Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Australian Bakelite Telephones

  1. #1
    Administrator
    admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Age
    53
    Posts
    30,960
    Thanks
    2,224
    Thanked 13,474 Times in 5,721 Posts
    Rep Power
    4404
    Reputation
    160665

    Default Australian Bakelite Telephones




    Came across these in my father in laws shed, he was an ex Telecom technician and no doubt stole them I notice he has put modern plugs on them, how would you call out on them ?

    I was wondering if anyone had anything to add about them ? There isnt a lot of info on the net about them which is surprising, I am presuming they are 1930s/40s party line phones ?

    I bet Gordon knows something about them



Look Here ->
  • #2
    Member
    Au_radio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    western Australia
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 196 Times in 96 Posts
    Rep Power
    161
    Reputation
    3930

    Default

    Nice ! What brand are they ?

  • #3
    Administrator
    mtv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    18,496
    Thanks
    5,548
    Thanked 12,320 Times in 6,025 Posts
    Rep Power
    4426
    Reputation
    182719

    Default

    The person wanting to make a call would lift the receiver and wind the crank.

    This rang an operator at the telephone exchange who you then told who you wished to be connected to.

    I've seen some set up as intercoms, which perhaps accounts for the modern plugs.

    You could perhaps use one as a normal 'modern' phone, but for incoming calls only.

  • The Following User Says Thank You to mtv For This Useful Post:

    admin (24-04-17)

  • #4
    Member
    Au_radio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    western Australia
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 196 Times in 96 Posts
    Rep Power
    161
    Reputation
    3930

    Default Australian Bakelite Telephones

    These are desk style magneto sets. Can be placed on a line with a battery and induction coil. They will all ring if you turn the crank.

    Probably used around a railroad, logging camp or between farms but also used by PMG

    Further
    Originally based upon an Ericsson design, these magneto phones were made for a wide variety of telephone companies. The British PO used then, as did the Australian PMG. In Australia, they were made by AWA and STC, with some British imports. The later style handset (curved) show them to probably be what the PMG called 400 series, and your models are similar to our 408, from the 1950s.
    Last edited by Au_radio; 24-04-17 at 03:51 PM.

  • The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Au_radio For This Useful Post:

    admin (24-04-17),lsemmens (25-04-17),OSIRUS (30-04-17)

  • #5
    Administrator
    admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Age
    53
    Posts
    30,960
    Thanks
    2,224
    Thanked 13,474 Times in 5,721 Posts
    Rep Power
    4404
    Reputation
    160665

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Au_radio View Post
    Nice ! What brand are they ?
    None of them have any brand marks, and one has what appears to be a modern stamp from the 90's (possibly when the plug was converted).

    The one on the left has some sort of speaker or air holes just below where the receiver sits (you can see one on the right hand side).

  • #6
    Administrator
    admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Age
    53
    Posts
    30,960
    Thanks
    2,224
    Thanked 13,474 Times in 5,721 Posts
    Rep Power
    4404
    Reputation
    160665

    Default

    If you pick up the receiver and listen, then turn the crank handle you can hear static when you crank them so I am presuming the magnetos are all good.

    I might plug them in to the home line and see if they ring.

    Prices on them on Ebay seem to vary a bit, I will be selling 2 of them for my mother in law. I might actually see if I can put them on consignment at a local collectables store, we have 2 big ones because for some reason every idiot from Melbourne that drives down on weekends thinks we are some sort of antiques haven.....I have no idea why. I also have to sell my father in laws record collection, so need to have a chat with them about that also. There is 6,000+ records. And I am the lucky person who has to price each single one of them.

  • #7
    Administrator
    mtv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    18,496
    Thanks
    5,548
    Thanked 12,320 Times in 6,025 Posts
    Rep Power
    4426
    Reputation
    182719

    Default

    Looks like the curly cords may have been replaced with a later plastic-covered type, as these old phones typically had cotton-covered cables.

    That might detract from a serious collector's offer to buy, although there are those who would buy them for parts, or to restore... or just as a conversation piece.

  • #8
    Premium Member
    Keith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,044
    Thanks
    6,150
    Thanked 961 Times in 298 Posts
    Rep Power
    523
    Reputation
    16522

    Default

    I maybe wrong, but if you connect them to a battery they should ring without cranking. They still use this type of system on the rail system in Sydney now. When you crank the handle you produce a current that activates the bell in the receiving location only while cranking the handle. When the person on the other end lifts their handpiece to answer the call, this sends a current from the receiver to liven up the line and the sender phone so they can talk. The magneto is only to make the receivers phone ring.
    As I said, I know of one location in Sydney where they still use this system. The primary active phone is in a signalbox, the secondary crank phone is in a yard
    You can learn alot using Google, and the search button.....

  • The Following User Says Thank You to Keith For This Useful Post:

    OSIRUS (30-04-17)

  • #9
    LSemmens
    lsemmens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rural South OZ
    Posts
    9,299
    Thanks
    9,799
    Thanked 6,009 Times in 2,847 Posts
    Rep Power
    2648
    Reputation
    111440

    Default

    The maggie to "ring" the other end produced an AC signal so, a battery will not do it. The holes on the sides are only to "let the sound" out of the ringing bell. I agree they look like a 400 series maggie phone in common use in remote and rural areas up until the mid 70s. FYI Adelaide River Exchange was not cut over until 1980. The phones that had been used up until that time would have been like those displayed. If a new service was connected immediately prior to that cut over date, the 610 plug would have been retrofitted, given that most services back then were using the early 800 series phones. And, Yes, they will work on current lines but only for incoming calls. If, you happened to wind the maggie whilst connected, I would not be so bold as to say that you won't do any damage to the exchange equipment, or any connected peripherals at home, but, I would suggest that you probably won't cause any issues.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

  • #10
    Premium Member
    LeroyPatrol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    N.E. Vic
    Posts
    16,147
    Thanks
    3,493
    Thanked 4,651 Times in 2,761 Posts
    Rep Power
    1604
    Reputation
    45371

    Default

    I've got a rotary dial version. I swapped a guy for a brand new TF200. It has the cotton cord and the part that screws to the wall. I wonder if it will work when I cut over to the NBN?

    .........Leroy
    XCRUISER HDSR600HD twin sat and terrestrial receiver $OOS *
    XCRUISER HDSR385 Avant - sold out$OOS UltraPlus DVB-T and DVB-S2 tuners $49 Remotes $OOS

  • #11
    LSemmens
    lsemmens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rural South OZ
    Posts
    9,299
    Thanks
    9,799
    Thanked 6,009 Times in 2,847 Posts
    Rep Power
    2648
    Reputation
    111440

    Default

    Actually, even when the first electronic exchanges were installed in the 80s they would all respond to "loop disconnect" dialling (rotary dials). I'm uncertain if the newest exchanges still do, but I doubt that they have retired decadic dialling given that there would still be many of the 800 series phones still in service. The old "if it ain't broke" analogy. There would still be some old biddies out there that would resist those new fangled things with buttons on them.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

  • #12
    Premium Member
    ol' boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    17,662
    Thanks
    8,131
    Thanked 10,456 Times in 5,193 Posts
    Rep Power
    4430
    Reputation
    184192

    Default

    To think, from there to a Smartphone!
    What "Apps" run on those phones admin
    Last edited by ol' boy; 28-04-17 at 11:24 PM.
    If u want to go on an expedition get a Land Rover, if u want to come home from an expedition get a Landcruiser!

  • #13
    Premium Member
    OSIRUS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    3,411
    Thanks
    8,279
    Thanked 1,353 Times in 800 Posts
    Rep Power
    580
    Reputation
    15721

    Default

    We had one of these phones in the 1960's before they installed the automatic telephone exchange

    I think two batteries about the size of tall soup cans sat just below the floor boards .... at that time

    as said above cranking the handle caused it to ring at the other end ..... in our case to the manual telephone exchange where a lady would say "number please" etc ... & she would patch you into the line to where you wanted to talk to .... (usually big plugs that fitted into holes on a "switch board")
    Become a Premium Member and support the Austech Forum

  • #14
    Senior Member
    Antennaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    528
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 259 Times in 161 Posts
    Rep Power
    259
    Reputation
    4456

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OSIRUS View Post
    I think two batteries about the size of tall soup cans sat just below the floor boards .... at that time

    as said above cranking the handle caused it to ring at the other end ..... in our case to the manual telephone exchange where a lady would say "number please" etc ... & she would patch you into the line to where you wanted to talk to .... (usually big plugs that fitted into holes on a "switch board")
    2 Eveready batteries with a black cat jumping through a red 9....

    Party lines with morse code ring cadence for a particular subscriber....

    Manual exchange only open when the post mistress was on site.....

    Booking a trunk call , & then hanging by the phone until called back.....
    Never stand under a shadow that's getting bigger

  • The Following User Says Thank You to Antennaman For This Useful Post:

    lsemmens (01-05-17)

  • #15
    Premium Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Central Tablelands of NSW
    Age
    78
    Posts
    13,824
    Thanks
    1,242
    Thanked 3,803 Times in 2,523 Posts
    Rep Power
    1757
    Reputation
    56926

    Default

    The NSW Railways used these types of phones in offices for the clerks to call the switchboard who would then connect them to who ever they wanted.
    This type with the generator handle on top would be awkward to use if it was a party line and to call others, you turned the handle and pressed the button to give a morse code type ring to call them or a location.
    On 402 circuit,a long and 2 shorts ( - .. , repeated until they answered) was the code for Katoomba parcel office.
    Some places had the large wooden box type of telephone or a frame with one or 2 handsets on top and a group of 'kellog' keys to connect to the circuit you wanted.
    Key UP connected one handset or handcombe, key Down connected the other but you couldnt connect both to the one circuit at a time.
    Although I have seen those shown, I never lived or worked where these or similar phones were used by the PMG/Telcom.
    Last edited by gordon_s1942; 01-05-17 at 03:04 PM.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

  • #16
    Senior Member
    trash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tamworth
    Posts
    3,885
    Thanks
    139
    Thanked 2,966 Times in 1,332 Posts
    Rep Power
    1136
    Reputation
    42414

    Default

    They should work fine on the modern pots network.
    To dial, you have two options. Put a DTMF dialer in them or put a decadic dialer in.
    Obviously you don't want to change the look so the best solution is to just build the dialer into a box on it's own lead that plugs into the socket with the phone.
    Then all you have to do is pick up the phone, which will loop the line and dial on the box and next thing you know.... <Indian accent>"Hello Telstra technical support, how can I ignore you?"
    Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

  • #17
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,856
    Thanks
    1,061
    Thanked 904 Times in 511 Posts
    Rep Power
    463
    Reputation
    12237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyPatrol View Post
    I've got a rotary dial version. I swapped a guy for a brand new TF200. It has the cotton cord and the part that screws to the wall. I wonder if it will work when I cut over to the NBN?

    .........Leroy
    You can receive calls and it rings as normal.
    To dial out you'll need to generate the DTMF tones as in the above post.
    Easy test is to use an online dailler >

    It works on the NBN

  • Bookmarks

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •