Western Electric-Type 85 Fiddleback

Fiddleback Photo The Western Electric "Fiddleback", named for it's similarity in looks to a violin or fiddle, first appeared around 1895. This phone and it's slightly smaller cousin, model No. 294, were the first of the common-battery phones produced for the Bell System. This type of phone had no magneto nor did it require batteries because the 'common-battery' phones were provided with the electricity from the local telephone company as are today's phones. Western Electric did produce a local battery fiddleback telephone, model No. 301.

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