U.S. Ericsson Telephones


For convenience, we will divide these into four main groups.

1. Ericsson imports and local manufacturers using Ericsson parts. These are pre-1908.

2. Ericsson's Buffalo models.1908 - 1920

3. Kellogg / Ericsson models

4. Post-Buffalo selloff models branded by other companies

This is not strictly speaking accurate, as it will include many non-Ericsson phones, but it will act as a starting point until further research provides more information.


Pre - 1908 Phones

The phones of this period include two and three box wall phones, standard Ericsson models, and candlestick phones. Some are shown below.











L to R: 1 & 2: Plummer wall phones in 2 and 3-box configuration. The example on left uses an Ericsson transmitter and other parts, although the adjustable bells look like Western Electric. The example on right uses an Ericsson replacement transmitter and other parts on the same locally-built top box. Plummer's catalog of the late 1890s is effusive about the transmitter: "This transmitter has a reputation in all civilized countries, and is being used, not only on our instruments, but by a great many of the leading manufacturers of telephones in this country, and we say. without fear of contradiction, that it is perfection as a transmitter".

3: Illinois Electric two box with Ericsson top box, gooseneck and transmitter (from Knappen)

4: Illinois Electric single box with Ericsson transmitter on Kellogg mount.

The Plummer's catalog also advertises fully imported Ericsson models 311 (single-cell) and 305 (miniature), as well as a small range of their own locally-built intercoms with Ericsson transmitters. They also sold the Skeletal desk phone.




L to R:

Ericsson transmitter and receiver mounted on a Western Electric "Potbelly" frame. From Plummers, 1890s.

Ericsson candlestick phone , imported from Europe. Note the elaborate transmitter mount.


Buffalo Models 1908 - 1920

As well as the range of imported Ericsson phones, they were now manufacturing some phones themselves at the new factory.










L to R:

Model AB2100 steel cased wall phone, in separate transmitter/receiver, side handset, or cradle handset models

Position of Buffalo logo - between the bells , under the writing slope. The logo was a stylized Grabaphone.

Model CG400 CB desk phone. The Model AC300 was a similar magneto phone, with a slightly taller case to allow for the generator.










L to R:

Model CK650 wooden wall phone, also produced as a CB phone. This was sold in the U.S., but may have been assembled from imported parts.

Ericsson equivalent of Kellogg's GrabAPhone. The phone appears to have been a collaboration between Ericssons and Kellogg, and production numbers by Ericsson would have been small. It is also known from Federal Telephone. The Ericsson base was usually painted in black japan, but the Federal model most commonly had a nickelled base in gloss or frosted finish. Federal in turn rebadged some phones with the name of the company the phones were sold to.

Ericsson candlestick using Stromberg Carlson-style top mounting. The switchhook has an "E" in the cutouts on the ends.



3. Kellogg / Ericsson Models

These are the Kellogg phones that used identifiable Ericsson parts. The best known is the GrabAPhone, which introduced the handset to the wider American public. Since handset phones were usually only seen by travellers on the European continent, they became known as "French" phones. Kellogg's first model used an Ericsson candlestick base with a modified Ericsson cradle and unmarked handset. As the model evolved, Kellogg parts were introduced. The first changes were to the handset, where the transmitter and receiver were changed to less ornate but more solid-looking Kellogg equivalents. The cradle changed as well, and the final models had a pressed steel cradle and base. For a time the steel shaft was covered with an ebonite sleeve (called "Kellite" by Kellogg) but this eventually gave way to black japan paint over the steel.

The base assembly may have been bought from Kellogg by the Ericsson factory, as their early Grabaphone-type phone is almsot identical and uses the ebonite sleeve.







4. Post-selloff phones from other companies

The model AB2100 steel wall phones were manufactured by Federal from the Ericsson dies for some years after the factory closed. They sold the phones to the New Zealand Post Office as well as to local users. The phone was largely unchanged except for the name on the logo.

Federal also sold the Ericsson Grabaphone equivalent under their name, but in the later models generally used blackened metalwork with brass or frosted nickel instead of polished nickel plate.










They also sold quantities of the AC300 magneto set made from the original dies. The logo on the side panels was changed from Ericsson's skeletal phone to the AC300 itself. The phone was also sold to South American companies and possibly to Canada.








L to R

Ericsson U.S logo;

Standard Of The World logo.


U.S. Ericsson Introduction

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