Navyphone

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A Navyphone is a rugged type of telephone made specifically for shipboard applications using short-range circuits. For some time, the Royal Navy called these "loud-speaking telephones", but the word "navyphone" was coming into usage as early as 1902.[1] They considered them as being slightly different to long-range telephones.

Form Factor

Navyphones varied considerably in their physical details, not all of them resembling a conventional telephone. Some resembled intercoms, and some were rather comical in appearance with trumpets or large horns in front or to be clopped over one's ears as though sharing a secret with a sunflower. Most were to be mounted on a bulkhead or other convenient vertical surface.

British Patterns

British navyphones were supplied by the Graham company, and identified like many tools of the Royal Navy: by Admiralty Pattern Numbers. Most were in watertight metal cases with receivers at the back with diaphragms facing the back of the instrument, projecting into trumpets which carried the sound out to the side. The transmitter was placed in front and could be revolved by hand although no clear description is offered of the plane of rotation.

They were most often battery-powered, initially, powered in pairs off six pattern 1453 cells in a pattern 1704 battery box until the Lord Nelson, Bellerophon and later classes in which they were powered by a motor generator.[2]

Issues with rain, wind and spray were solved in 1907 by a "damp-proof" model (of unstated type; it was one of those compatible with motor generators, so perhaps 2140A) which was rigorously tested by pouring buckets over it and immersing them in water for 24 hours.[3]

Graham-type Loud Speaking Phones
and Navyphones in British Service
Pattern Application Deployed Notes
1639 upper deck areas before 1902[Inference] battery-powered
push-to-call
open shutter to answer
external bell
1643 engine room before 1902[Inference] battery-powered
push-to-call
open shutter to answer
external bell
1855 upper deck areas 1902 battery-powered, push-to-talk, external bell
1856 engine room 1902 battery-powered, external bell
1856A engine room 1907 powered by battery or generator
2108 control positions ~1904 paired with 2109
push-to-talk
no bell
2108A control positions fitted in some cabins in Dreadnought and later ships
2108B control positions
2109 gun positions ~1905 paired with 2108
push-to-talk
bell
2109A gun positions fitted in some cabins in Dreadnought and later ships
2109B gun positions
2140 universal type
2140A upper deck areas suitable for generator
860 fire control Bellerophon class similar to 2109A, but with a bell on top
861 fire control Bellerophon class no bell
similar to 2108A w/portable receivers
862 fire control Bellerophon class no bell, similar to 1856A
works with 2108A
863 general use Bellerophon class bell on top, similar to 2140A
new shutter and push
541 cabins ~1914 modern-type handset
2461 general use Lion and Orion classes buzzer call-up
2461A engine rooms Lion and Orion classes with bell contact
replaces 2140A, 2108A, 2108B, 2109A, 863, 1856A
2462 cabins Lion and Orion classes buzzer call-up
2463 TS Lion and Orion classes buzzer call-up
2464 Guns Lion and Orion classes buzzer call-up
2465 TS Lion and Orion classes transmitter only, buzzer call-up
2466 destroyer & exposed positions Lion and Orion classes buzzer call-up
3330 TS Queen Elizabeth class buzzer call-up
3331 gun positions, etc Queen Elizabeth class buzzer call-up
3332 TS Queen Elizabeth class buzzer call-up
3333 gun positions, etc Queen Elizabeth class buzzer call-up
3334 TS Queen Elizabeth class transmitter only, buzzer call-up

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1902. p. 60.
  2. Torpedo Drill Book, 1914, p. 263.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1907. pp. 74-5.

Bibliography

  • H.M.S.O., London Torpedo Drill Book, 1905 (Corrected to December, 1904). Copy in Tony Lovell's library.
  • H.M.S.O., London Torpedo Drill Book, 1908 (Corrected to December, 1907). Copy in Tony Lovell's library.
  • H.M.S.O., London Torpedo Drill Book, 1912 (Corrected to April, 1912). Copy in Tony Lovell's library.
  • H.M.S.O., London (1914). Torpedo Drill Book, 1914 (Corrected to May 15) Copy in Tony Lovell's library.
  • H.M.S. Vernon. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1902. Copy 268 at The National Archives. ADM 189/22.