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From the February 1999 issue of Singing Wires

The Red Cross Germ Proof Glass Mouthpice

by Mitch Soroka

The Red Cross is perhaps the most sought after glass mouthpiece out there. It is a 3 part arrangement consisting of (a) the glass section (b) the adapter and (c) the disinfectant materials.

The Glass Part

I know of two different types of the glass part and four different types of adapters. Both glass types have large threads which thread into the adapters.

The glass is quite thick and heavy. Both types are embossed with four red crosses painted in the sides of the glass. The one I consider the nicer of the two, I'll call type 1. It has a flat lip that is embossed into the glass with the following: RED CROSS GERM PROOF MOUTHPIECE PATENTED BY E & L MAY 3 - 1910. The other type has slightly thicker glass and a rounded lip. The red crosses are larger then on type 1 and more orange in color. It has raised embossing around the sides that says the following: PAT. BY E & L MAY 3 1910 RED CROSS GERM PROOF GLASS MOUTHPIECE CO.

The Adapter

The four different adapters which usually have Western Electric or fine threads are:

  1. Heavy lead looking adapter that is stamped with four crosses around the sides. On the side is a tab with a hole in it. It appears as though the entire unit could be suspended by a string attached to this tab while immersing it in boiling water to kill the germs.
  2. Nickel plated brass adapter with knurled or coin edge lip where it joins the glass part.
  3. Bakelite adapter with eight flat sides and 2 spit holes.
  4. Hard rubber round adapter.

The Red Cross Disinfectant Materials:

The disinfectant materials were supplied in a kit form that consisted of a round, fat wick, the disinfectant chemical and an applicator referred to as a dripper.

In all versions, the wick was placed in the adapter as illustrated in the photo of the four adaptors below. The wick was soaked with RED CROSS Antiseptic Fluid to kill the germs.

I have see two different bottles... both have labels marked with a red cross and red skull and cross bones. The labels read as follows:

RED CROSS Antiseptic Fluid, For the Red Cross Germ-Proof Telephone Glass Mouthpiece

DIRECTIONS: - Unscrew glass part. Fill Dripper with Antiseptic Fluid and drip full contents on wick once or twice a month. Keep glass clean. This fluid to be used only on the Red Cross Germ Proof Telephone Glass Mouthpiece.

Price 25c Bottle

The Red Cross Germ-Proof
Telephone Glass Mouthpiece Co.,
268 Market Street,
San Francisco, Cal.