Magneto Phone System    
This private exchange phone systems uses 1930's magneto phones bought on the used market.
Today there are 12 phones on this system connecting every Valhalla Farm building

....and some buildings with one on each floor to serve as an intercom.
The systems is simple and requires little maintenance.
Our favorite is the Liech 901 phone but most any 1940's magneto ringer phone will work with a system of this type
One phone is even at the main gate for visitors callers to use to gain access

Main house phone

Here's a shot of the gate phone.
More... on the Gate System

Phone in the new house, was purchased on EBay for $15. This one has a sticker attached that said "6 long rings to report a forest fire"
Often these will need to be reconditioned before that can be used.

Here's a shot of the new garage Leich phone and used service panel with a 66 Block. The service panel is used as a "data closet" for distribution of telephone, internet and TV signals throughout the garage and MIL apt.
The white box under the phone is a doorbell that chimes briefly when the main gate opens.




Magneto phone in the MIL Apartment

The Leich Electric Company manufactured early magneto and dial equipment for the telephone industry in the 1930s and 1940s. These phones function as an intercom between the eight main buildings at Valhalla. They are wired in a "common battery" configuration where all of the phones are on the same party line and when you turn the magneto crank, they all ring. Its very helpful communicating "dinnertime" 
  History of Leich Electric

Magneto phone and touch tone phone in the woodshop.
The Leich 901 phone converts between desktop and wall mounting by virtue of the ingenious way the handset cradle is designed.

We chose to use the  the classic Bell System "66 Block" as an interconnect point. It isd esy, handy and makes nice solid connections


Phone in upper equipment barn. Note the 12 Volt "Talk Battery" and also the "old bones"  found under the pioneer house. The system's 1930 designers intended to have a talk battery at each phone when used in rural areas but we've found that using several old car batteries strategically placed, works well for this system. The old car batteries are down to about 8 volts and this voltage works well for good voice communication. The battery also puts out "pure DC" which eliminates hum caused by some AC power supplies


Here's a Kellogg Switchboard Co magneto phone from the same 1930's time period. This is in the new house upstairs bedroom


We are currently writing a pamphlet on how to restore the Leich 901 Magneto Telephone.  Also included are specific instructions on how to connect these phones together to make a very interesting intercom system. 

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Hand Sketch of the 11 phone system currently in use. Three 12 V car batteries provide "talk power" and the magneto crank generates 75-100 Volts AC to ring all of the phones in the system simultaneously

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