TMC Intercom

Britain's Telephone Manufacturing Company was another small company in the emerging telephone industry of the early 1900s. It started around the First World War, and died out somewhere around the 1950s when it was bought out by Philips. This is a typical early desk intercom of this company. For collectors trying to identify a similar phone, note the simple but graceful cradle arrangement and the typical wide ebonite earpiece cap.

Like Sterling phones, the phones from TMC were not elaborately finished. They were designed as inexpensive, reasonably reliable intercoms, and in this they seem to have succeeded. TMC does not appear to have had a wide range of models, but they were able to keep producing well into the bakelite era. By this time they were producing standard British Post Office models.

I picked up this phone in a junk shop. It was covered in gold paint (apparently it was used by the Fairy Queen in a stage performance) and the woodwork was starting to dry out and crack, but after a lot of cleaning it has come up OK. The cracking woodwork problem is a common one in Australia. Where I live the climate is usually fairly hot and very dry during summer, and most British phones need to be checked every few years for signs of cracking.


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