These are from WWII

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 These examples are all magneto telephones. They can be connected together by a pair of wires and use carbon microphones, which require energising from a local battery, and moving coil earpieces. Each example carries a small 1.5 volt or 3 volt battery for the microphone and a hand operated magneto which generates AC ringing current to operate the bell on the telephone at the far end of the line.


Field Telephone, Tele F, HIGH POWER, TYPE II

 This example of a World War 2 field telephone is almost an ancestor of a mobile phone. It was probably used in a North African desert, say in Libya, in the early 40s. I got it at the street auction in Ringwood a few years ago for £2. The phone is similar to the more common basic Tel F equipment shown below, but in addition uses a set of valves and more powerful batteries to drive its amplifier which develops greater power and sensitivity to operate over very long wires. For its size it's extremely heavy and not as portable as its modern counterpart.

A rather battered basic Tele F MkI

A Tele "F" MkII LF

Before and after a wash and brush up. This one appears to be a civilian version.

See more telephones

or go back to the slightly unusual collection