Coast Artillery Living History
Ft. Mott, NJ (9 July 2005)
As the soldiers changed their crests and then the 1SG and Detachment commander changed the unit guidon (flag) from E, 7th CA, to HHB, 21st CA, LTC Welch, the regimental commander, explained the significance of the changing of the unit's crests and guidon to over 100 visitors watching the ceremony.
In addition to the ceremony, Fort Mott displayed a major addition to park's collection - the newly restored and functioning BD-74 fire control switchboard.
This switchboard required approximately seven months of restoration work, including completely cleaning and rewiring all the electrical components as well as cleaning and refinishing the frame and mahogany wood cabinetry.
The BD-74 fire control switchboard represented the culmination of decades of experimentation with fire control telephone networks to the early 1930s. The major improvement brought by this board was the ability to establish temporary connections using patch cords on the front of the switchboard without disturbing primary permanent connections made in the BD-75 distribution frame. The patch cords and patch buss cords are visible in the next photo, as well as a EE-91 telephone on a desk and the time-interval apparatus between the EE-91 and the BD-74.
The switchboard itself was a wiring monster. In the photo below, the wiring harnesses that were created clearly illustrate the number of individual wires that made up each circuit. Each circuit had over 25 solder points- over 1,300 soldering points for 48 circuits.
The board powered over 15 common-battery phones, as well as supporting one EE-8 field phone using over 4,500 feet of cable. In short, the board worked like a champ.