Cabinets, Cross Connection No's 1, 2 and 3
|Initially wiring was all overhead, but as more people went
on the phone the number of aerial cables became obtrusive and congested.
Mutli-core cables then came on the market and the overhead wires were moved to an underground network of cables. These cables were fed from the exchange and divided into smaller cables. These cables provided no flexibility as each division was a joint.
From 1945 onwards a new method of distribution was adopted. Cabinets were generally the first cross connection point from the exchange and they may also feed Pillars which in turn would have fed the Distribution Points (DP's).
The Cabinets and Pillars afforded flexibility in the network as any incoming wire could be connected to any outgoing wire. The connection 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. wire 10 to wire 10) then two metal bridging pins were used (See picture further down page). If the screws were over tightened the heads would shear off, to prevent damage.
Bridging Pins No. 1 - Used on open type assembly - obsolete.
When jumpering, 12.5lb 2 wire was used.
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.
Cables from the exchange are terminated on the 'E Side' of the terminating strip whilst the outgoing distribution cables were terminated on the 'D Side' of the strip.
In the early 1970's the screw style 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).
The largest Cabinet can take 800 pairs in and out and the largest Pillar 200 pairs.
Open style connection strips
Pillar with crimped connections (Yorkshire Area)
Strips Connection No. 1 showing layout and numbering
Yorkshire style mounting showing wire routing
Pillar showing screwed connections
Close up of screw type blocks in a Cabinet with
Cabinet, Cross Connection No.2 with local footway joint box open to show cable
joints. The cabinet is immaculate
Midland Region layout in a Cabinet, Cross
Connection No. 1 (single door).
Last revised: May 04, 2020