I'm writing this sat at the kitchen table in my sisters house while dog sitting.
The house is one half of a pair of cottages and mooching around, I notice a rusty bell on an outside wall.
It's obviously not worked for many years but I'm wondering what it was for originally. My guess is a repeater for the telephone bell - in the days before mobiles and wireless phones, you couldn't take one with you in your pocket so if you didn't want to miss a call, this bell would ring and you'd rush indoors to answer it.
It seems a bit of a grand feature for a cottage though. Presumably this was something you had to pay for probably quite handsomely, so you'd need to be answering some pretty vital calls if you wanted one. Perhaps there was an element of showing off too. Every time the bell rang it told the neighbours, "I'm important enough to have a telephone.", much like some people think a Bluetooth headset does today.
Are there any telephone engineers out there who can expand on this? I'm thinking it's a pretty neat detail to add to a model building but I'd like to get it right.