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Old 19th May 2022, 9:14 pm   #1
Voxophone's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Posts: 335
Default GPO Candlestick No2 Receiver

Hi All,

I've recently picked up a GPO candlestick (pictures below). I believe it is an early No2 version with the 'daffodil' mouthpiece type transmitter No1.

The lettering on the side of the hinge is hard to make out, but the date appears to be '21' and the mark 235.

This much I've been able to figure out from reading up online, but I'm interested in learning more about the receiver specifically, as there seem to be a few different variants.

According to the British Telephones website, I think telephone No2 should have receiver No1A. Sure enough, the coil assembly inside the receiver is marked 'No1A'. It also has a removable end cap (where the wires go in) and an earpiece with no dimple in it. However, some images of telephone No2s seem to show receivers without the removable end cap and/or a dimpled earpiece.

Can anyone shed any light regarding the significance of the removable top cap and the un-dimpled earpiece, and when/why these features were changed in later models?

Many thanks,


Edit: There is some discussion here ( regarding the change from a removable end cap to a fixed one, but it seems to be referring to American telephones. I'm not sure whether the same applies to the UK?
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Old 20th May 2022, 6:31 pm   #2
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Flintshire, UK.
Posts: 650
Default Re: GPO Candlestick No2 Receiver

I think you may find it is just a manufacturers variant.

The Transmitter No 1 was replaced by a Transmitter No 22 when it was introduced in 1929 at the time the Inset, Transmitter No 10 was introduced.

I have a Tele No 2 dated 1910 made by British Insulated Helsby Cables and it has a Receiver Bell No 1A.

The only different 'Bell' receiver I've got on a 'candlestick' telephone is a 'Receiver, Bell No 4' which has a single coil on a steel armature - not a magnet. Hence when the cap is removed the diaphragm drops off. It is on a Telephone No 72 dated 1913 and fitted with a Dial No 1 - made by Automatic Telephone Manufacturing - the successor factory at Edge Lane, Liverpool when BIHC got the contract for the GPO's first two automatic exchanges which opened in 1912.

Both of the above 'Bell' receivers have a 'groove' in the 'Earpiece No 2' to allow the howler to be heard if the receiver is left 'off hook' and stood upright. The Vocabulary of Engineering Stores' back in the 1940's lists three versions of the 'Receiver, Bell 1a' Mk C & D plus the 4001 - all fitted with an 'Earpiece No 2' whereas the Mk B was fitted with an 'Earpiece No 1'.

Is yours fitted with a No 1 ?

Bell receivers have often had the incorrect earpiece fitted since they left the GPO and moved into preservation.

The other different Bell receiver I've got is nearly thirty years earlier which I was given by the Science Museum who had had it since 1911 according to their records. Same as picture in 1880 'Cyclopedia of Self Instruction' in the section 'Natural Philosophy' ! See attached. The 'Patent' is the UK parent for Bell's telephone and was applied for the ten years from the date until it expired. The US patent was dated March 1876.
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Last edited by Pellseinydd; 20th May 2022 at 7:01 pm.
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