100 & 200 TYPE TELEPHONES
Just below and to the right is a marking from the base of a Telephone No. 162, it was made by Siemens in 1932 with a dial that had figures (F) on it and was a mark 234. This style of marking is quite normal.
Also look out for the GPO batch stamp - shown later in this document.
Indian produced replicas are very good if you want a pyramid, perfect in condition, coloured and at a very much reduced price. These can generally be identified if they have ITI on them, if the handset details have been polished out, if the marking protrude from the handset or if the handset details say "GPO PL'35 No164".
GPO handsets have recessed details (normally sign written GPO Tele 164, with manufacturers code and date, as shown above) whilst some replicas have it protruding. The red handset below and to the left, is genuine handset (even though it has no GPO marking!) with recessed markings, whilst the white handset to the right shows protruding markings.
Also beware of those telephones that have a line cord entry on the side of the telephone case - genuine GPO telephones always have a hole in the lower rear of the case.
Casing and Colour
Due to the age of these phones the cases will also be scratched and in some cases chipped. Some original coloured cases are faded (due to light - particularly the reds!) and this causes difficulty in matching broken parts - always check your coloured telephone in daylight (if he then complains - report him straight away to Trading Standards).
An Indian conjuring trick was a series of 200-type cases and bases, both of
which are visibly under-sized. The result is that the fixing screws in the metal
base plates do not line up and must be forced in at an angle. The drawer in the
front of the telephone's base is well copied and looks quite realistic; on the
other hand the celluloid insert for the dialling code card is not at all
convincing. The forks of the cradle rest are of the type fitted to the 162
instrument and look wrong.
The reproduction forks are of thinner proportions than the genuine ones and the rear prongs of the forks may be of different proportions to each other. Reproduction forks are also closer in design to those used on the Telephone 162. On their underside the repro forks have two circular mould marks raised proud (on genuine originals these are recessed and contain the initials of the firm that moulded them).
Inspect the inside of the telephone to ensure that it has the original wiring and components. Check the diagram pasted to the base is the correct diagram and look at the markings on the components. GPO parts usually had a description and number (i.e. Coil Induction No. 29) whilst privately supplied telephones generally had numbered parts i.e. N103425 (British Ericsson part number).
Also check the dates on these components, this will indicate whether the phone is totally
original. Expect some parts to be dated differently as many phones were repaired at GPO
factories, with parts replaced and then returned to the field. If you are offered a
telephone that is supposed to be totally original then check the component dates and
manufactures name. These should be the same code and the dates within a couple of years of
each other. In particular check the dial - you will have to release the dial from the case
to find the date of issue and manufacturers code under the outside edge.
These telephones will work with the UK new style sockets without
modification. All you need is a plug ended cord, possibly a new
transmitter and a little bit of wire to connect the transmitter. There is no real reason to remove the innards and replace
them with a modern circuit. The cords and transmitter are relatively cheap
compared to getting replacement Bakelite or original parts.
The Telephone 162 (and the Candlestick telephone) needs a Bellset No. 1 (wooden) or Bellset No. 25 (Bakelite). These Bellsets consist of bell ringer mechanism, capacitor and an induction coil and are rarely found now days. A Bellset No. 41 or a Bell No. 1 will not work at all!
Do not be misled when looking inside a Tele 162 as it has a metal clad transformer fitted inside. This is normal, it is not an induction coil and will not suffice on it's own. The pictures below show the insides of a Telephone 162 and 232. On the Tele 232 the Induction Coil is on the right and is paper covered.
The Telephone 232 needs a Bellset No. 26
(contains a bell ringer and capacitor - black is fairly
easy to get hold of) if you want a bell to go with the telephone. Without
the bell, the telephone will still function as normal.
Coloured Bellset covers are very rare, even the ivory ones - expect to pay a lot for green
Don't expect perfect transmission quality from them either - but this can be addressed by fitting a modern electronic transmitter - click here for details.
As prices vary all the time do not expect this document to reflect the current market prices for all the telephones mentioned above
Remember - BUYER BEWARE
Check a coloured telephone in day light
If you buy on Ebay - and it's expensive - go and see it for yourself!!!
Pictures of coloured phones will not show any parts that are slightly different colours!
I do not give valuations!
Last revised: December 17, 2016