These are from WWII

 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.





 Above, the control panel and the metal cover held in place by two screws is the valve inspection cover. The valves, wedged in place by rubber pads, may get broken in rough use so can be swapped after detaching the panel. One valve is used in the amplifier and the second provided as a spare. This type of valve has a fragile 2-volt filament and it would not be surprising for LT and HT leads to be inadvertently connected wrongly thus destroying the filament.




 Above, looking into the space normally occupied by the phone you can see the valve amplifier. There are two CV65 valves, one being a spare. The CV65 is a Mazda Pen25 which has an English 8 pin base, commonly known as Mazda Octal.



 Once removed from the carrying case the instrument looks very similar to the Tele F MkI but this 12-way plug which connects the phone to the amplifier makes the instrument incompatible with the F MkI.

Under the phone embossed in the bakelite are the letters "TMC", no doubt standing for the Telephone Manufacturing Company, the same makers as the example of the MkI instrument shown below.



A rather battered basic Tele F MkI



 After pressing down on a latch under the instrument, the telephone can be slid forwards from the case for use.

This example is Serial Number 54472 and is dated 1940. The manufacturer was "Telephone Manufacturing Company, London".



 Above, the instructions for use screwed to the inside back of the case.



 Not the NATO version, but one of the phonetic alphabets used during WW1 and WW2.


A Tele "F" MkII LF

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





 Above.. the call button.

Below.. with the top unscrewed revealing a 3 volt battery comprising two R1662 cells and internal parts.



 See more telephones

or go back to the slightly unusual collection