This page advises of dates in the UK when different models of telephones were available and used:-

Candlesticks (bell)  - made between 1900 and 1930 - in use between 1900 and late 1940's - Generally with no dial so an operator would answer.

Wooden Wall phones (bell) - Different models and dates - these were the wall version of the Candlestick.  Made between 1890 and 1940.  In use between 1890 and 1960.  Different variants, so check dates.  No dial generally so an operator would answer.

Bakelite (Pyramid) (bell) - Made between 1930 and 1950 - in use between 1930 and 1960 - dial and no dial variants.

Bakelite (Combined) (bell) - Made between 1937 and 1960 - in use between 1937 and 1970 - dial and no dial variants.

Plastic cased dial phone (bell) - 706 made between 1960 and 1970 with the 746 made between 1968 and 1980 - in use between 1960 and 1995.

Plastic based press button phones (early ones had bells - later had tone callers) - 1979 onwards.

This is basic information and all dates should be checked.

The main rule is - in the UK only GPO telephones could be installed and used!

There is nothing worse than seeing a whole TV series based in the UK with different foreign sets on each episode.

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

Last revised: August 31, 2019