Home:  Exchange Equipment: 1 x 3 SMALL DOLLS EYE EXCHANGE (SWITCHBOARD), 1940's


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Small manual telephone exchange for one exchange line and three extensions.

Your comments:

  • I was trained in its use at the Bank of New South Wales, Leongatha Branch, Victoria, AU in 1977-8.

    Extension 3 was a line to the Managers residence, 1 to the Managers office and 2 to the Accountants office.

    No bell only the eye drop. If you didn't reset the line in cover you never knew when a call was coming in except for the click of the retainer pulse.

    Bouncing an extension handset caused the eye to drop and raise which was enough noise to gain your attention when doing the other office work.

    A lovely piece of kit that showed good workmanship in both internals and cabinetry. It was decommission during our upgrade of the phone system prior to computerisation in 1978-9.
    .......... Lindsay Eden, Sydney, Australia, 22nd of April 2016

  • this board ran on 12volt (dry cells)
    .......... chris poterney, scarborough, 16th of September 2015

  • I have one of these switchboards. It has 1 exchange and 3 station lines. I believe it is called a cb935 GPO cordless switchboard. Now let me ask a dumb question. What is the operating voltage of it. I know about the ringing voltage but what is the d.c. voltage for operation and talk? Thank you very much!!
    .......... Dave kanis, Eagle bend, Minnesota usa, 14th of February 2015

  • I'm from Australia and my family has one of these switchboards. I used to play with it for hours as a child. My father (who used to work for Telecom Australia before it became Telstra) rescued it from an old defunct Post Office. It was the only 1 + 3 he'd ever seen other than in a book. Unfortunately these days there is no handle as it was removed, not sure when, and the flip down cover for the 1st line has broken off but otherwise it's in great condition and would be in working order internally especially if we had the handle.. I'm sure our little girl will enjoy playing with this piece of history just as much as I did.
    .......... Elise Thomas, Deniliquin, New South Wales. Australia, 14th of November 2014

  • In 1946 after leaving school I began work in an office as the junior clerk. One of my tasks was to operate this type of phone technology and connect any of our four office to our two lines of incoming or outgoing calls. It frightened me to death, at home we did have a dial telephone but this was a new experience. Eventually I mastered it and did not cut people off. However as an awkward teenager I would sometimes throw a switch to disconnect an annoyed boss and an equally annoyed customer who I could hear ranting on before I reconnected them!!! At 82 I am writing up my life's experiences of changing technology and was glad to discover your site and its illustrations.
    .......... Trevor G Hill, BA, MA, PhD retired lecturer in Local History, Cressage, Shrewsbury SY5 6DS, 17th of June 2014

  • When I started as an apprentice on the GPO in 1966, one of my first placements was in a repeater station which used a 2+4 table top box exchange switchboard.I managed to purchased one a while back as a restoration project. They were virtually indestructable. We kept a small tin of polish to give it a shine every now and then
    .......... Henry Street, Banbury, 30th of October 2011

  • I have used the old bakelite telephones for years as I'm rather hard of hearing and they have a larger earpiece. As I have extensions in my home, difficulty with ringing was found. Having four old phones connected across the exchange line proved too heavy a load on the ringing current and the bells did not ring properly. I found one of these 'box switchboards' on a fleamarket stall a few years ago for 30 quid. (I'd have willingly given him 130!)Took it home, connected it all up (not hard) and a 12 volt battery and its champion. It enables me to send the exchange line wherever I go - bedroom/attic/garden shed plus the operators telephone with the 'box' in the sitting room. These were introduced in 1938 and were available as 1 + 3 2 + 4 and 3 + 7-9.
    The first number is the exchange line, second the number of extensions. My Grandson (6) loves playing with it and it is so strong he'll never break it!
    .......... David Murray, Staveley, Derbyshire, UK, 21st of October 2011

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