TELECOMMS SUPPLIER NAMES
American Electric and Automatic Electric
Although originally separate U. S. firms, in the late 1920's Automatic Electric and American Electric would become associated through a peculiar, though short-lived convergence.
In 1926 the Monarch Telephone Manufacturing Company and "the assets of the former American Electric Company" were combined to form a new entity, American Electric Co., Inc. The "Inc." is important here. The stated objective of this new firm was to produce and market manual equiptment for operating holdings of Theodore Gary and others, (which eventually became GTE) that were likely to remain manual for some time. Initially, they continued to market the distinct existing lines of both companies (Monarch and American) under their original names, but as subsidiaries of American Electric Co., Inc. By around 1929, they appear to have adopted Automatic Electric design. From what I can tell, at this time, Automatic Electric handled both manual and Auto common battery equiptment, while American Electric Co., Inc. offered manual common battery and local battery versions. In this case, "manual" means designs with not even the provision for adding a dial. In 1934, in a Depression era restructuring of the Gary holdings, this American Electric entity was dissolved and most if not all of both lines were badged Automatic Electric and sold under the banner of "American Automatic Electric Sales Company."
So this would explain the "American Electric" Monophones one comes across from time to time. Another collector insists that Automatic Electric acquired American prior to 1926, but has yet to come up with the documentation. [Charles Sugg]
Autophone and Autophon
Autophon is a large manufacturer of telecomms equipment in Switzerland, whereas Autophone of Wimbledon, south-west London, was a small maker of telephones and PAX systems.
Dictaphone and Dictograph
Both companies sold office products in the USA and in Britain. Dictaphone made recording machines, whereas Dictograph made intercom telephone systems. The Dictograph was delveloped by Charles Tainter (one-time assistant of Graham Bell) and Chichester Bell (Graham Bell's cousin).
North Electric and Northern Electric
Both companies made telephones, exchanges and related equipment in North America but there the similarity ends. Northern Electric was a Canadian concern, effectively the manufacturing arm of Bell Canada, in the same way as Western Electric provided this facility for the Bell System companies in the USA.
North Electric (Galion, Ohio) was a smaller company based in the USA, selling mainly to independent telcos and through distributors to private end users.
Standard Telephone & Electric and Standard Telephones & Cables
The former company was American, whereas ST&C was a British company, originally the UK branch of Western Electric.
Western Electric Company (WECo) and Wesco Supply Co.
Both were American companies, the former far outstripping the latter in size. Western Electric Company (WECo) was famous as the manufacturing arm of the Bell System (they also sold to independent telephone companies). Wesco Supply Company of St Louis (Missouri) was a jobbing distributor of telephones and other electrical goods.
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