The UK Telephone System

This is an over view of how the components of the British telephone system work together (1900's - 1980's).

Click on any part of the picture you have an interest in.

Start in the house with the lady on the telephone making a call. She uses a telephone - connected to internal wiring - connected to a terminal block - connected to underground cable.  The house next door is fed by overhead wiring which connects to the underground cable via a terminal block at the top of the pole.  The underground cable then goes to the exchange, via a pillar and cabinet, where it terminates on the main distribution frame (MDF).

There is a call in progress and a simplified version of a Strowger type automatic exchange can be seen to the top left in schematic below.  The lady in the house is dialling 2369.


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Last revised: February 05, 2011