TOHO Electric Company Ltd.)
(Toho Electric Co. is now Panasonic Communications Co. Ltd. Toho was a facsimile maker and joined the Matsushita Group ((Panasonic)) in 1962.)
Tetsuo also tells me that the Cherry Blossom mark at the top of the label is
used by the Japanese 'Self-Defense Force' (Army) and it shows that the key was
made after WW-2 with license from the Signal Corps. He does not know what the
letter 'S' inside the Cherry Blossom stands for but he has seen the letters
'Q' and 'W' inside the Cherry Blossom and sent me an example of the Cherry
Blossom 'W' mark stamped on the side of a pistol.
In addition, the actual key itself is marked JJ-37 in raised characters cast
into the base in exactly the same place as the common American J-37 key.
Another example of the JJ-37 key owned by Scott Hill, K6IX, has the words
'Soling Japan' moulded into the bottom of the base but this one does not carry
that mark. It is unclear when this key was made. This key was origianlly
found by Bill Gallier, W4WX who took these photos before I bought the key.
9674a A close view of the JJ-37 characters cast into the base of the key:
9674b A close view of the special Nameplate mounted on the side of the leg clip:
9679 * JAPANESE MULTIMETER FOR TELEGRAPH AND RADIO:(18KB) This meter has a number of scales for measuring voltage and current in the field.
9679a Close-up of the label on the meter:(18KB)
9680 JAPANESE RADIO KEY:(10KB) This tiny key was apparently mounted on the front of a radio set. It was pulled down into this position to allow operation.
9680a This photo shows it in the closed position:(11KB)
9685 * MINIATURE JAPANESE RADIO KEY:(22KB) This tiny key was mounted inside a
tiny 1 tube portable radio set:(16KB)That was brought back from the island of Mindanao in the Philippine Islands by a 24th Division Signal Company officer, Ed Shakalis, KD1BJ.
9685b This view shows the inside of the set:(22KB)
9687 * JAPANESE MINIATURE FOLDING KEY IN RADIO CONTROL BOX:(14KB) This tiny key folds into the control box for storage.
9687a VIEW OF FOLDING KEY WITH RADIO CONTROL BOX OPEN:(15KB)
9687b CLOSE-UP VIEW OF FOLDING KEY IN OPEN POSITION:(12KB)
9687c CLOSE-UP VIEW OF FOLDING KEY IN CLOSED POSITION:(12KB)
9687d CLOSE-UP VIEW OF INSIDE OF FOLDING KEY:(15KB)
9687e CLOSE-UP VIEW OF INSIDE OF OTHER END OF FOLDING KEY:(15KB)
9687f CLOSE-UP VIEW MARKINGS INSIDE BOX:(22KB)
9689 * CURRENT JRC (JAPANESE RADIO CORP) RADIO KEY:(15KB) This key is very similar in design to the earliest Japanese Spark and wireless keys.
9690 CHINESE YUSHAN DJG-4 KEY:(21KB) This is a Chinese Radio Key produced in 1995.
9690a View of key with original box:(23KB)
9690b Close-up view of label:(16KB)
NOTE: I AM ALWAYS LOOKING TO BUY OR TRADE TELEGRAPH KEYS !
Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University