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Automatic Electric Type A to Type F US Navy Phones

Started by ntophones, January 06, 2010, 02:27:56 PM

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Nick in Manitou

A few more photos

(Edited to change the image of the schematic so that it was vertical.)


you appear to be missing the cover over the dial light. can be made from sheet brass .The lamp is a standard aviation instrument  lamp.Handset is correct . the brightness was controlled by the adjustment.Separate lamp supply,  pot When I brassed these out they were impressive.Some came off the  ship mostly brassed out anyway.some had a steel and  not a brass gong.     


Quote from: Nick in Manitou on January 04, 2018, 10:25:00 PM
Well, I don't know if I should start a new thread or just charge ahead on this if it should be moved...please have at it!

Good idea to put topic here.  Looks like I'm still subscribed and got an e-mail.  Tried making a handset lock for mine, but material too thick.  Never got around to second attempt.  ;)

Anyway, happy new years & congrads on your find!  Heavy beasts aren't they?

Does yours have a type 24 dial with a later version of a pawl quieter found on 50s or 51 dials?  Never got an answer on that one.

My theory (unproven of course) is that they had this tech earlier than 50 and maybe war effort had them putting it on military equipment in lieu of the piano wire found on the 24A36

QuoteThe ringer didn't react when a call came in, but I am assuming that some rewiring will be required to test the ringer. (I have a nickel plated gong for the MC-131 ringer ordered from Steve Hilz, but if anyone has a plain brass gong that will fit, please let me know!)

Tested it with power supply?  An AE transformer 110AC to 12V DC will make most anyhthing ring!   ;)

QuoteLots of questions at this point, but one of the first ones is, (a confession as well as a question) would it be a sin to clean this phone up and "brass it out"? These phones are pretty cool in their Battleship Gray livery, but I really like the way they look in polished brass.

Your property.  In hindsight, would probably have looked better leaving it brass after all that work completely disassembling.  Hardest phone I've ever done.  Built like a tank!

QuoteIt seems that the lamp (bulb) that is intended to illuminate the dial is burned continuity. I am not sure that it is worth the effort to find a correct bulb, but I will include a photo in case someone has a few of these lying around!

I threaded a tiny lamp from an old vintage reciever up in there.  Made a toggle switch near the base to switch on/off.  Not authentic, but looks cool and made a nice night light.  (Always knew where my Navy phone was in dark living room.)

Long & short though.

Mine has been sitting in attic for couple of years now.  If you need parts, have entire phone you can use as spares— ringer, brass gong, dial plate, etc.

No charge.  Parting it out better than recycling it!  PM if interested.  No charge unless you want the whole shootin' match.  Then I'd have to get with USPS or UPS and find out how much they're charging for shipping.  As said, these phones are heavy beasts!

Best wishes on it, and congrads again on a cool score!



PM received.

Before mailing, might have been mistaken on the gong.  Looks to be thin brass coat or nonferrous metal. (see photo)

A word about handsets:

If memory serves correct, don't know if you can tell by looking at a handset.  Maybe folks like Stubs (Kenneth) can.  : )

The weight  of HS is important though.  This phone has hook switch springs from hell!  A HS from civilian phone isn't heavy enough to completely switch them. 

Example:  Hang up phone will cut dial tone.  Discovered by accident that part is still in contact?  I can hear conversations from other phones!  Felt like I was FBI or something.  Don't know how you would adjust those heavy duty springs if even possible. 

I guess a good test for HS would just be hooking phone up & hang up without locking handset.  Talk on another phone.  If you can hear conversation, obviously wrong HS or hookswitch adjustment?

Attached are some photos.  Let know if still want for the gong & plate near finger ring, or hold out for brass.

dead link

Nick in Manitou

Quote from: rdelius on January 04, 2018, 11:22:58 PM
The lamp is a standard aviation instrument  lamp.

Where would one find a replacement for the lamp? Is it a military aviation specific bulb, or would the local aircraft repair shop carry it?

Bruce, thanks for the tip on testing the handset/hook switch effectiveness. I will check it out.



You dont want to buy these new, they might be expensive. Look on ebay for surplus aircraft gauges or parts


both the navy and civilian type 41 handsets will work.I took off the navy ones-note lots of cloth filler and put on civiliam ones with brass bands.if mechanism in complete and in proper adjustment, the handset will snap into place. Thumb lever will pop it up.The PTT type 27 hanssets will  not work.


I googled "MS25236-8623" and got a lot of hits for bulbs and cross reference lists. Here are two bulbs by the each.

     $3.99 + shipping ==
     $2.00 + shipping ==

Attached reference list from this site:


Quote from: rdelius on January 05, 2018, 05:07:27 PM
both the navy and civilian type 41 handsets will work.I took off the navy ones-note lots of cloth filler and put on civiliam ones with brass bands.if mechanism in complete and in proper adjustment, the handset will snap into place. Thumb lever will pop it up.The PTT type 27 hanssets will  not work.

Ah... Were they designed to work as wall phone without using lock mechanism all the time?  Might've been using it more like a 554 and never using lock mechanism.

Found the big spring that controls bottom cradle, but too much tension?  If just put HS on top cradle, lever that opens contacts doesn't go all the way down. 

Just curious.  I might not have been using it correctly and might be of benefit if topic comes up on search engine.


you might be missing part of a thumb latch. When pulled down into the cradle, a spring operated latch locks the handset into place. It will not come out unless the latch is operated with your thumb. these parts might be chromed but can be brassed out.I do not have a set in my collection to make photos. they look nice  but i did not want to go through the brassing out process.if you do polish one you will need to replace some steel screws and remove some plating.good luck if the mounting bracket is missing .it might have left aboard the ship

Nick in Manitou

Thanks for all the feedback!

It is late, but I wanted to respond to say thanks for all the information!


Nick in Manitou

With regard to the light bulb - what is the source of the part number?

Is there a parts list or a manual of some sort for these phones. I have been looking on the forum and around on the web and have not found one.


Nick in Manitou

This AE Shipboard phone does not fit between the A and F, but I would assume that this would be a good place to show a telephone I spotted in a restaurant in Sausalito, CA recently.

The ID plate declares that it is a model SPB. I don't see any mention of a model SPB anywhere else on the forum.

Anyone seen one of these before? I did a search on the internet but the only reference I could find to this model of telephone was from Worthpoint who wanted me to pay them to tell me what it was worth!

Photos aren't great, but I didn't have a "real" camera with me.



hi,my name is jim sherck and ive been looking at the automatic electric navy type a-f phones forum. i have 3 type f phones in working order. i have an original brass dial center for the type f and have had some card stock duplicates made. i also have 5 of the lock mechanisms to hold the handset in place. i also have a few bulbs for that phone. if anyone is interested you can contact me at 870-200 1739. thanks for your time.jim(hemijim)


I just found this Automatic Electric Type A shipboard phone. The seller had interesting information about it's origin. According to him, the phone was installed in the astern guard post of the German destroyer Lütjens (D185). The battleship was built in 1967 by Bath Iron Works in Maine, USA for the Bundesmarine, and obviously was equipped according to American standards. In 1982 the telephone system was remodeled and the phone was decommissioned.

As a funny side note, the ship ran aground right on it's transfer to the port of Kiel and the sonar was destroyed because the crew mixed up nautical fathoms and meters while calculating the depth of the water...
The Lütjens was decommissioned 2003 and was wrecked 2012.

The elements of the phone are marked (19)74, and on the bottom plate there is a vermilion stamp 11 74 57. I could not find any other hints to identify the age? 1974 seems late? or was it overhauled then?

Looking at the diagram, there is not only a network but also a "side tone coil" connected to a "bumber insert" (?) right in the center. What are these for? The said coil is installed on the bottom plate and has a DC resistance of about 9 ohms.