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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 5:31 pm   #1
Electronpusher0
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Default Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

I visited my local dump today and spotted this. I asked if I could photograph it and they said "take it".
I have no idea what it would have been used for.
I have not had chance to open it yet, the case is wooden despite being painted cream.

Peter
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 5:40 pm   #2
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

I wonder where 12 Percy Street is?

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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 5:41 pm   #3
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

They were used in offices in times past, rather than having a separate tape or wire recorder in each office you had a bunch of recorders in the typing pool, and someone needing to dictate something for typing would pick up the handset, which seized a vacant recorder.

Then they dictated their message, along with instructions regarding who they were, the letterhead or other instructions, and a while later the typed up copy would be delivered to their desk by a 'runner'..

All now ideas lost in time, like smudged carbon-copies..
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 5:59 pm   #4
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

I think it's a type HL-10 substation.
Part of an internal office telephone system
http://www.samhallas.co.uk/repositor...raph_flyer.pdf

"12 Peacy St" implies there was a line going to a different address I suspect it was a near neighbouring property.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 6:02 pm   #5
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

They can also be used as a general intercom system, though of course one needs multiple stations to do anything useful. I have a set of four stations wired up in this manner.

edit: meanwhile, thanks for more information from Graham.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 8:26 pm   #6
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Thank you Graham, it certainly looks like a slightly more modern version of the HL-10.
I would like to remove the paint and restore the original wooden finish. It looks like it may be emulsion rather than gloss.

The keys are interlocked to the cradle, if you lift the handset and press a key (except the red one) it locks. Replacing the handset releases it

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingpeakin View Post
I wonder where 12 Percy Street is?

Ging
There is not a Percy Street in Sussex or Hampshire (it was found in Bognor Regis), just a couple of Percy Roads.

Since Bognor is a commuter town for London I checked London. 12 Percy St, London W1T 1DW looks a possible candidate, its now a print shop call Digital Fusion. It, and the neighboring properties, certainly has enough floors to qualify.

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/su...l21/pt3/pp7-11

Peter

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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 8:38 pm   #7
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

It looks similar to the one mentioned in this post.
https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...0&postcount=23

Peter
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 10:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

On the basis it's got a "studio" how about George Rowney & Co., Artists suppliers.
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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 8:01 am   #9
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

I think you have got it Graham, according to the British History Online (the link in post No 7)
“the south side being numbered consecutively from No. 1 near the corner of Rathbone Street to No. 20 where it meets Tottenham Court Road”
So No 12 is next door to No11 and George Rowney & Co occupied No 10 and 11 so an extension to next door makes perfect sense.

The puzzle is, how did it get to Bognor Regis recycling centre. According to companies house the nearest director lives in Petersfield, about 26 miles from Bognor.

Graham, could you post a link (or PM me) to the adverts you posted so that I can get higher res copies please?

Peter
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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 8:11 am   #10
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

I used to work on these systems in SW London. Percy St was in W1 so I didn't go there. But I did visit Buckinghqm Palace just once to repair a fault.
They used a twisted pair for each line plus battery connections for speech and buzzers.so you could have a 20 pair or more cable running around an office.
Used to get lots of problems with dirty contacts and overhearing with phones that were at the end of a long run. We spent a few weeks sorting out a system at the White City Stadium in West London that had this problem.
The case would have originally been dark wood.
Later models had a curved arfrormosia case which looked quite good.
Don m5aky
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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 8:14 am   #11
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronpusher0 View Post
The keys are interlocked to the cradle, if you lift the handset and press a key (except the red one) it locks. Replacing the handset releases it
The keys (other than the red one) select the extension to connect, then depressing the red key rings that extension.
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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 10:02 am   #12
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingpeakin View Post
I wonder where 12 Percy Street is?

Ging
I used to go to a nice wine merchant a few door up fom there.
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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 12:48 pm   #13
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham G3ZVT View Post
I think it's a type HL-10 substation.
Part of an internal office telephone system
http://www.samhallas.co.uk/repositor...raph_flyer.pdf

"12 Peacy St" implies there was a line going to a different address I suspect it was a near neighbouring property.
Love the typically 1930s speaker fretwork of the manufacturer's trademark on the matching master station. I wonder where that's ended up?
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 3:08 pm   #14
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

dad bought what looked like a full office's worth of these for me to play with as a child, the only thing missing was the central unit. They were wired in what looked like GPO grey multi pair which had just been snipped off at the back. I did rewire a couple as intercoms so I could annoy my mother between the house and shed.
I used to look at the engraved trafolyte-style station labels and wonder about the names, and the status of the people, since some were labelled with just the surname and others were 'mr....something'.
Later when I started high school they had a little system in the office studies room to presumably give pupils experience of using intercoms. All great fun!
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 10:55 pm   #15
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

At Plessey Ilford in the 1970's, you could dictate letters using the ordinary telephone. You dialled a number to access the dictation service, and then dialled other single numbers using the dial to start, stop, playback etc. I never needed to use it myself and have no idea what the equipment was.
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Old 25th Apr 2024, 4:42 am   #16
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Somewhere I have a 'Dictaphone Telecord' which is a later version that looks like a Telephone 706 with a panel of 4 buttons where the dial would be. I assume the buttons selected things like 'record', 'review', etc.

Alas I have no idea what it connected to.
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Old 25th Apr 2024, 5:25 pm   #17
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Maybe worth highlighting that Dictograph (intercoms) and Dictophone (dictating machines) weren't, as far as I know, related.
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Old 25th Apr 2024, 5:39 pm   #18
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

This is worth a read:
https://collection.sciencemuseumgrou...nge-telephones
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Old 25th Apr 2024, 6:33 pm   #19
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

Thanks for the link Nick.
The cabinet is beautiful but I notice the red switch knob is missing.

Does anyone know how to get inside? I assume the back panel comes off, does it just pry off or do I need to release any of the 4 screws on the base? I have not undone them yet in case they just hold the mechanism.

Peter
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Old 25th Apr 2024, 7:18 pm   #20
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Default Re: Telephone thingy - Dictograph - found at the local dump

On mine (and hopefully yours is the same) there are four screws underneath - the rear two secure the back cover and the front two the inner workings. Certainly don't try simply to prise off the cover!
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