Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wm. M. Nye #310-001 Speed-X oval base telegraph key

Going back through some of my older picture files I came across this image of my Nye Speed-X telegraph key described recently in my QSL Card post.  I picked up this key at my first Hamfest in 2008.  The hardware is handsomely nickel plated and under the black crinkle finish is a zinc alloy casting produced from the same molds dating back to the 1930's.
The Speed-X brand has changed hands a few times in the past 80 years.  Speed-X was started in 1934 in San Francisco by Stewart Johnson.  The brand was then sold to Les Logan in 1937 who produced keys for a decade then sold the line to E.F. Johnson in 1947.  Wm. M. Nye acquired E.F. Johnson in the early 1970's and has been producing the Speed-X brand ever since.  The Nye Speed-X is a unique example of a current American made product that can be purchased by an amateur radio operator or telegraph enthusiast that is virtually unchanged in quality and design from the era when code was king.


  1. Mike, are you still using this? It's nice looking unit. That I guess is a consideration, but operation, I guess should be first on one's list.

  2. Yes I still use this key. becuase of it's small size it stays with the MFJ QRP rig. I like the Nye keys and I consider them a "middle of the road" key. Not the cheapie for 12 dollars but wont break the bank either at $60-70.00. Holds adjustment very well and has the popular j-38 style many are used to. Nye also has a rectangular base key that is a bit heavier than the oval base and has a navy style knob. (a larger diameter "skirt" under the knob where the knob meets the lever.)I have one of these too. It is a solid no fuss key also.