TELEPHONE No. 162 & 1/162

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.  There was no rush by the GPO to introduce the Bellset No. 25 as they had a huge stock of wooden Bellset No. 1's.

A new bellset, the Bellset No. 25, was introduced later, around 1933 and this could be wall mounted or fixed to the base of the telephone.  Special screws supplied with the bellset allowed the bellset to be fixed to the base.  Many of these telephones can be found with the drawer base underneath, but when the telephone No. 162 was introduced the base had no drawer and fitted perfectly under the base of the Bellset No. 25.  When a drawer base is fitted, it just looks wrong as the draw front has 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), 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.  The later Telephone No. 232 has an ASTIC Induction Coil, which is paper covered, and therefore the transformer was not required.  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 wooden 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 inside of the Bakelite base (see pictures below).   A few of the later phones occasionally had a base with a drawer.  The telephone with no drawer was the Telephone No. 162 whilst the telephone with a drawer was called the Telephone No. 1/162.

The Automatic version came with a Dial, Automatic No. 10 and early Dial No. 10's were usually supplied with the small diameter dial label holder which was originally fitted to the Dial, Automatic No. 8.

Early table telephones were connected to the internal wiring with a Strip, Flexible Cord Connection.  Click here for more information.

Telephone No. 162 included (1946 and 1956):-
1 x Cords, Instrument No. 3/62B, (Colour), 54".
1 x Cords, Instrument No. 5/09E, 3" (for Dial, Automatic only).
1 x Dial, Automatic S.S., No. 10 ..., or 1 Dial, Automatic, Dummy No. 3 (Colour).
1 x No. 1 /SBA/2 (Colour).
1 x No. 1/SCR/l (Colour).
1 x No. 2/SCU/l.
1 x No. 1/SPL/321 (Colour).
1 x No. 3/SSP/5I3.
4 x Parts No. 1/SBU/1.
2 x Parts No. 1/SWA/72.
1 x Telephone No. 164 (Colour).
1 x Transformer No. 35A.

Telephone No. 1/162 included (1946 and 1956):-
1 x Base, Telephone No. 1/162 (Colour).
1 x Cord, Instrument No. 3/62B (Colour), 54".
1 x No. 1/SCR/1 (Colour).
1 x No. 2/SCU/1.
1 x No. 1/SPL/321 (Colour).
1 x No. 3/SSP/513.
1 x Cord, Instrument No. 5/09E, 3" (for Dial, Auto. only).
1 x Dial, Automatic No. 10 ..., S.S., No. 10 ... or Dial, Automatic, Dummy No. 3 (Colour).
2 x Parts No. 1/SWA/72.
1 x Telephone No. 164 (Colour).
1 x Transformer No. 35A.

The following variants were available in 1946:-

Model Exchange type Dial Colour
Telephone No. 162B Brighton BA Black, Chinese Red; Ivory; Jade Green
Telephone No. 162CB CB manual Dummy No. 3 Black, Chinese Red; Ivory; Jade Green
Telephone No. 162F Non-director FA Black, Chinese Red; Ivory; Jade Green
Telephone No. 162L Director LA Black, Chinese Red; Ivory; Jade Green
Telephone No. 162S Siemens, Southampton FS Black, Chinese Red; Ivory; Jade Green
Telephone No. 1/162B Brighton BA Black
Telephone No. 1/162CB CB manual Dummy No. 3 Black
Telephone No. 1/162F Non-director FA Black
Telephone No. 1/162L Director LA Black
Telephone No. 1/162S Siemens, Southampton FS Black

In 1956, only the CB, F and L variants were available, coloured Black.

Produced for Auto and CB exchanges.  The CB version had a Dummy No. 3 in place of the dial.

Fitted with a handset called the 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.

Office use

The days before central heating!

Component Parts of the Telephone No. 162

Top row - Transmitter - Handset - Receiver
Middle Row - Switch hook mounting - Lead weight - Case with handset rest - Base - Transformer

Bottom row - Terminal screws - Switch hook contacts - Dial - Base fixing screws and feet


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


A GPO publication in 1931 showing, in colour, the full Telephone 162 range had pictures of telephones with dummy dials in Black, Ivory, Oxidised Silver (painted), Jade Green, Old Gold (painted) and Walnut.  The Walnut colour was only in production for 4 years. It was introduced in December 1930 and discontinued in October 1934.  Also in October 1934 a Chinese Red 162 appeared as a standard colour for the first time.

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. The hook is clamped around the neck of the base.


How to restore Bakelite

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

Colour samples

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 style 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.
Picture dated 1932
Telephone No. 162 fitted to a Walligraph extensible stand
Marketing photograph
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 terminal mounting - most were made of plastic
Cast Iron base plate with paster circuit diagram
View of cast iron base plate showing the under side
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 fitted
Advert in Punch Magazine - 1934


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Last revised: December 26, 2021