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Grasshopper Send-Receive Morse Key, by Marconi Company, England, c. 1899

Inventory Number: 79280

79280-1t 79280-3t 79280-2t

Date: c. 1899

Maker Details: Made by Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company Limited

Inscription: "69" etched on base, near hand-grip.

Size: 330 x 130 x 220 mm (total height)

Materials: Brass, ebonite, mahogany.

Other Given Number(s): Christie'a 26, Science Museum Loan 1924-505.


'Grasshopper' Send-Receiver Morse Key, with tapered ebonite hand-grip, ebonite back-arm, brass components including four terminals, on mahogany base. Long ebonite arm snapped clean through and separated. Used in 1899, the long ebonite arm fell into place when the key was not used for sending, thus connecting the aerial with the receiver (Denman, No. 12). This Morse key was used for early wireless experiments and on ships and shore stations. The 'Grasshopper' Send-Receiver Morse Key, known as such because of its distinctive shape, was initially developed by Marconi around 1896.

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