Above Left: Kellogg Candlestick Telephone 1908 Above Right: Stromberg-Carlson Magneto Ringer ca. 1894
In rural America until the mid 1900s, crank magneto phones were commonly used. Frequently, farmers built their own telephone lines (party lines) between farms.
Not all magneto phones were connected to an operator. The user employed coded ringing to identify which farm they were calling.
Two long cranks with the magneto could signal one farm and two shorts, or three shorts could signal another. The magneto crank only provided the A/C current to ring all the bells on the party line.
After ringing, a local battery (2 battery cells) provided the D/C current used for talking.
The opened unit with the works exposed. In this picture, the unit is running and the
governor is spinning.
Above, the unit along side the horn which attaches to the 'reproducer', the shiny chrome device with the sound hole.
The horn was supported by a boom that attached to the unit with a chain and two brackets (not shown).