Type F Field Telephone

The Type F Field telephone was a type of telephone in use with the British Army in the Second World War for short range communications. Unlike a radio, a field telephone relied on a physical piece of wire to link receivers to one another and a central switchboard. As such it was best for use with fixed positions such as between artillery spotters and their guns, it allowed relatively simple and secure communications, but was very vulnerable to having its wires cut by enemy fire. The type F was a Bakelite field telephone that was originally held in a wooden box as the war office were unsure how robust the early plastics would prove in the field. These fears turned out to be groundless and users frequently discarded the outer box to lighten the weight of the field telephone:imageOn the top of the telephone two raised shoulders protect a central pair of metal bells:imageThe hammer for these bells projects up from the inside through a small hole in the top cover. As the telephone had originally been designed to be used in a box, all the functioning parts are squeezed onto the front face, with a magneto handle:imageBuzzer button:image And line terminals:imageSqueezed into a small space. The top of the telephone is removable to allow for maintenance and replacement of the internal ‘S’ or ‘X’ type 3V dry cell battery:imageThe underside of the top cover has a wiring diagram to help with repairs:imageThe official handbook which accompanied the telephone helpfully provided a photograph of the insides with major components labelled:untitled3These telephones were used throughout the war, with and without the wooden boxes and were good for distances of up to five miles. The image below shows one in use, in its wooden box, in the early days of the war:Untitled4


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