Telephone Switching > Magneto & Manual (Cord Boards etc)

10 Line Cordless Magneto Switchboard

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Nuther Load Today!

Another interesting load arrived today, This was a smaller load as the person carrying it for me had less room in their car than some of the others, but that didn't make it any less interesting.

Included was a neat little Stanley & Patterson anunciator, two NE 17C magneto test boxes, another Russian Princesse (Crouse-Hinds explosion proof phones), an ancient arrestor, and a number of interesting NE intercoms the same as one which came in an earlier shipment. Used as packing material were a bunch of NOS 7 foot switchboard cords!

The Russian Princess has the switchhook arranged for wall mounting.

Don tells me he had a lot more for the museum, and I am looking for more people coming to the Island to bring more down.

Here is a photo of today's lot!

For comparison, here is a picture of a restored version of David's magneto switchboard.  I took this picture at the 2013 Lancaster show. David's board matches it perfectly, only his is more barn-fresh, unlike this restored version.

It is a Northern Electric cordless magneto switchboard with five talk circuits, ten magneto station loop circuits, and controls for one operator console.  The station circuits could be used as manual tie trunks just the same.

The orange switches connect a station to one of the first four talk circuits, up A and C, down B and D. The black switches of the bottom row have dual function, in the up position they connect a line to the fifth talk circuit (E), while in the down-position they ring a line when the generator is cranked at the same time by the attendant.
The five drops at the top are to indicate ring-off has occurred on an established talk circuit, to alert the attendant to tear down the circuit.  On later automatic cordless switchboards with lamps, this would be detected automatically when a station went on-hook; a relay would activate a lamp and sound a buzzer. With these manual boards, a station user had to crank the generator briefly after hanging up.
The second row of drops are alerts that a station user wants service. They crank their generator, and the attendant sees who is requesting it. She would connect her attendant console to the line with the orange key (up) on the bottom row to the requesting circuit (black up). On Dave's board the orange key is also black like all the keys of the bottom row.

The white keys are listening keys so the operator can connect to any talk circuit and intervene or simply listen to find out if the circuit was still in use, in case someone didn't ring-off their call.

Of course, the G-type hangup dial hand telephone, attached to this board at Lancaster, is an anachronistic modernization. However, from what I understand magneto boards were used in Canada much later on the average that in the US, but a dial on this board does seems a bit novel as it requires battery.

Catalog #5 (1923?) shows "No. 505 Cordless Type" switchboards "designed for both central battery and magneto service."

"505B"-- 3 trunks x 7 station lines-- Trunks connect to Central Battery manual office

"505C"-- 3 x 7 Private Branch Exchange Switchboard--Trunks connect to C.B. machine switching office

"10 Line Cordless Magneto Switchboard"--"equipped with 10 magneto station lines, any of which may be connected with a line from a magneto office for trunking purposes."


--- Quote from: unbeldi on July 16, 2014, 10:00:07 AM ---For comparison, here is a picture of a restored version of David's magneto switchboard.  I took this picture at the 2013 Lancaster show. David's board matches it perfectly, only his is more barn-fresh, unlike this restored version.

--- End quote ---
Thanks, Karl! It will live again!

There is some kind of designation stamped into the edge of the wood panel in the inside view. It may indicate the model number, or not. Starts with 5 in any case.

The same picture also shows the connections for the ten stations, T and R, as well as a few additional one, marked with plus and minus signs.  G and G1 are no doubt the generator connections, implying perhaps that an external generator feed could be used. I can't make out the designation for the two other terminal pairs. They have + and - characters, but this could be an indication that the same connecting block was also used for the common battery versions of the model. In any case, it seems one of them should be the operator console, unless there is an induction coil mounted somewhere else in the unit to which the console attaches directly.

That brings up another observation,  there does appear to be a 101-type induction coil further down inside the unit at the end of that thick harness. Likely that is a later addition for the operator console. Perhaps David can shine some light on that, and see if it is a 101 or a 104, who made it (WE or NE), and what its date is.


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