L M Ericsson Model AC100 "Skeletal"

This is the Australian version of Ericsson's famous telephone, called the "Eiffel Tower" in the U.S. They were a well-built, long-lasting phone from as far back as 1892. The phones were one of the first to introduce the handset into general production, an innovation which took some decades to be introduced to the U.S.A. The magnets for the generator were formed into the legs for the phone, giving it a style which was widely copied by other manufacturers.

The most common Australian version didn't have the lightning arrestor built onto the deck. It was included in the terminal block, away from the phone.

They were a good phone and gave long service. There is anecdotal evidence that one was recovered in working condition from a dentist's surgery in Australia in the late 1950s.

Although the phones are still fairly common, they are much sought after by collectors. This ensures that the price of a genuine one (not one of the modern copies) stays quite high. Ericsson made a small run of these phones, fitted with a dial, in the 1970s as a commemorative issue. Even these special phones command a high price.

My example is pretty well-worn from its years of service. It has a minor crack in the deck, some missing screws and no nickel left on the (alloy) receiver. In spite of its age the generator turns easily and it all seems as if it could be workable. I must hook it up one day and see if it goes.


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