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Australian Telco

1938 ATE PAX50 Step By Step Exchange

At 82 years old and weighing in at 140Kg, this is how telephone switching used to be done…

Steel Switchboard & Switchgear

That’s all the description said.

The blurry photo didn’t make anything that much clearer, but they looked like two motion switches, and being a big fan of really old telco hardware, I found myself driving to an auction selling things very much unrelated to telephone exchanges to bid on what I thought might have been a step-by-step exchange.

Photo from listing

$50 later I am now the proud owner of an Automatic Telephone & Electric Co (ATE) Liverpool works 50 line PAX (Private Automatic Exchange).

The switch

My office now has less room, a big burly battery eliminator and ring machine take up the space on my desk, but I couldn’t be happier with it.

Uniselectors

Of the 5 final selectors I’ve got two somehow worked “out of the box”, while the other 3 all need some serious adjustment, but she clicks and she’s mostly complete, so should be a good summer holiday project!

I’ll post some video up when she’s fully functional.

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