|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
Last revised: November 01, 2017