TELEPHONE No. 162 & 1/162

Telephone No. 162 Telephone No. 162CB

This is the GPO version of the Siemens Neophone.

Introduced in 1929 this Bakelite cased table telephone was originally designed and 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.

These were produced for use on Automatic and CB exchanges.  The CB version had a Dial, Dummy No. 3 in place of the dial.

The telephone was fitted with a Bakelite handset called the Telephone No. 164.

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 a plain base and no drawer was the Telephone No. 162 whilst the telephone with a drawer was called the Telephone No. 1/162.

Supplied originally in the colours Black, Jade Green, Ivory, Old Gold & Oxidised Silver, with Chinese Red being added later. Old Gold & Oxidised Silver were removed from the colour range in the mid 1930's.

A new Bellset with a Bakelite cover, the Bellset No. 25, was introduced later around 1933 and this could be wall mounted or fixed to the base of the telephone.

The special, double threaded, screws (see picture to the right) supplied with the bellset allowed the bellset to be fixed to the telephone.  To fit a bellset to the telephone, firstly remove the base.  The bellset special screws are removed from the bellset cover and offered into the threaded holes on back of the bellset base.  The bellset cover is then placed on the telephone and the bellset base placed in the cover.  The special screws are then tightened.  Lastly the flat base plate is fitted.

The special screws, Part 1/SSC/338, found in Bellsets were changed later in life to just a normal slotted screw.

Many of these telephones can be found with the drawer base underneath, but when the Telephone No. 162 was introduced the base was a flat plate and fitted perfectly under the base of a 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 below), the phone is not ASTIC and an induction coil is still needed to complete the transmission path.  The Bellset houses the induction coil and a 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.

Terminal nuts are 4BA (Part No. 1/SNU/51).

The frame that supports the switch hooks, also has terminals and contact springs attached.  The contact springs came with either one contact or two contacts per spring. This telephone could use either - the parts numbers are as follows:-
Frame - Part No. 1/SSW/1 - one contact per spring (Springset Part No. 1/SSP/705).
Frame - Part No. 2/SSW/1 - two contacts per spring (Springset Part No. 1/SSP/709).

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.

In 1931 the GPO calibrated some Telephones No. 162 to be used as standards by Ericsson Telephones Ltd, Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co. Ltd and the General Electric Co. Ltd and in 1932 a further six phones were calibrated for Siemens Bothers & Co. Ltd..

The Plessey Engineering Co. Ltd was contracted to supply a number of these telephones circa 1932 and six advance samples from both the A.E. Co. and GEC were tested in 1933.

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.
1 x No. 1/SSW/1.
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 No. 1/SSW/1.
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.

Circuit diagram - N262.

Paster Diagram - Mark 1 (Size 90mm x 90mm).

Drawings - 9510 - The Telephone No. 162 was deleted from drawings with an X suffix onwards.

Superseded by the Telephone No. 232.

See also the Siemens Brothers No. 82.

Click here for additional pictures of the Telephone No. 162.

How to restore Bakelite

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

Click here for the POEEJ article on the Telephone No. 162 from 1929

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


Office use (Picture dated 1929)

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 plate - Transformer

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




All the moulding parts




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 fitted as standard.  They attracted additional rental charges. The Hook, Receiver L is clamped around the neck of the base.


Additional Pictures

A Telephone No. 162F with a Bellset No. 25 attached to the base.
Note - This uses the standard base with no drawer.
Picture dated 1932
Telephone No. 162L with flat base only
Telephone No. 162 in Jade green.  This has a matching green dial finger plate
Telephone No. 162CB fitted to a Walligraph extensible stand
Marketing photograph
Telephone No. 162F 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: June 06, 2024