100 & 200 TYPE TELEPHONES
These telephones are normally very collectable if they are original GPO stock. Many of
these telephones offered for sale are hybrids, non GPO or replicas. Of course it depends
on what you are collecting or the price you want to pay. An original is shown to the right.
Coloured replicas cost from £90 - £120, whereas a real
the GPO green telephone in very good condition will cost as much as £1000 and the red
£750. Funny prices can also be an indication that the seller knows more
than they are letting on!
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
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
|Genuine - but has no GPO 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
Some individuals have been known to spray black telephones green or red. These are generally easy to
spot as the paint is thin on the corners and the black case shows through (the
GPO never sprayed any cases, they were always replaced). Coloured
originals also generally have that transparent look and although some look quite solid.
If you think it is painted - ask. If the seller says no, see if you can
peel the paint off with your finger nail.
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 (early type) and look wrong.
Beware of case cracks and damaged handset rests (broken prongs or forks), particularly if
coloured, because these are very hard to find.
These phones can now be up to 90 years old and are made of plastic.
When plastic starts to break down it can be a disaster and in general only the
handset rest, drawer fronts and plungers are affected on this model.
Firstly smell the handset rests - if you smell an acrid vinegar smell then
Visually check the handset rests - is there any discolouration on the ends - if
so then keep away.
Does the plunger stay down and not spring up - is this caused because it is in
contact with the handset rests - if it is then keep away. Be careful
though because sometimes the plunger sticks in the body due to grime - this can
be cleaned easily.
This handset rest below has started to deteriorate.......
This has an acrid smell and you can see discolouration at the bottom of the
left hand upright
At the two points marked "X" you can see the slots are
The edges should be straight. The plungers should be able to move freely
in this slot but they catch in the example above.
There are also two patterns of handset
rests: the later type had a base that was larger than the neck whilst the early type had a
base the exact same size as the neck of the telephone.
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).
|Early style - genuine
||Later style - genuine
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 a number (i.e. Coil Induction No. 29) and probably a
date, whilst privately supplied
telephones generally just 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.
Look for minimal refurbishment and expect to find markings on the bases. A plastic sticker
indicates factory refurbishment and a white painted square nearby (shown to the
right) would most probably be
covering the original markings. This is quite normal. Bases with nothing written on them
or cases with transfers are not generally GPO. The only garish thing done to 100
& 200 types was a mirror
inside the instruction draw with a red GPO insignia (very rare).
The feet are flattened and are uniformly round. Domed feet were never fitted to
Converting to the new UK socket system
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 No. 162 needs a Bellset if you want the phone to work properly,
whereas the Telephone No. 232 will work perfectly well without a Bellset - as long as you do
not want a bell with the telephone. If a 162 or 232 has a bell inside the
case, then it's not original!
The Telephone No. 162 (and the Candlestick telephone) requires a Bellset No. 1
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 Telephone No. 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 No. 162 and 232. On the
Telephone No. 232 the Induction
Coil is on the right and is paper covered.
|Telephone No. 162 showing metal clad
transformer to the right
|Telephone No. 232 showing paper covered
induction coil to the right
The Telephone No. 232 requires 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.
Expect to pay between £25 - £60 for a Bakelite Bellset No. 26, try to get one included
with the telephone. Ensure you get the right one!
Coloured Bellset covers are very rare, even the ivory ones - expect to pay a lot for green
Telephone No. 162 generally came with a plain Bakelite base although some had cast bases painted
black. These bases also had a circuit diagram pasted onto them and many were lead weighted. Telephones with a 1/
prefixed to them should have a drawer in the base. The Telephone No. 232 generally came with a
Blacks and Ivory telephones at present will cost between £80 - £250 for black, up to
£200 - £350 for ivory.
Don't expect perfect transmission quality from them either - but
this can be addressed by fitting a modern electronic transmitter - click
here for details.
Check all Bakelite parts for cracks.
Inspect the Bakelite parts and if a brown colour with
knobbles then this will not brighten up.
Smell the forks - if they smell acrid then do not purchase.
Do the plungers spring up - if jammed make sure it's not a
distorted handset rest.
Dial - is it slow - but does return slowly - this is
repairable - clean out spindle.
Dial - does not return at all - broken return spring -
Cords - braided - can be replaced easily with reproductions.
Cords - plastic - not many reproductions on the market - if
greasy can be cleaned with biological washing powder.
Visually check internals. Generally they don't go
wrong. Wiring is always laid out nicely.
Check that there is a metal plate inside the earpiece -
unscrew the earpiece and if you see screws the plate is missing. The
plate is required for speech reception.
Has it got a modern transmitter? The original old
transmitter will most probably be faint or noisy. Replacement
Does it look painted - scratch a corner with your finger
nail to see if there is paint.
here for more information on reproduction 200 type telephones
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!