A Few Single Current Keys. GPO and Others.

012..... A GPO Single Current morse code transmitting key with Milled head terminals. Marked "WE 8208" on arm.

The GPO single current keys are based on a design that originates from the 1830's and built by many makers, including Walters Electrical, GPO factories at Silvertown, Holloway in London, ATM Liverpool, H. White & Co and the Royal Ordnance Factory. This key was made by Walters Electrical ( "WE").

  • Info many thanks to Dennis J. Goacher / G3LLZ.

    Mark Peterse / PA3HMP Walters key renovation.

    013 - GPO 4170..... A nice GPO key with cheese head terminals. Stamped on the bottom of the wooden base is "GPO 4170".

    Dennis Goacher's marvelous pamphlet "A History Of The GPO Mark 1, 2, And 3 Morse Telegraph Keys" informs that the keys were made to a very high standard in brass and mahogany. Platinum was used for the contacts.


    1830..... An ancient find (?) a very nice early PO style Telegraph Key.

    The knob on this key is superb. Knobs were originally turned from horn but later production runs used wood. This key has very early designed terminal posts and knurled terminals. Terminal screw threads are not BA, I suspect they are possibly 3/16" BSW (British Standard Whitworth). Only one I have ever seen and possibly as old as 1830 - 40's.


    015..... An impressive Austrian Camelback Key used on the Austrian/Hungarian Danube Railway circa 1870. Made in Vienna, Austria by Leopolder und sohn, Vienna (1850 - 1923).

  • This key was very proud to have been featured on the front cover of Morsum Magnificat Magazine number MM34, June 1994.
    Also mentioned in MM35, page 42, where Les Grant / G3XNG describes the key as once used on the Danube line with the A/H Relief (not ink) writer - with variations in design to avoid patents held by Siemens, eg. the hair-pin spring and pivot.
    The wooden base is walnut I think and measures 6" by 3 & 1/2" (152mm by 89mm) the key weighs just over 1lb (463g).


    #016..... GNT Key used on the GPO circuit between Seahouses and Oslo Circa 1900. ( GNT = The Great Northern Telegraph Company, Oslo, Norway).


    #017..... A French PTT Key made by Appareillage Electrique Paris, Circa 1905.

    Keen collector Stan / SP6JOE provides the following information: "These keys PTT called d'Appareilage Electique Paris were made in my opinion in factory of Lois Breguet. During WW1 this factory was named M.A.E.S./Manufacture d'Appareillage Electrique Special - it means Manufacture for Special Electrical Equipment" Stan.


    #018..... A Bulgarian PTT Key Circa 1904 - 10.


    #019..... American Key (copy of a Boston key ?) on a base of American Oak. Circa 1870. Stamped under the arm is "FAIRBANKS PATENT" It was featured in Morsum Magnificat MM62 February 1999 page 32.


    #020. .... W. G. Pye & Co Ltd. morse code transmitting key Circa prior to 1913. The PYE Co. was W.G. Pye & Co. from 1896 - 1913, Pye & Co Ltd. from 1913 - 1929, and PYE Radio from 1929 on.


    #021..... Belgian PTT Key made by Gerard Circa 1922. Stamped on the key is "GERARD" and the letter "T". A label on the underneath states "Original Morse-Key as used by the Belgian Regie des Telegraphes et Telephones 1922.


    #022..... Indian Key made by RANA DUTTA & Co. Calcutta. Stamped "5" on base and arm. Circa 1920/1930s.


    #022b..... L. G. Tillotson & Co. 8 Dey Street, New York. 1865. Camelback Leg morse code transmitting Key. (N.B. Tillotson was at Dey Street, New York in 1865, at the end of the American Civil War). Stamped on the arm is "L. G. TILLOTSON & CO. 8 DEY ST. NEW YORK" and on the oval frame is the number 5515. The shorting arm of this key is sadly missing.

  • As a rough guide - Tillotson & Co were located at 262 Broadway, New York from 1862 to 1865. Then at 8 Dey St, New York in 1865, and at 26 Dey Street from 1865 to 1867.


    #023..... J. H. Bunnell & Co. New York. Leg Key Circa 1890 - 1900.