The crown is the decorative piece of woodwork on the top of a wall phone. Ericssons used decorative crowns to give their phones a sense of style that was missing from the very plain United States phones. The crowns proved to be fragile and expensive, and were gradually dropped due to the need to increase production and reduce maintenance. Changing fashions also had a lot to do with it as tastes moved away from the ornate Victorian style. The illustrations below show most of the common styles, but there were other custom styles made for some companies, and simpler replacement crowns were used by some administrations to repair damaged phones.
Fig 1. The early spearpoint crown used to about 1902
Fig 2. Another early spearpoint crown used on the round-top models.
Fig 3. The later carved crown used from 1903
Fig 4. The "pineapple" crown is rare. It seems to have been phased out by the mid 1890s.
Fig 5. The last crown used on the flat top phones. It appears to be a simple stamped unit.
Fig 6. Round top British crown, with exposed terminals. The British seem to have preferred to do without the carved crowns, opting for lower cost and maintenance.
7. The final round top crown used on most British models. The terminals were concealed behind the crown.
8. The ornate 3-piece lightning arrestor was used on wall phones until 1897 - 1898.
9. The last and most common carved crown, with the later rectangular lightning arrestor.