Automatic M36

Automatic M36
Automatic M36

It’s big, it is beefy, it is built like a tank, the Danish M36. Built by Telefon Fabrik Automatic Kobenhavn, the M36 has many unusual and even unique features that make it an interesting model. I could not find much information and history on this telephone and the telephone itself does not give many clues. There is no diagram inside mine and there are no dates on the parts.

The M probably stands for Model and 36 for 1936, as is common for the period and more so for Danish telephones: it’s year of introduction is a part of the model designation.

Automatic M36 with W28
Automatic M36 with W28

As I said, it is rather large for a telephone that is just a normal telephone, without any additional technical feature. Parts are heavily built, although it seems that it was used as a normal telephone for regular subscribers. It is not a special telephone for industrial environments or something like that.

Special features

Automatic M36 carrying ring
Automatic M36 carrying ring

Although it has a standard Danish handset, together with a standard Danish dial, the rest of the telephone seems to be made of a variety of unusual parts, made of the highest quality. The housing is made of very thick bakelite, on top of which is a carrying ring. The ring is only big enough for only one finger and is moulded with a small panel, that is secured with 2 bolts. Undoing these bolts not only releases the ring, but also the entire body shell.

Automatic M36 ringer
Automatic M36 ringer

Inside you will find an unusual lay out, caused by the enormous ringer, with the 2 bells tilted upward, the open ends facing outward. The ringer has 2 clappers, one for each bell.

The base plate has 2 rectangular sounding holes, covered with a metal mesh, which is usually only found on telephones produced for tropical conditions, to keep the creepy-crawlies out.

Opening it up: WARNING

Automatic M36 open
Automatic M36 open

Opening one of these telephones up is not as straight forward as you may think. The most common way to open a telephone is to undo one or more bolts at the bottom. But this is an unusual telephone, so that is not the way to open this one.

On the bottom there are 2 screws. Do not undo these, as they hold the ringer to the base plate.

The way to op this telephone is to undo the 2 bolts next to the carrying ring. This not only releases the carrying ring, but the whole body shell can be taken off.