A revolution in communcation occurred with the development of the telegraph. However, the early telegraph keys used to send messages caused severe strain on the telegrapher’s wrist – a condition now known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

In 1902, inventor Horace G. Martin patented the first in a line of devices which solved the problem:

the Martin Autoplex, an electro-mechanical sending device which required batteries.

Two years later, Martin went into business with a group of entrepreneurs, forming the United Electrical Manufacturing Company. It was also in 1904 that Martin filed his second patent for a new sending device which used a weighted, vibrating arm and did not require the use of a magnetic coil or batteries. This device was the basis for the first Vibroplex.

In 1908, the association between Martin and U.E.M. ended when the latter went out of business. However, J.E. Albright, who began a business catering to the telephone industry in 1890, began marketing the Vibroplex for Martin. On March 12, 1915, Albright filed a certificate of incorporation in New York for The Vibroplex Company, Inc. Within a few short years, Vibroplex came to represent the best of the telegraphic, and later Amateur Radio, industry.

Today, as in all of its proud history, the heritage of Vibroplex symbolizes the interest, camaraderie, and esprit de corps of the worldwide ham radio community.

To read John Casale, W2NI’s history of Horace G. Martin and Vibroplex, please click on the following link:

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