This field telephone was developed primary for military purposes (World War I) and other wars/military interventions there after. It was the first "mobile" telephone which had a prime objective of providing isolated or "hard" to connect with locations instant communication links. Like a lot of "new" technologies it evolved from a war environment. This handset was used to connect offices and workshops, which due to their functions could not be co-located with their prime office(external workshops).The evolution from the early 1900s to the mid 1980s when mobile communication technology progressed in leaps and bounds from hard wire telephone communication to mobile digital receivers. This handset was manufactured by a subcontracted Australian company under the Australian Post Office mandate.
This handset is significant in that it was donated by the Mount Beauty Timber yards and formed an integrated part of its communication system with its out lying work yards and buildings, before the mobile handset evolution. This handset was located in an environment which required a rugged and reliable day to day communications linkage as a vital part of its logistical (business) survival. As progress demands it, the faster that customers are satisfied with the service they obtain from suppliers the longer those services will be asked for and the longer and more profitable the supplier will be. This edict is as true for rural companies as it is for small or large city businesses. The customer is "always" right.
This sturdy field telephone has a shell housing made in black bakelite material with a "U" form housing the major components (wiring, magneto and batteries). The main housing has two metal bells, with a central ringer between both, on the top part (to notify incoming calls). In front of the main structure is a box with the telephone hand piece (ear and mouth receptacles) nestled on two cradles. An on/off switch is activated when handset is removed from its cradle. On the front of the control box is a winder handle(to ring off) and in a field situation to activate/deactivate the magneto. To the left of the winder but on the the main body are two wind up connection buttons for the connection of operational wires (power)
Inscriptions & markings
On the main right hand front body and next to two chrome switches is a plate with "L (next to the top switch) and below this "L2" and underneath this are "or" "EARTH". There is a plate fastened to the front of the handset and behind the winder with "REPLACE HANDSET WHEN FINISHED" and below the winder 'SERIAL NUMBER 5116"