PLASTIC TELEPHONES


This page is dedicated to the GPO 700 style telephone range.

Like all GPO/Post Office telephone these can be easily identified because they will have the type number on the base and a date or manufacturer or refurbishment.

I will give a quick précis of what to look for on the more common types of 700 type.

Telephone No. 706
Identifiable by the two case fixing screws which are under the handset.  The telephone may have a coloured dial finger plate, very early models may have stainless steel fingerplate, whilst the later versions will have a clear plastic fingerplate.  The number 706 will be clearly marked on base, along with the date of manufacturer.  Later phones may have a plastic carrying handle under the dial, not a metal handle.

Early versions also had a number ring around the dial and the dial had arrows pointing outwards.

Inside the phone there is a small circuit board between the switch-hooks.  This plugs into the main circuit board.

Came in the standard seven colours.

Telephone No. 746
All variants had a clear plastic fingerplate, a dial with numbers and a coloured silver/grey background and no numbers on the dial surround plate.  The number 746 will be clearly marked on the base, along with the date of manufacturer.

The case is fixed by a single screw on the rear, just above the cords.

This phone came in the seven standard colours, plus dark brown in later years.  Privately supplied 700 style and those sold abroad may have colours that differ from the GPO colour range.

But don't be mislead, the GPO colours can be found on my site by checking on the telephone style in question.  The GPO never sprayed any cases with paint, they were always replaced if damaged.

700 Style Press Button phones
GPO variants came generally in grey or ivory.

Summary

  • Check the case and handset for cracks - cases are harder to obtain then handsets.

  • Check the case for scratches - hard to get out - discolouration is nearly impossible to remove.

  • Dial - is it slow - but does return slowly - this is repairable - clean out spindle.

  • Dial - does not return at all - broken return spring - costly replacement.

  • Cords - not many reproductions on the market - if greasy can be cleaned.

  • Visually check internals.  Generally they don't go wrong.  On 706, 710 and 711 variants check that they have the additional circuit board, plugged into the main board, between the switch-hooks.

  • Check the transmitter - if it has a tin top then it will most probably need replacing.  If it is all plastic then it will be a modern electronic variant.

  • Dial a digit i.e. a 2.  Then listen whilst blowing in the mouthpiece.  If you hear a frying bacon noise coming back at you then the transmitter needs replacing.

  • Does the earpiece rattle?  Will most probably still work, but the rattle is very annoying.  Replacements can be found.

  • On 746 variants - press the switch-hooks down slowly - do you get a harsh noise from the earpiece?  Keep your ear away when trying this.  If you do get a loud hiss, the the switch-hooks are failing - replacement circuit board required.

  • Check the feet - are they all there?

 

 
 
BACK Home page BT/GPO Telephones Search the Site Glossary of Telecom Terminology Quick Find All Telephone Systems

Last revised: January 04, 2013

FM