Light Signalling Keys

Light Signalling Keys were used to send messages between ships using a telegraph key and a powerful lamp. The British often referred to these keys as "Masthead Keys". Many of the British Masthead Keys had a rotating lever that allowed the operator to put the key in a constant-transmit mode. Some of the later keys had instructions warning the operator not to leave the key down for more than 2 minutes, as it could burn out the lamp.

(Click the thumbnails below to view a larger picture):


British Masthead Signal Light Key Another View of the Masthead Key Another Masthead Key. Note the Lever for Closing the Key One More British Masthead Key
A Key Operated Light Shutter Used With a Heliograph Solar Telegraph System. K&E Co. NY The Heliograph Uses Mirrors to Reflect Sunlight Over a Distance. The Shutter Was Opened and Closed by the Key to Create a Morse Signal Portable Signal Light Box Close-Up of the Key
British Light Signalling Instructor Set Another View of the Instructor Set US Navy Light Signalling Key in the Shape of a Gun. The Trigger Operates the Light Close-Up of the Model Number on the Navy Light Key
German Key With Large Contacts. I believe This is a Signal Light Key. Note the Rotating Key-Down Lever Another View of the German Signal Light Key Signal Light Key Mounted on Wooden Stand Another Signal Light Key on Wooden Stand
Signal Light Key Made by Oceanic Close-Up of the Key Self-Contained Navy Signal Light and Key by Delta Electric, Marion Indiana Top View of the Signal Light Set Showing the Key
Back View Showing the Maker's Name US Navy Signal Light Key in Waterproof Enclosure Signal Light Key Made by General Electric Signal Light Key in Heavy Enclosure
View of the Key With the Lid Open Another US Navy Light Signalling Key Light Signalling Key With Protective Lid Australian Light Signaling Key, 1942
Instruction Plate on the Australian Light Signaling Key Canadian Signal Light Key by Westclox Close-Up of the Westclox Nameplate Dutch Light Signalling Key (PA3AYD Collection)
Another Dutch Light Signalling Key (PA3EGH Collection) Inside the Light Signalling Key Close-Up of the Key Russian Light Signalling Key
Polish Light Signalling Key Another View of the Polish Signal Light Key German Light Signalling Key Inside the German Light Signalling Key
Japanese Light Signalling Key by Senpaku-Shoji Co. Close-Up of the Senpaku-Shoji Nameplate Another Japanese Light Signalling Key in a Metal Enclosure Close-Up of the Nameplate on the Japanese Light Signalling Key





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