USS Salem Steampunk Command Phone

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My friend David dropped me a note a couple of days ago along with this photo of a telephone aboard a WW II era warship.  The phone is absolutely gorgeous! I particularly like the the anchor and rope motif in the brass escutcheon.

Phone aboard USS Salem

David goes on to write:

Check out this lovely old telephone from the USS Salem, CA139, noticed it on our sleepover on the ship. It has some lovely brass work on it, a little steampunky, don’t you think ?

I suspect it was made on a custom contract for the Navy. The ship completed at the tail end of the war in 1945, and had many firsts, including air conditioning and computerized fire control. This was the first ship to have automated 8 inch guns.

These guns were the first 8" guns to use cased (semi-fixed)  ammunition instead of bag/shell loading. They were also the world’s  first automatic 8" gun. These guns could be loaded at any elevation  from -5 to +41 degrees.

And from the USS Salem Website:

USS Salem

Welcome to the United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum Online. Located in historic Quincy, Massachusetts. The USNSM is home to the USS Salem, the world’s only preserved Heavy Cruiser. We are located in the former Quincy Fore River Shipyard, once one of the Nation’s largest Shipbuilding Enterprises.

Ordered by the  US Navy on 14 June, 1943, USS Salem (CA  139) was laid down on 4 July, 1945 at the  Bethlehem Steel Company’s Quincy Yard in Quincy,  MA and launched on 25 March, 1947. She was  commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 14 May,  1949.

USS Salem served a distinguished 10 year  career as flagship of the US Sixth Fleet in the  Mediterranean and the Second Fleet in the  Atlantic. During her career she served as host  to such notables as the US Ambassador to Spain,  John D. Lodge; the Honorable Thomas S. Gates,  Undersecretary of the Navy; Admiral Arleigh A.  Burke, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; the Shah  of Iran; the President of Lebanon and the King  and Queen of Greece.