Prof. Thomas Perera - W1TP - Telegraph Historian / Collector

For more information about TELEGRAPH KEYS, Please Visit my TELEGRAPH MUSEUM at

A 1950's photograph of famous newscaster Walter Winchell and his telegraph keys appears on the LEFT
...and a 1998 photograph of Tom Perera with the duplicate telegraph keys appears on the RIGHT.

(RIGHT): I have carefully duplicated the unique TELEGRAPH KEY setup used by Walter Winchell in his evening broadcasts. The setup will be used in a Hollywood movie.
Walter Winchell used these keys to generate fast morse code which he sent as 900Hz tones as he started his broadcasts with:

"Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea....." "LETS GO TO PRESS"!

If you would like to actually HEAR Walter Winchell's sign-on (as well as sounds from many other popular early radio programs:
CLICK HERE to go to an internet audio site.

The telegraph Key in the foreground is a VIBROPLEX "LIGHTNING DELUXE".
The key in the background is a VIBROPLEX "ORIGINAL".
These keys were originally acquired by collector Steve Wilson.

Click here for another view of keys:

Click here for a third view of keys:

Click here for a different picture of Walter Winchell:

Click here for a view of Tom Perera posing as Walter Winchell without the vintage RCA microphone:

These keys were designed to increase the speed at which telegraph operators could send dots in the Morse code...
Pressing the lever to the right activates a vibrating mechanism which produces a long string of dots.
Moving the lever to the left allows the operator to produce dashes manually.

Click here for a look at actor Stanley Tucci as Walter Winchell.
This is the photograph used to advertise the HBO special movie on Walter Winchell to be aired on November 21, 1998. The very top of the two bugs can be seen sticking up in front of Winchell's right arm. A full length wide screen movie is also being made about Winchell's life. Presumably, the same two bugs will be used.

For more information about TELEGRAPH KEYS, Please Visit my TELEGRAPH MUSEUM at

Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University

Internet On-Line Telegraph & Scientific Instrument Museum:
Internet ENIGMA Museum: