S.I.T. Candlestick

From Societe Industrielle des Telephons in France, this old phone shows that it is possible to build a common phone like a candlestick with individual style and flair. The phone was issued with the handset, as shown, or separate transmitter and receiver. There is also a version with a unique "cornet" transmitter / receiver in one unit with a large trumpet attached to speak into. One day I will have all of these - they should be an attractive and interesting group.

The extra earpiece is a "mother-in-law" earpiece to allow someone else to listen in to the conversation but not to speak. It seems to be typical of French phones. I have seen French plastic phones from the 1970s which still have this uncommon feature. It was not confined to the French, however. My Commonwealth Ericsson has a hook under the writing slope for an earpiece, and the Phonopore also has a second listening point.

The phone is unusual in that every example that I have seen was built in unpainted brass. Brass was unpopular for telephones as it left black marks on the hands of the user. I can only assume that S.I.T. had a better formula for metal lacquer than the other phone makers around the world.


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