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Portable Radiotelephone (Spilsbury & Tindall)


Leather-covered wooden case is a reddish-orange colour with brass-like metal closures and metal parts attached to the the left and right side faces. Case has a front pocket that opens to about 4 cm wide and can be closed using two metal button-like snaps, one on each side of the pocket. Each case has a handle on the top and can be identified as belonging to U of T’s zoology department by plastic, embossed labels adhered to the top, left side of the case’s lid. The logo for Spilsbury and Tindall Ltd. Radio Communications is printed in red, white, and black, onto the front face of the lid.

The front pocket contains an instruction manual for the “PORTABLE RADIOTELEPHONE”.

Inside the case there are two compartments, separated by a piece of aluminum that is attached to the inside of the case. The larger compartment on the right of the case holds the radio and the smaller compartment on the left side of the case holds the battery, a plug-like cord, and a small, dark gray speaker piece (5.6 x 5.5 x 2.6 cm) that is attached to the frontal face of the radio by a cord wrapped in faded black fabric.

The front face of the radio that faces out of the case when opened, is white-flecked green in colour with a series of 6 black knobs protruding from its surface. Also protruding from the radio are a blue, plug-like hexagonal shape with 7 prongs coming out of it. There is also a white metre-like object near the bottom-centre of the radio, a metal dial in the top right corner, and a snap in the top left corner that snaps into a leather piece attached just left of the centre of the case’s inner hinge. The middle and top centre of the radio is occupied by what looks like a speaker. The radio can only be taken halfway out of the case, but one can see that it consists of a metal skeleton with its inner-workings soldered together (no circuit-board) and completely open to the viewer’s eye (no casing).

Accession Number: 2016.zoo.11

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Metal, Aluminum, Leather, Plastic, Wood


Top of lid: “ZOO U OF T”, “NO.3”, “W201”


Dimensions (cm):

Case: Height: 20, Length: 28.7, Width: 12.9 (including front pocket), Radio: Height: 8, Length: 15.4, Width: 16.4 (including knobs)


PRT-20 single-channel, crystal-controlled transceiver designed for portable use. Leather case meant to hold transceiver, batteries, and portable antenna. It seems that this object is missing the antenna but contains the transceiver and batteries. The transceiver could operate for 20-40 hours due to 3 pound battery and could be connected to an external battery if the user didn’t require the radiotelephone to be portable.

The radiotelephone has the ability to transmit and receive (transceiver), but not at the same time.


Case is scratched on the back. Pages of instruction manual are yellowed.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Spilsbury & Tindall Ltd., Vancouver

Date of Manufacture:


Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: