The Western Electric Type 301 and its predecessor the Type 288 are local battery fiddleback wall phones. Local battery phones produced its own alternating current for the ringer by means of a magneto and its own direct current for speaking by means of batteries. Common battery phones received their energy from the telephone company. Western Electric also produced a common battery fiddleback, the Type 85 fiddleback.
The fiddleback, named because its shape is remincent of the musical instrument, was introduced around 1895. The Type 301 would accomodate two or three dry cell batteries in the lower compartment. Above the battery compartment is a 5 bar red Western Electric magneto and a ringer.
The Types 288 and 301 differ in the placement of the door. The door of the No. 288 is indented and fits within the sides of the phone. The No. 301 has a door which is hinged to obscure the front of the side panels.
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