1894 - American Electric Telephone Company

Kokomo telescoping desk set

1894 American Electric Telephone Company Kokomo telescoping desk set

Condition

Outstanding original condition

Comments

Extremely rare, c. 1894

 

This beautiful telephone is also one of the rarest in the collection. It is the very first upright telephone made by American Electric Telephone Co. right after they opened up in 1894 in Kokomo, Indiana. The Hunnings transmitter and box came right off of their original wall telephone and was mounted on an adjustable telescoping shaft inside a wooden potbelly. Complete with a Viaduct long pole receiver.

Just as Bell's very first upright desk stands used speaking tube transmitters, American Electric took the transmitter box off of their earliest wall phone and mounted it on a telescoping post so that a caller could move it up and down for convenience. This telephone would have had several wires coming off the top terminals of the transmitter box and it probably wasn't terribly functional for a desk top telephone, which is why it was replaced quickly with several other desk top designs.

American Electric introduced this telephone in 1894 just as Bell’s second patent expired.  It is in beautiful, original condition and the only one known to exist in a private collection.