WALL TELEPHONES
wall
 
Having worked for the Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Company in Lincoln, Nebraska
 for nearly 35 years,
this particular wall set is near and dear to me.This is an example of a
Strowger small box wall set.
This type of telephone was used in the early days of
 Lincoln Telephone, which opened, for business in 1904.

 
 


f Here is a closer view of the Strowger
 small box telephone circa 1907

 



   Early telephone instruments at times were nothing more
 than the
toy you played with as a child……namely 2 cans 
and a string.
Pictured here are two examples of what
 are called Acoustic
Telephones or more commonly called
String phones. With these
types of instruments,
you would have had one in your home,

 and your neighbor would have had one in their home.
 There would have been a taught wire stretched
 between the two instruments. When you wanted to talk
 to your neighbor, you would
tap on the center button.
 Your neighbor would hear a popping
sound on their
phone. The two of you would then begin to shout at
each other into the diaphragm,  because the transmission
 quality was just like talking over 2 cans and a string.
On the left is a J.R.Holcomb Co.  walnut String phone
 circa 1881.

 The phone on the right is an 1879 AETNA string phone,
 in which you could tighten the wire between houses by
 pulling down on the bail handle at the bottom.

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This is a very nice example of a Western
Electric
Model 293A circa 1910, with
nickel hardware
and a WE Outside
Terminal ‘Pony’ receiver




American Electric provided customers a unique
transmitter
application, with a mounting that 
was called the
‘Swing Away’ arm. This arm
allowedthe user to adjust up
and down or side
 to side, the transmitter for ease of use.

Here are two nice examples of these transmitter
arms.
The one on the left is an American Electric
 Single box
model circa 1907 with the American
Beauty Transmitter,
and the one on the right is
 the Double box,
or 2 box version of the Swing
 Away circa 1899.

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To keep from violating the original Bell Telephone
patents,
competitive manufacturers had to come
 up with a
different style of hookswitch for their
 wall sets.
Here are two such examples that are
referred to as
‘Paddle Phones’. Instead of having
a hookswitch
where the receiver would be hung,
 these types of phones
used a stationary hook for
 the receiver, and a paddle type
switch in the
 center box. The user would rest his or her
 elbow
on the paddle while the phone was in
 operation, thus opening
the line for use.
 On the left is an oak Viaduct Paddle phone

 circa 1898, and on the right is a walnut 3 box
American Electric Co. of Kokomo Indiana
circa 1895.








A collection of small wall sets includes from the top a
Western Electric model 293 with a burns glass mouthpiece.
Going clockwise, the Western Electric Model 130
 metal wall set referred to as the ‘Pancake, or Doughnut’
phone, complete with OST receiver,  next is an 1899 Deveau
 8-line set with OST receiver. Next is a Connecticut Telephone
 & Electric Company Hotel set with a burns glass mouthpiece
 and OST receiver, and finally a Manhattan Electric
 Supply Co. compact set with a long pole receiver circa 1894.
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The top two single box telephones are referred to as
 the Baird Midget telephones, produced by the
Baird Electric Company circa 1905.  The unit at the top left,
 is a midget phone complete with American Electric hardware
 (American shield cut out of the straight loop in the hookswitch)
 while the unit on the top right, has the traditional Baird
 hookswitch that is turned 90 degrees so that the receiver
 can be hung up from the front.  The lower telephone is
an American Electric Company long distance telephone
with a Burns receiver circa 1895.
 


 



Here are two examples of what are referred to as Tandem
telephones. Tandem telephones had up to 3 glass acid
cell batteries in the lower box, which were wired in tandem
to facilitate long distance applications. On the left is an
 1897 Western Telephone Construction tandem telephone.
 Notice the unique WTC ‘fat’ long pole receiver.
You can view a close-up of this receiver in the receiver
section from the home page. The tandem telephone on
 the right is a Stromberg Carlson model 4A circa 1900.
 This model is commonly referred to as the  ‘Grave Marker’
telephone, due to the carved wood configuration at the top
resembling an old grave stone.
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These three examples of so called Fiddleback wall telephones
 were so named for their appearance. Some thought these wall set
 looked like Fiddles, with the lower part of the phone being
the body of the fiddle, and the upper backboard resembling
the neck of the fiddle.

On the top left is a rare small
metal-backed
Couch & Seeley circa 1903.
 
At the right is a Stromberg Carlson

 circa 1904 with a stamped triplet set and a raised letter
transmitter. At the lower left is a Sterling Electric Co.
Model 118 circa 1905.
 





This grouping of wall sets were commonly referred to
 as 3 box wall telephones. The top box housed the
generator (magneto) which was used to signal the operator,
the center box housed the transmitter (where you would speak
 into) and the bottom box held the wet cell battery(s).

 The phone to the left is a walnut Manhattan 3 box circa
1895, with a Hunnings style transmitter, single cell battery
 box and a long pole receiver. The phone at the lower
 center is a Manhattan 3 box with a 2 cell battery box,
 and the phone to the right is a walnut Mianus 3 box with
a Blake style transmitter circa 1898
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These telephones are called compact 2 box set, as they
are about 2/3 the size of a regular 2 box telephone.

The set on the left is a Mianus Compact set with
a watchcase receiver circa 1900.

 The set on the right is a Manhattan Electric Co. circa 1901.
 
 






Something a little different. The two fiddleback telephones
 on top of the picture are made by the same manufacturer,
 but the spelling of the name of the company was changed.
 The phone of the upper left, is a Vought-Berger Company
of Lacrosse WI. oak fiddleback with a mark Vought-Berger
 transmitter circa 1904, while the phone on the upper right is a
 Vote-Berger Company of Lacrosse WI., oak fiddleback
circa 1905.  The fiddleback in the lower center position is an
 L.M. Ericsson Telephone Manufacturing set, circa 1907,
 with the small diameter marked Ericsson transmitter.
 This particular set was boasted in advertising as the
‘first, all-steel telephone to be placed on the market.
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The final wall phone picture contains 3 Western Electric Co.
 wall instruments. On the left is a walnut model 301 fiddleback
 telephone equipped with wooden bells made of walnut,
 and a replica Red Cross glass mouthpiece manufactured
 by John Infurna. The phone on the right is a walnut Model 288
fiddleback, fitted with an OST receiver and an original
 Whisper-it glass mouthpiece. In the lower center position
is a model of telephone referred to as a 3 jug. This reference
 comes from the fact that the battery box at the bottom
 of the phone contains 3 glass acid cell batteries, which were
 wired in series. This phone is also equipped with a
 #5 transmitter arm and OST receiver.
 
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