TELEPHONE No. 232
Bakelite table telephone used on Automatic and CB systems in conjunction with a Bellset No. 26. This telephone is fitted with a handset called a Telephone No. 164. There is no bell or capacitor fitted inside the telephone, so a Bellset No. 26 would have normally been fitted.
The CB version is fitted with a black plate in place of the dial.
This telephone was introduced in 1935 and superseded the Telephone
Telephone No. 232
Telephone No. 232, a development of the Telephone No. 162, was introduced in 1935. It featured improved electrical performance derived from an improved ASTIC circuit and large numbers remained in use into the 1950s and a few until around 1970, making it a very successful and long-lived design. This telephone had no bell installed within the body, so if a bell was required then an associated Bellset would have to fitted on the wall.
The Bellset could be fixed under the telephone with special screws - some people describe these telephones as a "King Pyramid". Click here for more information.
Later versions featured a drawer in the base (for dialling instructions or number lists) and an improved cradle fork design made of cellulose acetate instead of Bakelite that was less damage-prone and made the telephone easier to carry around. Simon Chappell explains this concisely: I think most people might define the two types as ‘162 cradles’ and ‘232 cradles’. The earlier type closely follows the profile of the top of the ‘pyramid’ whereas the later type overhangs to provide the lip. Not all telephones have the pull-out drawer and of those that do (types 1/232 and 2/232 made with coloured cases) generally have a stainless steel cover with the GPO roundel embossed in red and a clip for a notepad.
Manufactured by: All main telephone suppliers. The Bakelite parts were also made (in black only) in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a local manufacturer called H. C. Urlwin (Harry Urlwin). The mouldings carried the maker’s mark H C U N Z .
Colours: Black, ivory, red and green. The ivory models are hard to find in perfect condition as the moulding material (which is not Bakelite but Urea Formaldehyde) often deteriorates badly. Either the manufacturers had difficulty mixing the ingredients or else the material was unstable from the outset. It often cracks and goes like toffee ripple ice cream, with swirls of yellow-brown in the ivory.
Users: GPO and other telephone and railway administrations in Britain and the British Commonwealth. An example made by Siemens Brothers has been noted with Arabic numerals on the dial and ESR (standing for Egyptian State Railways) in the oval recess of the handset.
232 Standard table telephone, for use in CB/auto areas with Bellset No.26.
1/232 Development of the Tele. 232, with induction coil Nos. 22 or 24, lipped cradle and drawer in base.
2/232 Improved circuit, with induction coil No. 27.
The Mk 1 and Mk 2 designs of the Tele. 232 made different use of terminals 6 and 8. Restorers should note this carefully; a telephone collector bought a phone with a Mk 1 case (and paster diagram) but Mk 2 innards. It did not work because the cords had been connected according to the paster!
Other types based on this model
Circuit diagram N332.
Last revised: January 13, 2018