The first submarine cable for carrier working was laid from Britain to La Panne in Belgium. The Post Office introduced trunk service on demand, relieving telephone users of the need to book trunk calls in advance. The Post Office introduced telephones with anti-sidetone induction coil. The anti-sidetone telephone circuit had been invented in The first British experiments in carrier telephony were carried out using the London-Derby cable. Sleeve-control switchboards were introduced. These permitted any position and any cord circuit to be used to handle any type of trunk circuit.
The first 'Strowger' type non-director exchange with a remote manual board was opened at Horsforth. Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. This material, because of its low dielectric constant, became widely used for submarine cable insulation in place of gutta-percha and rubber, and for many other purposes in telecommunications. The first nine-channel bothway voice frequency telegraph system using a four-wire telephone circuit was brought into service.
This system provided automatic calling clearing and supervisory conditions over long-distance circuits. Before the creation of the BTTDC each manufacturer had individually carried out their own design and development for Post Office contracts. As a result of the setting up of the BTTDC all development work for the Post Office was shared between the five parties and all information produced for the Post Office was to be known to all parties.
The aim was to standardise equipment design and obviate parallel development. The Post Office and its five exchange equipment suppliers were now able to coordinate further development and promote a high degree of standardisation of circuitry and components, particularly of relays and selectors.
It had sleeve-control positions equipped for circuits. Known as the 'switchboard of the world', cable and wireless telephone channels radiated from Faraday across the globe. The later use of high-frequency radio circuits, which involved rather different operating techniques, required the opening of a specialised exchange in Wood Street.
Black, an American, formulated the principle of negative feedback, revolutionising the design of telephone repeaters. On 1 October, the Post Office introduced cheap night rates - 1s 5p maximum - for trunk telephone calls as part of the Kingsley Wood the then Postmaster-General plan for advertising and popularising the telephone.
The transferred-charge service was first introduced on the inland telephone system in this year. This enabled callers to have a call made through an operator charged to the person receiving that call. It was a transportable kiosk made of steel-faced plywood, which could be assembled and dismantled, for use at exhibitions and other temporary locations. It is not known how many were made, and none appear to have survived to the present day.
Short-range radiotelephone service with coastal ships was opened via the Seaforth Radio coast station. The first commercial use of a microwave radio link was introduced, between Lymne in Kent and St Inglevert in France, 35 miles apart. The first telephone multi-channel working three channels per open-wire circuit was introduced. The speaking clock was introduced, a service at first available only in London at Holborn Exchange. The Post Office had held a competition to decide on the voice to be recorded, and subscribers dialling TIM would hear the 'golden voice' of Miss Jane Cain, a London telephone operator, giving the Greenwich time correct to one-tenth of a second.
The accuracy of the speaking clock was calibrated and corrected by referencing to a time signal from the Royal Greenwich Observatory which was broadcast by Rugby Radio Station. The voice of Jane Cain was replaced by that of Pat Simmons in The K2 had not penetrated far outside London, but the 'Jubilee' model became the first genuinely standard kiosk and was installed all over the country.
Under the "Jubilee Concession", introduced as part of that year's celebrations, kiosks were to be provided in every town or village with a post office, regardless of cost. As a result of this scheme over 8, new kiosks were installed, adding impetus to the spread of the K6. This scheme remained in force until , and led to almost another 1, K6s being introduced.
The "Rural Allocation Scheme" was introduced to replace it: kiosks were allocated to rural areas and installed where recommended by a rural local authority, whether likely to prove profitable or not. The 'Jubilee Kiosk' is perhaps the best remembered example of Gilbert Scott's work with the possible exception of Liverpool Cathedral and is to this day fondly regarded as a typical British landmark. K6s survived the introduction of Nos.
Thousands of old K6 kiosks were sold off at public auctions. Some were scrapped, but many more were put to a variety of imaginative and bizarre uses in private hands.
However, the Department of the Environment and English Heritage worked with BT to identify kiosks, including more than 1, K6s, worthy of listing as being of special architectural and historical interest, mainly near existing listed buildings or in attractive town and country locations.
BT's approach had now almost gone full circle: instead of replacing them, the policy came to be to retain and reintroduce K6 kiosks in situ whenever practical, even if not listed. In there were over 15, of these old style kiosks in heritage sites, and the K6 kiosk was by now a registered design of British Telecommunications plc.
From November , BT licensed K6 kiosks for use by competitors. In , BT operated a network of over, public payphones of various designs across the UK, compared to 81, ten years previously, with an average of 5, new units being installed each year. The 'Pip' tone signal was provided on timed calls as a regular feature for the first time from 15 August. The world's first channel carrier cable for commercial traffic was laid between Plymouth and Bristol.
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The world's first coaxial cable was laid by the Post Office between London and Birmingham, providing 40 channels for telephone traffic. The London Telecommunications Region and eight provincial regions were set up as a result of the findings of the Bridgeman Committee. The first nine-channel short-wave radio link was installed between Belfast and Stranraer in Scotland. EMI developed a method of television transmission over screened pair cables and produced equipment which gave successful transmission of line television over 15 miles of cable.
This was used for the broadcast of the coronation of George VI in May Telephone No. The emergency telephone service was made available to London subscribers from 30 June and was later extended throughout the country.
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When was dialled a buzzer sounded in the exchange and a red light flashed to draw an operator's immediate attention. This was very far removed from the sophisticated information service designed by BT and launched on 6 October A pair of submarine coaxial telephone cables was laid between Great Britain and Holland carrying 16 circuits a four channel system and a channel system.
The first channel carrier telephone system on special carrier cable was opened between Bristol and Plymouth. The London to Birmingham coaxial cable was brought into use, initially carrying 40 circuits with wideband working. A H Reeves, an Englishman , invented Pulse Code Modulation , a revolutionary new system of telephonic transmission.
The outbreak of war on 3 September heralded six years of hugely increased activity and demand for the Post Office, placing great strain on its resources. An almost immediate effect was the sharp drop in available staff as over 73, men and women from the Post Office joined the armed forces within the first few weeks of the war - 15 per cent of the total staff.
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In some areas the loss was even more keenly felt; 25 per cent of Post Office engineers joined up in , and a substantial percentage of Post Office technical research and telecommunications operating staff were absorbed into signals units of the Forces. Some preparations prior to September had already been made when war seemed likely. Additional cables had been laid between important towns over different and alternative routes, particularly vulnerable sites had been by-passed, and old manual telephone exchanges when superseded by automatic exchanges were not dismantled, but held in reserve.
In addition, public trunk lines were earmarked for future use of the Services, and these were promptly switched over in September During the first six months of the war, before heavy German bombing started, the Post Office made use of the opportunity to complete the link up by telephone and telegraph of Home Defences, particularly Fighter and Anti-Aircraft Commands.
By the time of the Battle of Britain, as the Headquarters of Fighter Command, at Bently Priory near Stanmore, Middlesex, was a communications centre in touch with all defence stations and information sources across the country via Post Office facilities. From here the Commander-in-Chief was able to observe the broad 'air picture' and co-ordinate his Fighter Groups. In addition to the vast telephone communications network provided by the Post Office for raid reporting, a complex teleprinter network was also installed. With the collapse of France and when invasion seemed a real possibility, new aerodromes, battery sites, searchlight centres and radar stations had to be set up - and all needed linking with telephone communications, again carried out by Post Office engineers.
Later in the war, as part of the preparations for the Normandy invasion, a new network of cables, switchboards, telephones and teleprinters had to be set up along England's south coast to control the D-Day build up. Once the invasion was under-way, new cross-channel cables were laid and by VE-Day the Post Office had made direct communication possible by telephone or teleprinter to all Allied Forces in North West Europe.
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On the home front the Post Office had soon organised itself to meet the demands of the war. ARP services were set up in all departments, and a Home Guard Force of over 50, was raised to defend Post Office telegraph and telephone systems in the event of invasion. Other Post Office Defence Forces included medical staff, fire fighters and first aiders, all of whom were particularly called upon during the bombing raids of the early war years. During this time Post Office engineers battled to repair bomb damage to plant and cables, yet were still able to open the additional military channels of communication described above.
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The contribution of the Post Office, particularly on the telecommunications side, was significant enough to earn the praise of General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe. Although under great strain, the Post Office met the challenges demanded of it, largely through the efforts and sacrifices of its staff. Of the 73, men and women who left the Post Office to join up, 3, gave their lives. On the Home Front, a further Post Office employees died whilst carrying out their responsibilities.
This beginning of trunk mechanisation allowed operators to dial distant subscribers without the assistance of a second operator.
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International telephone services were suspended on 30 August with a few exceptions and not restored until 23 June with the reopening of the service to the USA, Canada, and Kenya. On 29 December the CTO was set on fire by burning debris blown in from adjacent buildings in one of the most destructive German air attacks of the Second World War. A reserve telegraph instrument room had been established in the basement of King Edward Building nearby and, in the longer term, telegraph services were maintained by transferring work to the outskirts of London.
The interior of the building was completely destroyed. Its damaged upper floors were unsafe and had to be dismantled. The shell of the ground and first floors was refurbished - the ground floor for office accommodation, and the first for instrument rooms.