1894 - National Telephone Mfg. Company

swing mount pencil shaft desk set

1894 National Telephone Mfg. Company swing mount pencil shaft desk set

Condition

Outstanding original condition

Comments

Extremely rare, c. 1894

 

Obviously, very few candlestick telephones survived all these years, but it is easy to see why a telephone this fragile would not have survived 120 years. It is remarkable then that this National Telephone is in outstanding original condition and is stunning evidence of another optimistic telephone company who took on Bell Telephone in 1894 just as Bell's second patent expired, opening the door to competition.

National Telephone Manufacturing Co. advertised in 1894 that they were selling their telephones to sub-Bell Companies, United States Army Officials, Universities and Colleges of different states, Corporations, Electrical Houses, and the public generally.  They also promised protection guaranteed from any damages arising from alleged infringement.

This is a "swing" mounted transmitter on a very thin pencil shaft with marble base supported by ornate “lion’s paw” feet.  Both the transmitter and receiver are marked with the National Telephone Mfg. Company of Boston, Mass. The transmitter is held in place by two screws which allow it to swivel up and down.  The watch case receiver clips into place on the base and calls are disconnected when the receiver is fitted into the clip on the base.

This is one of the most beautiful telephones in the collection and again, one of the rarest. The scan is from an original advertisement in the January 5, 1895 edition of The Electrical World magazine.