Informationen zur Sideswiper Style W

The Bunnell Double Speed Key has been used as a milestone in the evolution of the key by many historians. It is considered the first successful manual key that operated horizontally and is placed as the precursor to the semi-automatic key. At November 20, 1904 a business announcement was published in The Telegraph Age on December 1, 1904 formally introducing the Double Speed Key. Under the title of, "A New Telegraph Key," the following was announced : "J.H. Bunnell & Co., 20 Park Place, New York, have brought out a new telegraph key, to which has been given the name of "Double Speed." The following month, on January 28, 1905, John Ghegan, a long time telegrapher and inventor, who was the president of J.H. Bunnell & Co. filed for a patent for a legless, horizontally operated "Telegraph Key." The object of his invention was "to provide a cheap, efficient, and simple telegraph key of the kind in which the lever is elastically mounted at one end and is preferably provided with a pair of contacts at the other end." The first Double Speed Key as introduced in 1904 was an all metallic version. It had a large hole in its brass base and had an adjustment for the lever's spring tension. It is exactly what is shown in the Bunnell ad in this article as, "style W."

This is the scarce Bunnell "double speed key" or sideswiper as collectors call it. Offered in the early 1900s, it works by simple side-to-side movements.
The object was to eliminate "telegrapher's paralysis" or "glass arm" caused by use of a regular type key. This is the Style W (with spring adjustment).The knurled hardware looks like that on the one shown in Bunnell's Catalog 27 (1915). The circuit closer is the more recent type. It has the PATENTED and Bunnell stamps on the base.

The "style W" has a spring tension adjustment and the lever's leaf spring is anchored to a block of brass. The person who designed this lever was Roye M. Wood from Chicago Ill. On November 29, 1904, within days of the Double Speed Key's formal introduction, he received a patent for a horizontally operated leg key that had a unique spring tension adjustment for its lever. A single thumbscrew holds two small brass blocks that grip the lever's leaf spring from both sides. When the thumbscrew is loosened the blocks can slide forward to increase the stiffness of the spring. The "style W" with the spring tension adjustment proved to be the more popular style and was produced by Bunnell for many years with some minor variations.