A very interesting and unusual “automatic” telegraph key: you charge it with a side handle and an inside cylinder moved by a clockwork mechanism “dial” the code, automatically sending a preselected (with the side selector) Morse message, choosen between the 6 availables (marked on the upside cover).
The mechanism can be charged properly and so seems in perfect working condition.
On the wooden support there’s also a normal telegraph key.
The maker “Teirich & Leopolder” was in activity in Wien in the second hand of the 1800’s.
At the moment I’ve not been able to find anything similar in any collection, and also one of the most important collector of this kind of devices state: “I have never seen anything like this instrument. I agree it for a pre-recorded message. It MIGHT be a “call box” like would have been used in a business or residence of the wealthy to summons a telegram delivery boy. It might also have been used in fire or police service to send notice to a fire or police stations that they should send help to the location encoded in the instrument.”
Of course makes sense that the automatism allow operator to run away, maybe in emergency conditions …
DIMENTIONS: Wooden frame 13 cm x 20 cm, tall 12.5 cm
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