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Telegraph Key - Elliott, 1890s Object Reg. No: ST 028634

Summary:
Telegraph key used for the transmission of signals in the Morse electric telegraph system. Key was used at Melbourne Observatory.

To transmit signals the operator depressed a pivoted metal lever (the key) to complete an electric circuit and transmit current along the telegraph line. Releasing the key broke the circuit and cut off the current. Letters and numbers were represented by a sequence of short and long current pulses, transmitted according to a defined code. The most widely used code was generally known as "Morse code".

At the receiving end the sequence of current pulses could be displayed as long and short marks on a paper tape, or could be interpreted by an operator listening to the sounds made by the receiving instrument.
Description:
Ebonite base. Brass key with ebonite knob. Brass screw terminals.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Observatory, 1945
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 53 mm (Height), 76 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: morse keys, telegraph equipment, telegraphy
Themes this item is part of: Australia and the global telegraph network 1854-1902, The Australian telegraph network 1854-1877, Telegraphy Collection, Melbourne Observatory Collection, Information & Communication Collection, Positional Astronomy at Melbourne Observatory, Weights & Measures at Melbourne Observatory, Melbourne Observatory & Standard Time in Victoria, Astrographic Catalogue, Transits of Venus, 1874 & 1882, Buildings at Melbourne Observatory, Star Observations & Personal Equation, Meteorology at Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1908, Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1944, Geodetic Survey of Victoria, 1858-1872
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Telegraphy
Tertiary Classification: input
Inscriptions: Base engraved: - 360 - / ELLIOTT BROS. / LONDON
Manufacturer: Elliott Bros, London, England, Great Britain
User: Melbourne Observatory, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia

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