What is the history on the term “lid” when referring to a telegrapher’s capability? How did it originate and what is the significance if any of each letter?
KD8NXH, GE OM,
As you say, there are many answers. I was licensed about 44 years ago which might make me a "novice" HIHI. In the absence of a definitive definition, I usually resort to "which one appeals to me the most, personally". As an avid collector in my youth of tin containers for storing small parts, I quite like this one from Rod (SK RIP) and Jeff Dinkins AC6V ORIGIN OF HAM SPEAK - FACT, LEGENDS AND MYTHS??? They write, "Certainly, the term LID came from land-line telegrapher slang. (LID was a reference to use of a tobacco can lid on the sounder to aid a poor operator in copying Morse.) This one may be true. It wouldn't be the first time that a group adopted a term originally meant as an insult to serve as a slang term for themselves." :-)
Incidentally, I still have many of my old 1970's tobacco tins somewhere. According to this Etsy seller, my tobacco tins could be worth about £5 (US $9.25) - I should start looking for them!
73'S ES GD DX DE MART G8EAD