E.F. Johnson's Speed X J-38 Straight Key This is my favorite straight key. It was my second key as a Novice.
I have tried other straight keys and found they were either flimsy or clunky. ...of course I am always open to trying new keys.
For a machine made mass produced key, the Speed-X is remarkable well made and durable.
The sounder harkens back to pre-radio days. Instead of Morse code coming out as audio from a speaker, in the days of land line telegraphy, the sound was made on a sounder; metal striking metal.
This sounder was a gift from my elmer, Ted Ryan, WB6JXY (sk). He gave it to me when I was a Novice at John Burroughs Jr. High School, in Los Angeles, California, USA. He taught electric shop and ham radio, see: www.TedRyan.bappy.com As if I did not get enough ham radio at school, as Ted's teaching assistant and our ham radio club President, I used to go over to his house in Saturday mornings for tutoring. He gave me several things, including a few teletypes. The other things got too big for my space. I gave them back to him eventually and he gave them to other kids. I kept the sounder because it was from him and small.