Home:  Early Telephones: STERLING No 2 (CANDLESTICK) PHONE, 1906


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The Candlestick, used with bell set No 1, replaced earlier golf ball style candlesticks, introduced in 1901. It was made by Western Electric and was first used by the National Telephone Company, taken over by the Post Office also as a No 2. The unit shown was manufactured by Sterling Telephone and Electric Company Ltd. Described as a central battery table telephone (pillar phone) having a solid black granular transmitter, with adjustable joint and enamelled brass base. No internal circuitry was provided other than the receiver hook switch, this was all provided in the bell box, which is connected to this instrument, (not shown).

Your comments:

  • Use with a Bellset No 1 (There wasn't a Bellset 1A but there was a Bell 1A which looked very similar). This pattern of telephone was the GPO's first standard pattern of telephone - same design to the GPO spec made by the various UK manufacturers from 1906 onwards. I have a Tele No 2 dated 1910 made by the British Insulated Helsby Cable Company. The 'No 2' was a GPO designation not a National Telephone Company one. The National Telephone designation was 'Table Set, Central Battery, Type A, S/L11' according to an illustrated copy of the NT Co's inventory of plant produced in 1910 prior to nationalisation. The earlier pattern 'golfball' candlsetick was 'Table Set, Central Battery, Type A, S/L9' .
    .......... Ian Jolly, Yr Wyddgrug, N. Wales, 27th of August 2012

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