Oldie Morse Code Show ‘N Tell (updated)

It was a great Fall morning on Friday, 1st day of Frontier Days at the George Ranch Historical Park.  This would be my second year to demonstrate Morse Code in the 1890s in the Cook’s Quarters. 

The Cook’s Quarters is the single story building behind the Davis mansion.  My setup was much like it was last year with telegraph sounders, straight keys, Morse Code sounds and me dressed up as a telegraph operator in the 1890s. 

Friday was the day that all the school children come to the event.  Many groups came to see what Morse Code was all about and just like last year there must have been a contest between the schools to see who could disassemble a Sounder the fastest without the owner noticing. 

My keen Morse Code trained ears noticed immediately that the Sounder changed to “thump-thump” instead of “clackity-clack”.  It is truly one of the world’s greatest phenomena to witness how 20 school children can all be touching four straight keys at the exact same moment in time.  I should have gotten it on video then I would be famous.   I did manage to impress some of the adult chaperones when they learned that Morse Code is still being used today. 

I do want to thank the George Ranch maintenance crew for fixing the air conditioning in my building.  It worked very well, and I was able to keep demonstrating while wearing long sleeves, sleeve coverings, a wool vest, blue jeans and not pass out from heat exhaustion.  Saturday was to be my second day at the event however my wife came down ill and I needed to remain at home on Saturday.  They told me later that several groups were disappointed about missing the Morse Code demonstration. 

Drop by to see me next year sometime in mid to late October at the George Ranch Historical Park.

–George Fletcher, AD5CQ


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