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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Texting: 1917

Texting: 1917

New York, August 1917. "Wireless instruction -- Pratt Institute." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


It must have taken them a minute or two to get the right hat with the right head!

There are some really good-looking young men here! The one on the far left side of the left table, fourth from the end, is real cute, and the one standing looks pretty good, too. That's just to name a few!

I hope they all survived that horrible war!

Not a speed key in sight

Like jdowling23, my dad was a ham radio operator, and an ex-Navy signalman, so thumb and forefinger were all I ever saw. By the early 1950s, he was sending 70-80 wpm using a speedkey with side-to-side action. The old Navy thumb and forefinger made speed really easy, or so he said. Best I could ever do was a piddling 10.

Thanks, landtuna

My dad was a ham, and I always thought the thumb-and-forefinger method was the only correct way to use a telegraph key. But then, Dad was ex-Navy. Now when I see those guys in movies tapping the key, I'll know they aren't doing it wrong.

I used to do 25 WPM

but only until I passed the Amateur Extra code exam way back in 1976. I hated operating Morse, and I was never comfortable with it. I admired those who could copy 15 or 20 wpm in their heads!

I'll bet these guys could really fly with it, and under some stress, too!


Those are wired, code practice oscillators. One guy sends to the others at the table.

That was before code practice tapes.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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