STC TELEPHONE No. 2724 & 4001
|How to wire an Antwerp phone to work in the UK
STC Antwerp phone
The STC type 4001-C (table model), telephone, nicknamed the Antwerp phone by collectors, is found in both desk and wall versions. Although very much a British telephone, It has a strange Continental look to British eyes, which is not surprising considering its origin.
Around 1932 the Antwerp factory of the Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company (BTMC) was entrusted with the task of designing a universal wall and desk telephone that could be sold by all European subsidiaries of the International Standard Electric Corporation. STC in Britain was one of those companies and indeed the telephone was also made at the New Southgate factory of STC. For the UK market the design was modified to take a BPO No. 10 dial and intriguingly, engraved lines were moulded into the ears of the cradle, making them look rather like animals paws. The handset used in Britain has an American look and is also similar to that used on the standard 1924 model of France and some UK Dictograph telephones. The same base plate is used for both the table and wall sets, which was said to make conversion easier.
Externally identical telephones were used in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy and doubtless several other countries, the only variations being in the design of handset, pattern of dial and internal circuit details, which were tailored to the needs of each country.
After the war STC supplied 332 look a likes with STC's own type numbers (also in the 300 series).
A 2724 subscriber telephone, has been seen, with a near-perfect Standard Villamossági R. T. decal, indicating it was made in the Hungarian factory. This telephone is identical, except for the dial finger wheel, to the same model made by Bell Telephone Manufacturing in Antwerp, and other ITT factories in Europe and South America. The Hungarian finger wheel has a curved window above the centre for the number card, rather than a round number card typical of 2724 sets made elsewhere. (There is a detailed description of the 2724 set in the July 1935 issue of ITT's journal Electrical Communication.)
It is worth noting that the same telephones can be found with an engraved metal badge with the familiar Ericsson script and the words MAGY. VILL. R.T. The Austrian version of this was manufactured by Czjeia, Nissl & Co (later Standard Telephon & Telegraphen AG).
The GPO took pictures of the STC 4089 which may have been during an assessment.
Colours: Numerous colour ways were supplied. In Britain the standard colour was black, with a choice of black or green cords, but orders could also be accepted for jade green, Chinese lacquer red, ivory, old gold and oxidised silver. The Belgian catalogue lists 16 colours: black as standard or by special order white, cream, oak, walnut, light mahogany, dark mahogany, brown, red, dark red, maroon, light blue, dark blue, light green, green and dark green. Black and green are the only colours seen by the author; the green was achieved by spray painting (and probably so were all the other colours). There was also an imitation wood model.
Users: The Antwerp telephone saw limited use on PAX systems installed by STC, whose major customers were the LNE Railway, many electricity boards and some hospital groups. A note on the circuit diagram referring to Rotary exchanges may refer either to STC's own Rotary PAX's or else may imply these telephones were supplied to Hull Corporation's public system.
Locations where Antwerp phones were used for certain were Croydon Airport and on the Southern Railway at Victoria station UAX, London. The design, made by BTMC in Antwerp, was adopted for public use by the Belgian, Czech, Dutch and Hungarian state telephone administrations (and probably many others). The design was used additionally in Spain and south America, and it was also made by FACE Standard in Italy and is found labelled with the name of Ericsson in Hungary. On this basis it may rank as one of the most prolific and successful telephone designs ever made.
STC 4002G with Chinese dial (Picture dated 1934)
STC 4002G with Egyptian dial (Picture dated 1934)
The type manufactured by Czeija, Nissl & Co. of Vienna, Austria, was built with two distinctly different types of Bakelite housing. One type had a protruding dial, while the other variation had a sunk dial, whereby the finger wheel was almost flush with the housing.
Protruding dial variant
Sunken dial variant
I have seen variations of the CN type... it is usual to find the fixed portion of the handset cradle with different logos. Most common is simply the two letters “CN” in a wide, flat ellipse, centred on the lower portion of the same. Some of these phones carry a “VTT” logo instead, which refers to CN as the “United Telephone and Telegraph Factory, Joint-stock Company” (Vereinigte Telefon und Telegraphen - Fabriks A.G., Czeija, Nissl & Co.)
CN also manufactured the exact same style of phone, sans logo, as well. These phones were sold to other private telephone enterprises – in one case, to the Viennese branch of the German firm “GEFAT” (Gesellschaft fuer Automatische Telefonie; Company for Automatic Telephony, later known as TN “Telefonbau und Normalzeit”).
The CN phones were used with electromechanical PABXs designed and built by the same, which were either sold outright to customers, or rented/leased to them. In this case, the handset was the one shown in the pictures. However, CN also sold such PABXs to the Austrian PTT and in this case, the handset was a different one – namely that of the Austrian PTT standard W48 model telephone (the PTT insisted upon this).
Hungarian and Foreign Company, Vienna
Manufactured by “Standard Electric DOMS A SPOL.” in Prague, Czechoslovakia
As to colours – CN made some that were was once pure snow white. These were NOT painted white; the Bakelite is white though and through. This specific colour of Bakelite is pretty brittle stuff, and very fine, dirty, stress cracks can be seen in the handset handle on left hand telephones below. It is wholly senseless to attempt and polish these stress cracks out – as the grime simply gets more noticeable than before. As to the colours red and green, well, I have never seen one of these phones in anything other than black or white, but I do know that your garden-variety Austrian PTT model W48 telephone was offered in green and red (as well as the more standard colours of crème and black), so that it seems likely that CN would have offered their phone in at least these two colours as well.
Just like British 200 types some of these phones go brown due to the saw dust in the Bakelite. The phone in the next picture is a black VTT variant which has gone brown.
PBX / Plan system variant
One of the pushbuttons was used to seize the intercom line between the extension and the master phone. If the intercom line was busy, this would be indicated by the white lens being illuminated. Depressing the other pushbutton would connect the extension to the outside line; if some other station were already using the outside line, then the red lens would be illuminated.
How to wire an Antwerp telephone for BT lines
To Diagram LP 39275
To diagram 9814AG4
To diagram 9814AG4
Last revised: July 31, 2022