Large Wall Phones
To 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 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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