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WE 317 Antique Telephone

An old telephone with a crank magneto


Another in my collection of electrical antiques, this phone was purchased from Ebay in 2003.  The 317 was made by Western Electric.  Per the site antiquephonehistory.com, this was produced starting in 1916.



The phone did not have the front writing shelf when I bought it.  I found one later and added it. The interesting part of this phone is that it has a magneto to generate the ring voltage for the called party.  Cranking the handle on the right spins the magneto and rings the local bells also.  You can then pick up the receiver on the left and listen to the conversation.




Unexpectedly, the phone also came with two large dry cells (batteries).  I hooked it to my phone system and the electronic parts work for a two way conversation.

Schematic Diagram for this phone

Other Antiques:

Antique RCA Radio

Vintage Analog Voltmeter

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