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Vintage Telephony and Telecomms Vintage Telephones, Telephony and Telecomms Equipment

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Old 4th May 2005, 11:47 pm   #1
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Location: Bishop's Waltham, Hants, UK.
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Default Useful Line Communications books

In another thread, I mentioned "Telephony", by Atkinson, a two volume set that covers the state of the British Telephone system in 1946, and how it all works, from first principles. There are a couple of other books that help with the telephone and telegraph side of life.

"Telephony", Herbert and Proctor. This is an earlier version ofthe Atkinson book, and I think there is a still earlier version, just by Herbert. Again, they cover the complete system from first principles, but depending on the version, you will get less automatic switching theory and practice.

All of the "Telephony" books have extensive diagrams of telephone instruments, switching equipment, and exchange plant, so are useful for phone collectors and restorers.

"Automatic Switching Systems". I believe that is the corect title - my copy is currently in storage. This is a three volume set written around 1930, covering all of the then current automatic exchanges - relay, step-by-step, crossbar, motor drive and others. This is a fascinatinghistorical snapshot, and contains a wealth of pictures and circuitry, though it pre-dates the "detached contact" style of circuit diagram (this means that all the contacts ona relay are shown together with its coil), which makes some of the diagrams hard to follow. This set of books is rare, and much sought after by collectors, so the chances of seeing a copy are low (I got mine from a junk shop, just before it went in the bin ).

"Telegraphy", by Freebody. This is a companion book to Atkinsons "Telephony", and gives telegraph systems a similar treatment, going from morse through to automatic teleprinter exchanges, and covering lots of other oddities on the way.

If you want details of teleprinters, the RSGB "Teleprinter Handbook" is a useful book, though it is biased towards radio teleprinter use (a lot of good theory though, and easier to find than "Telegraphy")

If you need details of a particular old telephone or piece of subscriber equipment, look for copies of Post Office "N" diagrams. These were issued to engineers, and contain the details of instruments, PBX's, and other equipment, from around 1890 up until the late 70's. There are a good number on-line, and I have a fairly extensive set (again, in storage, so not easy to refer to ).

If anyone has any other good, useful texts, please let me know!

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