Posted 8 years ago
Also known as an electric needle annunciator or Butlers call bell.
Purchased this at a recent auction as I recognized it from one seen here on CW. Apparently there were only two of us at the auction that knew what it was or the other bidder just thought it looked cool.
The Partrick, Carter & Wilkens Hotel Annunciator allowed guests to summon staff if they needed room service of some sort. When the guest pushed the button in their room it powered the electromagnet on the board, which would indicate the room number that needed service. The needle would stay in place until the service staff reset the board by pulling the knob on the bottom of the box.
The system ran off a 1.4 volt battery system.
The company started out as Partrick & Carter in 1867 in Philadelphia, with Carter holding most of the inventions. Wilkens joined the company sometime around 1900 & this dates this piece to around that time.
The Company started out in the telegraph industry & eventually made batteries, burglar alarms, fans, electroplating systems, door bells & many other items.
The unit needs refinishing, the electromagnets all work but it is missing the unit that powered the bell striker.
In 1893 this unit sold for $11.20 a larger 50 room annunciator sold for $50.00.