significant, fully functional showpiece is identical to the
first "real mechanism" hand key Alfred Vail made
for Samuel F. B. Morse to use in his 1844 Washington to Baltimore
demonstration of telegraphy.
The KENT replica key is based on the example
in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington together with
a document entitled "The American Electro Magnetic Telegraph"
Which is illustrated with 81 wood engravings and was written
by Alfred Vail.
Alfred Vail was a skilled machinist and
an assistant to the artist turned entrepreneur Samuel F. B.
Morse. Vail designed and made the "Lever Correspondent,"
which became a "reference" for key designs over
The original Vail key is on permanent display
in the Smithsonian Institute USA