N6EV's Amateur Radio Blog

Ramblings of a CW Fanatic

1914 A-to-Z Electric Novelty Company Bug (aka ATOZ)

I currently have the ATOZ in the bug position on the operating desk.  I keep four keys connected at all times; a straight key, a bug, an iambic paddle and a single lever paddle.  This allows me to pick and choose depending on the situation.  It also affords different combinations at any given time as I rotate keys in and out of position from the collection.

Last night I had a great QSO with Kelly, K7SU that lasted nearly an hour using the ATOZ.  We had a good time and I look forward to our next QSO.  Kelly put up with my klunky sending with this temperamental bug.  It occurred to me that I had not yet updated the key collection to include the ATOZ bug.  So here it is!

 

ATOZ Bug

1914 ATOZ Bug by the A-to-Z Electric Novelty Co

Click the image above to be sent to the page detailing this ATOZ bug.  It showed up in very bad shape, entirely over-coated with many layers of paint and nicotine.  After first stage restoration (shown above) the original paint and pin striping can be seen along with the nickel plated parts.

There isn’t much information on the net about the A-to-Z Electric Novelty Company and its owner Max Levey other than the fact that he produced these “Improved Vibroplex” bugs in blatant violation of the Mecograph / Martin Vibroplex patent.  ATOZ production was shut down by injunction in 1914.  A link describing that injunction is on the detail page.

Since there wasn’t much documentation on Max Levey, I went to work researching him.  The result is an article detailing Max Levey’s interesting life that is available up in the Featured Articles menu.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday, and wish you and your families the best of Holiday seasons / Merry Christmas.

73  Paul N6EV

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