The Modell 26 was the ancestor of a family of telephones that was in production for almost 4 decades. It and its successor the W28 have become a cultural icon in many countries. 26 stands for its year of introduction, 1926. It was in production for only a short while and it is a very rare phone today.
It was a very compact and modern phone for its time, as can be seen in the photo comparing it with the ZBSA24. The ZBSA was only 2 years older.
The Modell 26 was designed with practical use, rational and efficient production and ease of maintenance in mind. Siemens & Halske entered it as their bid to win the contract for the new standard telephone of the Deutsche Reichspost. They actually won that contract, after some modicifications. This adapted version was of course the ZBSA28 or W28.
Modell 26 is the name used by collectors and historians today. Siemens however called it V Sa tist 66 e.
Its successor, some call it the Modell 28, differs only in minor details from the Modell 26. The Siemens & Halske company also gave it the V Sa tist 66 designation, followed by another letter. In their marketing products Siemens called this telephone (both the Modell 26 and the Modell 28) the Modell 27.
In fact I have a very early Modell 28 with V Sa tist 66c M stamped on the underside.
Modell 28 and SA28/W28
The Modell 26 evolved into 2 distinct families.
There is the Modell 28, which is virtually the same as the Modell 26. It was made by Siemens for private installations and made for telephone companies outside Germany. Also it was made under licence by other manufacturers outside Germany, among others by Heemaf in Holland and Tesla in Hungary. Its main characterics are:
- Bottom plate is fastened with 2 slotted bolts, that also hold the upper housing
- Oval number card window and the front, stamped out of the lower housing
- Cords run out of the back
- Thin round one piece cradle made of metal
A good example of this version is the Heemaf type 1931.
The SA28/W28 branch of the family was produced by several manufacturers in Germany. The W28 was made for the Deutsche Reichspost and usually marked as such. SA28’s were made for so called Nebenstellenanlagen (private installations) and virtually the same as the W28. Its main characteristics are:
- Bottom plate is fastened with only one slotted bolt. The upper housing is fastened separately.
- Rectangular number card window, bolted on as a separate piece
- Line cord runs out of the back, handset cord out of the side.
- Angular larger cradle assembly, made of several Bakelite and metal pieces
I also have an early W28 in my collection, by Borck & Goldschmidt.
Handsets and dials may very over time and location.
The Modell 26 has slits!
The Modell 26 has many different little details in which it differs from later variants like the Modell 28 and the W28/SA28.
Most of these characteristics can also be found on the very early Modell 28s. The only feature that is unique to the Modell 26 are the horizontal oval openings at the front and sides, near the bells. These so called slits were omitted in 1928 when the design was adapted into the W28 for the Deutsche Reichspost.
I have a very early Modell 28, which save for the slits, is indistinguishable from the Modell 26.
Other details & distinguishing features of the Modell 26
Next is another rare feature: the cradle is fastened with a slotted bolt, instead of the later hexagonal bolt. This feature is shared with only the very early Modell 28s. But very soon after the slits were omitted, the fastener for the cradle was also changed. So it is very very rare in Modell 28s. Strangely enough this details reappears on post war magneto telephones by Siemens.
From experience I can say that the hexagonal bolt makes it a lot easier to tighten the shaft that operates the hookswitch to the cradle. So it is no wonder that this was adapted.
The strain relief bracket for the cords is smaller than the later ones on the Modell 28. Again, this small bracket is also found on early Modell 28s. As time progressed thicker line cords were used and braided cords were replaced by cloth covered cords. The bracket was too small to accommodate these thicker cords, so a larger one was introduced.
The partition plate between the bells and the compartment with electrical components is straight on the Modell 26 and early Modell 28s. On later versions it is bent.
Another important internal diffence is the extra EW(Extra Wecker, extra ringer) connector, near the strain relief bracket. This connection allows an extra ringer to be connected in series with the telephone. This connector is not present in the Modell 26 and early Model 28s. See picture on the right, in which a phone with and without an EW connector is pictured. The W2 connector is marked with W2.
And finally a Modell 26 should have a braided handset cord, instead of straight cloth corvered cord. Of course an original one of these is hard to find.