Large Wall Phones


These are typically around 750mm high by 260-270mm wide. Timber is walnut (less often oak), french polished to a high gloss. Nickel plated 75mm bells, lightning arresters and terminals are mounted above the writing slope. The main difference in case styles is in the crest and the base. The illustrations show a typical but by no means complete range. Remember also that they were widely copied, and that Ericssons made custom models for bulk buyers such as the Australian Post Office, so there will be many variations found. Some are illustrated for reference. The earliest models had a “pineapple” crown, but this was short-lived. Later models have a spearpoint crown and “fishtail” base, but by the 1911 catalogue most are shown with the rounded base and pressed crown. The fishtail base went out of use around 1903, along with the elaborate lightning arrestors and the ornate crowns. The fleur-de-lis crown was introduced in the early 1890s, and the stamped crown in 1903.

The handset version of these phones is the most common, although most models were made in each of the three configurations. Some early pulpit models were converted to handset operation during their life, and these may still have the circular transmitter mount covering the hole at the top of the case. Most handsets were terminated on a plug, but earlier models were connected to terminals on the case.

The cover over the battery compartment could be either steel with a wood insert (up to 1903), steel painted in wood grain, or plain brown painted (most British, Commonwealth Ericsson and Australian Post Office refurbished models). In most models the front of the case would have a large Ericsson transfer and minor transfers over the bell motor cover. Some early deluxe models could also be provided with a milk glass insert in the writing slope. This could be written onto directly, then erased later. This was discontinued around 1903, and is rare.

Ericsson phones were used by the National Telephone Company of Britain, using parts and complete phones bought from Ericssons’ British agents. Some illustrations of “National” phones actually show an Ericsson logo. In many of these models the ornate crown has been deleted and the phone is fitted with a rounded top with its terminals. This became typical of most British-built Ericsson phones. National also used a Western Electric handset on their earlier phones, which will sometimes be found on what otherwise looks like an Ericsson phone (see Skeletal phones in the Desktop Phone section). Emil Mollers and other Scandinavian manufacturers also made very close copies of Ericsson phones using unbranded Ericsson parts. This can make it very hard to distinguish a genuine Ericsson model and it may be necessary to check the phone for Ericsson serial numbers. Phones that are obviously Ericsson will also be found with other telephone company transfers on the battery box. JYDSK and KTAS are common examples. In Britain, Sterling and Peel Conner sold Ericsson phones with their own markings added.

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