German Hand Keys
widmaier
German Morse key from World War II, made by Hans Widmaier in Munich in 1940-patent nr 720 581.
 
The marking inside the lid show Type TZ2 and H.Widmaier. Munchen 9. This key was used by wehrmacht during 1941-45. It is of all Bakelite construction with dimensions of 13cm x 8 cm. This key is the most common version found and was manufactured between 1940 and 1945.
 
The expert mechanic and engineer Hans Widmaier founded a factory for communication devices and precision electro mechanical apparatus circ 1923/24 in Munich. Components were manufactured to 17 national and international patents for telegraphy and telephony, including a Morse writer manufactured from brass which was mainly used on the Turkish railway. In May 1940, Widmaier announced a "Morse taster" to the patent nr 720 581 where the pivot brackets were joined by a bridge to form a common framework with the base plate all made in one piece. The construction prevented the pivot brackets being forced apart when adjustments were being made. Widmaier also introduced two screws underneath the contact springs, which could set the hardness of the contact fence. After the war, Widmaier carried on producing some Morse keys but mainly switches, keyboards and other components mainly for the automotive industry.
 
The secret list of manufacturing companies for weapons, ammunition and equipment of the Supreme command of the army showed the company, Hans Widmaier, precision engineering and apparatus engineering, factory Munich 9, Birch guide 5a. In October 1941 the character "æ" were stamped to label their products, this denoted their manufacturer’s code.

After 1945 the casing changed as can be seen in the above image of another key manufactured after 1945. The date is evident from the markings inside the lid notably D.R.P. 720591. H. Widmaier. Munchen 25. The key lid has more rounded corners and has a H.W. Motif inside the circle on the outside of the lid. Little else appears to have changed and the base still has the lateral guides which allowed it to be pushed into a retaining bracket. 
m99
m99
German Klopfertaste M.99 Knocker Key
 
The Morse Key of the RTV Empire Telegraph Administration and Railroads from 1880 – 1900 manufactured by Hartmann & Brown, Frankfurt aM. It was reproduced by other manufacturers, this one probably made by Telefunken in the 1920's . The new Klopfertaste M.99 became the most common key used during the 1st World War by German troops.
The base is manufactured out of wood with routing for the cabling on the underside. The Key arm/contact and three cable connections were made out of brass and nickle plated.
German L.T. 2 "lehrtaste 2" Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe practise key

This key similar in design to the M.99 has a complete Bakelite base mounted on a 2mm steel base plate. This example S/N 8033 is complete with the original cord but missing its plug. Its nameplate states its model number L.T. 2, serial number 8033, Anf.Z. (Order number) FL. (Fly) 127000 and the BAL 130 (Bau Amt Luftwaffe) acceptance stamp in an octagon. It was standard issue practice key for the Luftwaffe. Circ 1938 – 1945.
German L.T. 2 "lehrtaste 2" Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe practise key minus baseplate.
Baumuster T1
Baumuster T1
Baumuster T1
Baumuster T1
German Telegraph Key “Baumuster T1” circ 1935 – 1945.
                   
"T1 Type" Key "T1" or even "T1" is the most famous Key of the German Wehrmacht. Its  production goes back to 1934/1936 as examples have been found with the date cast  in the lid. It has a black or dark brown plastic socket, a lid with the notice "before opening pull plug out" and above a high-voltage arrow and a circle, as well as a cable outlet on the right side with a bend relief spiral. Normally closed and normally open contacts are resilient.
 
The "Type T1" is mounted on a black metal base with associated rubber shoe to prevent slipping when on a desk, also Anf.Z:Ln 26902,  message relating to the air force. It was produced by different manufacturers; one as the example above carries the logo "k|k" which is the company logo of  Konski & Krüger. The key "Type T1" was used in many applications among others in larger aircraft with the radio FuG10. A stamp, as "BAL 561" in an Octagon, is the acceptance stamp of the services supervision air force OKLM, command air force, Reich Aviation Ministry, from the respective manufacturer. A variant of the key "T1" in the cover instead of the circle has the company Diamond by Telefunken and the name "ST563X". Their black base plate has two side rails for attachment to a wall mounting found on aircraft.
German Hand Key T.a.P. circ 1940.
 
Another variant of the T1 is the "Ta.P" key, which is marked on the cover with this abbreviation in a circle. The Key "Paula", as it was fondly known among soldiers was popular; there was also a version with two springs, to allow a very soft setting. The above key is in good condition and complete with cord but missing its plug.
German Hand ‘Lorenz’ T2 key made by Telefunken.
s/n 140129 circ 1940.
 
This key is the "Lorenz key," or German T2. It can be seen in Morsum Magnificat Number 46, page 44, on the very left. It has a hinged lid and a metal base mounting plate which comes out under the knob instead of extending out as a rectangle. Like the ‘Siemens’ T1 key, it has a nonslip rubber pad on the bottom, but with a crosshatch pattern. The plastic block on the left with the red "lightning" arrow on it appears to be a door interlock switch, to prevent the key from functioning unless the cover is engaged down. These smaller and lighter T2 keys used in German aircraft during WW2 were called Lorenz Keys after the company that initially developed them although later were made by several factories.
German Hand Key: The famous "mouse" key TKP.
Used in mobile radio sets and tanks of the Wehrmacht - Circ 1944
 
 
This key is the famous "mouse" key of World War II, one of the workhorse keys used by the German military. This particular key has the half button and is dated 1944. Like most mouse keys, it has a flip up cover. It is a small key, only three inches by one and a half inches. The knob is slightly concave which is also typical of German keys in general. The plastic parts are a marbled brown colour, like what radio collectors call a "Catalin.

German Hand Key. The famous ‘mouse’ Key TKP:
 
 The Airforce exercise version with round button dated 1941. It is mounted on a flat piece of sturdy metal like many other German keys from WWII.
 
 
German Telegraph Key Junker M.T. Honnef/Rh  D.B.G.M.
 
In 1926 engineer and marine captain Joseph Junker founded a factory in Berlin in which he made radio equipment as well as equipment for submarines. One of his earliest products was the Junker telegraph key.  At the end of World War II, Junker moved the factory to Honnef  just before Joseph died in 1946. The company bearing his name, however, still produces fine morse keys to the present time. The later model above says "Honnef/Rh" on the base and is called the "M. Early versions have a gap adjustment screw with micrometer sprung ball indented adjustment with a numbered top face This model has no numbered face but still with ball indented adjustment modern versions have just a nitrile 'O' ring giving friction to the screw thread.
German (G.D.R.) MT50
 
Produced by VEB Funkwerk Koepenick GMBH – Berlin-Koepenick-RFT-Ostd, Wendenschlos Strasse 154, the MT 50 was East Germany's answer to the well-known and widespread used Junker Telegraph key.  The MT 50, cloned the main mechanism, except for the click stop adjustment. Even the spark-proof circuit used the same components, except for the impedance. The MT 50 used the honeycomb technique used by Junker in the first 30 years of production (DRP), replaced later by the same component but wrapped like a doughnut used in production from the 40th year in order to reduce production costs.
This key had the classical lines of the Junker and even mirrored details like the steel base with non-slip pads which was identical in size. The spring adjustment is based on the principle of the lever and is virtually identical.  On the MT 50 the spring stands on a steel ball, which in turn is supported at the bottom of the lever, the most practical solution, rather than by the full brass cylinder of Junker almost sealed like a piston.  Closed key contacts are tested for a voltage of 200 V max.  Its production started in 1955 and continued until 1990.
The key was made for a variety of uses and the lid that protects the mechanics and is almost air tight and moisture proof. Also part of the lever is protected by a hood made of a clear LaTeX elastic band held in place by a double circular metal support (one internal and one external) fastened with three screws. It was equipped with a connection cable length 140 cm and a 6 pin connector mod. EBD TGL 24685. The MT 50 between 1955 and 1975 was used in most public administrations of EAST Germany then also called DDR and it was the key to excellence for all coastal stations and standard key to postal administration for the NVA (Nationale Volks Army) for the Navy and merchant shipping.
German Key Type ZTK 129 s/n 359631  Manufactured by Telefunken circ 1933 early version.
German Spark Hand Key circ 1925.
 
This German hand key has replaceable large spark contacts and Navy style knob. It is nicely manufactured from steel with Bakelite knob on a pertinax (hard paper) base complete with original cord. Measures 14 cm long and weighing 320g. Obtained from Bohemia, Czech Republic in 2013. No manufacturer marks so any clues welcome.
German Hand Key manufactured by Allei 1938.
 
Allei - were manufacturers in the 1930s and 1940s and had registered workshops for precision engineering run by Alfred Lindner in the (Leipzig district), supplier of radio parts and accessories). The annually published price lists included every componant that was needed for the self construction of radios for commercial equipment with more than 130 subgroups. In addition, Allei issued ten craft books for the price of 25 Pfennig plus 5 Pfennig for Postage. These superbly crafted booklets provided skills and knowledge of the circuits required for the construction of selective Superheterodyne receivers. Issue 3, which appeared in the first edition in 1934, introduced people to the area of shortwave and contained a Morse Key at the end. A tube oscillator (RE084), as well as neon lamps and a tone buzzer which was described as a training device.
 
Part No. 76 in the catalogue of 1938 was a "Allei key for the amateur", available with concave or convex control knob and if necessary with isolated lever, cord and plug and white Frost-painted dust protection Cap.  In the catalogue of 1939 under no. 76E Allei offered an iron base plate for the Allei keys described as to prevent slipping during rapid operation, the keys no. 76 and 76 S can be fitted with a 1/4-pound iron base plate. This iron plate has a rubber brushed on existing footprint and can be subsequently attached by means of four fixing screws on each Allei-keys. In this way, the keys gets absolutely secured. Price of iron base plate complete with four mounting screws RM 2-.
 
This Key apears to be identical to the Allei design and may have been a variation of their Amateur Key but no official manufacturer markings are present.
 
Purchased in Germany 2013.
German Hand Key manufactured by E.Leybold Nachfolger A.G. Köln Bayental circ. 1910/20
 
 Information aquired from the wonderful key collection shown on the website of Peter DK7JC.
 
German training key manufactured by Bing Brothers of Nuremburg 1920.
Near mint condition in original box.
 
The famous firm of Bing Brothers (Gebrüder Bing) was established in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1866, as a small distribution company for kitchenware and later toys by the brothers, Ignaz and Adolf Bing. Iganz had worked as a traveller in tinware and was aware of the marketing potential for this product. Business flourished and in 1869 the brothers decided to establish their own factory firm at Karolinenstrasse, employing 100 factory workers with more working at home. At the Bavarian State Commercial and Industrial Exposition of 1882 the firm exhibited the largest variety of goods with six thousand items listed in their catalogue including tin plate and sheet metal toys and household utensils.
 
 
Bing items can be identified and dated by its trademark. Items bearing the letters "GBN" (for "Gebrüder Bing Nürnberg" — "Brothers Bing Nuremberg") in a diamond date before 1923, while items bearing a sideways "B" next to a "W" (for "Bing Works") date from 1924 to 1932.
 
Charlottenburger Mororen und Geratebau... CMG. Trademark 1322554
 
This key has also been seen with a label on the top face of the cover indicating it was manufactured by SAIT Electronics noted as 'Transmitting Key Type 7B9' It is thought though that SAIT relabled these keys and sold them under their own name. Below is an email received from Tom Perera - W1TP. dated 31 Dec 2012.
 
The design clearly dates back to the infamous Baumuster key so widely used in WW2.
Greg Ulsamer has written the definitive book on German keys and... AHA !!
He shows this key with no top label in his second edition ...that he calls the suppliment on page 91.
The company is Charlottenburger Mororen und Geratebau... CMG. Trademark 1322554
Here is his description :
Diese taste soll von CMG hergestellt worden sein. Belege hierfur sind mir nicht brekannt.
Translated: This item? should have been produced by CMG. Evidence for this is not known to me.
I guess this means that even he is not certain... ;-((. Since SAIT sold marine electronics, they could well have bought these from CMG and put their own label on top...
German Hand Key by Leybold. Hürth/Köln.
 
This hand key measuring 5 ½” x 2 ¼” manufactured by Leybold in Hürth and Köln Nr.504 52 in their catalogue were made in large quantities being also used in Laboratories and schools. These keys are still being manufactured today but to a modified design described as ‘Morse Key’ For making and breaking of circuits for short intervals, for extra-low voltage below 24 V, adjustable contacts.  The example above dates from 1950 – 1960.
German Postal / Landline Key by Siemens and Halske circ 1925

This key is a classic Siemens and Halske design of the 1870’s and typical of European Postal and Landline keys of its time in that contact sets are provided at both the front and the rear so that the circuit could be closed for receiving when not actually sending.  The connections are made by way of the three large slotted-head screws shown on the left side of the key.  The hardware is nickel plated brass, and the base is varnished hardwood, possibly maple. This example had solid contacts rather than silent contacts commonly seen on German keys. The rear adjustment screw has its head missing but when adjusted and locked is a good solid and positive key to use.
German Postal / Landline Key by Siemens and Halske 1900 - 1920

This Siemens and Halske Postal / Landline key differs slightly from the one above and is of the more traditional design seen by this manufacturer. The spring tension is not adjusted by a threaded knurled nut but is purely locked off by a side clamping screw. It has the standard slotted terminal screws and silent contacts, a lovely well balanced key with good weight through the base.
German Hand Key – Manufacturer Unknown. 1950-60

This well manufactured German hand key is in as new, unused condition. There are no manufacturer’s marks or stamps anywhere so if anyone can supply information on the probable manufacturer or any further information it would be greatly received. It is of lacquered brass construction on a hardwood base with silent contacts and straight knurled terminal screws. It is similar to German Post Office Keys and most similar in basic design to keys made by C. F. Lewert of Berlin in the 1880’s but this is a later key, probably made for the amateur market during the 1950’s or 60’s.