Field telephone mod. 1917, complete with the original oilcloth transport bag, used during the 1st World War by the 3rd Engineer Regiment of Telegraphists with Command in Florence (Italy) at the Vittorio Emanuele II Barracks, via San Gallo 22, which remained operational from 1 November 1883, year of its establishment, until 1919 when it was disbanded and contributed to the formation of the 1st and 2nd Radiotelegraph Regiment. Guglielmo Marconi volunteered and participated in the 1st World War as an officer of the 3rd Engineers' Telegraph Regiment.
The field telephone apparatus was produced by "I.M.E.T. Società Anonima - headquarters in Florence Piazza Torino n.3" (Electrical and Telephone Maintenance Systems), a company active from the beginning of 1900 until 1 January 1939, the date on which it was incorporated by the Società Telefonica Tirrena with headquarters in Florence viale Principe Amedeo n.9, as published in the Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Italy dated 24.XI.1939 on the advertisement sheet n.273 page 3832.
The Telephone Box is made of wood and inside there is still the original magnet which can be operated using a special and original removable crank. There are the two rare and original "Dry Batteries", produced by F.I.S., necessary to power the electrical circuit which appears to be perfectly intact and totally connected with all the period components. The handset, in nickel-plated brass as in the S.I.T.I. mod. 1916, was produced and patented by "Ing. Vittorio Zangelmi - Turin -. He was an important Piedmontese entrepreneur, between 1910 and the end of the 1930s, who in 1924 together with a group of partners, established and led for first STEP (Piedmont Telephone Company).
The original title block relating to the rules and instructions for use of the device is still affixed to the inside of the lid.
It is preserved in excellent condition.
The 3rd Telegraph Regiment was formed on 1 November 1883 in Florence, with the help of the 1st and 2nd Engineer Regiments, which each provided 3 telegraph companies, 2 sapper companies and 1 train company. In 1895, the 3rd Engineer Regiment changed its name to the 3rd Engineer Telegraph Regiment, made up of a General Staff, four sapper-telegraph brigades and a specialist brigade (already detached to Rome since November 1894), three train and depot companies. The Specialists Brigade was formed as an autonomous unit in 1909. In 1910 the brigades changed their names to battalions.
With the start of the 1st World War, the regiment mobilized 24 telegraph companies, 5 mobile militia companies and 1 train company. At the end of the conflict the total number of telegraph companies set up would be 68.
Guglielmo Marconi enlisted as a volunteer and participated in the conflict as an officer of the 3rd Engineers' Telegraph Regiment.
In 1919 the regiment was disbanded and contributed to the formation of the 1st and 2nd Radiotelegraph Regiment, in relation to the growing use of radiotelegraph means.