Restoration of a Siemens & Halske Modell 26

S&H Modell 26 before restoration
S&H Modell 26 before restoration

When I bought this phone it was basically complete and in good condition. It did however receive some modifications during its life. There was a dial calibration strip from an impulse writer inside the casing. It was dated 1946 or 1948 (could not quite make it out). Perhaps it received a minor refurbishment by PTT in this period.

First inspection

There were three of stickers on it. I removed 2 of them with mineral oil. The third one would not budge and I removed that one with a mild solvent called wasbenzine, white gas (not white spirit).

And the retaining bolt on the dial was rusted. It should be nickel plated and shiny.

Also the cords were missing. Luckily, I had some replacements, true to this model and the period it was made in. The replacement cords are original old ones.

S&H Modell 26 inside
S&H Modell 26 inside

The capacitor has been replaced in the past. It is a PTT capacitor and not an S&H one. I think it is from the 40s of 50s.

S&H Modell 26 inside upper
S&H Modell 26 inside upper

The dial has the production year 1930 on it. So it may be a replacement too, although it is the exact same model as the ones from the 20s. Not a big problem, just a pity about the date.

The handset is a replacement too, but also original to the model. Please note the old style non-bakelite receiver cap, metal retainer ring for the speaking bulb. As they should be. These are often replaced by new models.

Finally there were some screws missing, or non-original. But that was no big problem, I have plenty of spares.

Cleaning and polishing

S&H Modell 26 disassembled
S&H Modell 26 disassembled

I took the phone completely apart. I disassembled the cradle, dial, bells, and took out the wiring loom with terminal board and electrical components as one piece, including the earthing button.

I cleaned and polished all the metal parts. I cleaned every screw and gave them a soak in a mild acid (water and lemon juice) to give them a shine. That also gave me the opportunity to replace the damaged screws and the missing ones. Some screws had nasty tool damage. Also I decided to

S&H Modell 26 dial
S&H Modell 26 dial

replace the retaining bolt for the finger wheel. The rusty one looked nasty and a good nickel plated shiny one would look as it should. I do not like to swap parts for the sake of appearances and try to keep as much of the phone together as I can. Especially with such rare specimens as these.

I gave the dial a complete overhaul, oiled it where needed and recalibrated it.

If you would like to read more about dial refurbishment, please read this article.

The electrical components and wiring loom were brushed and with q-tips I removed years of dust as best as I could. I also cleaned the outside of the capacitor.

Surprise surprise!

S&H Modell 26 sticker
S&H Modell 26 sticker

I had two surprises restoring this phone. Firstly there is a small sticker inside the upper housing, with writing on it which appears to be Turkish. It says something like: do not clean the plates/leaves. Otherwise they must be changed.

This is possibly a comment on the hook switch. How it came to be there, I do not know. I left the sticker in place, as it is part of the history of this phone.

Also the capacitor appears to be from 1939. I will not be replacing it after all. It will never be original, so might as well leave this one in place.

Reassembly

S&H Modell 26 almost finished
S&H Modell 26 almost finished

Putting this phone back together was quite uneventfull. Everything fitted and there were no broken parts. All the parts were there, no fabrication needed. I did have to make some minor alterations to the cords, but that was about it.

Testing and connecting

After reassembly I connected everything up, found a good transmitter and receiver for it and tested it. It worked fine, except that it gave of a ting when picking up and putting down the handset. I checked out the whole phone and tried different things to remedy this extra ting, but to no avail. I put it to my collector friends and they reassured me that this a common trait for older dial phones. This extra ting vanished when later designs were equipped with more elaborate hook switches.

S&H connection box
S&H connection box

I was wondering what to put on the other end of the line cord, when I remembered I had an old prewar terminal box. I thought it was similar to the ones I had seen in pictures on phones like this. When I opened it up, there was an S&H logo inside! Marvelous! Just the thing!

The finishing touch

S&H Modell 26 slits and number card window
S&H Modell 26 slits and number card window

I put the old calibration strip from 1946 (or 48) back in the phone and placed a small sticker inside it, stating that I had restored it, as I do with all my restored phones.

I printed up a small card with the S&H logo and type information, as there was no original numbercard in the phone. It really makes all the difference, I think.

Now this phone takes pride of place in my collection and I am going to use it as my daily dial for a while.

Siemens & Halske Modell 26
Siemens & Halske Modell 26

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