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Pete Theer, 191 FM 2313, Kempner, Texas 76539-8672  USA

Current CW Equipment - Straight Keys
CW Key

 
J.H. Bunnell Straight Triumph Key
I know very little about this key. It was purchased on eBay in 2008 and the brass frame is stamped "J.H. Bunnell & Co. New York, USA". It appears someone mounted it on two slabs of bakelite and used binding posts for legs.  The navy style knob is probably not original. The spring is assumed to have been of the "pig-tail" conical variety and has been replaced with another type.  The frame also has a hole (not visible in the photo) where a circuit closing switch has been removed.
http://www.jhbunnell.com
J.H. Bunnell Brass Key
J.H. Bunnell Straight "Leg" Triumph Key
This is the original condition of the key above.
Bought on eBay April 2009.  This key is equipped with  the circuit closer switch and original "pig-tail" conical spring.  Wires are meant to be attached to the "legs" after  mounting on a table or desk.  The brass frame in stamped as above,  the "J.H. Bunnell & Co. New York, USA". The legs were either removed or cut off on the above key. It does not have the above "Navy" style knob.
http://www.jhbunnell.com
J.H. Bunnell Brass Leg Key
Canadian Surplus Military Key
This was purchased on eBay in 2008. The conical spring was so stiff as to render the key almost unusable.  One turn was cut off to lighten the tension. I am wary that the unshielded "zip cord" connecting wire will be susceptible to RF interference. Because of the similarity to the key below, I suspect it was made by the same manufacturer in China, but I have no proof of that. There is a felt pad on the bottom of the key.
Canadian Military Key
Chinese Heavy Duty Military Key Model K-4  (DJG-4)
This was also purchased on eBay in 2008. The conical spring was so stiff as to render the key almost unusable. To rectify this situation,  two turns were cut off to lighten the tension.There is a felt pad on the bottom of the key.  This K-4 or DJG-4 telegraph key was originally made by Changshu Telecommunication Equipment Factory for the Chinese Army, not by the No. 1 branch of the same company, who'se keys look similar, but the quality of the plating is not as good as this. You can easily distinguish them if you can read the Chinese letters on the label on the base, but I can't. :o)
Chinese Military K4 Key
Chinese Heavy Duty Military Key Model K-4  (DJG-4)
This was purchased on eBay in September 2009.
There is a felt pad on the bottom of this key as those above.
This K-4 or DJG-4 telegraph key was originally made by the No. 1 branch of Changshu Telecommunication Equipment Factory for the Chinese Army. These keys look similar to the one above, but the quality of the plating is not as good as the keys above. You can easily distinguish them if you can read the Chinese letters on the label on the base. I can't tell the difference because I don't read Chinese.  :o)
Chinese K-4 Surplus Military key
Chinese Heavy Duty Military Key Model K-5  (KJG-5)
Purchased on eBay, August 2011

I have not yet received this key so can't say much about it.  The seller says: "Repeated user says it's softer than the K4"
Chiese Military K-5 key
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model CJB26003A
This is by far my favorite key. It was produced by several manufacturers  for the U.S. Navy. The first 3 letters of the model number denotes the manufacturer. The model shown is marked CJB26003A and made by the J.H. Bunnell Co of New York. See key below for other manufacturers.  The Bunnell Company was the last to manufacture this key and production was halted in 1988. Some of their NOS keys were still available from their website in 2010 along with a detailed history of the company ($85 + shipping). http://www.jhbunnell.com

More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8280)
 
Navy Flameproof Key CJB-26003A
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model CMI-26003A
Same as above key but manufactured by the Molded Insulation Company. Purchased from the collection of Bert, KG2G and received 21 February 2009.  Manufacturers were: J.H. Bunnell  (CJB), Telephonics Corp. (CTE), Molded Insulation Co. (CMI), Lundquist Tool Co. (CLT), Signal Electric Co. (CSE) and Bendix Electric which used their own model number and several others. This design was copied from a German Nazi Luftwaffe key.

More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8280)
More Info (German  key): http://www.w1tp.com/m9600.htm  (key 9500)
Navy Flameproof # CMI-26003A
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model 26003A
Same as above key but manufactured by the Winslow Company
The Winslow Company manufactued the same key under their own Model Number.  The engraving on the left side of the base is:"80020" and "118-00" and on the right side of the base is "66150". The bottom of the key is engraved "Winslow Tele-tronics Inc., Asbury Park, NJ".   This design was copied from a German Nazi Luftwaffe key. Click HERE to view the original German Key (right) and three American "26003" copies (left) in the photo.

More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8280)
More Info (German  key): http://www.w1tp.com/m9600.htm  (key 9500)
Navy 26003A Key (Winslow)
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model CTE-26003A
Same as above key but manufactured by the Telephonics Corporation. Purchased on eBay April  2009.

Plastic terminal cover is missing.

See key above for other manufacturers.

More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8280)

Navy Flameproof CTE-26003A
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model Bendix MT-11B
Purchased on eBay September 2011
Same as above key but manufactured by the Bendix Radio  Company. For some unknown reason Bendix, like Winslow, used their own model numbers rather than the Navy Standard Cxx-26003A designation.  This key is NOS and came in the original box with cord & plug. It has never been used.  The Bendix Radio tag is dated 1944.

More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8280)
U.S. Navy 26003 by Bendix Radio
Ham Key Model HK-3, Straight Key
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net in 2008.
These were sold by Ham Radio Center of Saint Louis, MO.  They are a copy of the more expensive Brown Brothers key.
HamKey Model HK3
Ham Key Model HK-3M, Straight Key
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net in 2011.
These were sold by Ham Radio Center of Saint Louis, MO.  They are a copy of the more expensive Brown Brothers key.  This one has a base added to keep the key level on the operating table.  The faded sticker states it has silver plated contacts. It also has a gray  hammertone base rather than a black wrinkle finish like the one above..
HamKey HK3M
Ham Key Combination HK-4, Straight Key and Paddle
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net in 2008.
These were sold by Ham Radio Center of Saint Louis, MO.  They are a copy of the more expensive Brown Brothers keys  The one pictured has binding posts for connections buy these were also made with screw terminals in the back and some with RCA jacks. The base is painted gray hammertone as opposed to the black wrinkle finish of the individual key (second key above) and paddles.

More info: http://www.artifaxbooks.com/forsale.htm

HamKey Combination
Unknown "TearDrop" key
Purchased on eBay in December 2010  (eBay Photo)
This appears to be a copy of the McElroy Teardrop "Stream" key.
Black crackle finish molded steel teardrop base, copper lever.
Nothing else is known about this key.  It has no manufacturer markings.
Unknown Teardrop key
Wilson "TearDrop" key
Purchased on eBay in December 2010
This is similar to the Grimmer-Wilson Teardrop key manufactured for the RCAF.  Grey crackle teardrop base, "Wilson" is cast into the bottom of the base.
Wilson  TearDrop key
Hi Mound Model HK-704 Straight Key
Although this particular key was purchased off Bay in 2009, it is still a current production model and available from Morse Express at:

http://www.morsex.com
or
http://www.mtechnologies.com/himound/

HiMound Model HK-704
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-2 Key (WW-I era)
(Manufacturer Unknown) Purchased on eBay in July 2011.
This WW-I Spark key has the familiar oval nickel plated frame with coil spring running into hole in frame near the HEAVY DUTY 1/4" unscrewable contacts. No Shorting lever. Key mounted on a 1/2" thick 5-1/2 X 3-1/4" bakelite base with all wires totally sealed in base. Amazingly, this key is in "like new" condition, no scratches or corrosion. I don't think it was ever used.  The right hand adjusting screw head is broken off, though, as you can see. The black 1/2" thick bakelite base is embossed "J-2" to the left of the key contacts. 

Click HERE to learn more about the J-2 key.
U.S. Army Signal Corps WW-I Kewy
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-12 Key
Manufacturer Unknown, Purchased on eBay, August 2011.
This brass key is mounted on a round metal base that allows it to rotate. The key is stamped "TELEGRAPH KEY J-12".  This J-12 key was also made on a rectangular metal base.





Click HERE to learn more about the J-12 key. (key# 8272)
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-12 key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-37 "Mae West" Key (1)
Manufacturer Unknown. Purchased  on eBay in 2008.
With this base, it was often called the "Mae West" key by soldiers of that era.  The base is shaped in this way to facilitate winding the attached cable around it.  I have about ten of these that came with a Signal Corps Code Training set I acquired years ago.  You can see it on the bottom of this page.  J-37 keys are small, light, and tough as nails. Their size and construction make them an excellent choice for a backup or portable key. Many people think that leaf springs, which are used on the J-37's, have better mechanical characteristics than coil springs (which are used on keys like the J-38 and Speed-X hand keys) and therefore prefer the J-37 keys.

Click HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-37 key
Click HERE to learn more about the Mae West version.

Signal Corps J-37 Mae West Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-37 "Mae West" Key (2)
Manufacturer Unknown, Purchased on eBay, June 2009
With this base, it was often called the "Mae West" key by soldiers of that era.  The base is shaped in this way to facilitate winding the attached cable around it.  I found this one on eBay in excellent condition in June 2009.  J-37 keys are small, light, and tough as nails. Their size and construction make them an excellent choice for a backup or portable key. Many people think that leaf springs, which are used on the J-37's, have better mechanical characteristics than coil springs (which are used on keys like the J-38 and Speed-X hand keys) and therefore prefer the J-37 keys.
Click HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-37 key
Click HERE to learn more about the Mae West version.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-37 (Mae West) key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-37 "Mae West" Key (3)
Manufactured by the Winslow Company. Purchased on eBay September 2011.  The base is solid bakelite.  J-37 keys are small, light, and tough as nails.  Though most of these keys are unmarked, this one is engraved "Winslow Tele-Tronics Inc. - 66150" at the pivot of the lever.  This key has the extra black plastic rear terminals of the above keys which indicate it was intended to be part of a code training set as were the keys above.
Click HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-37 key
Click HERE to learn more about the Mae West version.
J-37 "Mae West" Key - Winslow Co.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-37 "Mae West" Key (4)
Manufactured by the Winslow Company. Purchased on eBay August 2011.  The base is hollow plastic.  J-37 keys are small, light, and tough as nails.  Though most of these keys are unmarked, this one is engraved "Winslow 101... " at the pivot of the lever.  The extra black plastic rear terminals of the above keys are not present on this key which may indicate it was never intended to be part of a code training set as the keys above probably were.
Click HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-37 key
Click HERE to learn more about the Mae West version.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-37 key (Winslow)
Japanese copy of the U.S. Signal Corps J-37  by "Soling"
Purchased on eBay, August 2011 (eBay Photo)

The key is not marked J-37, but it has the same mechanism. "Soling" is molded in the bottom of the frame.  It came with the original box.
Soling of Japan also made J- 38 copies.
Japanese Copy of the Signal Corps J-37 by Soling
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-38 Key (Generic)
(Probable Manufacturer: American Radio Hardware)
Purchased on eBay in 2008.
The J-38 is the most common of all the WWII era military keys and considered among the smoothest by ham radio operators. The J-38 was designed to be used with a Signal Corps radio/telegraph operator training set. The strange looking binding posts and shorting strap at the back of the key were used to connect a set of headphones to one side of the key ("tel") and the other side of the key ("line") to the training set. The effect was to put the key and headphones in series.  J-38 keys are sturdy, handsome, and have a good "feel" when used for sending code. 
Click  HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-38 key.
Click  HERE to learn the parts of a J-38 key.
Generic Signal Corps J-38 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-38 Key  (Lionel Corp.)
Purchased on eBay in April  2009.
The Lionel Corporation (of model train fame) was the only manufacturer that made the base with rounded corners. There are several variations of this key.  This one has an "L" molded into the bottom of the base.  Other versions are either unmarked or have "The Lionel Corporation" engraved at the front of the base (rare).  The bases on almost ALL Lionel keys  have rounded corners. No other manufacturer used bases with rounded corners.
Click  HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-38 key.
Lionel  J-38 Signal Corps key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-38 Key  (Lionel Corp.)
Purchased on eBay in August  2009.
The Lionel Corporation (of model train fame) was the only manufacturer that made the base with rounded corners. There are several variations of this key.  This one has an "L" molded into the bottom of the base.  The bases on almost ALL Lionel keys  have rounded corners. No other manufacturer used bases with rounded corners.
Click  HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-38 key.
Click  HERE to learn the parts of a J-38 key
Lionel J-38 Signal Corps key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-38 Key  (Lionel Corp.)
Purchased on eBay in January 2012.
The Lionel Corporation (of model train fame) was the only manufacturer that made the base with rounded corners. There are several variations of this key.  This one has an "L" molded into the bottom of the base.  As can be barely seen in the photo, this rare one also has "The Lionel Corporation" engraved at the top front of the base just behind the "J-38").
Click  HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-38 key.
Click  HERE to learn the parts of a J-38 key
More Info: http://k6ix.net/J-38/J38Page2.html
Lionel J-38 - Co. name on base
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-38 Key  (Winslow Company)
Purchased on eBay in July  2009.
Very Rare Winslow J-38 NEW, Never Used. Was new in Box, but original packing material was lost. According to the below site, there are only 8 of these keys known in collections worldwide. The lever is stamped  "The Winslow Company" and the Winslow logo is rubber stamped on the base.
Click  HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-38 key.
Click  HERE to learn the parts of a J-38 key

More Info: http://k6ix.net/J-38/J38Page2.html
Winslow J-38 Signal Corps Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-38 Key  (McElroy?)
Purchased on eBay in Aug 2011.

I "assume" this key is made by the McElroy Company. Notice the absence of the "-" between J and 38.  McElroy and Artec are the only two manufacturers known to have labeled  J-38s that way.  Both manufacturers had their name molded into the frame under the left side of the metal strap connecting the botton "anvil" contact and the left terminal screw.  This key, however, does not have either "McElroy" or "Artec" located there. The Artec key, however, used a different shaped metal strap and the circuit closer lever was attached to the right terminal screw.

Click  HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-38 key.
U.S. Army Signal Corps 38  Key (McElroy)
JJ-38 Key, Japanese Clone of the Signal Corps J-38
Purchased on eBay in July  2009.

A common Japanese made "ball bearing key" mounted on a bakelite base with "JJ-38" in place of "J-38" on the front of the base. I have read conflicting accounts of whether these keys may have had some relationship to the Japanese Defense Force after WWII, but I don't believe anyone claims they were made for the US Army Signal Corps. One company that marketed JJ-38's to hams was the Philmore company. JJ-38's are fairly common in the marketplace, but certainly less common than ARH and Lionel type J-38's.

More Info:  http://k6ix.net/J-38/J38Page2.html#NOT
Japanese Clone JJ-38 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-41 Key  (1)
Purchased on eBay in September, 2009.

This is a scarce model since it was used on only one device, the TG-5 (TG-5A) (wired, not wireless) field signal set. It has both open and closed contacts (front and rear) - notice the third binding post near the tension adjustment screw. This one is in new condition but unmarked so I'm not sure if it is a J-41 or a J-41-A.

Click HERE  or HERE or
HERE to learn more about the J-41 and J-41-A
key.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-41 key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-41 Key  (2)
Purchased on eBay in November 2010

This is a scarce model since it was used on only one device, the TG-5 (TG-5A) (wired, not wireless) field signal set. It has both open and closed contacts (front and rear) - notice the third binding post near the tension adjustment screw. This one is in new condition but unmarked so I'm not sure if it is a J-41 or a J-41-A.

Click HERE  or HERE or
HERE to learn more about the J-41 and J-41-A
key.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-41 key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-43 Key
Purchased on eBay in March, 2009.
It is basically a J-37 key mounted on a special base with a toggle switch. There is an extra terminal on the right rear of the base  marked "Relay".  The switch is marked "OPEN" and "CLOSED".  In the closed position,  a circuit from the anvil key contact to the "relay" terminal is made. All metal on this key (except the switch handle) is "black anodized" to aid in camouflage.

Click HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-43 key.

U.S. Signal Corps J-43 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-44 Key
Purchased on eBay in December 2010.
Manufactured by E.F. Johnson Co. (name embossed in base)
The "VOICE" and "TELEG" switch serves the same purpose as the circuit closer (lever) arm on the J-38 keys by shorting the key terminals when in the "VOICE" position. It is basically a J-37 key mounted on a special base with a slide switch..  This one is in excellent  "like new" cxondition.

The model J-43 above is similar except it has a SPST toggle switch mounted on the base in place of the slide switch. 

Click HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-44 key.

US Army Signal Corps J-44 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-44 Key
Purchased on eBay in 2009.
Manufacturer Unknown.
The "VOICE" and "TELEG" switch serves the same purpose as the circuit closer (lever) arm on the J-38 keys by shorting the key terminals when in the "VOICE" position. It is basically a J-37 key mounted on a special base with a slide switch.. The base is embossed "+" and "GND" by the connection thumb screws.

The model J-43 above is similar except it has a SPST toggle switch mounted on the base in place of the slide switch.
 

Click HERE  or HERE to learn more about the J-44 key.

Signal Corps J-44 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-44 Key
Manufactured by the Winslow Co.
Purchased on eBay in July 2011. (eBay photo)
The "VOICE" and "TELEG" switch serves the same purpose as the circuit closer (lever) arm on the J-38 keys by shorting the key terminals when in the "VOICE" position. It is basically a J-37 key mounted on a special base with a slide switch..
This particular key is the only one I've ever seen with a brown bakelite base.   The pivot point of the lever is engraved with "Winslow 101 - FSN-5805-162-8282". The base is embossed "+" and "GND" by the connection thumb screws.This key is in "like new" condition since the dust in this eBay photo was cleaned off.

Click HERE or HERE  to learn more about the J-44 key.

"Winslow" U.S. Army Signal Corps J-44 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-45 Key
Purchased on eBay in June 2010.

This J-45 is unused, like new. This is the well known "leg clamp" key consisting of a J-37 mounted on a metal plate hinged to a spring metal, inverted "U" shaped clamp made to fit snugly around the thigh of a seated user. It is usually found with the cable intact, and makes a great mobile key for ham radio use. Later models were designated as KY-116/U rather than J-45. The metal leg clamp is marked KY-116/U. The original military cable and connector is attached.

Click HERE or HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-45 key and other variations.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-45 key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-47 Key
Also purchased on eBay in 2008.
This is the "plain Jane" version of the J-37 and is no more than a J-37 key mechanism  mounted on a plain bakelite base marked J-47.

This key has since been cleaned and the unreadable red markings and oxidation on the lever have been removed.
 

Click HERE to learn more about the J-47 key.

Signal Corps J-47 Key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-47 Key (2)
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net from W6NSA, June 2009.

This is the same as the above key but is black anodized for camouflage and in excellent condition.

Some versions of the J-47 (primarily those built by the Lionel Corp.) (see below) used a J-38 mechanism rather than a J-37. Other versions had the "J-47" molded into the base rather than engraved. (see key below)
 

Click HERE to learn more about the J-47 key.

US Army Signal Corps J-47 key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-47 Key (3)
Purchased on eBay, October 2012. (eBay photo)

This is the same as the above J-47s but it has the "J-47" molded into the base rather than engraved. (see site below for photos)  The base is also cast hollow. This is the only one with this arrangement I've  seen since I was first licensed in 1961.
 

Click HERE to learn more about the J-47 key.

J-47 (Name molded into base)
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-47 Key  (Lionel Corp.)
Purchased on eBay in August 2009.

Lionel, to my knowledge, was one of the few (if not the only) manufacturer to use a J-38 mechanism on the J-47 base.  This is the "plain Jane" version of the J-47 and is no more than a J-38 key mechanism (with circuit closer)  mounted on a plain bakelite base marked "J-47".  The base, like the vast majority of Lionel "J" keys, has rounded corners.

Click HERE to learn more about the J-47 key.
Click HERE to learn about this Lionel J-47 /(J-38) key

U.S. Army Signal Corp J-47 key - Lionel Corp.
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-48A Key
Purchased on eBay in December 2010.
This key was made for the U.S. Army for use specifically with the Mobile/Portable BC-654 Radio Set (part of SCR-284)..  The key mechanism inside is a standard J-37 with replaceable contacts and "Navy Knob" and a OD green aluminum baseplate and hinged cover.




Click HERE or HERE or HERE to learn more about the J-48A key.

U.S. Army Signal Corps J-48A key
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-5-A Key
Purchased on eBay in March, 2009.
This was the U.S. Army's choice for a "Flameproof" Key.
It's ugly as can be, but has a nice "feel".  The only problem is the gap between the contacts cannot be adjusted close enough. Even with the closest adjustment, the handle moves over a quarter inch when using the key. This one is in excellent condition, mounted on a pristine hardwood base. The round cover is marked "manufactured by the L.S. Brach Company, Newark, N.J."
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
U.S. Army Signal Corps J-5-A  Flameproof Key
Marconi Straight Key Model Z-50
Purchased on eBay, August 2011.

This key is brand new. Manufactured by the Marconi International Marine Company . The back of the key cover is engraved: "Transmitting Key Assembly, Identity:  Z50-1195-01  Serial No.(blank) Made in England,  The M.I.M. Co. LTD. Chelmsford."  The entire unit is mounted on a 1/2 inch thick black bakelite base which is 8" x 3" (200mm x 80mm.).

More Info: http://www.morsemad.com/marconi.htm
Marconi Straight Key Model Z50
ITT Marine Key
Purchased on eBay, July 2012 (eBay Photo)

Designed by the Instutute of Marine Research. (IMR)
Typical marine style key -  long lever, contacts at rear of lever.
The adjustment visible in the top is for contact spacing.  This key is heavy and mounted on a steel plate which extends forward under the knob to eliminate tipping with four rubber feet that keep the key from moving during use.  Similar to the popular "NATO" key.
ITT Marine Key
Merit Training Key, Made in England
This key was purchased on eBay in 2009.
It is very inexpensively made.  The base is hollow plastic or bakelite with the morse code characters molded into it.
The spring is attached at the rear of the lever and is of the expansion type instead of the compression type and is adjusted by restraining the spring under the base.

This key was once part of a 2 key signalling set which included a lamp and buzzer and wire for connection.
English Merit Training Key
Red P.O.S. key (el cheapo)
Purchased on  eBay, June 2010

These keys are very cheaply made in Japan and distributed by many electronic chains in the 1960's.  Many were sold under the "Midland" brand.  I've seen many, many of these, but this is the first one I've seen that was made with red plastic instead of the usual black, so I felt obligated to include it here.
Red "Piece of Shi-" key
British Military Key Model - "W.T. 8 AMP No. 2 Mark III"
Purchased on eBay in August 2009. 
This is the cleanest one of these keys I've seen.  This key,  sometimes called the WT 8-Amp Key, was made in over 100 variations and used widely throughout WW-II.  This one is a small brass and black plastic integrated key with a small doorknob style knob.  The bottom of the key is stamped in white "Made in England".
More info: http://w1tp.com/m9200.htm
British Military key, NModel WT 8 AMP
German Morsetaste K-40 Military Key
Purchased on eBay, August 2011

I know very little about this key but am currently doing research.  It is in excellent, like new condition.  The inside of the cover is marked:
"VEB KFZ-BEDARF - LEIPZIG" among other things.  "Morsetaste" means "morse key" in German. This key looks exactly like the "Morsetaste K-64" key at the link below.

More info: http://w1tp.com/m9600.htm (key number 9542)
German Morsetaste K-40 Key
German Unknown Key (Assumed to be German)
Purchased on eBay, October 2012)

I know very little about this key but am currently doing research.  It appears to be home made.  It is in like new condition, and does not appear to have ever been used.   The base is 1/4" aluminum.  Thje knob and cover is plastic.
German Unknown Key
German Miniature Key (Assumed to be German)
Purchased on eBay, October 2012)
I know very little about this key but am currently doing research.  It is in excellent, like new condition.   The base and cover is hammertone painted sheet metal similar to the key below.  It is complete with cord and 2 pin plug. The key mechanism alone with knob (minus base) is about 3 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. There is a rubber stamping on the bottom of the base which is mostly unreadable, except for "1985-08-14"
German Miniature Key
Hungarian Military Key
Purchased on eBay, November 2010.
Equipped with grey metal dust cover and cord with 2 pin plug. According to W1TP's Telegraph Museum: "For many years various models of telegraph keys such as this one were used by both the East German and the Russian Military Forces."

More info: http://w1tp.com/m9600.htm (key number 9590)
Hungarian Military Key
Soviet Russian Surplus Military Key
Purchased on eBay in September 2009.

This is a new Soviet Military Surplus key without the Filter Unit of the key below.  The key contacts are silver coated. "New Old Stock" (NOS), these keys were manufactured in the former USSR, for the Soviet military up through the 1980s but were never delivered. Designed for heavy duty use, they are very robust but can be adjusted for a very nice feel. Tension, contact spacing, and bearing tension can all be adjusted. The hinged cover is a heavy plastic, as is the knob. (Shipped from the Ukraine)
More Info:  http://w1tp.com/m9750.htm  (key#9710)
Soviet Surplus Military Key
Soviet Russian Model TKF RF & Dustproof Key
Purchased on eBay in September 2009.
This is a new Soviet RF & Dust Proof hand key with the Filter Unit. Type TKF. The key contacts are silver coated. "New Old Stock" (NOS), these keys were manufactured in the former USSR, for the Soviet military up through the 1980s but were never delivered. Designed for heavy duty use, they are very robust but can be adjusted for a very nice feel. Tension, contact spacing, and bearing tension can all be adjusted. The hinged cover and base are a heavy plastic, as is the knob. This model has a filter built into it.  It weighs 15 Oz. and because of the metal plate it can be used flat on a desk or table without tipping. There are four connection terminals on the back of the key-- one is ground, and the others, marked "ABC" in Cyrillic are for through keying and the filter. (Shipped from the Ukraine) More Info:  http://w1tp.com/m9750.htm  (key#9710)
Soviet Model TKF Key
Bulgarian Military Surplus Key MM-3 - circa 1970's
Purchased on eBay in November 2010
Equipped with black plastic dust cover, black metal base and cord with 2 pin plug.   Several versions of this key exist, this one being the latest. Other versions differ mainly in other design of the dust cover and/or finger knob, as well as the cord.  Features adjustable gap and tension, hard plastic dust cover, spherical finger knob.  These keys were the work-horse of radio operators in Bulgarian army, as well as widely used by radio amateurs. They are very strong and reliable, and adjusted to your taste, provide a good and comfortable operation.
Bulgarian Military Key ca. 70's
Bulgarian Military Surplus Key
Purchased on eBay in December 2010
Equipped with black plastic dust cover, black metal base and cord with 2 pin plug.   Several versions of this key exist, this one being the latest. Other versions differ mainly in other design of the dust cover and/or finger knob, as well as the cord.  The inside of this key and the one above are nearly identical.  Features adjustable gap and tension, spherical finger knob.  These keys were the work-horse of radio operators in Bulgarian army, as well as widely used by radio amateurs. They are very strong and reliable, and adjusted to your taste, provide a good and comfortable operation.
Bulgarian Military Key
Czech Army Morse Code Key RM-31
Purchased on eBay in December 2010  (eBay Photo)
Czech army morse key known as the RM-31 Telegraph Key (Telegrafni RM-31 klic in Czech). This key is a part of the old field radioset RM31. The keying arm moves upward into a second position for receiving. There are engraved labels on the front edge of the lever for the up or non-keying position "Prijem" (receive) and the down or keying position "Vysilani" (transmit).  Key is unused, wrapped in wax-paper with original label (in Czech language). (Shipped from Lithuania)
The key measures 150 x 65 x 50 mm (5 1/8 " x 2 1/2" x 2"). Weight is 470g (1.03 lbs).
Czech Army Key - RM-31
German WWII Nazi Baumuster T-1 Morse Code Key
Purchased on eBay in September 2011 (eBay Photo)
This key has been removed from it's original bakelite base and mounted on a wooden base. The dark brown bakelite clamshell cover snaps over entire key. Cover is engraved "Vor dem Offnen Stecker Herausziehen" (Unplug before opening).  Small Nazi Swastika and Eagle emblem is stamped at the front of the key (just behind the 2 screws to the left of the lever). The left pivot screw is missing on this key and a substitute has been used.
More Info: http://w1tp.com/m9600.htm (Key# 9480)
Baumuster T1 Nazi Key
U.S. Navy Key Model CLT26012A
Purchased on eBay in January, 2009.  It was not identified in the ad as being this particular model, but. luckily  I spotted the "GND" stamped in the left trunion bearing which gave it away.  This model is unique in that it has a slot (visible in this photo) for the wedge connector of most bugs of the era to be inserted in the base.  It is widely considered by radio amateurs to be a very smooth key for sending morse code.  These keys were manufactured by a number of suppliers just like the 26003A key above.  This one was made by the Lundquist Tool Company indicated by the "CLT" in the part number. I  have not been able to determine the difference between the 26012A and 26012B models.
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
U.S. Navy CLT-26012A Key
U.S. Navy Key Model CMH26012A
Purchased on eBay, April 2009. (eBay photo before cleaning).  "CMH" keys were manufactured by American Radio Hardware Company. (The lower "anvil" contact is missing on this key).
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info: http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
A complete list of contractor codes is included in Navy publication "SHIPS-242A", reprints available from Robert Downs at :  http://www.wa5cab.com/ 
I have a copy, so email if you need any info.
Navy Model # CMH 26012A
U.S. Navy Key Model CMH26012A
Purchased from W8VVI in  July 2009.

Mounted on nice finished hardwood base.  This key, like the one above was also made by the American Radio Hardware Company, but both contacts are in place on this key.  It's in much better condition than the photo would have you think, with a nice "shine" to the brass.

More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
U. S. Navy CMH-26012A Key
U.S. Navy Key Model CAPH26012B
Purchased on eBay, June 2009. (eBay photo before cleaning). "CAPH" indicates the key was manufactured by the  Telegraph Apparatus Co. (Theodore McElroy's Company in Chicago).  I have several bugs manufactured by that company. You will notice that the 26012 keys all have plastic terminal nuts.  To my knowledge, they were the only straight keys so equipped.  According to the W1TP Telegraph Museum, 26012 keys made by the TAC are "very hard to find" as few were made. (see key # 8705 on the linked page above).
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
U.S. Navy CAPH-26012B Key
U.S. Navy Key Model CJB26012B
Purchased on eBay, August  2009. (eBay photo)
Mounted on  finished hardwood base. "CJB" indicates the key was manufactured by the J. H. Bunnell Company in New York.  I have several keys manufactured by that company. You will notice that the 26012 keys all have plastic terminal nuts.  To my knowledge, they were the only straight keys so equipped. This is the only key I've ever seen with a METAL knob, not plastic or bakelite.  I don't know if it's the original.
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
Navy CJB-26012A Key
U.S. Navy Key Model CJB26012A
Purchased on eBay, August  2011. (eBay photo)
"CJB" indicates the key was manufactured by the J. H. Bunnell Company in New York.  I have several keys manufactured by that company. You will notice that all the 26012 keys have plastic terminal nuts.  To my knowledge, they were the only straight keys so equipped. This key as the one above also has a metal knob so Bunnell must have equipped them that way. This one is in clean, "like new" condition.
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
U.S. Navy CJB-26012A Key
U.S. Navy Key Model CRL 26012
Purchased on eBay, September  2011. (eBay photo)
"CRL" indicates the key was manufactured by the Remler Co. Ltd. You will notice that all the 26012 keys have plastic terminal nuts.  To my knowledge, they were the only straight keys so equipped. This key is mounted on a base with holes marked "On" and "Off" which I think, but I have no proof, was the original configuration, or someone simply used the plate to make a base for the key. Click HERE  to see  the base with the key mounted.
More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
U.S. Navy CRL26012 key
U.S. Navy Key Model CSE 26001

Purchased on eBay, December 2010. (eBay photo)
This was made by the Signal Electric Company indicated by the "CSE" in the part number. All brass construction.This one is equipped with a circuit closer.

More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8298)
US Navy CSE-26001
U.S. Navy Key Model CLT 26001B

Purchased on eBay, August 2009. (eBay photo)
This was made by the Lundquist Tool Company indicated by the "CLT" in the part number. Nickel plated brass. Apparently the circuit closer switch has been removed The threaded hole is below the back of the lever..

More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8298)
U.S. Navy CLT-26001B key
U.S. Navy Key Model CJB 26001A

Purchased on eBay, September 2011. (eBay photo)
This was made by the J.H. Bunnell Company of New York indicated by the "CJB" in the part number.  This key is mounted on a round  "Olive Drab" base that was probably attachable to the operator's leg with a clamp. (see bases on the keys below). "CJB-26001A" in engraved across the pivot point of the lever.

More info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm (key 8298)
U.S. Navy CCJB-26001A key
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model CAQZ-26022
Purchased on eBay, December 2010. (eBay photo)
Manufactured by Brelco, Inc., N.Y.  Serial# 637

This sealed key was made by Brelco, and bears the Navy nomenclature CAQZ-26022 which indicates manufacturer (CAQZ) and key type (26022). It is for a Navy TBX-8 transmitter-receiver. The key can be worn on the operator's leg with a clamp, or removed from the leg clamp and mounted on top of the radio.This one did not come with the leg clamp. It is in excellent condition, with the original cable and PL-55 plug. I do not know the diference between this key and the one below although the model numbers are different.,
More Info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
Navy Flameproof Model # CAQZ-26022
U.S. Navy Flameproof Key Model CAQZ-26026
Purchased on eBay, January 2011. (eBay photo)
Manufactured by Brelco, Inc., N.Y.  Serial# Unknown (not marked)

This sealed key was made by Brelco, and bears the Navy nomenclature CAQZ-26026 which indicates manufacturer (CAQZ) and key type (26026). It is for a Navy TBX-8 transmitter-receiver. The key can be worn on the operator's leg with the clamp, or removed from the leg clamp and mounted on top of the radio. This one came with the scarce leg clamp. It is in excellent condition, with the original cable and PL-55 plug.

More Info: http://artifaxbooks.com/fsusmilkeys.htm
More info:  http://www.w1tp.com/m9000.htm
Navy Flameproof Model # CAQZ-26026
E. F. Johnson Speed-X Key Model 320-001
Purchased on eBay January 2011
Approximate Manufacture: 1950's
Black Crackle Base, Nickle plated hardware. Navy Knob.

E.F. Johnson sold the Speed-X Line to William Nye in 1972.
This model is still available from Nye Viking.

More Info:  http://www.nyeviking.com/productsaccess.htm
E.F. Johnson Speed-X 1950's
Nye Viking Model 310-003 Speed-X Key
Nye Viking makes several versions of the Speed-X key. Model numbers followed by -001 do not have the circuit closing switch, while model numbers followed by -003 have the switch.  The photo is of a 310-001 model without the circuit closer switch..The contacts are gold-plated heavy silver, and the key action is fully adjustable.

These keys are still available from their website: http://www.nyeviking.com/productsaccess.htm
or from Morse Express:
http://www.morsex.com/nye/index.htm

Nye Model 310-001 Key
Nye Viking Master Key (x2) - Model # 330
Purchased on eBay in 2008.
It is unusual in that the lever, instead of directly closing visible contacts, pushes a hard plastic "plunger" down into the base to close the contacts.  It is considered "mushy" by many due to the thin metal bottom plate on which the contacts are mounted which "gives" when used by an operator with a heavy "fist".  Those with a lighter "fist" find it an excellent key as I do.  I have 2 of  these.This Model was just discontinued by Nye (Dec '10/Jan '11):
http://www.nyeviking.com
Nye Master Key Model 330
Bencher Straight Key, Model  # RJ-1 (No SN)
Purchased new from R&L Electronics of Hamilton, OH, in late 2008. Bencher is considered by many to be manufacturers of top quality keys and this key is no exception. With Navy style knob, mounted on a heavy cast black wrinkle finish base, this key is smooth and doesn't move when used.
Click HERE for the Instructions for the RJ series keys..
They also offer a model RJ-2 with a chrome base.
http://www.bencher.com/ham/
http://www.randl.com
Bencher Model RJ-1 Straight Key
Bencher Straight Key, Model  # RJ-2 (No SN)
Purchased on eBay, June  2009.
Same as above with chromed base and mechanism.
Bencher is considered by many to be manufacturers of top quality keys and this key is no exception. With Navy style knob, mounted on a heavy cast chromed  base, this key is smooth and doesn't move when used.
Click HERE for the Instructions for the RJ series keys..
http://www.bencher.com/ham/
http://www.randl.com
Bencher RJ-2 Straight Key
Vibroplex Straight Key SN: 103323, Manufactured 1997
Purchased used from SK estate in May 2010
A heavy solid steel base anchors the straight key to the operating position. The lever arm pivots in the famous chromed mainframe. A stainless steel spring allows complete control of the tension. And, of course, the Straight Key has the famous brass Vibroplex logo plate with a unique serial number pinned to the top of the base with stainless steel pins.   The Straight Key has a unique mechanical action, unlike any straight key that has ever been manufactured! Yet, the smooth action and heavy steel base allow the operator to send perfect code. Weight 3 lbs.
More Info: http://vibroplex.com/straight_key.html
Vibroplex Straight Key
GHD GT-502MIL  SN: GC5138T
Purchased in August 2011 from K1CM
"Possibly the best keys in the world, the GHD keys are as good as it gets."  Weighing a massive 2lbs.13.5 oz model GT502MIL has micrometric contact adjustment, machined ceramic contact insert, aircraft quality bearings, and a massive lever with two tapped holes for the knob, allowing for a half inch difference in lever length. The positive, silky action of this key is almost beyond belief!
Extra home made black knob was included. (Larger picture)
More Info:  http://www.mtechnologies.com/ghd/
GHD Website (mostly in Japanese)
GHD GT-502MiIL
SKCC 2010 Club Key (No SN)
Ordered from Key Concepts, March 2010. Received 04/09/10.
Designed by NT9K and built by Key Concepts Inc.
This key weighs in at about 4 pounds. The weight comes from all the half inch thick brass parts and the half inch thick powder coated steel base. The key base is massive, measuring 8 7/8th by 2 1/2 inches.  The key makes use of ball bearings for a fast and smooth action. Balance and physics of the lever's mass, insures precision feel and tactile response as the large 1/4 inch contacts come to close with just the right amount of flex and bounce.
 View Instructions: Page 1 (284K), Page 2 (351K). Use your BACK button to return here.
More info: LnR Precision, Inc.
SKCC 2010 Club Key
SKCC 2014 Club Key (No SN)
Ordered from Key Concepts, June 2014. Received 06/21/14.
Designed by NT9K and "improved" & built by Key Concepts Inc. (LnR Precision.)
Designed to professional standards for effortless sending.  Featuring a wide base for solid stability under the heaviest brass pounding.  Wide range of tension settings via a coil spring from “feather light” to “pounder’s delight”.  Skirted knob lends itself to American or European sending styles.  Ball Bearings for smooth effortless action of the lever arm.
Anodized base and blocks for protection. Solid feel of a heavy pump key in a smaller lighter desk model. Gap ranges from zero to 1/4″.  Binding post connections for solid electrical continuity.

More Info: LnR Precision, Inc.
SKCC Club Key 2014
New Reproduction of Marconi PS-213S  (SN: 25)
Hand Made by Phil Boyle G0NVT
Purchased on Ebay from Mr Boyle July 2012
This a very large key, The base measuring 7 1/2 inches by 3 inches.  It has rubber feet and does not move when used.  It weighes 1 pound, 12.5 ounces. It has a stereo mini-phone jack in the rear of the base for connection to the transmitter and came with a mini-phone plug to match.
Click HERE for a larger photo.
Reproduction of Marrconi PS-213
Lafayette Code Practice Set # F552
Purchased on eBay, August 2011 (eBay photo)

This set is complete, in excellent condition, and came in the original box.  Sold in the 1950's and 1960's by Lafayette Radio outlets.
Lafayette F552 Code Practice Set
European Spark Key Reproduction by VE3GHN
Purchased on eBay, June 2012  (eBay photo)
A modern reproduction of an early European Spark Key.   Built by VE3GHN.
European Spark Key Reproduction
Abbott Imports "Straight Key" Lighter. (Made in Japan)
Purchased on eBay, August 2009

This is listed last because it isn't really a CW key.  It's a butane cigarette lighter styled like a straight key. The key contacts activate the spark. It requires two "D" cell batteries. I have no idea how rare this might be, but it works and it's in excellent, like new condition.
Abbott Imports butane 'key' lighter
Abbott Imports "Straight Key" Lighter. (Made in Japan)
Purchased on eBay, August 2011

This is just like the one above, but not quite in as good condition.
It's a butane cigarette lighter styled like a straight key. The key contacts activate the spark. It requires two "D" cell batteries.

Abbott Imports Key Lighter

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