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GERMAN MILITARY TELEGRAPH KEYS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (9401-9600)

These keys were used by the German Armed Forces in WW-I and WW-II.


(The instruments are in approximate chronological order: Oldest first.)
* = (Items no longer owned.) ** = (Items in other collections.)

9410 UNUSUAL GERMAN WW-1 LUFTWAFFE AIRCRAFT SPARK KEY:(13KB) This interesting key was used by the German Luftwaffe during WW-1. It is likely that it was used on lighter-than-air craft. Notice the interesting similarity of the lever of this key to the lever of the preceding German Spark Key (Number 9405). The reason for the high wooden knob is not known. They appear on several German keys. One possibility is that the high knob allowed the operator to use the key while wearing the heavy gloves required during high altitude flight in open cockpit aircraft.

9415 EARLY GERMAN LUFTWAFFE WIRELESS KEY: (17KB) This key has a most unusual knob. It is thought that it may have been notched in this way to make it easier for the wireless operator to hold it as the aircraft bounced in turbulence. It is clearly marked on both the top and bottom with the BAL Bau Amt Luftwaffe symbol. It has the spring-mounted lower contacts which are characteristic of most of the German keys. The right side of the key is stamped CHARLOTTENB.MOT.GES.

9415a Another view of the Luftwaffe key: (17KB)

9415b A view showing the BAL marking on the top of the key: (22KB)

9415c A view showing the BAL marking on the bottom of the key: (19KB)

9420 * EARLY GERMAN SPARK or RADIO KEY: (18KB) Early design steel lever key on black wooden base with Make and Break contacts mounted on flat springs (An unique characteristic of German keys). Same design as one recovered by divers from radio room of German battleship sunk in Scapa Flow during WWI. Circa 1915.

9423 EARLY GERMAN SPARK or RADIO KEY:(18KB) Similar to above with cast lever.

9440 GERMAN WIRELESS KEY WITH TWO SPRINGS:(14KB) This is a very unusual German telegraph key which has two tension springs. The spring-mounted lower contacts identify it as being a German key but the two two tension springs are absolutely unique. It is unclear why a key would need a spring in front of the trunnion and a spring in back of the trunnion.

9440a A bottom view of the 2-spring key showing the two spring mounting screws:(19KB)

9440b A close-up view of the two tension springs:(12KB)

9460 GERMAN JUNKER WWII NAVAL KRIEGSMARINE (Navy) KEY: (22KB) Metal key integrated into brown bakelite base and mounted on a grey steel base. Labeled D.R.P. Junker. ENTSTOR. These keys were made by the Junker company of Bonn, Germany. (Not to be confused with the Junkers company which made aircraft.) Their keys have an absolutely wonderful "feel" and impressive micrometer-like adjustments.

9462 GERMAN JUNKER WWII NAVAL KEY:(20KB) This is another Junker key with the D.R.P. (Deutches Reiches Patent) label indicating that it was made prior to the end of WW-2. These early Junker keys have wonderful micrometer-feel adjustments and an exceptionally crisp and light action making them among my all-time favorite operating keys. The postwar Junker keys do not have quite the same 'feel'.

9463 GERMAN JUNKER KEY:(15KB) Similar to number 9460 above.
9464 * GERMAN JUNKER KEY: As above on lighter grey/creme base.

9465 GERMAN JUNKER KEY:(15KB) As above with original heavy cable.

9466 GERMAN JUNKER KEY:(15KB) As above with clamshell cover. Silver Color JUNKER Honnef/Rh Versorg Nr 12-120-5906 on label inside cover. (This is one of the modern versions of the Junker keys which are still being manufactured. They are made in olive-drab and silver colors.)

9466a A view of 9466 with cover open:(18KB)

9467 GERMAN JUNKER KEY:(15KB) As above with silver cover and olive-drab key.

9467a A view with cover open:(18KB)

9467b A closer view of the key:(18KB)

9468 GERMAN JUNKER KEY:(37KB) As above with olive-drab color cover and silver key marked: JUNKER Honnef/Rh Versorg Nr 12-120-5906 on label inside cover. (This is one of the modern versions of the Junker keys which are still being manufactured. They are made in olive-drab and silver colors.)

9468a A view with cover closed:(20KB)

9469 GERMAN FLAMEPROOF KEY:(40KB) Similar to above but entire mechanism is enclosed in a sealed black plastic flameproof cover marked: Spannung an der tastkontackten 200V max.ENTSTORT (Maximum voltage on the key contacts 200V. Spark suppressed). Reported to be an E.German copy of the W.German key.

9470 GERMAN JUNKER CLIP-ON-THE-LEG KEY:(15KB) This key, which was manufacutred by the Junker Company of Bonn, Germany, slides into a clamp that can be clipped to the operator's leg. It was used in many kinds of vehicles AND:
The clip-on feature was COPIED in

THIS version made in America for the U.S. Army which mounted a J-37 key on a J-47 base in a similar manner. (See upper part of this photo):(16KB)

9480 GERMAN T-1 TELEGRAPH KEY: (29KB) All plated key integrated into brown bakelite base with clamshell cover which snaps over entire key. Cover engraved "Vor dem Offnen Stecker Herausziehen" (Unplug before opening). Black steel base stamped:Baumuster: T1. Anf.Z.Ln26902. Nazi Swastika and Eagle emblem are stamped into base. (The Anf.Z.etc. hints at this key being used by the Luftnachrichtentruppen (Ln) (the Airforce Signal Troops.)
9481 GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY: Same as 9480 but without Swastika stamp.

9484 GERMAN LUFTWAFFE T-1 TELEGRAPH KEY: (33KB) Same as above T-1 keys except that the lever carries the ''BAL'' (Bau Amt Luftwaffe)(Amt=Office) stamp of the Luftwaffe.

9484a LUFTWAFFE T-1 TELEGRAPH KEY with cover closed: (30KB)

9490 GERMAN MILITARY T-2 TELEGRAPH KEY:(42KB) Brown key mounted on black metal base. Label reads: Baumuster L. T. 2 Werk No. 8992. Anf. Z. FL.127000. BAI 30 (Anf=Order Number, FL=Flieg; fly)(Any equipment with an FL Anf. Z was used by the Luftwaffe).(Special Note: The L.T. stands for 'LehrTaste' which means 'training key'... so this key was used as a Luftwaffe training key.) )

9491 Another version of the German T-2 key:(16KB) Closing the cover shorts the contacts on the key. The zig-zag red symbol warns of high voltage. The label reads: T2, Lieferer (supplier) Telefunken, Gerat Nr. (Device Number) 124-4D2A-1, Werk Nr. (plant Number) 41398-40, Anforden Z (destination) la 26906, Bauart: (type) Lorenz. In the lower right corner is the Lorenz logo.

9500 IMPORTANT AND RARE GERMAN LUFTWAFFE KEY:(19KB) This key carries the "BAL" (Bau Amt Luftwaffe)(amt=office) stamp of the Luftwaffe. The key is particularly noteworthy because its design is EXACTLY like the US military 26003A keys shown on the left for comparison. It has been suggested that the US military copied this early German design.

9500a A closer view of the BAL key:(18KB)

9520 TINY NAZI CLAMSHELL "TURTLE/MAUS" KEY:(57KB) Measures: 1-1/4 X 3 inches. Snap on bottom.Nazi Swastika & Eagle Emblem & Wa.A770 printed inside cover.1944 & TKP stamped into base. Key knob is cut off so that only the front 2/3 is present.Brown.->W2PM

9522 TINY NAZI CLAMSHELL "TURTLE/MAUS" KEY:(17KB) Same as 9520 but black in color.

9525 TINY NAZI CLAMSHELL "TURTLE/MAUS" KEY:(38KB) Another version of the TURTLE/MAUS key. Same size case as 9520 above but lever extends farther out of clamshell case so that entire round knob is present. "dbf" and "1942 BA 3814" are moulded into plastic cover & base.

9526 TINY NAZI CLAMSHELL "TURTLE/MAUS" KEY:(13KB) Similar to number 9525 above.

9526a Another view of the Turtle/Maus key:(13KB)

9540 * GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY: Model K-34. All plated key integrated into black bakelite base with clamshell cover which snaps over key mechanism.

9542 * GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(32KB) Model K-64. Plastic lever key integrated into black plastic base with clamshell cover which snaps over key mechanism. Label reads: veb fahrzeugelektrik leipzig. 7031 leipzig. morsetaste k 64. mit anschlussschnur. Hergestellt in der ddr. 0.1A bei max. 65V.

9550 * UNUSUAL CAST ALUMINUM LEVER GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(15KB)This is an unusual German key which has a cast aluminum lever and the classic German spring-mounted lower contacts. It was probably used as a wireless/radio key.

9560 * RECENT GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(55KB) Very recent design with flat stamped steel lever mounted on a brown bakelite base with the classical flat-spring mounted make-and-break contacts that are typical of German keys. Contacts are gold plated. White knob. Mounted on an aluminum base & covered with a white plastic cover. Base & cover probably not original.

9560a Another view of the GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(11KB)

9565 * GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(12KB) Recent small rocker-arm key with Make-and-break contacts mounted on a brown bakelite base.. Probably from radio set.

9570 * RECENT "LEYBOLD" GERMAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(21KB) This is an inexpensively manufactured key which carries the 'LEYBOLD' label. It has a stamped brass-annodized (probably) aluminum alloy lever and the classic German spring-mounted lower contacts.

9590 MANY EAST GERMAN/RUSSIAN TELEGRAPH KEYS:(30KB) For many years various models of telegraph keys such as this one were used by both the East German and the Russian Military Forces. Rather than duplicate all of the pictures of all of the models in both the German and Russian telegraph keys sections of this museum, I have put them in the latter part of the Russian telegraph keys section. Please go to that section to view these keys.


Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University

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