These were essentially replacements for the old Non-Switching Units and some of the intercoms that dated from the 1920s, but they had basic hold and transfer facilities built in. They worked surprisingly well, but had one serious disadvantage. Every line in a system was wired direct to every phone. The cabling cost was extremely high, making the systems too expensive for most customers. Many customers preferred to keep their old A10 intercom systems as long as possible rather than move to a Multicom. In a fairly short time the new Commander office systems appeared and the Multicom disappeared overnight. Left to right: Multicom Zero 6, Multicom 12, Multicom 24.
This picture is from a Telecom brochure for the Multicom. Almost every customer who was given one made the obvious comment - "What are these people doing? They don't seem to have any work on their desks, there are no coffee cups, no papers - all they seem to be doing is walking around and chatting on the phone."
I personally have never seen an office as tidy as this and staffed mostly by attractive blonds. The photo does, however, give you an idea of just how big the units were. It carefully doesn't show the huge cables that connected the units. In spite of this they did their job well and were comfortable to use.
2/6 and 4/11 Intercoms
These units were issued in 1971 as a stopgap replacement for the older A5 and A10 intercoms, which dated from the 1920s. They suffered from the same failings as the A10 and the Multicom - massive and expensive wiring was needed between each phone. They did their job but were never popular.
They were sourced from Telefon und Normalzeit (T&N) in Germany. They were solid and well built but their technology was already out of date when they were introduced. Their introduction was necessary because the old intercoms were simply no longer maintainable due to lack of parts. The new intercoms which were to be released as the Commander systems were still being investigated and evaluated.
The 2/6 and 4/11 had a product life of around four years.. They are now scarce.
The illustration is from an Australian Post Office brochure from 1971. The rather unattractive green-grey color is correct.