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Letter to


Dear Jerry,

My problem is this. I have recently restored a dial candlestick telephone, but for the life of me I can't get my hands on a bell box to go with it.

What can I do?

Hope you are keeping well.


Bell Box.

Dear Bell,

It's nice of you to be concerned about the state of my health, and as you have inquired, I'll tell you.

You well know that I'm not the sort of person to grumble, but franckly I've been just a little bit off colour lately. The doctor says it's nothing to get particularly worried about, in fact he says that he normally prescribes a large jolt of electricity for patients in my condition, but he emphasized that it is normally administered in a controlled medical environment. I think he means hospital.

He strongly stressed that he feels it would be wiser in the future to use a multi-meter, to determine which is the live wire in a mains power outlet.

Fortunately, what little hair I did have appears to have grown back with no ill effect, and we seem to have got the smell out of the dining room curtains. I was having some problems with the old memory, but I'm happy to report that it is now as good as ever.

I was having some problems with the old memory, but I'm happy to report that it is now as good as ever.

What was your problem again? Oh, thats right, a bell box. There are actuallt two options open to you. The funny thing is that they were both popular options with the P.M.G. as well.

Option One. The first option is to strip out a small auto wooden wall phone such as 37CB/AW or 137CB/AW. (Heaven knows the parts will come in handy). Remove the switch mechanism, dial and transmitter. Next you will need to make some metal plates to cover the holes. Remember that as you are going to use this bell box with a candlestick telephone you will need to leave the induction coil in place. If you were to use it for, say, an automatic 162 or 232 pyramid that already has a coil, you could remove the coil from the bell box or alternatively just short circuit it out.

Option Two. The second option, and my personal favourite, is to use the same procedure as option one but substitute an Automatic Electric "Geelong" telephone. It doesn't have an anti-sidetone induction coil (ASTIC) but as I often forget what I'm saying in the middle of a conversation, I find hearing myself in the receiver quite a bit of help actually. Who knows, the left over parts might even be worth a bob or two in a few years time.

I hope this answers your question. Believe me, the P.M.G. did thousands of these conversions to automatic and central battery telephones. In fact, it probably accounts for why Telecom (Telstra) still makes record profits today.

Must dash now as I have to convince the cat not to switch to Optus. Here puss, puss, puss!


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