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Alberta's Telephone Heritage
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Cabinet Phone

The early cabinet telephone was usually a wall telephone with the components encased in a wood or metal housing on a wood backing.

Wooden wall telephone
Three-box models had an upper box for the bells and the magneto that powered the ringer circuit, a middle box for the Blake transmitter (a solid carbon transmitter that relayed sound with more clarity than past transmitters) and a lower box to hold a wet cell to power the talking circuit.


Wooden wall telephone
Two-box models had the bells and magneto in the upper box and dry cells in the lower box. Between the two boxes, a transmitter extended outwards on a metal arm.





Wall telephone
Fiddleback styles had the transmitter at the top and the battery box and bells below, so that the backing was narrower at the top.






Wooden wall telephone
Longbox models encased the components in a single box, generally with the bells and magneto at the top, the transmitter in the middle, and the batteries at the bottom. A small shelf was added to allow callers to write down messages.

 


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