Headset and Breastplate, Type 23A; Unknown Maker; 1951; ZLB.707.001


Headset and Breastplate, Type 23A

About this object

This is the headset and breastplate from the switchboard at the Awarua Radio Museum. The headset and breastplate would have once been worn by an operator at the telephone exchange to communicate with phone users who they would then transfer to the person they wished to speak to.

The switchboard was an essential component of a manual telephone exchange, and was operated by switchboard operators who used electrical cords or switches to establish the connections.

Working with one of these headsets on often left the operator with a sore ear at the end of an eight hour shift.

The headset and breastplate were possibly made by Standard Telephone and Cable.


Unknown Maker

Maker Role


Date Made




Place Made


Medium and Materials

inorganic, processed material, metal, steel
inorganic, processed material, synthetic, plastic
organic, processed material, vegetal, fibre, cotton
inorganic, processed material, copper

Inscription and Marks

Engraved on four-prong connection '406 v51/1'


h 130 mm x w 360 mm x d 220 mm

Measurements taken with headset and breastplate sat next to each other.

Subject and Association Keywords

Communication (including Diaries and Letters)

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution (cc) Attribution (cc)

This object is from

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