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Posted By: Walter F. Mathers on: 06/17/2002 12:40:09 CDT
Subject: RE: Reproducing Telegraph Sets

Message Detail:
Chuck, et al:

Nice post. You always manage to touch on a number of points which have not only stirred individuals (like yourself) into action, but have gotten others a bit concerned in that what may be becoming available to the masses of signal and telegraph re-enactors (if you want to use that term) might put the possessors of this-is-what-I-could-get-at-the-time folks at a dis-advantage. They needn't feel so.

I think you have hit on a way to help we who have made our inital investments and want to feel comfortable with our interpretive sessions do so. To further clarify what you and I had previously discussed, I suggested that you not only offer complete reproduction telegraph sets, but also make individual reproduction camelback key anvils so that one's existing, more modern key might be retrofit'd. The anvil, incidentally, is the metal shaft portion of the sending key (with trunions protruding out on either side of it to allow for the see-saw movement). You tap on the flat disk-like button on one end of the anvil to make and break the electrical current connection of the electromagnet in a relay or sounder.

Just think, ... A retro-fit to your existing key could help you feel more at ease during your presentations. Now you can speak about the camel like hump design instead of what is wrong with your equipment. Of course, if a telegraph equipment expert approaches during one of your talks, you can tell him that you'd be more than willing to dicuss the finer technical aspects of the equipment after your presentation is concluded.

Retro fit'gs will truly be good for us all. In many instances, we've had to rely on what was out there and available within our 'at-the-current-time' price range. But cange is on the horizon now. I think we would do well to offer more encouragement to those who are considering going out on a limb to improve the quality of items we'll be employing in our future demonstrations. Allow me to say that I don't begrudge fellow associates who branish obvious post-war optics. It is what was available, what they could obtain and was, infact, next generation optics with period styled bodies and sun shades. Much of the period marine glass selection items is out of our range financially and re-pro's of varying quality are only beginning to appear, albeit still few and far between. Chuck isn't the first person to consider making re-pro telegraph instruments, but he is the first to consider producing and marketing them so that any emulator who'd wish to obtain one might wait in line and actually get one. As time goes by, maybe some of our more machine-shop talented associates might want to offer our mechanically challenged associates retro knerl'd knobs and telegraph binding posts, perhaps snd'g key pedistals or maybe relay armatures which are square instead of the the more modern inverted "J-tube" hooks. Perhaps they'll want to do it through Chuck.

I applaud Mr. Lee and those of his ilk who possess the audacity to trail blaze on behalf of SCARD, her affiliates and the collective re-enacting community. Audacity (along with some set-aside time and greenery) is what's need'd when considering the casting of re-pro signal pistols, telegraph instruments and parts, re-publishing a signal manual, creating assembly-lining Beardslee Magneto machines, developing Dynamite signal web sites, when making plans to re-produce a different version of the Federal cross'd-flag arm patch design or just trying to come with acceptable guidelines of clothing and equipment lists or suggested operating field practices.

We'll all benefit materially in the long haul from those who choose to look at situations and have the wherewithal and ask, "Why Not?" Would you agree that this is what SCARD should be all about?

In closing, we'd do well to remember that it is their time, their money, hopefully (in some commercial cases or for personal goals), their profit and surely our material gain. Let's give them a hand and a word or two of encouragement.


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