The most obvious difference is the size, and that’s due in part to the rugged carry case, which clearly suited its role in military service.
By the way, we’re talking about proper telephones, the sort that are connect to a local exchange by wires, not those new fangled mobile jobbies…
Anyway, the point is that most of the time phone calls simply happen; but what about when something goes wrong?
To fix those problems, and try to stop them occurring in the first place there’s small army of engineers.
This model, one of a very long line of portable test telephones, was first issued in 1968 and was apparently still in service 20 years later.
At around that time telephone exchanges across the country were being converted to digital operation and most domestic phones were starting to appear with numeric keypads, rather than dials, so these old warhorses had to be replaced by more sophisticated test instruments.
Basically it is very simple, it’s a portable telephone designed for use in the field, up a pole or indeed anywhere there was a fault, or suspected fault.
It has all of the features of a regular phone, namely a handset, rotary dial and an internal ringer or buzzer, but there the similarity ends.
They’re responsible for keeping the UK telephone networks up and running, and until comparatively recently a lot of them would have something very like this Linesman’s Telephone as part of their tool kit.
Now this is where it gets a bit complicated, and a tad pedantic because the instrument you see here is actually a Pye TMC 1705.
This is the military version of the one used by GPO and BT engineers, which has the designation 704A, or Linesman’s Phone B.
However, apart from the badge on the top of the case and one or two minor technical differences they are practically identical.