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Letter to


Dear Jerry,

A "tucked" Ericsson recently came into my possession and I was quite keen to take a closer look at exactly what made it tick. The one I now so proudly own left the Ericsson factory in Stockholm on the 7th October 1910, well, at least what is left of the door did. This I can be sure of as the paper sticker remains intact in it's usual position, just inside the right hand side below the hole for the generator handle. Although, on second thoughts, maybe it was just the right hand side of the door that left the factory on that date. I know that the modifications were carried out during the Second World War and was wondering if these modifications would be carried out by your average home handyman today, as I have a spare "Swedish" in the shed.

Yours faithfully....Tucked.

Dear Tucked,

These modifications, carried out during the Second World War by the P.M.G. could quite easily be carried out today by your average home handyman or, indeed, any homicidal maniac with a chain saw and a few hours to kill. And for those considering attempting this conversion, I include the following recipe, albeit one for disaster.

Items you will need:

* Swedish or Commonwealth Ericsson wall telephone (in excellent condition).
* 9 inch circular or similar saw will do nicely.
* Screwdriver (better make that two screwdrivers, just in case).
* Large pair of pliers (the bigger the better, you just can't go too large).
* Wire cutters (see pliers above for dimensions).
* An eight pound hammer.
* And finally, an amoral personality disorder (refer Used Car Salesman Code of Ethics or similar).

Having assembled your equipment and making sure you are totally alone, lock all the doors, send your wife out to visit her sister and put out the cat (it won't understand what you are doing and is safer in the garden anyway).

To begin, it will be necessary to remove the door from the body of the phone. Place the door to one side, you haven't finished with it yet, but the real fun is only just beginning. Now remove, in any order you wish, the bell motor, the gongs and bell posts and the switch hook and it's associated wiring. The dexterous amongst you may like to leave the generator in place as it gives you somewhere to rest your foot while sawing. But "if in doubt, rip it out" is the motto of this exercise so I will leave it up to you.

Now, turn the phone over and grab that large screwdriver that has been lying on the coffee table up till now and prize the thin timber back board off and throw it away. Having fun yet? Now you have gone this far, take the larger than average pliers and tear all the existing wiring out and put it to one side. You won't be needing it again but just having it around will re-inforce the feeling of pride that I know is welling up inside you. Now for the part I know you have been waiting for. Firmly grab the 9 inch circular saw, or whatever, and just start cutting. Cut the backboard just above the spot recently occupied by the switch hook, and don't stop there, turn the phone around and cut straight across the bottom as well. Now put the saw down and grab the......I said put the saw down. Come on - put it down. Come on, you'll get to use it again later I promise. Thats better. Now where was I up to? That's right, you should now be sitting in front of what resenbles a large rectangle of walnut, or oak if you are fortunate enough, that has a large hole cut in it.

Looking good hey? Put the cat out again and grab the door of your phone. Take the 8 pound hammer and gently remove the writing slope. One good blow usually does the job but anything up to a dozen blows is acceptable if you are really getting into the swing of things. The door should now resemble a pile of kindling, which is just what it should resemble at this stage. Take the sides and, with your saw, see I told you you would be using it again, trim off any offending timber resembling quaint 19th century grace and charm. Nearly there. Reassemble the newly improved door, and don't forget to remove the paper clip and throw it away. Now back to the backboard. Take your bell motor and screw it inside the battery compartment, re-install the switch hook and rewire the entire unit with whatever wiring circuit takes your fancy and there you have it. A tucked Ericsson as professionally converted as any available.

Attitude is a key element with this modification and you would be well advised to model yours on that of the P.M.G.. Take all the left over parts and throw them away, just because you don't want them nobody else should get them either.

I would like to point out that it is not impossible to accomplish the reverse procedure, that is to convert your "tucked" into a "Commonwealth" but you will need to read all instructions backwards and add a good supply of glue to your equipment list.

Well, must go now as it's time for my medication and my wife has just pulled into the drive.


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