British Ericsson Model N2500

This phone marked the first major purchase of phones for Australia after the First World War. It was listed by the Australian Post Office as Model 35MW (magneto wallset) and underwent many changes through its long life. The final models were fitted with a dial and bakelite handset and were painted in a dark varnish.

This example is a very early one, dating to the late 1910s. It has the decorative pressed Ericsson transmitter mount rather than the simpler stamped and folded mount adopted later by the APO. The metalwork is still finished in the original "antique bronze", which appears to be an oxidised brass. It has the early Ericsson barrel transmitter that was replaced with the newer Western Electric-style Solid Back model in the 1920s.

The Australian Post Office bought these phones in large numbers and they proved to be ideal for long country telephone lines. They were robust and easily updated. A completely original model like this is, surprisingly, still fairly easy to get. This is a tribute to their trouble-free design. Mine came from a little country town called Bundarra, where it was in service until the exchange was updated to automatic in the late 1980s.

Overall, for its years of service it is still in remarkably good working condition, and it shows the quality of manufacture of Ericsson phones..


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