Gower-Bell telephone, 1881

Made:
1881 in England
Gower Bell telephone transmitter, Post Office pattern with porcelain mouthpiece. Front view of whole object on grey Gower Bell telephone transmitter, Post Office pattern with porcelain mouthpiece. Three quarter front view of whole

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Gower Bell telephone transmitter, Post Office pattern with porcelain mouthpiece. Front view of whole object on grey
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Gower Bell telephone transmitter, Post Office pattern with porcelain mouthpiece. Three quarter front view of whole
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Gower-Bell telephone transmitter, Post Office pattern with porcelain mouthpiece, made by Scott and Wollaston, England, 1880.

The Gower-Bell telephone was one of the earliest telephones adopted by the General Post Office, and continued to be that standard for many years, with a few minor modifications. It became known as the universal telephone, as it could operate under any conditions that the Post Office found when installing it. Due to the size of the receiver, it could not be lifted to the ear like previous telephone models. Instead, users listened through speaking tubes.

Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1908-181
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), ivory, porcelain, textile and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (including hearing tubes): 520 mm x 400 mm x 200 mm, 5.86 kg
type:
telephone
taxonomy:
  • component - object