part rack of group selectors from Western Electric Rotary automatic exchange, 1920-1940

1920-1940 in Antwerp

Part-rack, marked R5 B15, of group selectors No 7009, for Western Electric No 7-A machine switching system, made by Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company SA, Antwerp, Belgium, 1920-1940.

In the early 1900s, six British towns and cities established municipal telephone services. Five of these proved to be commercial failures, and were bought out by the National Telephone Company or the Post Office. The sixth, in Kingston upon Hull, prospered. Being independent of the Post Office, Hull was free to choose Western Electric rotary for its automation programme, from 1922, rather than Strowger. This switching equipment was used at the Newland Exchange in Hull until 1975. Hull remains the only UK city not to be served by BT. Instead telephone services are provided by the KCOM Group.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Exchange

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Object Number:
metal (unknown), paint, plastic (unidentified) and textile
electric switch
  • component - object
Donated by the City of Kingston upon Hull (Telephone Department)

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