Jump to content

Coastal Artillery Gun Telephone Box


Recommended Posts

Recently picked up this rather unique item & thought I would share a few photos.  U.S. Army Signal Corps gun telephone call box as would be mounted in a coastal artillery battery commanders station.  The box is heavy as all hell and is built like a tank.  The box reatins it's original paint.  Thanks for checking it out!

 

Rob    

gphone1.jpg

donation2009.gifdonation2012.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not specifically for the battery commander's position; these boxes were mounted in the batteries.  That is real nice and rare as hen's teeth...  Nice acquisition!  Below is a photo of a BC's position (Battery Wallace, Fort Cronkhite CA) before it was casemated.  Note the phone box cover's nomenclature.  Tom

 

Firing Wallace - press photo front.JPG

Looking for items related to the Ninth Coast Artillery District and 6th Coast Artillery Regment

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can kind of see the gun telephone box on the right side of the image (Battery Chamberlin, Fort Scott CA).  In this case, there were two such boxes on either side of the gun with cables leading to headsets.

 

SCAN0062 - Copy.JPG

Looking for items related to the Ninth Coast Artillery District and 6th Coast Artillery Regment

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the excellent information and for that outstanding series of photos!  I had looked around on the internet and could only find a modern photo from Battery Osgood-Farley.  They show the box on the wall of their restored Battery Commanders station but the door is open and I could not read that it said Battery Commander.   Now if I could only find the EE-91 phone & headset to put inside.

 

Rob 

donation2009.gifdonation2012.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool find!
I have one as well I found about four years ago. A centerpiece item for a Coast Artillery collection. My cast iron box included a telephone as well, a metal cased EE-75 telephone. It has a tray for putting the EE-70 headset on it for storage in the box. The telephone in my box is dated 1916, earlier (pre 1912-14 or so??) the gun telephones had a wooden case, vs. a metal case, that went in the cast iron box (metal cases replaced old wooden telephone cases as the wood cases didn't hold up as well at tropical locations such as the Philippines, Panama, and Hawaii). Your box is designed for the newer metal case telephone, due to the four studs in it for screwing down the telephone. Earlier boxes had two rails going along the side of the box interior that the old wooden cased telephone would rest on. 
My box interior and telephone were very rusty, I've worked on restoring it over the last couple years. 
I will add some photos soon, and some historic photos as well.

The new 1930s-40s EE-91 telephone wasn't meant to go in the cast iron gun telephone box, even though it could fit. I think the photo above was for test purposes. The EE-91 eventually got it's own sheet metal box.
The gun telephone box was installed on the concrete walls of gun batteries, and inside concrete telephone booths for mortar batteries. The gun telephone connected a man on the loading platform to the plotting room, where firing data was communicated. Gun telephone boxes were also installed on gun carriages for a time. 

Often the letters on the box lid were painted white, as yours appears to be. Sometimes they were painted all black I think too. 

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2020 at 9:57 PM, T Ambrosini said:

Message sent...  It's not that straight forward.  Tom

It seems very few things ever turn out to be as straight forward as they first seem.  

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

 

Link to post
Share on other sites


Here's an interior view of a mortar telephone booth, telautograph receiver on left, three-toed emplacement outlet box (connects two instruments into one conduit that goes to plotting room) and gun telephone box. And a zone signal controller apparatus (powder charges for mortars were categorized into different 'zones' which were marked for longer or shorter ranges, etc. In the powder room the different zones of powder were stored under different lights, I believe this device could control which zone signal light to activate, so the powder crew knows which zone of powder to grab). 
On the rear wall of this booth were the wooden chalk boards for Zone (or Load), Azimuth, and Elevation, that the booth operator would write the data on, and slide the boards out to be visible to the gun crews. 
Note the telautograph on springs, this was a delicate instrument so had to have some protection from concussion. It was an early style fax machine basically, where the operator at the transmitter would write fire control data or other messages, and the movement of the writing instrument would be electrically copied to the receiving instrument. This way data could be visualized, versus just heard on the telephone, which was subject to error in loud environments. But by the mid/late 1910s teleautographs were deemed too delicate instruments and unnecessary, so they were done away with. 

This image is from Fort Hamilton, NY.
 

293403418_telautographguntelephonezonesignalcontrolleraparatusmortarbtryboothfthamilton.jpg.4c86d20b242b3c7866468ccf694cc917.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

My gun telephone box. 

I've seen lids that say SIGNAL CORPS, U.S. ARMY; SIGNAL CORPS, U.S.A.; and U.S. SIGNAL CORPS. 

DSCF5534.JPG

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interior of my box when I bought it. With metal cased EE-75 telephone. When I cleaned the data plate it is made by Stromberg-Carlson Telephone Mfg. Co. in 1916. 

DSCF5470.JPG

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

Telephone case open, showing blocks, cords, coil, and condenser. 

DSCF5643.JPG

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

close ups. 

DSCF5647.JPG.6114080575163fd9385372e3088ce4c7.JPGDSCF5648.JPG.645bf81982687c2fe03ac80d4ad57253.JPG

 

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

Telephone case lid after carefully removing everything to prepare for restoration. Some of those screws were a pain but with a lot of work and patience got them loose! 

And pic of data plate cleaned up.

DSCF5912.JPG.0c1acdd069544c827d54ac741b6f1a41.JPG

 

DSCF5692.JPG.383dc77f455c0ccd0db9bdf8d59728c2.JPG

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gun telephone information (also a photo collage of other telephone equipment) from Manual No. 8 Apparatus for Fire Control and Direction of the U.S. Signal Corps (1906). 

The 1904 Fire Control equipment manual has an older style of telephone that were installed in niches on gun batteries in the early days (1900s), so I'm thinking the gun telephone with cast iron box came out about 1905. 

1847333346_manualno.8guntelephoneinfo1906.jpg.73f816885be68e2f7a68aa712420e768.jpg

 

 

1025767538_manualno.8telephones1906.jpg.480ab34acb527ea386805ccd03865884.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2015.gif

 

Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.