Requesting help identifying a Brass Key and Base

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K1FI, Jan 7, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-2
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
  1. K1FI

    K1FI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can anyone please help me identify the brass key and accompanying brass
    base shown in the attached pictures?

    It comes from the estate of one of our SK club members, and we have no idea about its origin or age.

    It looks like it could have been a "special edition" release of some kind,
    based on it's beauty.

    The brass base is beautiful, but difficult to photograph well because it throws of a lot of glare.

    However, there are no labels or brand names or markings on it to
    help determine its origin.

    As you can see by the pictures, I removed the key from the brass base
    in order to get better pictures of what the brass base looks like.

    So, is there anyone out there that recognize the key, base, or both, and
    can help me put a history and price to it?

    Thanks, and 73,
    Terry Martin
    President, Stamford Amateur Radio Association

    Attached Files:

  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think it is a 'special edition". It looks like an ordinary older straight key (Bunnell?) that someone had fitted on a home brew slab of brass.

    Remove the key from the base and look for names or marks on the underside.

    The brass slab is massive, but in truth is really only about $5 worth of brass.
    N8ZL likes this.
  3. K1FI

    K1FI Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, thanks for taking the first wack at it, let's see if there's anyone out there that can provide some more details. The estate also included a pretty Speed-X straight key with a nickel finish on a nice mount, which I will likely keep for myself, while selling this one.

  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm guessing, but the key looks like a landline type, from about the mid-30's or earlier. Very sturdy build.
  5. K1FI

    K1FI Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, I just looked at the underside of the key, and noticed that it had "1852" stamped on it. I did see one key website that mentioned it, and had a picture of it, but did not go into much further detail about it. It listed among a series
    of keys with similar numbers stamped on it that were produced by Brunell way back when. Does that shed light on anything for anybody?
  6. WA3LKN

    WA3LKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    That looks like a generic WW-II era J-30 missing the shorting switch from the photos supplied. If it was mounted on the bakelite base, it would be considered a J-38. J-30's were made by many manufacturers but have no manufacturer ID on them, except for Lionel, which were a different design. The 1852 is the casting designation. 1855 is also a common casting number. No, it's not a pre-civil war era key.

    Nice key to use.

Share This Page