Telephone No. 162 Telephone No. 162CB

GPO version of the Siemens Neophone.

Introduced in 1929 this Bakelite cased table telephone was originally produced by Siemens Brothers.  The GPO version did not have an integral bell and therefore a wall mounted Bellset No. 25 or Bellset No. 1 was used).

The Bellset No. 25 could also be fitted under the telephone using special screws.  Many can be found with the drawer base underneath, but when introduced the base had no drawer and fitted perfectly under the base.  When a drawer base is fitted, it just looks wrong as the draw front have to be positioned in front of the Bellset case.

Although the telephone has a transformer fitted within it (the transformer is metal clad and is shown in the picture to the right, whilst the Telephone No. 232 has an Induction Coil which is paper covered), the phone is not ASTIC and an induction coil is still needed to complete the transmission path.  The Bellset houses the induction coil and capacitor.  A Bellset No. 1 or 25 must be fitted to the Telephone No. 162 to make it work.  The phone would also work, without a Bellset, if they were wired in parallel with many of the wall phones available at the time.

Some of the original telephones were fitted with cast iron bases, whilst later models generally came with a lead weight, fixed to the Bakelite base (see pictures below).   A few of the later phones occasionally had a base with a drawer.

Produced for Auto and CB exchanges.  The CB version had a black plate in place of the dial.

Fitted with a handset called a Telephone No. 164.

Circuit diagram N262.

Superseded by the Telephone No. 232.

See also the Siemens Brothers No. 82.

Click here for additional information on the Telephone No. 162.

An insight into the choice of colours is given by these official papers discovered by Laurence Rudolf.


Extracts from Papers Regd.No. 7014 1/32
Samples of coloured telephones No. 162 from Siemens Bros., examined by Mr. Leech, Colonel Purves and Mr. Markwick, 28.8.30


It was thought that the department should not stock more than four (or five) colours, and that special requests for colours not stocked should be dealt with on the basis of special provision at increased charge.

In principle the colours stocked should be blended colours and not matching colours: the latter, including various shades of each of the primary colours should be left for individual treatment.

The blending of colours stocked might be Ivory, Mahogany, Old Gold (or Statuary Bronze) and Oxidised silver.  The last two are lacquer finishes and Mr. Markwick will endeavour to obtain samples.  Five colours were reserved for further inspection - Ivory, Mahogany, Chinese red, Blue and Green.  Mr. Markwick will enquire to Mr. Sheeve regarding experience in America of the durability of lacquer finishes and will endeavour to get samples of the colours stocked by AT&T. Co.

(intld) T.F.P.


General Post Office, London.
l6th October, 1930


Dear Purves,

I have considered further the coloured telephone instruments and my conclusions are as follows.  Excluding the American type, which we do not want, there are 8 specimens in my room.  Of these I have marked 4 on the labels with a “Yes” and you can go ahead with these. 3 others I have marked “No” and they can be definitely excluded for the present.  There remains the green type, and I should like to see if you could get a variant of this in Jade green.  I don’t much like the green of the present sample but two of three people I have consulted have suggested that a Jade green instrument might be popular and, in any case, I think its worth trying.  If it is practicable, I should like to see a specimen before the colour is finally settled.  I have excluded the red sample for the present but I am sure that it might not be popular in some quarters and it can be reconsidered when we have further experiences of the colours selected.


Yours sincerely (Intld) R.M.

Dear Leech,
The colours approved by the Secretary were - Ivory, Old Gold, Oxidised silver and Mahogany.  The provision of 200 of each of these is in hand.

(Sgd) T.F.Purves

Pictures below are views of a Telephone No. 162 with a watch receiver fitted.  Watch Receivers, allowed two people to listen to the call, were not a standard fitted.  They attracted additional rental charges.


How to restore Bakelite

Click here for an article on the original Tele No. 162

Lamp Fittings

Labels that fit in the sliding tray

Click for conversion to plug and socket

Collectors Information - what to look for

General Information on 200 type telephones

How to fit a Bellset to a Pyramid Telephone

How to dismantle a Telephone No. 162

Dismantling the Handset

Additional Pictures

A Telephone No. 162 with a Bellset No. 25 attached to the base.
Note - This uses the standard base with no drawer.
Telephone No. 162 with Dial No. 8 (note small dial label)
This phone is dated 1930
Internal view showing Transformer to the right - note the alloy mounting
Cast Iron base plate with paster circuit diagram
View of cast iron base plate showing
Made by Siemens in 1930
The feet tend to crush under the weight of the phone
Front view - unusual walnut colour
Rear view
Close up of Handset markings
Made by Siemens in 1932
This picture shows a Bakelite Base Plate with lead weight


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Last revised: May 21, 2019