Historical information

Each of the five telephones is attached to a timber, wall‐mounted box. They are original to
the precinct buildings and date from the early twentieth century. Located in the lighthouse
lantern room, the former head keeper’s quarters, the former assistants’ quarters, and the
buildings known today as the generator shed and the café, they formed an intercom system
that facilitated communication between the lightstation buildings.


Wall‐mounted Bakelite telephones with crank handles
can be found at all six light stations, however Gabo Island has the only other example of a
timber‐mounted phone. Its design is slightly different for incorporating an
inclined surface for jotting down notes. As fixtures, the telephones are considered to be
part of the building fabric and included in the Victorian Heritage Register listing for the Cape
Nelson Lightstation (H1773; 18 February 1999). They are historically significant for their
historical and technical values as part of the early communications system used at the

Physical description

Five similar intercom system telephones. All are wall mounted timber boxes with Bakelite black hand sets and black cords. The five phones each have two bells at the top of the box and a crank handle at the side. Three phones have brass bells, two have black metal bells. All phones have instructions on the front either in a frame or glued to the timber.

Inscriptions & markings

"C of A" and "PMG" Written instructions on how to use the phones are printed on paper fixed to the front of the telephones. "TO CALL ....../ TO ANSWER...../ WHEN FINISHED....."