SEMI - AUTOMATIC TELEGRAPH KEYS ( BUGS )
W1TP TELEGRAPH AND SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUMS: http://w1tp.com

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BUGS (Semi-automatic telegraph keys) - - - - - - - - - (6001 - 8000)

These keys that made dots automatically were first patented in 1892 by Horace Martin to help operators send faster code with less effort.

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

VIBROPLEX KEYS (6001 - 7000), OTHER BUGS (7000 - 8000)

NOTE ON THE DATING OF VIBROPLEX BUGS:
John Elwood, WW7P has been gathering information about Vibroplex keys for many years. He has been able to reconstruct many of the dates of manufacture of the various models of Vibroplex keys which had been lost in the Vibroplex fire. His complete list of dates is published in the Vibroplex Collector's Guide by Tom French W1IMQ which is listed in the bibliography section of this website. You may also find John Elwood's complete list by going to the website of Randy Cole KN6W at: http://www.la.ca.us/frandy/dating.html
The following information briefly summarizes these published findings. To use this summary, first find the serial number on your Vibroplex. It will be stamped into the label on later models and into the damper or other parts on early models. Then use this table to find the approximate date of manufacture:


Serial # Date Serial # Date Serial # Date 001,000 - 1905 150,000 - 1946 040,000 - 1980 (Portland ME) 010,000 - 1911 200,000 - 1957 060,000 - 1988 050,000 - 1914 250,000 - 1967 080,000 - 1995 (Mobile, AL) 100.000 - 1920 300,000 - 1974
6005 ** MARTIN AUTOPLEX: (19KB) This is the first Martin Semi-automatic key. It used a DC voltage to activate the mechanism which made automatic dots. (This key is in the Gil Schlehman - K9WDY collection.)

6007 ** MARTIN AUTOPLEX: (19KB) This is another version of the first Martin Semi-automatic key. It used a DC voltage to activate the mechanism which made automatic dots. (This key is in the Gil Schlehman - K9WDY collection.)

6010 * MARTIN AUTOPLEX: (19KB) This is the second Martin Semi-automatic key. It used a DC voltage to activate the mechanism which made automatic dots. --> WA5Y
6010a A photo of the back of the Autoplex: (17KB)
6010b A Close-up of the lever mechanism: (21KB)
6010c A view of the underside wiring of the Autoplex: (17KB)

6012 ** MARTIN AUTOPLEX: (17KB)
This lovely Martin Autoplex carries serial number 630. The photograph of it is used with the permission of it's owner, Telegraph collector Steve Wilson - K0JW. Email: sdouglasw@aol.com

6020 VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: (26KB) The first model Vibroplex. S/N 483. Labeled: "THE VIBROPLEX, Patented Aug. 9,1904 By Horace G. Martin, NewYork". Circa 1905.

6022 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Serial number 740. Same as 6020.Circa 1905.

6025 * TWO VERY EARLY VIBROPLEX ORIGINALS WITHOUT SERIAL NUMBERS: These two keys appeared at the 2005 Antique Wireless Association conference. They have no serial numbers but the hardware indicates that they are very early models.

6030 DAMAGED VIBROPLEX DOUBLE LEVER MODEL: (28KB) This is a Vibroplex double lever key that has been stripped of many parts to make it into a typical Vibroplex single lever key. The very early nametag simply says: 'THE VIBROPLEX, Manufactured by Horace G. Martin.
6030a Another view of the damaged double lever Vibroplex: (33KB)
6030b Another view of the damaged double lever Vibroplex: (34KB)
6030c Another view of the damaged double lever Vibroplex: (31KB)

6040 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Serial number 1775. Labeled THE VIBROPLEX, HORACE G. MARTIN'S PATENTS NO. 732648, 767303. Others Pending. Circa 1906.
6050 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Serial Number 2697. Like # 6040.

6060 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(31KB) Serial number 2856. Labeled THE VIBROPLEX, HORACE G. MARTIN'S PATENTS NO. 732648, 767303, 842154. Others Pending. Circa 1907. Traded to: ->KB2SWI.

6120 VIBROPLEX "X"-MODEL: (38KB) Serial number 11124. Labeled: "Trade THE VIBROPLEX Mark, Pat June 30.03, Aug.9.04.Jan.22.07 OTHERS PENDING Horace G. Martin, New York,U.S.A. Circa 1912. This model is also called the 'single point key' because it uses a single set of contacts for both dots and dashes.

6123 * VIBROPLEX "X" MODEL:(26KB) Serial Number 12277. Labeled: "Trade THE VIBROPLEX Mark" 84356 Nov 28, 1911, Pat Aug 9, 1904, Jan 22, 1907, Oct 29, 1912 Nov 5, 1912.Others pending. Horace G. Martin,New York,USA. Circa 1912 With connecting wedge contact stamped: J.E.ALBRIGHT, 253 B'way, N.Y.

6140 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(36KB) Serial number 20694. Labeled "Trade THE VIBROPLEX Mark" 84356 Nov 28, 1911, Pat Aug 9, 1904, Jan 22, 1907, Oct 29, 1912 Nov 5, 1912.Others pending. Horace G. Martin,New York,USA. Circa 1913.

6145 * VIBROPLEX "X" MODEL:(20KB) Serial Number 25,258. Labeled: "Trade THE VIBROPLEX Mark" 84356 Nov 28, 1911, Pat Aug 9, 1904, Jan 22, 1907, Oct 29, 1912 Nov 5, 1912.Others pending. Horace G. Martin,New York,USA. Circa 1913.
6145a Another view of the model 'x':(19KB)

6150 * VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 DELUXE:(18KB) (Early "Blue Racer"). Number B-566. Labeled: "Trade THE VIBROPLEX mark" 84356 Nov 28, 1911, Pat Aug 9, 1904, Jan 22,1907, Oct 29, 1912, Nov 5, 1912.Others pending. Horace G. Martin, New York, USA. Unusual All Nickel-plated base. Circa 1914.
6150a Another view of the model 4:(17KB)
6150b Another view of the model 4:(35KB)
6150c Another view of the model 4:(35KB)

6157 VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 (Early "Blue racer"). Number B-933. As above. BLUE Base. Barely Visible Albright decal. Circa 1914.

6160 VIBROPLEX MODEL 4:(15KB) Serial Number B-998. As above. This key also has a decal on the base.
6160a A view of the label on the key:(17KB)
6160b A view of he decal on he base:(11KB)

6178 VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Number 50671. Parts key. No label. As below.1913.

6180 VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(35KB) Serial Number 50686. Label reads: "Trade THE VIBROPLEX mark" 84356 Nov 28, 1911, Pat Aug 9, 1904, Jan 22, 1907, Oct 29, 1912 Nov 5, 1912. Others pending. Horace G. Martin, New York,USA. Circa 1913.
6180a Another view of the Vibroplex Original:(39KB)

6220 * VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 ''BLUE RACER'':(13KB) Serial Number 55088. Labeled: Trade "VIBROPLEX" Mark, No 58702, US PATENTS NO.767,303 NO.812183 NO. 842154 NO.1,042,457 NO.1,043,449 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway,NewYork. Circa 1916.
6220a Another view of the Blue Racer:(16KB)

6230 * VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 "Blue Racer": Number 57218. As above. Typical BLUE Base. Circa 1916. (Traded to W9AC).

6240 * VIBROPLEX "X"-MODEL: (44KB) Labeled: Trade "VIBROPLEX" Mark, No 58702, US PATENTS NO.767,303 NO.812,183 NO. 842154 NO.1,042,457 NO.1,043,449 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway,New York. From the Delaware and Hudson Railroad office in Whitehall,NewYork.Shows wear from heavy use.Circa 1917.

6260 * VIBROPLEX DELUXE DUAL-LEVER MODEL:(17KB) Number 61867. Cloverleaf Frame. Last Patent No 1,178,291 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC 253 Broadway, New York. Circa 1918. (Traded to W9AC).

6265 VIBROPLEX VERTICAL "LINE CHIEF'S KEY:(10KB) Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 63440 U.S.Patents 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,074,831, 1,109,818, 1,110,373, 1,170,796 1,178,291. THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York.Circa 1918.
6265a Another front view of # 6265:(9KB)
6265b A rear view of # 6265:(10KB)

6270 VIBROPLEX DELUXE MODEL 4 'Blue Racer':(36KB) All plated. Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 63,838 U.S.Patents 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. Cloverleaf Frame. Circa 1918.
6270a Another view of the VIBROPLEX DELUXE MODEL 4 'Blue Racer':(36KB)

6320 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(33KB) Labeled: Trade "VIBROPLEX" Mark, No. 64681 U.S.Patents 767,303, 812,183,1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,074,831, 1,109,818, 1,110,373, 1, 170,796, 1,178,291 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC 253 Broadway,NewYork.Circa 1919.

6330 * VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 "Blue Racer": S/N 65,406. Standard. like 6270. Circa 1919.
6331 VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 "Blue Racer":(18KB) S/N 65,845. Standard. like 6270. Circa 1919.
6332 VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 "Blue Racer": S/N 67,099. Standard. Black base. Circa 1919.

6333 VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(19KB) Labeled: Trade "VIBROPLEX" Mark, No. 66985 U.S.Patents 767,303, 812,183,1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,074,831, 1,109,818, 1,110,373, 1, 170,796, 1,178,291 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC 253 Broadway,NewYork.Circa 1919.
6333a Another view of the VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(24KB)

6338 * RARE VIBROPLEX 'MIDGET':(17KB) This key carries serial number 69,685. It is by far the rarest of the Vibroplex models. I was able to buy it at the Dayton hamfest in 1999. It is one of the 6 Midgets known to exist. It is missing the articulated leg. --> Randy Cole, KN6W.
6338a A bottom view of the Midget:(15KB)

6340 * VIBROPLEX "X" MODEL:(32KB) Round shaft. Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 70053 U.S.Patents No 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. Circa 1919.

6345 ** K8DV's RARE VIBROPLEX 'MIDGET':(12KB) This key carries serial number 70,235. It is by far the rarest of the Vibroplex models. David Vest, K8DV has given me permission to include several pictures of his key in my museum. It is one of the 6 Midgets known to exist.
6345a Another view of the Midget:(12KB)
6345b A top view of the Midget:(14KB)
6345c A bottom view of the Midget:(16KB)
6345d A view of the label on the Midget:(12KB)

6349 VIBROPLEX DUAL-LEVER MODEL: Cloverleaf frame. Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 72210 U.S.Patents No 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. Circa 1919.
6349a Another view of the Vibroplex Dual-Lever key:
6349b Another view of the Vibroplex Dual-Lever key:
6349c Another view of the Vibroplex Dual-Lever key:

6350 VIBROPLEX DUAL-LEVER MODEL: Cloverleaf frame. Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 72216 U.S.Patents No 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. Circa 1919.

6370 * VIBROPLEX "X" MODEL-X: Round shaft. No. 72977. Same as 6340. Circa 1920.

6400 * VIBROPLEX "PSEUDO-X" ORIGINAL / MODEL "X" HYBRID: Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 73847 U.S.Patents No 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. Circa 1920. This extremely unusual key has the ORIGINAL style base, upright frame, lever, and dash mechanism but it also has a round-shaft MODEL X style damper, and MODEL X elevated dot spring and high dot contact post.>K5VT.

6401 ** LEFT-HANDED "PSEUDO-X":(16KB)
Similar to 6400 but left-handed. (Owned by collector Ed Biter-NS3E)
6401a LEFT-HANDED "PSEUDO-X" ENLARGED VIEW:(34KB)

6410 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Black Japanned Base. No Label. Circa 1920.

6420 * VIBROPLEX "X" MODEL: Round shaft. Number 74896. Like 6340. Circa 1920.

6430 VIBROPLEX DELUXE ROUND SHAFT MODEL X:(26KB) Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 75839 U.S.Patents No 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. This is the first Nickel-Plated Round Shaft Vibroplex Model X that I have come across. Circa 1920.
6430a A Right-Side view of the VIBROPLEX DELUXE ROUND SHAFT MODEL X:(28KB)

6440 * VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 "Blue Racer" Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 76722 U.S.Patents No 767,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 253 Broadway, New York. Unusual wheel damper. BLACK Japanned base. Cloverleaf frame. Circa 1920.

6450 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Serial Number 78857. Label same as 6440.Circa 1920.

6460 VIBROPLEX "JUNIOR":(35KB) Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 81905 U.S.Patents No 767303, 812183,842154,1042457,1043449,1260008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 825 Broadway,NewYork.Circa 1920.Pencilled"March 15 1927 WATKINS"on bottom.

6480 VIBROPLEX "JUNIOR-MODEL4": Very rare Junior base with model 4 mechanism. Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 82332 U.S.Patents No 767303, 812183, 842154,1042457,1043449,1260008 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 825 Broadway, New York. Cloverleaf Frame. Circa 1921. (Base 6" X 3".) Only 1 other one known to exist.

6505 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Serial Number 84903. Label like #6480. Circa 1922.

6540 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(38KB) Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 86654 U.S.Patents 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 825 Broadway, New York. Circa 1922.

6550 * VIBROPLEX MODEL 4 "Blue Racer": (29KB) Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 87181 U.S.Patents 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, 1,445,226 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 825 Broadway, New York. Cloverleaf Frame. Circa 1922.

6555 * HYBRID VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL / BLUE RACER:(15KB) This unusual key has a blue racer mechanism with cloverleaf frame mounted on a Vibroplex Original base. It is labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 96,337 U.S.Patents 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, 1,445,226 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 796 Fulton St. New York. Cloverleaf Frame. Circa 1926.
6555a Another view of the hybrid key:(12KB)
6555b Another view of the hybrid key:(17KB)
6555c Another view of the hybrid key:(29KB)
6555d Another view of the hybrid key:(31KB)

6558 VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL:(36KB) Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 96,844 U.S.Patents No 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, 1,445,226 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 796 Fulton St. New York. Circa 1926.

6560 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Labeled: Trade VIBROPLEX Mark, No. 96944 U.S.Patents No 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, 1,445,226 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 796 Fulton St. New York. Circa 1926.

6580 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL DELUXE:(29KB) Early all chrome plated. Labeled:Trade VIBROPLEX Mark,No. 98947 U.S.Patents 763,303, 812,183, 842,154, 1,042,457, 1,043,449, 1,260,008, 1,445,226 THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY INC. 796 Fulton St. New York. Circa 1926.

6605 * VIBROPLEX LIGHTNING BUG: Number 103421. Japanned base. Label same as 6580. Circa 1929.>K2PTS.

6607 * VIBROPLEX BLUE RACER:(28KB) Serial Number 107,029 which indicates that it was built in 1933.
6607a * Another view of the BLUE RACER:(30KB)
6607b * Another view of the BLUE RACER:(37KB)
6607c * Another view of the BLUE RACER:(43KB)

6610 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Number 111309. Wrinkle-finish base. label same as 6580. Circa 1938.

6611 * VIBROPLEX ORIGINAL: Serial No. 113803 in Carrying case marked NORTHWEST AIRLINES INC. U.S. Airmail. Circa 1939.>K2PTS.

6621 1943 VIBROPLEX HYBRID BLUE RACER / ORIGINAL:(46KB)Serial Number 125,892 which indicates that it was built in 1943. The Blue Racer Mechanism is mounted on a Black Wrinkle-Finish Original-Size base.
6621a Another view of the 1943 VIBROPLEX HYBRID BLUE RACER /ORIGINAL:(47KB)

6630 * VIBROPLEX BLACK BASED BLUE RACER:(19KB) Serial Number 146,955 which indicates that it was built in 1945 when the Vibroplex company was located at 833 Broadway, New York.

6700 LEFT-HANDED VIBROPLEX BLUE RACER PRESENTATION MODEL:(24KB) Serial Number 188.359. 833 Broadway, New York.
6700h Higher resolution photo of 6700:(52KB)
6700h3 MUCH Higher resolution photo of 6700:(292KB)

6820 * VIBROPLEX BLUE RACER:(22KB) Serial Number 189,322. 833 Broadway, New York.

6827 LEFT HANDED VIBROPLEX PRESENTATION DELUXE ORIGINAL:(22KB) Serial Number 199,400. 833 Broadway, New York. This is a very unusual Left Handed Presentation Model. Vibroplex typically made these keys only on special order and they made very few of them.
6827a Right Side View of the Left Handed Vibroplex Presentation.(35KB)

6830 * VIBROPLEX GREY BASED BLUE RACER:(14KB) Serial Number 200,107 which indicates that it was manufactured in 1957.

6840 * VIBROPLEX BLUE RACER DELUXE:(20KB) Number 208,374.All Chromed.833 Broadway. Circa 1955.
6840a Another view of the 1955 Blue Racer:(20KB)

6860 * VIBROPLEX BLUE RACER:(32KB) Serial Number 222,914. 833 Broadway,New York. Circa 1961.

6900 MARBLE-BASED MODEL "X" BUG:(22KB) This bug has the same design features as the Vibroplex model "X" and is mounted on a white marble base. It may be a copy of a Vibroplex key made by perhaps ATOZ.

6925 * UNUSUAL VIBROPLEX NAMETAG: I had not seen one of these Vibroplex Nametags before someone brought one to my table at the Dayton Hamfest. It is obviously designed to be attached to a Vibroplex carrying case as shown in the photo:

6950 UNUSUAL VIBROPLEX DECAL:(48KB) This decal is obviously designed to be pasted to the inside of a window... perhaps on a car. Other collectors tell me that this decal is fairly common.

6990 MITCH, W4OA, THE OWNER OF THE VIBROPLEX COMPANY AT THE 2000 DAYTON HAMVENTION:(27KB) Mitch was kind enough to take a moment to pose for this picture holding the new Vibroplex paddle / straight key combination at the Vibroplex booth at the Dayton Hamvention. He is at the left in this picture alongside Wayne Smith, K8FF. The Vibroplex exhibit booth was constantly busy and sold a lot of keys and parts. The square weights for the Lightning/Champion bugs were particularly popular.
6990a PEOPLE TRYING OUT THE KEYS AT THE VIBROPLEX BOOTH:(26KB) There were always a lot of eager hands reaching out to try the keys on display at the Vibroplex booth.

7020b HOBART AUTOBUG MINIATURE KEY: This is the only known example of this incredibly small and exceptionally strange bug. It carries the stamped wording: "THE HOBART AUTOBUG. Pat Appld For." So far, I have not been able to locate any information about Hobart or the patent. The threading on the screws does not appear to be American standard so the bug may have been made in Britain or some other country. I would tentatively date the bug in the 1906-1912 time period based on the hardware and appearance of the parts. This is not a one-of-a-kind bug because it carries serial number 7 stamped into the end of the base and its major internal metal parts are internally labeled with Three letter "G"s stamped into the metal. Note that "G" is the 7th letter in the alphabet.

The bug was first received in disassembled condition. Although the main upright that supports the upper pivot of the dot lever is missing it has been possible to reassemble the bug so that its design and operation can be studied. It has a number of design features that have never been seen on any other bug. I will describe them below and clarify them during the disassembly of the bug.

It is a very small key with overall base dimensions of 3-7/16 inches (88mm) long by 1-1/2 inch (38mm). The base is 3/8 inch (10mm) deep but the legs raise the key an additional 1-1/4 inch (28mm) off the table. It is always a source of puzzlement to collectors that a very few key makers have decided to make tiny telegraph keys which, by their extremely small size would have been difficult to hold steady while sending. This key is a dramatic example of a tiny and light-weight key, supported on flimsy legs to keep it high enough off the operating table. The only thing that would make this key useable would be a heavy weight attached under the base. You will notice that there is a strange bracket under the center of the base which may possibly have attached such a weight.

The hollow base is screwed to two metal plates that form the sub-base. The legs and the bracket mentioned before are attached to these two metal plates. The two electrical connections to the key are made to these two metal plates. This eliminates the need for any internal wiring or conductive straps.

Probably the strangest features of this bug are the pair of internal flat springs that lie inside the hollow base and are adjusted by screw heads that protrude through the sides of the base. Each of these two springs is bonded to the dot and dash levers as you will see.

The Right lever is used to make dashes and it's flat spring can be adjusted by the screw heads that protrude through the right side of the base. The far one adjusts spring tension and the near one adjusts knob travel.

The Left lever is used to make dots and it's flat spring can be adjusted by the screw heads that protrude through the left side of the base. This adjustment varies the spring tension. Travel is adjusted by a screw on the upright post that also carries the flat dot contact spring. This dot contact spring makes contact with the vibrating lever to make the dots. The dot contact spring is also protected by a fixed metal rod.

The rate of vibration of the lever and therefore the speed of the dots is adjusted by moving the round weight along the vibrating shaft. The weight is held in place by a locking lever that simply tightens its screw thread against the shaft. There is a conventional adjustable damper to stop the vibration of the lever when it is released.

Here are additional photographs of the Hobart Autobug:
7020d The Hobart Autobug in operating position showing the relative size of the key and the operator's hand:
7020f A right side view of the Hobart Autobug. Remember that the upright that supports the upper pivot of the dot lever on the left is missing:
7020h Another right side view of the Hobart Autobug:
7020i A left side view of the Hobart Autobug. Remember that the upright that supports the upper pivot of the left side dot lever is missing:
7020j An end view of the Hobart Autobug showing the serial number 7 stamped into the end of the black base. Look at the black base directly under the dot lever and you will see the number "7":
7020n The metal base plates of the Hobart Autobug with the legs extended. Note the separation between the two metal plates that provides electrical insulation between them. Also note the strange metal bracket that might have been used to attach a heavy weight:
7020o The metal base plates of the Hobart Autobug with the legs folded. Note the separation between the two metal plates that provides electrical insulation between them. Also note the metal bracket:
DISASSEMBLY:
7020p The smaller of the two metal base plates of the Hobart Autobug has been unscrewed from the hollow black base. Note the metal rod that extends up through the hollow black base. It is the dash contact:
7020q This is a close view of the smaller of the two metal base plates of the Hobart Autobug. It has been unscrewed from the hollow black base and enlarged to reveal the three letter "G"s that have been stamped into the metal plate. Since "G" is the 7th letter in the alphabet, it is thought that these encode the serial number "7" seen stamped into the end of the black base. There are three matching letter "G"s stamped into the larger of the two metal plates right adjacent to these three "G"s. Also note the dash contact sticking up from this plate:
7020r Both of the two metal base plates of the Hobart Autobug have been unscrewed from the hollow black base. This reveals the unusual flat springs attached to the dash and dot levers. The dash lever is in the lower part of the base and the dot lever is in the upper part of the base:
7020u Both of the two metal base plates of the Hobart Autobug have been unscrewed from the hollow black base. The levers have also been removed so that most of the components of the bug can be seen in the foreground of the picture:
7020y This photograph shows the components of the Hobart Autobug and a hand for size comparison. The bug was first received in this condition:

7030 * GIL SCHLEHMAN'S EXCEPTIONALLY RARE CONKLING BUG:(25KB)
This exceptionally rare bug was found in Canada, mounted on a large wooden base along with a number of other early and rare keys.
7030a * Another view of the CONKLING BUG:(24KB)
7030b * Another view of the CONKLING BUG:(26KB)
7030c * A view of the board with all the keys mounted on it:(35KB)

7040 * GIL SCHLEHMAN'S EXCEPTIONALLY UNUSUAL VERTICAL SEMI-AUTOMATIC KEY:(68KB) Very Early nickel-plated mechanism with straight key mounted on a cast iron base and pivoted at the bottom of the vertical mechanism. Automatic dots are made by pressing down on the knob somewhat like a VAILOGRAPH. Shorting switch on the right side. 4''long by 5'' high. (Traded to K9WDY).

7040a Matching dash-making key shown with the above semi-automatic key:(15KB) This picture of the pair shows a very unique and unusual semi-automatic key combination.
7040b This is a second picture of the vertical dot maker and the dash maker: (13KB)

7050 * GIL SCHLEHMAN'S NATIONAL TRANSMITTER COMPANY VERTICAL BUG:(21KB) This is an exceptionally rare National Transmitter Company Vertical Bug. It carries the DUNN Patent date of 4-27-20.
7050a * Another View of Gil Schleman's National Transmitter Co. Bug:(25KB)
7050b * Another View of Gil Schleman's National Transmitter Co. Bug:(24KB)
7050c * Another View of Gil Schleman's National Transmitter Co. Bug:(22KB)
7050d * Another View of Gil Schleman's National Transmitter Co. Bug:(25KB)
7050e * A Close view of the Name and Patent information stamped on the top of Gil Schleman's National Transmitter Co. Bug:(49KB)

7060 * XOGRAPH:(24KB) Mfg in Rolf Brown's basement factory-Toronto. Circa 1920. No label or numbers.
7060a Another view of the XOGRAPH:(12KB)
7060b Another view of the XOGRAPH:(13KB)

7075 DOUBLE-LEVER DUNDUPLEX BUG WITH RARE ORIGINAL METAL CARRYING CASE:(36KB) This is a double lever Dunduplex bug with the rare metal Dunduplex carrying case. The action is quite complex and operates on the 'release of tension on the lever' principle to circumvent the Martin-Vibroplex patent. Pressing the left lever or pushing down on the left top cylinder pulls a diagonal metal rod away from the vibrating lever allowing it to vibrate. Releasing the lever returns the diagnonal rod to its original postion thus damping the ocsillating lever. Pressing the right knob or pushing down on the right top cylinder pushes the dash contact down to make contact. The two cylinders usually have round knobs press-fit into the holes in the top. They are missing in this key. Moving the shorting lever to the left locks the dash contact in the closed position. The key is stamped: THOS. J. DUNN & CO., New York. PAT'D 1909 and it carries serial number: 1062. Since it was common to start numbering keys at 1000, this suggests that it may actually be the 62nd Dunduplex manufactured. You can see some of these details in the following pictures:
7075a Another view of the 2 lever Dunduplex:(46KB)
7075a The original metal carrying case for the Dunduplex:(38KB)
7075c Another view of the 2 lever Dunduplex:(43KB)
7075d Another view of the 2 lever Dunduplex:(25KB)

7080 * RARE SINGLE-LEVER DUNDUPLEX BUG:(23KB) This is a very hard to find version of the Dunduplex bug. It has excellent high speed ''feel''. The small knob on the right may be used as a straight key. This key is owned by Lloyd Price, N2KPC who was kind enough to allow me to photograph it.
7080a Another view of Lloyd Price's DUNDUPLEX:(19KB)

7110 SUB-MINIATURE VERSION OF THE "ULTIMATE" POCKET PORTABLE BUG in it's ORIGINAL WOODEN CARRYING BOX:(59KB) This is an unique sub-miniature version of the "Ultimate" miniature right-angle bug. It came in its own original carrying case that also has the Ultimate label on top. The bug measures only 2.3 inches wide as compared with the 3.5 inches of the classical "Ultimate" bug. It's cover is inscribed: The Ultimate Transmitter Company, Los Angeles, California and there is a star with the number '73' in the middle between the manufacturer's name and the place of manufacture. Trade Mark Registered. Patd 6-23-25.
7110a The inner mechanism of the sub-miniature "Ultimate" pocket bug:(66KB)
7110b A view of the sub-Miniature "Ultimate" pocket bug in its box:(69KB)
7110c A top view of the miniature box for the sub- miniature "Ultimate" pocket bug:(65KB)
7110d The sub-miniature "Ultimate" pocket bug with ruler to show its width:(60KB)
7110e A comparison of the sub-miniature "Ultimate" pocket bug and it's box with a classic "Ultimate" pocket bug:(57KB)

7120 THE "ULTIMATE" POCKET PORTABLE BUG:(70KB) All chromed miniature right-angle bug with cover label inscribed: The Ultimate Transmitter Company, Los Angeles, California and there is a star with the number '73' in the middle between the manufacturer's name and the place of manufacture. Trade Mark Registered. Patd 6-23-25. Number 15943.

7125 DOUBLE-LEVER 'ULTIMATE' POCKET PORTABLE BUG:(10KB) This is an unusual version of the ULTIMATE all-chromed miniature right-angle bug. Its cover label is inscribed: The Ultimate Transmitter Company, Los Angeles, California and there is a star with the number '73' in the middle between the manufacturer's name and the place of manufacture.
Pressing the left lever to the right makes automatic dots. Pressing it to the left makes manual dashes. Pressing the right lever to the left also makes manual dashes and pressing it to the right does nothing. It is unclear why the right lever was designed into this key since it does the same thing as the left lever with respect to dashes.
7125a View of the inside mechanism of the key with the cover opened:(19KB)
7125b View of the patent date: June 23, 1925 and the serial number: 12927:(15KB)

7130 UNUSUAL STRAIGHT 'ULTIMATE' MINIATURE POCKET PORTABLE BUG:(30KB) This is an unusual version of the ULTIMATE all-chromed miniature bug. Most Ultimate bugs are of right-angle design and have a cover. This key is simply a straight-line bug with a few unusual design features. The damper consists of two washers, the lever travel is limited by an unusual vertical shaft with an offset screw holding it up. The bug carries serial number 141 or 144. Slight damage to the plating makes the last digit uncertain. Its label is inscribed: The Ultimate Transmitter Company, Los Angeles, California., and there is a star with the number '73' in the middle between the manufacturer's name and the place of manufacture.
7130a Another view of the unusual straight 'ultimate' miniature pocket portable bug:(30kb)
7130b A view of the label and the serial number on the unusual straight 'ultimate' miniature pocket portable bug:(30kb)

7140 * MECOGRAPH BUG:(19KB) Unusual old, formerly all plated straight action bug with base engraved:The Mecograph Co.Cleveland, O.This key was made in1913 after Vibroplex bought Mecograph so it does not infringe on Martin's patents.>WA5Y.

7141 MECOGRAPH MODEL 3 RIGHT-ANGLE BUG:(22KB) The Mecograph model 3 with the so-called ''tiger striped'' etched patterned base and the "release of tension" action that circumvented Martin's patents.

7141a * MECOGRAPH MODEL 3 RIGHT-ANGLE BUG:(30KB) Similar to 7141 but with plain base.

7142 * MECOGRAPH RIGHT-ANGLE, 1908 BUG: (41KB) Rare right-angle bug with round shaft and square weights. Vibrating pendulum like Vibroplex. Circuit closer marked MECOGRAPH,Cleveland O.With original box, wedge, and hold down clamp screw. (traded).

7143 ORIGINAL MECOGRAPH PADDLE: (11KB)
This is an original Mecograph Paddle. Many of the paddles which are found on Mecographs have been broken off and replaced with paddles from other keys. This is the way the original paddle looks.

7144 * MECOGRAPH RIGHT-ANGLE MODEL 3 BUG:(14KB) This is another version of the Mecograph right-angle bug that circumvented Martin's patents.
7144a Another view of the Mecograph Model 3:(18KB)

7145 * MECOGRAPH RIGHT-ANGLE MODEL 3 BUG: (14KB) This is another version of the Mecograph right-angle bug that circumvented Martin's patents. -> WA5Y.
7145a Back view of the Mecograph Model 3: (16KB)
7145b View of the bottom of the Meocgraph Model 3 showing the large number "3": (20KB)

7146 VERY UNUSUAL MECOGRAPH RIGHT-ANGLE BUG: Rare right-angle Mecograph bug with round shaft and round weights. Vibrating pendulum like Vibroplex. It is similar in general design to the Mecograph 1908 but it has a different frame. This key was probably made at the time that Vibroplex took over Mecograph and may have been an attempt to simplify the Mecograph designs which were developed to circumnavigate the Vibroplex patents. This key works exceptionally well and has a particularly light, crisp, and smooth action.
7146a Another view of the unusual Mecograph:
7146b Another view of the unusual Mecograph:
7146c Another view of the unusual Mecograph:
7146d Another view of the unusual Mecograph:
7146e The underside fo the base of the unusual Mecograph:

7148a VERY EARLY AND UNUSUAL RIGHT-ANGLE BUG PROBABLY MADE BY MECOGRAPH: In this very unusual bug, the dots are made with the left paddle which uses an inverted "L" shaped lever to move the vibrating lever so it can vibrate against the dot contact. The dashes are made by moving the right paddle on it's unque and unusual spring-loaded shaft so that it makes contact with the dash contact. The dash spring tension is adjusted by moving a knurled and slotted knob that tensions an internal coil spring on the spring-loaded shaft. The dash travel is adjusted by moving a metal bar. This is the only bug I have ever seen with this kind of action. It carries the number 580 stamped on it's heavy removable base. The bug has an extremely smooth action due, in part, to the inverted "L" mounting of the dot paddle that makes it move slightly away from the operator as it is pressed. The overall design and action of this bug are somewhat similar to the unusual Mecograph shown above so I am assuming that it is a Mecograph pending a search for the exact patent drawing.
7148b Another front view of the unusual bug:
7148c A rear view of the unusual bug:
7148d Another rear view of the unusual bug:
7148e A view with the inverted base with it's rubber cover removed and inverted so you can see the bottoms of each:
7148f A view of the base with it's rubber cover removed so you can see the inside of each:
7148g A view of the number 580 stamped into the base:
7148h A closer view of the dash mechanism with the dot lever removed to show the large post with the internal dash lever tension adjusting spring and the dash lever travel adjusting bar:
7148i A closer view of the dash post and the notched knurled knob that adjusts the coil spring tension:
7148j A much closer view of the coil spring inside the dash post that tensions the dash lever:
7148k A view of the entire dash lever assembly showing the dash lever with internal coil spring, the slotted knurled tension adjusting knob, and the knurled lock nut:
7148m A view of the main pivot housing for the dot lever showing the dot stop screws and the dot spring adjusting screw with the spring removed for clarity:
7148n A view of the key with the main components disassembled so you can see the inside of the base and the dot and dash making components:
7148o A closer view of key with the main components disassembled:
7148p A view of the bottom of the key and the inside of the base:
7148r Santa Claus inspecting the key before delivering it to me for Christmas, 2007:

7150 PEERLESS BUG:(40KB) This is a particularly hard to find bug made by the Peerless Manufacturing Company in Fordson, Michigan. Some models had a small permanent magnet instead of a damper.
7150a Right side view of the Peerless Bug:(37KB)

7151 PEERLESS BUG:(45KB) This is another Peerless Bug similar to the one described above.
7151a Right side view of the PEERLESS BUG:(53KB)

7160 * BUNNELL-MARTIN FLASH KEY Model 5-46:(18KB) Unusual vertical post pivot design thought by Bill Holly to be the possible precursor to the Rotoplex design. Circa 1940. (Traded to K5VT).

7166 GRAY-BASED BUNNELL FLASH KEY MODEL 5-45:(29KB) In 1939, Bunnell bought the patents for the Bunnell-Martin Flash Keys and apparently dropped the -Martin name from the labels. This is an unusual gray-based model of the Bunnell Flash Key. The label reads: BUNNELL FLASH KEY. TYPE NO. 5-45. Manufactured by J. H. Bunnell & Co., New York. Made in U.S.A. New York.
7166a Another view of the Bunnell Flash Key:(30KB)
7166b A close-up of the label of the Bunnell Flash Key:(20KB)

7170 D & K tDINGER RIGHT-ANGLE BUG:(24KB) This bug has an amazing action designed to circumvent Martin's patent by producing dots through 'releasing' tension on a spring rather than creating it. The release of tension allows the weight to ding back and forth on the spring and string and it makes a contact every time it moves toward the lever. The mechanism and operation of this bug is quite interesting and unique. The shorting lever is stamped: D & K Manufacturing Co. Cleveland, O, and Pat Apr 27, 06. The D & K Company was owned by Paul Dinger and August Krastin which explains the unusual name of this bug. The frame post is stamped pat appl for. It carries serial number 2482 stamped into a metal plate cast into the underside of the base. This bug is quite similar to the Mecograph right-angle bugs also made in Cleveland, Ohio.
7170a Back view of the Dinger Bug:(33KB)
7170b Right side view of the Dinger Bug:(33KB)
7170c View of shorting lever showing the manufacturer's name and patent and the patent applied for stamp on the frame:(23KB)
7170d View of underside of the key showing rust from a damp basement storage area:(48KB)The rusty serial number plate is on the left.

7180 RARE O. E. COTE BUG:(28KB) This is a very hard-to-find bug made by O. E. COTE. The name is stamped into the top of the lever as shown below.
7180a Another view of the COTE bug:(29KB)
7180b A close-up of the name on top of the lever:(64KB)

7181 Another RARE O. E. COTE BUG:(19KB) Similar to above:
7181a A Right Side view of the Cote Bug:(20KB)
7181b A Top view of the Cote Bug:(23KB)
7181c A Bottom view of the Cote Bug:(14KB)
7181d A Closeup view of the name on the Cote Bug:(15KB)

7185 * VERY RARE COPE BUG:(53KB) This is a very unusual bug that most collectors have not even heard about. It is owned by Matt Kurzdorfer who allowed me to display it here.
7185a A Right Side view of the Cope Bug:(58KB)
7185b A Bottom view of the Cope Bug:(67KB)
7185c A close view of the manufacturer's name on the Cope bug:(60KB)

7188a BUNNELL '' ORIGINAL BUG '' number "I": This is the 'father' of the Bunnell Gold Bug and the rarest of the Bunnell Bugs. It carries the number "I" scratched into the bottom of the brass base.
This key was designed to avoid conflict with the Martin patent that covered semi-automatic keys that TENSIONED a main spring to produce a string of dots. Several manufacturers including Mecograph and D & K designed keys that RELEASED tension on a spring to produce a string of dots. This Bunnell bug is very complex. It also RELEASES the tension on its main spring to produce dots. The main spring is held against the damper by a long tension releasing lever that dips down to pass under the dash contact, curls around under the main spring, and ends in a screw pressing on a coil spring. When the knob is pressed to the Right, the tension releasing lever moves to the left and releases the tension in the main spring allowing it to swing to the left and make a string of dots by bouncing against the dot contact on the left.
When the knob is pressed to the Left, the tension releasing lever moves to the right and pushes harder against the main spring, bending it just enough to make contact with the dash contact on the right.
The key has a rather mushy 'feel' due to the 'bending' of the main spring to make dashes and Bunnell may have abandoned this design after making this first key. However, since this key was used on a mine railroad in New Hampshire, at least this one 'Original' model Bunnell key was sold commercially. The base is stamped J. H. Bunnell & Co. New York, USA and ''patent pending''.
Bunnell appears to have used some features of this 'original' bug in his 'Gold Bug'. The 'Gold Bug' also has a mushy 'feel'. It was not very popular. The Bunnell 'Gold Bug' was made after the Martin Patent had expired so it did not need to RELEASE tension on the main spring. Historian John Casale, W2NI, discovered that the original patent for this key was issued to John Gehegan. The patent in the Gil Schlehman, K9WDY Telegraph Patent Collection may be viewed in a link below:
7188blss A top view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug showing the tension releasing lever and other parts.
(The important parts have been labeled to help explain their function):
7188c A Right side view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug showing the tension releasing lever as it passes under the dash contact:
7188d Another Right side view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug:
7188e A close view of the dot contact of the Bunnell 'Original bug:
7188f The mechanism of the Bunnell 'Original' bug has been unscrewed from the heavy cast iron base:
7188g A close view of the base of the Bunnell 'Original' bug showing the number ' I ' scratched into the brass:
7188i A Left side view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug:
7188j A top view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug:
7188k A closer top view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug showing the mechanism:
7188n A Right side view of the Bunnell 'Original' bug:
7188p The original John Gehegan patent drawing for the design of the Bunnell 'Original' bug:

7190 * BUNNELL "GOLD BUG": Like 7200 but earlier straight paddle. S/N 252. (Traded).

7192 BUNNELL '' GOLD BUG '':(20KB) Similar to 7190 with serial number 313. The base is stamped ''patented'' and ''patent pending''.
7192a Another view of the Gold Bug:(19KB)
7192b A close view of the label:(21KB)
7192c A close view of the patent label:(15KB)

7195 * BUNNELL "GOLD BUG": Similar to 7190. S/N 473.(Traded to K5VT).

7196 * BUNNELL "GOLD BUG": Similar to 7190. but with serial number: 619.

7200 BUNNELL "GOLD BUG": (21KB) The famous Jesse Bunnell "Gold Bug" manufactured around 1920. This unusual example has a pivoted paddle which can be swiveled up and down. Its a rare transition model between straight paddle & paddle with thumb knob.#797.

7220 FIRST MODEL ''GO-DEVIL'' BUG:(25KB) The key which was manufactured in the basement of A. H. Emery. Label on cast black wrinkle finished base reads:The Transmitting GO-DEVIL, Pat. applied for. Mfg by A.H.Emery. 263 Mill St. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
7220a Another view of the ''GO-DEVIL'':(18KB)
7220b Another view of the ''GO-DEVIL'':(17KB)

7225 NEW MODEL ''GO-DEVIL'' BUG:(25KB) The key which was manufactured in the basement of A. H. Emery. in Poughkeepsie, New York. The label on the black base reads: GO-DEVIL, Box 1364, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

7240 ELECTRO BUG: (35KB) This unusual key has a large magnetic coil which was powered by electricity from the transmitter keying circuit. Label reads "ELECTRO-BUG. Patents pending. Manufactured by ELECTRO MFG. CO. San Francisco, Calif." Due to the "T" design this key can be turned on its side and used as a straight key.

7244 * ELECTRO BUG-DELUXE MODEL:(19KB) As above. All Nickel plated. Number 10205 under base. > K5VT.

7245 ELECTRO BUG-DELUXE MODEL:(26KB) Nickel plated and very similar to the above but much more heavily used.
7245a Right Side View of the ELECTRO BUG-DELUXE MODEL:(36KB)

7265 ** SEMATIC BUG:(15KB) The Sematic bug could be used as a sideswiper by appropriately setting the dual shorting levers. (This key is in the Pete Malvasi - W2PM collection.

7270 * REL RADIO ELECTRONICS LABORATORIES BUG:(65KB) This is a bug that I have never seen or heard of before. It is a fairly small bug with the base measuring 6 x 3 inches but the multi-tapered paddle adds to the overall length. It has an unusually large and heavy damper wheel and an unusual holdback bar/damper for the dot contact spring. The maker, Radio Electronics Laboratories, was established in Long Island, New York in the 1930s. They made and sold a wide variety of radio transmitting and receiving parts. The company continued well into the 1960s. The bug was probably made in the 1940s. (Traded to K9WDY) Here are some additional photographs of this bug:
7270a A right side view of the REL Bug:(62KB)
7270b A closer view of the label and the mechanism:(97KB)
7270c The underside of the base of the REL Bug:(58KB)

7280 POSTAL TELEGRAPH BUG:(17KB) These heavy-based Postal bugs are very hard to find since most of them were destroyed by the company.
7280a Another view of the POSTAL TELEGRAPH BUG:(17KB)
7280b A view of the very heavy base of the POSTAL TELEGRAPH BUG:(25KB) (to Tony Rogozinski, June 2000)

7310 EARLY SPEED-X:(34KB) This all plated key with nicely cast 2-1/2"wide base is just a bit larger than "Blue Racer". It was early version of the Speed-X bug.

7312 * EARLY SPEED-X: Same as above. (Traded to W9AC).

7314 * EARLY SPEED-X BUG:(18KB) Similar to above but with 3-1/2'' wide base.
7314a Another view of the EARLY SPEED-X:(19KB)

7318 * EARLY SPEED-X WITH UNUSUAL NARROW BLACK BASE:(13KB) This was the precursor of the narrow base Speed-X model 510. These early Speed-X keys did not have any labels.
7318a Another view of the early black Speed-X:(14KB)

7320 * EARLY BROWN SPEED-X BUG: Similar to 7310 but ALL BROWN wrinkle finish. Traded to ->K9WDY.

7325 * SPEED-X MODEL 501 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG: Like 7330 but all chrome plated.

7330 SPEED-X MODEL 500 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG:(40KB) Black wrinkle finished base and frame with chrome plated parts. Labeled "SPEED-X" Model 500. Mfd by Les Logan Co. San Francisco, Calif, USA.

7335 * SPEED-X MODEL 500 BUG:(17KB) Similar to above with chrome-plated "T" and label reads: "SPEED-X" Model 500.Mfd by Les Logan Co.San Francisco,Calif,USA. MODEL 500, SERIAL(Blank).
7335a Another view of the SPEED-X MODEL 500 BUG:(14KB)

7337 * SPEED-X MODEL 501 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG:(35KB) All chrome plated bug similar in design to the model 500.

7340 SPEED-X MODEL 510 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG: (36KB) This unusual very small bug is chrome plated on a black wrinkle finished base and has a label which reads: SPEED-X Model 510, Mfg by Les Logan Co. San Francisco, Calif. U.S.A.

7343 UNUSUAL SPEED-X MODEL 510 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG: This is an unusual early version of the Model 510 pocket-size bug. It carries an ''x'' serial number. The base is gray but the frame is black. Both of these factors suggest that it is an early experimental pre-production model.
7343a Another view of the Model 510:(22KB)
7343b A view of the writing under the base of the model 510 key:(27KB) The call letters scratched into the base of the key identify the stations where it was used in the 1940's.

7350 SPEED-X MODEL 515 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG: This nice bug is chrome plated on a black wrinkle finished base and has a label which reads: SPEED-X Model 515, Mfg by Les Logan Co. San Francisco, Calif. U.S.A.
7350a Another view of the SPEED-X MODEL 515 ''LES LOGAN'' BUG:

7370 * E.F. JOHNSON SPEED-X BUG: This is a Speed-X bug like those shown above but carrying the E.F. Johnson label.
7370a * Another view of the Johnson/Speed-X bug:

7420 * UNKNOWN ALL BRASS BUG. Similar to the Xograph and the Vibroplex Original. This key was used in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Office from 1915-1951. (Traded out)

7440 * ''SPEED BUG'':(15KB) Mfgd by Brooklyn Metal Stamping Corp, Brooklyn, New York. Similar to Vibroplex Original but vertical dot spring & unusual ball damper. ->K5VT.

7460 KENCO BUG:(19KB) This unusual bug was made by the Kenmore Co. of Boston and sold by Radio Shack in the 1930's. It has a nifty split lever mechanism. The lower half of the lever swings to left for dashes while the upper half remains in position. It is mounted in/on an unusual cast base.

7462 * KENCO BUG:(19KB) A collector was kind enough to allow me to photograph this key at the 2000 Dayton hamfest. Unfortunately, in the confusion of the hamfest, I did not make note of the collector's name and hopefully he will remind me so I can credit him as the owner of this key. It is a variation on the number 7460 Kenco bug shown above. Instead of a split-lever, it has two levers.
7462a * another view of the KENCO BUG:(19KB)

7463 KENCO 2-LEVER BUG IN ORIGINAL BOX:(32KB) It is unusual to be able to find one of these relatively rare Kenco bugs in the original box. This is the same model as that shown above.
7463a A Right Side View of the KENCO BUG & Box:(26KB)
7463b A Right Side View of the KENCO BUG in the Box:(28KB)
7463c A Left Side View of the KENCO BUG in the box:(31KB)
7463d A View of the Label on the Kenco Bug Box:(44KB)

7480 ELECTRIC SPECIALTY CO. 'KIT' BUG ('THE CEDAR RAPIDS BUG'):(30KB) This is the only bug which was manufactured in kit form. Its base is stamped on the bottom: Electric Specialty Manufacturing Co. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is sometimes also referred-to as the "Cedar Rapids Bug". The company has been sold several times and still exists in 1998.

7500 RARE "RADIO-AID" BUG: This is an exceptionally rare bug that was found in England in 2007. The label reads: TELEGRAPH KEY / RADIO-AID / PATENTED. The hardware and wiring suggest that it was made somewhere between 1940 and 1960.
7500a Bottom View of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7500b Close view of the label on the RADIO-AID Bug:

7511 RARE "RADIO-AID" BUG: This is another exceptionally rare bug. The original drawing of the bug is shown and it appears to indicate that the bug was made in 1946.
7511b Bottom View of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7511c The original engineering drawing of the Radio Aid Bug:

7600 * RARE McELROY ''JUNIOR'' BUG:(27KB) The '' McElroy Junior '' is a simple key made of stamped metal parts but it is an exceptionally rare key since so few were made. ->Traded.
7600a This is a right-side view:(19KB)

7605 GENERIC McELROY LABEL SUITABLE FOR REPRODUCTION:(41KB)
This label is the one used on the later McElroy bugs. I am providing it in three formats. All are suitable for downloading, printing, and mounting on the bug. Since the labels were originally made by printing in black on an aluminum rectangle, you may want to print them on transparent plastic and then lay that over a piece of aluminum. The exact outside dimensions of the label are: 1-inch high by 1.75-inches wide.
7605.gif This is a 300 dpi .GIF format image:(79KB)
7605.pcx This is a 300 dpi .PCX format image:(194KB)

7610 McELROY MODEL 1936B BUG: This chrome plated key mechanism with black wrinkle-finished cast base was manufactured by Ted McElroy around 1936. Base engraved with usual Worlds' Greatest Telegrapher logo. No label.
7610a Right side view of the McELROY BUG:
7610b The damper mechanism on the McELROY BUG:
7610c The writing on the base of the McELROY BUG:
7610d Another view of the writing on the base of the McELROY BUG:
7610e The McELROY BUG in its origina box:

7620 * McELROY MODEL 1936B BUG:(16KB) This chrome plated key mechanism with black wrinkle-finished cast base was manufactured by Ted McElroy around 1936. Base engraved with usual Worlds' Greatest Telegrapher logo. No label.(Traded).

7624 * McELROY MODEL 1936 BUG: Similar to 7620 but with a
7624 Brass name plate. Number 5931.(26KB)

7625 * McELROY MODEL 1936B BUG: Like 7624. S/N 6534.

7627 * McELROY MODEL 1938 DELUXE MARBELITE FINISH BUG:(23KB) This is the lovely 1938 Deluxe buy manufactured by Ted McElroy. It has the Marbelite finish and is considered to be one of the nicest looking bugs ever made. The serial number is 2124.
7627a Another view of the McElroy 1938 Deluxe Bug:(20KB)

7628 McELROY MODEL 1938 DELUXE MARBELITE FINISH BUG:(29KB) This key is similar to number 7627 but it carries serial number 731.
7628a Another view of the McElroy 1938 Deluxe Bug:(38KB)
7628b Another view of the McElroy 1938 Deluxe Bug:(33KB)
7628c Another view of the McElroy 1938 Deluxe Bug:(41KB)

7629 ** McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1938B:(17KB) Black wrinkle finish base with no writing on bottom. Label reads: Radio Telegraph Transmitting Key (Standard Model Mac Key) Theodore R. McElroy. World's Champion Radio Telegrapher. Boston, Mass, USA. Speed Key. (Photo used with the permission of the owner.)
7629a ** Right Side View of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1938B:(17KB)
7629b ** Top View of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1938B:(17KB)
7629c ** Bottom view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1938B:(17KB)

7630 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1938B:(26KB) Black wrinkle finish base with no writing on bottom. Label reads: Radio Telegraph Transmitting Key (Standard Model Mac Key) Theodore R. McElroy. World's Champion Radio Telegrapher. Boston, Mass, USA. Speed key serial number 6045. (Traded to John Casale - W2NI.)

7631 McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1939:(18KB) Black wrinkle finish base with no writing on bottom. Label reads: Radio Telegraph Transmitting Key (Standard Model Mac Key) Theodore R. McElroy. World's Champion Radio Telegrapher. Boston, Mass, USA. Speed key serial number 6538.
7631a McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1939:(27KB)

7632 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL 1939: As above. Serial number 6618.

7638 * McELROY DELUXE MODEL 1939 BUG: This is the deluxe model with the marbelite painted casting.

7640 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG WITH ORIGINAL BOX:(18KB) This chrome plated key mechanism with black wrinkle finished cast base was manufactured by Ted McElroy around 1940. The key can be turned on its side and used as a straight key.
7640a Another view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG:(17KB)
7640a A view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG in its original box:(18KB)
7640a A view of the label on the end of the Model 500 box:(23KB)

7642 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG:(17KB) Similar to number 7640 above.
7642a Another view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG:(16KB)

7644 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG:(24KB) Similar to number 7640 above.
7644a Another view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL 500 BUG:(23KB)

7650 * McELROY DELUXE MARBELITE FINISH MODEL 600 BUG IN ORIGINAL BOX:(17KB) The Marbelite finish defines this as the Deluxe version of the model 500 bug. It was manufactured in 1940 and has the original box.
7650a Another view of the Deluxe Model 600 in its box:(17KB)

7680 McELROY MODEL S600 SUPER STREAM-SPEED BUG:(18KB) This is the beautiful S600 Super Stream-Speed Bug. It is a completely chrome plated key with the famous tear drop base.
7680a Another view of the Model 600 bug:(19KB)

7681 McELROY MODEL S600 SUPER STREAM-SPEED BUG:(13KB) This is the beautiful S600 Super Stream-Speed Bug. It is a completely chrome plated key with the famous tear drop base. The label on this example shows a lot of wear from too much polishing.
7681a Another view of the Model 600 bug:(14KB)

7682 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL S600 SUPER STREAM SPEED KEY:(18KB) Unusual BLACK WRINKLE FINISH base version. The only one known to exist. (Traded to K5VT).

7683 McELROY MODEL S600 SUPER STREAM-SPEED BUG:(45KB) This is another example of the beautiful S600 Super Stream-Speed Bug. It is a completely chrome plated key with the famous tear drop base.

7720 * McELROY MODEL P-500 BUG:(21KB) Chrome plated key mechanism with an unusual grey wrinkle finished base. Label missing. Circa 1941.

7722 * McELROY STANDARD MODEL P-500 BUG IN ORIGINAL BOX:(19KB) As above with black wrinkle-finished base and original box.
7722a Another view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL P-500 BUG:(19KB)
7722b Another view of the McELROY STANDARD MODEL P-500 BUG in its box:(12KB)

7740 * McELROY MODEL CP-500 BUG:(28KB) Chrome plated key mechanism that is an EXACT copy of Vibroplex original. Frame & damper mechanism & base are all grey wrinkle finish. Bottom of base stamped CP-500. The label reads:Telegraph Apparatus Co. Not Inc. Chicago, Ill. (This was one of Ted McElroy's companies)

7750 * TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. BUG:(27KB) This key was manufactured by one of Ted McElroy's companies. It is a chrome plated key with chrome plated, square cornered rectangular base. There is an unique round hole in frame for the lever. Label reads: TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. NOT INC. CHICAGO,ILL.USA.
7750a CLOSE-UP VIEW OF THE HOLE IN THE FRAME:(22KB)
7751 TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. BUG:(38KB)
7752 * TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. BUG: Same as above.

7754 GRAY BASED TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. BUG:(27KB) This is an unusual variation on the classic McElroy manufactured Telegraph Apparatus Company 'Hole in the wall' Bug. The nickname comes from the round hole in the frame. It is unusual to find this key with a gray base.
7754a Right Side view of the GRAY BASED TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. BUG:(27KB)

7760 * TELEGRAPH APPARATUS CO. BUG:(25KB) Same as above with black wrinkle-finish base.

7795 * HAND-MADE MODEL OF McElroy MODEL 500 KEY:(30KB) All brass hardware on a black base. May have been a prototype for the final design.

7800 EXTREMELY RARE AND UNUSUAL BRITISH RADIO-AID BUG: This is a bug that has never been reported by any collector before I found it with the help of collector Michael Marlow-G3IAF in England in 2007. Although the label reads: RADIO-AID Telegraph Key, Patented, we have not been able to locate the patent or any information about the company. It looks as though it was made sometime between 1940 and 1960. The key was owned and used by John Wadman, G0VZD of Wymondham, Norfolk, England. An original design drawing of the bug was located by collector Joel Kosoff, W3ZT . It is shown below but it does not have high enough resolution to read the date.
It has an exceptionally unusual mechanism for centering and spring-loading the lever as well as an unusual damper unusual contact mountings, and an extremely heavy cast base. I will try to describe it and explain how it works in the following text and photographs:
The key itself is shown in photographs 7800a-7800d and the mechanism is explored in photographs 7800e-7800u.
The most unusual aspect of this bug is the compound dash and dot adjusting screws that internally contain a moving limit mechanism and also have an external lever centering spring. This is perhaps best shown in photo 7800o. This photo shows the compound adjusting screws with their external springs and the metal bumpers that press against each side of the lever. The bumpers are adjusted to just barely touch the lever when it is not activated. The external centering springs are adjusted to provide resistance when the lever is moved. Photographs 7800s, 7800t, and 7800u show the disassembly of these compound adjusting screws and reveal their internal parts:
The limit adjustment is made by screwing the hollow limit adjusting screws in or out until the desired limit is achieved. For the dash position, the appropriate limit is just barely pressing against the damper. For the dot position, the appropriate limit is set to allow the lever spring to provide vibrations of the dot contact.
Adjusting this bug is quite difficult because several of the adjustments are hidden from view. Perhaps it is the difficulty in adjusting the bug and the complex mechanism that prevented the bug from having been made in sufficient quantities for other examples to have shown up.
7800b Left Front view of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800c Right front view of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800d Right Rear front view of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800e The "Patented" Label on the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800f Upper Left Rear view of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800g Top view of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800h The bottom and wiring of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800i Close view of the Dot Contact of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800j Close view of the Dash Contact of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800k Another view of the Dash Contact of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800m Close view of the Damper of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800n The Lever Centering and Spring Mechanism and the Dot Contact of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800o Top view of the Lever Centering and Spring Mechanism and the Dot Contact of the RADIO-AID Bug:
7800p Disassembling the Dash Limit Adjustment and Lever Centering and Spring Mechanism with a tiny screw driver:
7800q The Dash Limit Adjustment after the Centering Spring has been removed to show the Dash Limit Pin:
7800r The Dash Limit Bumper has been unscrewed leaving the Dash Limit Pin:
7800s The Dash Limit Adjustment Screw showing the Centering Spring and Bumper ready for disassembly:
7800t The Centering Spring has been Removed to show the Dash Limit Bumper and Pin:
7800u The Dash Limit Adjustment Mechanism has been Completely Disassembled to show all of the Parts:
7800v This appears to be an original design drawing of the RADIO-AID bug. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make out the date:

7805a EXTREMELY RARE BRIDGEPORT BUG: This is a very nicely made bug that carries the name: BRIDGEPORT BUG stamped on the vibrating lever. The bug is exceptionally heavy, nicely made, and most of the original plating is intact. It shows some similarities to bug 7808 which is known to have come from England. We are looking for more information about this bug.
7805b A Right Side view of the Bridgeport Bug:
7805c Another Left Side view of the Bridgeport Bug:
7805d Another Right Side view of the Bridgeport Bug:
7805e A closer Left Side view of the Bridgeport Bug:
7805f A closer Right Side view of the Bridgeport Bug:
7805g A view of the label on the Bridgeport Bug:
7805h Another view of the label on the Bridgeport Bug:
7805i A view of the bottom of the base of the Bridgeport Bug:
7805j A close view of the feed-through insulation of the Bridgeport Bug:

7808a UNUSUAL BRITISH BUG: Very little is known about this unlabeled bug other that it came from England and it has some similarities to the preceding bug number 7805. Some parts are missing and there is no manufacturer's name or label.
7808b Another view of the British Bug:

7810 ** EXTREMELY RARE BRITISH NORTHAMPTON PLATING COMPANY BUG:(21KB)This is an unusual bug made by the Northampton Plating Company in England. They also made a straight key which was mounted on the same base.
7810a Another view of the Northampton Plating Co. Bug:(25KB)
7810b Another view of the Northampton Plating Co. Bug:(20KB)
7810c Another view of the Northampton Plating Co. Bug:(19KB)
7810d Another view of the Northampton Plating Co. Bug:(19KB)
7810e Another view of the Northampton Plating Co. Bug:(23KB)

7820 BRITISH EDDYSTONE BUG:(50KB) Nice bug enclosed in Beetle or turtle-like rounded cover. Nicely moulded paddle. Less than 500 were reportedly made however, they show up quite frequently. Perhaps it is because their unique shape is attractive and people do not discard them as they do with some of the other bugs.

7821 * BRITISH EDDYSTONE BUG:(15KB) Nice bug enclosed in Beetle or turtle-like rounded cover. Nicely moulded paddle. Less than 500 were reportedly made.
7821a Another view of the BRITISH EDDYSTONE BUG:(11KB)

7830 * AUSTRALIAN SIMPLEX AUTO BUG:(13KB) This is a right-angle bug which is quite hard to find in the United States.
7830a Another view of the Australian Simplex Auto Bug:(17KB)

7831 * AUSTRALIAN BMR "CODEMASTER" BUG Owned by Collector Jan Skoldin, SM5LNE: This is a right-angle bug that is quite similar to the Simplex Auto Bug. The label on top that reads "CODEMASTER" is missing. The label on the bottom reads: BMR Products, 69 Pacific Hwy, Waitara, NSW. It carries serial number 484. Collector Jan Skoldin, SM5LNE has been kind enough to allow me to display his photographs of his key.
7831a A close view of the label on the bottom of the bug:

7833 * AUSTRALIAN AUTOMORSE AUTOMATIC BUG:(33KB) This fascinating and intricate bug has three levers which allow it to be used as a full-automatic, semi-automatic, and sideswiper key. It is exhibited with the permission of its owner, Gil Schlehman, K9WDY.
7833a * Another Right Side View of the Automorse Bug:(44KB)
7833b * A Left Side View of the Australian Automorse Bug:(40KB)
7833c * Another Left Side View of the Australian Automorse Bug:(30KB)

7835 * AUSTRALIAN PENDOGRAPH BUG: This is a very interesting dual-lever upright bug made in Australia. Picture compliments of Dr. Ben Wellings of the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, Australia.

7838 FRENCH VIBRO-MORS BUG: This is the well-known and popular French Vibro-Mors bug.
7838a The other side of the French Vibro Mors Bug:

7840 MINIATURE GERMAN BUG:(10KB) Unusual and tiny 4-1/2" X 2-3/8" based aluminum bug.

7850 * EXTREMELY RARE GERMAN JUNKER BUG:(25KB) This is a very hard to find bug made in Germany by JUNKER. The bug was made in very very limited quantities for use with a special radio transmitter used by the West German police. The few existing bugs were thrown into the trash. Collector Matin Odenbach, DK4XL was kind enough to provide me with this picture and to allow me to use it in my museum.

7860 EXTREMELY RARE GERMAN HANNES BAUER BUG:(15KB) This is a very hard to find bug made in Germany by Hannes Bauer. The construction is very similar to that of the Hannes Bauer paddles and uses stacked brass blocks separated by races of ball-bearings. Take a look at the paddles in the keyers and paddles section of the museum. This rare bug is the property of collector Martin Odenbach, DK4XL who has kindly provided the picture and allowed me to include it in my museum. The bug was originally obtained from a retired police officer who was involved with operating police radio stations in the most northern part of Germany in the 60's and 70's. These bugs were produced only for the german police. That's why the bug has no label or anything which could be helpful to identify it. Only a handful were made, roundabout 15, not more, in the 1950's.
When switching the German police from CW to the modern communications they stored these bugs somewhere. Within a general scrapping period they were found in the year 2001 and, as usual in Germany, they were scrapped without asking a collector ... Only two of these bugs survived this disaster. The one on the picture is in really perfect shape. It is very similar in general design to the Museum number 5920 Hannes Bauer paddle:(20KB)
7860a Another view of the GERMAN HANNES BAUER BUG:(26KB)
7860b Another view of the GERMAN HANNES BAUER BUG:(27KB)

7865 A SECOND MODEL OF THE EXTREMELY RARE GERMAN HANNES BAUER BUG:(25KB) This is a very different key from the one shown above. It is a very hard to find bug made in Bamberg Germany by Hannes Bauer. It was purchased in Germany in 2001.
7865a Another view of the second model of the extremely rare German Hannes Bauer BUG:(24KB)

7867 A THIRD MODEL OF THE EXTREMELY RARE GERMAN HANNES BAUER BUG:(10) This bug has many of the same features as the two bugs shown above and the Hannes Bauer Paddle. These include the heavy cast base and the unique red triangular paddle. Nevertheless, this key is quite different in overall design from the others. It is probably an earlier version of the keys shown above. It was made in Bamberg Germany by Hannes Bauer. It was found in Germany in 2001.
7867a Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(9KB)
7867b Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(9KB)
7867c Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(14KB)
7867d Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(16KB)
7867e Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(16KB)
7867f Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(21KB)
7867g Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(23KB)
7867h Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(18KB)
7867i Another view of third Hannes Bauer Bug:(21KB)

7870 * GERMAN NOVOPLEX BUG:(23KB)This is the more common full size version of this bug. Notice the distinctive finger piece.

7875 * A MINIATURE GERMAN NOVOPLEX BUG:(23KB)This is a miniature model of the German Novoplex Bug. It was located in Germany in 2001.
7875a Another view of the Miniature Novoplex Bug:(26KB)
7875b Another view of the Miniature Novoplex Bug:(26KB)
7875c Another view of the Miniature Novoplex Bug:(23KB)

7878a * EXCEPTIONALLY RARE SWISS BECH BUG Owned by collector Jan Skoldin SM5LNE:(57KB)This is the only known example of the Swiss Bech Bug. Only 10 of these bugs were made during the period 1942-1943 in the workshop in the small Swiss villiage of Schwarzenburg. This bug was purchased by a Swiss Amateur Radio Operator who did his military service on board the ship: "Chasseral". The bug was in his radio room when, on April 22, 1944, the ship was heavily damaged by aircraft. The German Navy saved the people on board and towed the ship into the nearest harbor. The owner took his key with him when he left the ship. Collector Jan Skoldin, SM5LNE was kind enough to allow me to tell the story of this key and show his photos of it.
7878b * Right side view of the Swiss Bech Bug:(49KB)

7887 * TELFUNKEN MODEL 401 BUG:(25KB)This is a German bug that was manufactured by Telfunken. It is their model number 401. It was purchased in Germany in 2001.
7887a Another view of the Telfunken 401 bug:(28KB)
7887b Another view of the Telfunken 401 bug:(27B)
7887c Another view of the Telfunken 401 bug:(25B)
7887d A view of the underside of the base of the Telfunken 401 bug:(20KB)

7890 * CHINESE BUG:

7896 RAGAR LTDA. BUG: This bug is labeled: RARAR LTDA. INDS MECHANO ELECTRICAS. Serie A No. (blank) BOGOTA, DE. Industria Columbiana. It was apparently made in Bogota Columbia.
7896a Another view of the RAGAR Bug:
7896b A Close view of the RAGAR Label:
7896c A well-known collector salivating over the RAGAR Bug:

7900 VIBROPLEX J-36 BUG:(18KB) This is the WWII Military version of the Lightning bug.
7900a Brass Label:(28KB) reads: Signal Corps, U.S.Army. Key Type J-36.Order # 21984-Phila-42. Date 6-27-42. Serial No. 1996. The Vibroplex Co.Inc. 833 Broadway. New York, N.Y.
7906: (Please see number 7930 for an interesting and unusual Lionel-Vibroplex Hybrid J-36 Bug.)

7910 BUNNELL J-36: (20KB) This is the J-36 bug which Bunnell manufactured during WWII. The label reads: Signal Corps, U. S. Army, Key, J-36, Order No 6001, Phila, 43. Date 8-4-42. Serial Number 1657. Made by J. H. Bunnell & Co.

7915 * BUNNELL/BUREAU OF STEAM ENGINEERING NAVY J-36 BUG: (23KB) This bug was made in very limited (<300) quantities during WWII. It looks similar to a Bunnell J-36 but has a Vibroplex-style pendulum damper and 2-56 holes drilled and tapped into the top of the frame and lever to accept screws that connected the lever to both sides of the frame with silver plated copper braid wires. The pendulum is drilled and tapped at the far end to accept an extension arm to slow the speed. Neal McEwen (K5RW) tells me that the key carried a CJBxxxx Navy number.- >TR
7915a The words "PROPERTY OF THE U.S. NAVY" are cast into the bottom of the key: (22KB)

7920 LIONEL CORPORATION J-36 MILITARY BUG:(29KB) This is the Vibroplex ''Lightning Bug'' design but it was manufactured by the Lionel Corp during WWII since Vibroplex was unable to produce enough Lightning Bugs to meet the demands of the war effort. It is Labeled: Signal Corps, U.S.Army, Key type J-36, Order No 7861-Phila-43,1942, Made by The Lionel Corp, NewYork, Serial No. 13424. (NOTE: The black plastic labels tend to curl up in the sun and even warm temperatures and few of these labels have survived. This label shows the typical shrinking and curling which takes place.)
7920a A Right side view of the Lionel J-36 Bug:(29KB)
7920b A Close-up view of the curled up label on the Lionel J-36 Bug:(67KB)

7921 ORIGINAL LIONEL CORPORATION SHIPPING BOX AND LABELS FOR LIONEL J-36 MILITARY BUG:(31KB)This is a hard-to-find original box for the Lionel J-36 military bug. The label reads: SIGNAL CORPS, U.S.ARMY KEY, TYPE J-36. Order Number 7861-PHILA-43. Order Date Aug 19, 1942. Made by THE LIONEL CORPORATION, NEW YORK, N.Y. U.S.A.
7921a A Close-up of the label:(48KB)
The box is stamped: MADE IN U. S. OF AMERICA. R-127.
7921b A Close-up of the box markings:(27KB)

7923 LIONEL CORPORATION J-36 MILITARY BUG:(51KB) Same as above but entire LIONEL label is reproduction.

7926 LIONEL CORPORATION J-36 MILITARY BUG:(26KB) Same as above but entire LIONEL label is reproduction.
7926a Another view of the LIONEL J-36 BUG:(30KB)

7927 Another LIONEL J-36 BUG (As above):(26KB)
7928 Another LIONEL J-36 BUG (As above):(44KB)

7930 UNUSUAL SPECIAL LIONEL - VIBROPLEX HYBRID J-36 BUG:(33KB) This is a very unusual J-36 bug which has a partly Lionel J-36 mechanism and a partly Vibroplex J-36 mechanism mounted on an unlabeled Vibroplex J-36 base. Instead of a Vibroplex label, the Base carries the stamped words: SIGNAL CORPS KEY J-36. The only other unusual markings are the red letters MFP stamped on the end of the key. MFP stands for ''Moisture and Fungus Proofed'' and indicates that the key had received a special coating to reduce corrosion and deterioration. The Lionel J-36 bug was a licensed copy of the Vibroplex Lightning bug which was made during WW-II by Lionel because Vibroplex could not produce them in adequate quantities to fill the needs of the military. This bug was probably one of the very early Lionel J-36 models which was produced before Lionel developed its own Label and some of its own parts. Vibroplex most likely supplied the base without the label and some parts and Lionel added the other parts of the mechanism. This key clearly never had the vibroplex label and one of the two holes designed to mount the label is still filled with the wrinkle-finish paint. At least one other similar Lionel-Vibroplex hybrid J-36 is known to exist.
7930a A view of the Right side of the unusual Lionel-Vibroplex J-36 bug:(38KB)
7930b A close-up view of the markings on the bug and the empty hole for mounting the usual Vibroplex label:(44KB)

GENUINE PADDLES For LIONEL J-36s ARE AVAILABLE from http://Artifaxbooks.com
Please enquire via email.

REPRODUCTION LABELS like this:


...may be made easily by downloading and printing the following files that contain copies of a good clean label.
Once you have one of these files in your computer, you can resize it to exactly 4-1/4 inches long by 5/8-inch high. Then, print it out, seal it in plastic, and attach it to your key...
7935.gif GIF file of Lionel J-36 Label: (42KB)
7935.pcx PCX file of Lionel J-36 Label: (82KB)
mj36lbl.htm - Suggestions for printing/making the label: (4KB)

7937 EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND INTERESTING "JOHN PINELLI ""J-36"" BUG:
This is the only known example of the fascinating John Pinelli Bug. It is owned by his family and shows an exceptional degree of innovation in it's reversed vibrating lever. It was designed as a bug for the military to use in WW-II and was submitted by it's inventor for Signal Corps Approval as a J-36. I am awaiting further information about whether it was accepted or even given a trial by the military and for more information about John Pinelli's life and work as an inventor.
For now, I can only display the key and the original patent drawing as I hope to receive more information.
7937a Another view of the John Pinelli ""J-36"" Bug:
7937b Another view of the John Pinelli ""J-36"" Bug:
7937c Another view of the John Pinelli ""J-36"" Bug:
7937d Another view of the John Pinelli ""J-36"" Bug:
7937e Another view of the John Pinelli ""J-36"" Bug:
7937f The original patent drawing for the John Pinelli ""J-36"" Bug:

7940 RARE MELEHAN VALIANT FULL-AUTOMATIC KEY (ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA MODEL):(20KB)
A very few of these rare keys were made by Mel Hanson from 1939 to 1959. It uses two vibrating levers to allow it to make both dots and dashes automatically. These keys are very hard to find. There is a nice article on the Melehan in the March, 1942 Issue of QST Magazine.
7940a Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7940b Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7940c Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7940d Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7940e Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7940f The Label on the Melehan Valiant:
7940g The bottom of the base of the Melehan Valiant:

7941 ORIGINAL PATENT DRAWING FOR THE MELEHAN VALIANT FULL-AUTOMATIC KEY:(20KB)
A very few of these keys were made by Mel Hanson from 1939 to 1959. This is his original patent drawing.

NOTE: For views of two exceptional homemade sub-miniature 1/2-scale Melehan Valiant bugs, please go to the homemade keys section of this museum and look for number 9841.

7942 RARE MELEHAN VALIANT FULL-AUTOMATIC KEY (HUNTINGTON BEACH CALIFORNIA MODEL):(20KB)
A very few of these rare keys were made by Mel Hanson from 1939 to 1959. It uses two vibrating levers to allow it to make both dots and dashes automatically. These keys are very hard to find. There is a nice article on the Melehan in the March, 1942 Issue of QST Magazine.
7942a Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942b Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942c Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942d Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942e Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942f The Label on the Melehan Valiant:
7942g The bottom of the base of the Melehan Valiant:

7943 SIDE-BY-SIDE VIEWS OF THE TWO MELEHANS DESCRIBED ABOVE:
7943a Another Side-by-side Melehan Photo:
7943b Another Side-by-side Melehan Photo:

7942 ANOTHER RARE MELEHAN VALIANT FULL-AUTOMATIC KEY (HUNTINGTON BEACH CALIFORNIA MODEL):(20KB)
A very few of these rare keys were made by Mel Hanson from 1939 to 1959. It uses two vibrating levers to allow it to make both dots and dashes automatically. These keys are very hard to find. There is a nice article on the Melehan in the March, 1942 Issue of QST Magazine.
7942a Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942b Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942c Another view of the Melehan Valiant:

7944 ANOTHER RARE MELEHAN VALIANT FULL-AUTOMATIC KEY (HUNTINGTON BEACH CALIFORNIA MODEL):(20KB)
A very few of these rare keys were made by Mel Hanson from 1939 to 1959. It uses two vibrating levers to allow it to make both dots and dashes automatically. These keys are very hard to find. There is a nice article on the Melehan in the March, 1942 Issue of QST Magazine.
7944a Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944b Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944c Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944d Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944e Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944f The Label on the Melehan Valiant:
7942d Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942e Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7942f The Label on the Melehan Valiant:

7944 ANOTHER RARE MELEHAN VALIANT FULL-AUTOMATIC KEY (HUNTINGTON BEACH CALIFORNIA MODEL):(20KB)
A very few of these rare keys were made by Mel Hanson from 1939 to 1959. It uses two vibrating levers to allow it to make both dots and dashes automatically. These keys are very hard to find. There is a nice article on the Melehan in the March, 1942 Issue of QST Magazine.
7944a Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944b Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944c Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944d Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944e Another view of the Melehan Valiant:
7944f The Label on the Melehan Valiant:

7947 * W1IMQ's EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BROWN BROTHERS COMBINATION BUG AND STRAIGHT KEY: This is one of the rarest of the relatively modern bugs. It is not known how many were made but they are so rare that most collectors have never seen one.
7947a * Another View of the Brown Brothers bug:

7950 K8DV's CODETROL STANDARD BUG:(12KB)
This very hard to find bug was designed and manufactured by Bearnard H. Breedlove in Atlanta, Georgia. David Vest, K8DV has allowed me to include several photographs of his Codetrol bug in my museum.
7950a K8DV's CODETROL BUG:(13KB)
7950b K8DV's CODETROL BUG:(24KB)
7955 * EXCEPTIONALLY RARE CODETROL DELUXE BUG:(23KB) This is an exceptionally rare deluxe version of the Codetrol bug.
7955a * Another view of the CODETROL DELUXE BUG:(22KB)

7960 DOW KEY ''UNIVERSAL'' MODEL ROTATABLE BUG:(31KB) This Grey wrinkle-finish bug with bright red plastic knob and rotating mechanism can be rotated for right or left handed operation or for use as a straight key. It is called the ''universal model and it was manufactured in Warren, MN. This one carries serial number 1904.
7960a Another view:(32KB)

7961 * EARLY FIRST VERSION OF THE DOW KEY ''UNIVERSAL'' MODEL ROTATABLE BUG: This extremely rare version of the Dow 'Universal' was found by collector Martin Odenbach who kindly allowed me to display it in this museum. This Grey wrinkle-finish bug with bright red plastic knob and rotating mechanism can be rotated for right or left handed operation or for use as a straight key or angled bug. It was manufactured in Winnepeg, Canada. This one carries serial number 2059.
7961a * Another view:

7962 DOW KEY "BENT" BUG:(20KB) This all brass bug has the frame, lever, pendulum, and posts all inclined to the right by about 30 degrees. It was manufactured in Winnipeg, Canada and carries serial number 6022.

7964 * EARLY VERSION OF THE DOW KEY STANDARD BUG:(20KB) This is an early version of the Dow Key straight key. It was found by collector Roger Buttignol at the Rochester, NH hamfest and he was kind enough to allow me to photograph it.
7964a * Another view of the EARLY DOW KEY BUG:(21KB)
7964b * Another view of the EARLY DOW KEY BUG:(21KB)

7965 * DOW KEY STANDARD BUG:(38KB) This Grey wrinkle-finished bug appears to be very similar to a Vibroplex Original. ->K9WDY.

7967a EARLY AND UNUSUAL CANADIAN WILCOX TEARDROP-SHAPED BUG: This is a very beautiful, well made and unusual bug with a very heavy teardrop shaped base and very well machined hardware. It is labeled "WILCOX" on part of the main lever and carries serial number 1223 on both the damper and one of the contact strips below the base. Since very few of these bugs have shown up it is virtually certain that they started their serial numbering at 1200.
7967b Another perspective of the Wilcox Bug:
7967c Another perspective of the Wilcox Bug:
7967d Another perspective of the Wilcox Bug:
7967e Overhead perspective of the Wilcox Bug:
7967f A view of the Wilcox Bug showing the serial number on the damper and the Wilcox name on the lever:
7967g A view of the bottom of the base of the Wilcox Bug showing the serial number on a contact strip:

7968 CANADIAN WILSON REVERSIBLE BUG MADE FOR THE RCAF: This is a very interesting bug made by Wilson in Canada. When thick rubber feet are mounted over the three holes on top of the frame and damper, the key may be turned upside down and used as a left-handed bug. The label indicates that this bug was made for the RCAF and that its RCAF Reference Number is 10/7390.
7968a Another Perspective view of the Wilson Reversible Bug:

7970 * EARLY AND LATE MODEL JAPANESE SKILLMAN BUGS:(20KB) See 7980 for description.
7970a EARLY AND LATE MODEL JAPANESE SKILLMAN BUGS WITH COVER IN PLACE OVER MORE RECENT BUG:(17KB)

7980 * JAPANESE SKILLMAN BUG:(32KB) This bug was marketed widely by Lafayette Radio and Radio Shack in the 1960s. It was manufactured from 1953 to 1968 by Dentsuseiki which then became Hi-Mound. The word ''Japan'' is usually found moulded into the bottom. The clear plastic cover is often missing or broken. It has an excellent ''crisp'' feel when properly adjusted.
7980a Another view in the original box:(32KB)

7985 * COMBINATION JAPANESE SKILLMAN BUG AND AMERICAN NAVY KEY:(20KB) This set consists of a World War Two Navy straight key mounted on the same base with a Japanese Skillman Bug and a small spark suppression resistor/capacitor network. The straight key is the standard Navy key used throughout WW-2 and the Skillman bug was marketed widely by Lafayette Radio and Radio Shack in the 1960s. The word ''Japan'' is usually found moulded into the bottom. The clear plastic cover is often missing or broken. It has an excellent ''crisp'' feel when properly adjusted.

7987 * MODERN AND MAGNIFICENT SCHURR BUG:(18KB) This magnificent bug is made by Schurr in Germany. The first ones were introduced in 2000 and the production run is very limited.
7987a * Special TESTING MACHINE for the Schurr Paddles and Bugs:(24KB) This machine was designed to allow testing of the Schurr bug and paddles. It is an electric motor-driven robot telegraph operator which cycles the key through dots and dashes continually.
7987b * Mr. Schurr at his booth at the huge Friedrichshafen hamfest in June, 2000:(27KB)

7988 * MODERN AND MAGNIFICENT SCHURR BUG:(27KB) This is serial number 18 purchased in 2001 at Friedrichshafen, Germany.
It has an amazingly light touch and the main spring allows it to be adjusted for very low speeds.
7988a * Another view of Schurr Bug number 18:(19KB)
7988b * Another view of Schurr Bug number 18:(25KB)
7988c * A view of Schurr Bug number 18 in its original packing:(34KB)
7988d * Tom Perera buying the Schurr bug directly from its designer/maker, Mr. Schurr at the 2001 Friedrichshafen hamfest in Germany:(42KB)

7989 THE MAGNIFICENT 2005 SCHURR BUG:(27KB) This is a Schurr Bug made in 2005. Like his other bugs, it has an amazingly light touch and the main spring allows it to be adjusted for very low speeds.
7989a Another View of the Left Side of the 2005 Schurr Bug:
7989f Right Side view of the 2005 Schurr Bug:
7989h Closer view of the mechanism of the 2005 Schurr Bug:
7989j The underside of the base of the 2005 Schurr Bug:

7990 * UNKNOWN BUG:(27KB) A simple mechanism mounted on a thin bakelite base.

7991 * UNKNOWN BUG:(36KB) This key looks similar to a chromed Vibroplex Lightning bug. It is quite similar to the earliest unlabeled Speed-X bugs which appear to be patterned after Vibroplex bugs. You may see the similarity of design if you look at this

7992 * VERY UNUSUAL UNKNOWN BUG:(38KB) This extremely unusual bug was found by collector Roger Buttignol who was kind enough to allow me to photograph it. It has a very unusual and large damper mechanism.
7992a * Another view of the UNKNOWN BUG:(36KB)
7992b * Another view of the UNKNOWN BUG:(41KB)
7992c * Another view of the UNKNOWN BUG:(41KB)
7992d * A view of the Base of the UNKNOWN BUG:(22KB)

7993 AUSTRALIAN BUZZA BK-100 BUG REBASED ON WHITE BASE:(27KB) This is the well known Australian Buzza Model BK-100 bug that has been mounted on a marble base.
7993a Another view of the Rebased Buzza bug:(28KB)

7994 UNKNOWN BUG WITH VERY UNUSUAL KNOB:(28KB) This unknown bug looks very much like a Vibroplex Original from the 1920's. The hardware, however, is very different from Vibroplex hardware and, the most unusual aspect of the bug is the round knob which carries a symbol of a clenched fist with lightning radiating from its fingers. The cuff of the fist carries the letters: J. H. I. You can see this symbol in the following pictures:
7994a Right-Side View of the Unknown Bug:(27KB)
7994b A Closeup view of the unusual knob:(34KB)
7994c Another view of the unusual knob:(33KB)

7998 HILLS "VARI-SPEED" SPEED ADJUSTER:(14KB)
These hard to find accessories were manufactured by A. Hills of Dayton, Ohio. They allowed the speed of a Vibroplex to be changed instantly without the need to loosen, move, and re-tighten the weights.

7999 rm_705r1 The Amazing RICHARD MEISS WB9LPU FULLY- AUTOMATIC ROTO-BUG: Richard Meiss is clearly the most innovative telegraph key designer in the world. He started out making extremely unusual and beautifully machined straight keys and paddles. This was not challenging enough for him so he began to design bugs and made an excellent and unique Straight-line fully-automatic bug. Then he decided to take an approach to bug design that has never been tried before and began to design and make his first semi-automatic Roto-Bug. This bug uses the back- and-forth rotation of a weighted wheel to produce automatic dots. He has continued to refine his bugs and, in April of 2007, he sent me photos of his first fully-automatic Roto-Bug. Here is another view of his rm_706r1 Fully-Automatic Roto-Bug:
Here is a dissected view of the internal construction of the Fully-Automatic Roto-Bug:
Please visit the special section of my website that showcases his many projects at: mrm.htm.


NOTE: I AM ALWAYS LOOKING TO BUY OR TRADE TELEGRAPH KEYS !


Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University

Internet On-Line Telegraph & Scientific Instrument Museum:
http://w1tp.com
or:
http://www.chss.montclair.edu/~pererat/telegrap.htm
Internet ENIGMA Museum: http://w1tp.com/enigma