The Cabinet is the first cross connection point from the exchange.  The exchange cables terminate in the Cabinet, as well as the cables that feed the local area Distribution Points.  In the 1950's the Cabinets may have also fed Pillars which in turn would have fed the distribution Points.  This system allows for flexibility of cable plant i.e. to save capital expenditure.

As telephone penetration rose, Pillars were not normally installed and the Cabinets feed the Distribution Points directly.

Pillars were painted dark green and made of cast iron.  They were locked by a triangular shaped key.

The Cabinets and Pillars afforded flexibility in the network as any incoming wire could be connected to any outgoing wire.  The connection is made by a piece of two wire called a "jumper wire".  Before the 1970's Cabinet terminations were actually screws which clamped the jumper wire or in the case of a through connection (i.e. incoming pair 10 to outgoing pair 10) then two metal pins were used (See picture further down page).

Later on the terminal blocks were replaced with plastic formers and the cable wires just pushed through numbered holes and left hanging.  Connection was made with grease filled crimps (See picture below).

Pillar with crimped connections

Pillar showing screwed connections

Close up of screw type blocks in a Cabinet

Cabinet with local footway joint box open to show cable joints.  The cabinet is immaculate
and has probably just been installed.
The oblong units on the door are metal cases with desiccant in them.  There is a small window in
the middle of the box to see when to change them, as the desiccant goes pink when saturated
with water (they would then be dried out in an oven).  They were used to stop the cabinets
from getting damp inside.



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Last revised: November 01, 2017