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WH Masters Triple WH M Top Box BWE Delville BWE Eiffel Tower Consolidated, UK
Europe unknown (Spain) Telcer Bobo's For the Jetsons




(AC210). It was originally installed in the offices at the W.D. & H.O. Wills tobacco factory in Melbourne and replaced when the office systems were uprgaded in the early 1900's.



WH Masters of Melbourne 


What a wonderful find – After probably 10 years looking for an opportunity, this is a Blake telephone that I have finally been able to buy. It was from WH Masters and Co, of Melbourne. WH Masters were one of the principal partners in the Melbourne Telephone Exchange Company Ltd, which opened in August 1880.

Although the phone would have undoubtedly been an Edison-Bell imported from the USA, it doesn’t have any markings except for that of the importers, WH Masters.

The Blake transmitter (pictured) is genuine, but doesn’t have any of the Bell details that are commonly stamped into the front of the Blake transmitters used in the USA.

Link to Blake .pdf file (this Yahoo file is only accessible by registered members - registration is free though)

WH Masters of Melbourne (top box)

Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company - This telephone top box was imported by WH Masters as the Agents for BTMC/BWE.  It appears to have the normal mix of original BTMC/BWE components, such as the Friction Drive magneto, the Delville transmitter, the early lightning arrestor and the double pole Bell receiver with metal case and ebonite sleeve. The case is also imprinted with WH Masters/Agents/Melbourne and also the faint imprint of the circular Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company logo; Look just above the generator handle in the second picture.








UK, British Western Electric

British Western Electric Origins British Western Electric (BWE) was a UK subsidiary of the US Bell company.

On 2 May 1883, Englishman J. E. Kingsbury set up an office in Moorgate in the City of London to sell telephones manufactured by Western Electric in the USA. Like many of personalities in the telephone industry, Mr. Kingsbury was committed to the future of the telephone and was also a successful inventor of telephony enhancements. There are some 17 patents credited to his name from the late 1800’s.  The company began life in 1883 as an agent for the US Western Electric company that also owned the Bell Telephone Manufacturing Co. Antwerp, Belgium. At the same time, some of the telephones and equipment were manufactured at the Western Electric factory in Chicago. The London operation initially sold US-designed telephones and exchanges to fledgling telephone companies. These telephones were made in Chicago and Antwerp. Because of the costs of importing products, a failing cable factory (Fowler-Waring) at North Woolwich in London’s East End was acquired in 1898. Despite setbacks, as well as making lead-sheathed cables this factory also assembled equipment from components imported from Belgium and the States. It later moved into their complete local manufacture.

In 1925 Western Electric reorganised its overseas interests and the English branch became part of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation and changed its name to Standard Telephones and Cables. 

UK, Delville Western Electric  

Only a very few large magneto table handsets were produced by manufacturers worldwide, because of the large space which they needed to occupy on the desk.

The telephone shown here has no manufacturer markings, but it is undoubtedly a Delville Western Electric , manufactured in the UK by British Western Electric (BWE).  Used in small numbers in Australia, and by the British “National Telephone Service” before their take over by the British Post Office.

The mahogany box contains the hand generator, induction coil, bell mechanism and hook switch.  Batteries would have been housed in a separate box, wall mounted and usually below the desk.

A Hunnings  transmitter is attached to an ornate swivel mounting to allow it to be turned in any direction.  This transmitter was designed before the Berliner (shown in Chapter 2 of TELEPHONEtalk) but used the same construction principles.


BWE Eiffel Tower


This particular BWE Eiffel Tower was installed at the Workshops of the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Pictured to the right is the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade old Eastern Hill Station. After restoration, in 1979 the station has become the Brigade Museum. The telephone was installed in the office of the Workshop Manager.




UK, Consolidated

Manufactured in the early 1900's. From the Manufacturers lable - " Consolidated Telephone Manufacturing & Maintenance Co Ltd, Telephone & Electrical Works, Farrington Rd London".

I haven't been able able to find out anything about this company - if you have any information, I would appreciate it if you could contact me.


Europe, Unknown

I would appreciate help in identifying this very appealing wall phone with a very ornate "extender".



Italian, Telcer designed Bobo

Looking for all the world like an old style alarm clock with large bell gongs on the outside and a chrome plated carry handle across the back.

The Bobo is typical of a number of the more unusual plastic “Retro” styles of telephone that truly makes a statement. It has recently found more appeal amongst collectors, not for its’ looks but more for the rarity.

It would have been a shape that could look quite ugly to some and consequently appealed only to a narrow buyers market. Recently the Bobo is more difficult to obtain and becoming more expensive



For the "Jetsons"


These phones, in a combination of Perspex and chrome finish would have been limited productions, but for the collector, they are still found occasionally