Mine phones were used to communicate between levels and the surface, they were installed at each shaft station, some bosses desks and other important areas in the mine. Phones were first installed underground in the Campbell and Junction mines in 1932. Before this time phones were located in the hoist houses on the surface. Emergencies were reported there and then relayed on. Various styles of phones were used in Bisbee mines starting with wooden cased hand cranked phones .
The most common phones were the cast iron cased western electric which were later replaced by the Yellow Femco pager phones. To use the hand crank style phones, codes were sent using the hand crank. One crank of the handle is equal to a number on the chart . An example the hoistmans code is 1-4 to ring this, do one crank of the handle followed by a long pause followed by four individual rotations with a very slight pause between each rotation
Early model, oak Western Electric mine phone
Phone signal sign from inside phone case circa 1970’s
Western Electric phone circa 1913
Phone with case open on top landers deck of the Denn Headframe
Phone on top landers deck of the Denn Headframe
Cast Iron Phone note signal sign in case.
John Palomino using mine phone
Femco Phone near 770 level Junction Shaft Station
Henry Hernandez 2010, pers. comm., 2 February
Mills, C.E. 1958 notations from annual reports (Phelps Dodge) Corporation years 1909 to 1950 unpublished p.42
Richard Graeme IV 2010, pers. comm., 8 February
Richard Graeme III 2010, pers. comm., 2 February
Pete Oller 2010, pers. comm., 8 February
Femco phone inside the escapeway Queen mine tours