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The Fallwähler Switch

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A unique switching method is the “Fallwähler” system roughly translated as a “falling selector.” It was developed by Telefonbau & Normalzeit (T&N) in the late 20s early 30s in Germany and was used only for business exchanges. Friedrich Merk was a key inventor.
 

telephone switch  Fallwähler Switch at Bochum, Germany 

  Fallwähler Switch at Bochum, Germany 

Characteristic of this technology is the use of gravity during the connection setting.  During dialing the switching arms "fall", controlled by a centrifugal governor, and the wipers are stropped at the desired terminals. When the connection is released, all the switches involved in establishing the connection are "dropped" into the lowest (home) position. 

When a subscriber goes off-hook, the elevator motor switches on and a chain drive raises the switching arms to the highest position, ready to fall again. 

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