Author Topic: Help Identifying Wooden Phone  (Read 222 times)

Offline jasondrum

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Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:28:22 PM »
My grandfather worked 40 years in the telephone industry and collected old wooden wall phones.  He has passed and I took one of the phones as decoration instead of a yard sale with people nickle and diming.  I can't find any names, stamps, or markings on the phone at all.  Can anyone help identify?  I did see on these forums that people would just make their own phones from parts, maybe that's why there are no markings?

Alex G. Bell

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 03:29:56 PM »
Can anyone help identify?  I did see on these forums that people would just make their own phones from parts, maybe that's why there are no markings?
Some small mfrs and refurbishers also did, using a mixture of parts, not even from the same mfr from one batch to the next.  It may also have had a decal which was lost in refinishing. 

Look very carefully on the back for some kind of marking, even if only a model #.  Often this was impressed into the back surface and difficult to see.  But a small mfr may not have bothered.

I'm not the absolute expert on magneto phones but I'm somewhat familiar with them and I don't recognize it.  The magneto is particularly unusual though and also the push button on the side.  PBs like this were usually for "secret ringing" so the user could call the operator without ringing everyone else on the line by ringing to a ground connection.

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 05:51:04 PM »
The lightning arrester on the top may help identify the maker. It looks like it is original to the phone.



The magneto looks like it is missing Magnets, I think it should have have 5 horseshoe magnets on it.
 The arm for the transmitter looks upside down.
 The receiver cord should run thru the hole in the door.
 Just my opinions, I am not up on "firewood" phones.
JMO,
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Offline jasondrum

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 08:33:33 PM »
More close up picture of the magneto. I know almost nothing about any of this.

Thanks!

Alex G. Bell

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 08:40:23 PM »
More close up picture of the magneto. I know almost nothing about any of this.

Thanks!
Now that Jim S. mentioned it, I'm sure it's missing the magnets too.  There were very late (~WW-II era) magnetos which had flat bar magnets on the two sides and at first I thought it was one of those but I'm pretty sure now it's not because the color of the metal seems wrong, the top is open to see the armature winding, and there are tapped holes on the side where magnet clamping bars would be held by screws.

Google "5 bar magneto" and you will see lots of images of complete magnetos of the classic style with "horseshoe" magnets over the top.

Online TelePlay

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 08:47:55 PM »
To save you some time, this is a 5 bar magneto just listed on eBay. There are different styles and this is most like yours.

     http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Hand-Crank-5-Bar-Electric-Telephone-48-A-Magneto-Pat-1891-/292214547709

     http://www.ebay.com/itm/Western-Electric-5-bar-magneto-/222611448564
            John . . .

              

Offline jasondrum

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 09:23:57 AM »
I took it completely apart and still didn't find any names/markings.

I do have another small wood box and sure enough the magneto looks similar but has the giant magnets around it that this one is missing.

Thanks for the comments  :)

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Help Identifying Wooden Phone
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 09:42:42 AM »
I would surmise someone had it just for display. They did not want to remove the magneto completely so the crank would still turn but wanted it lighter so they removed the heavy magnets. Just a guess! ;D
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