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Old 28th Jul 2020, 6:23 pm   #1
EF80TVVALVE's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Leicester, UK.
Posts: 837
Default GPO 121 Telephone

Hi all,

Well it's not too often that I do much with phones but I have a small collection and if something interesting comes along then I will always pick it up. This model made it's way to me recently and I took a chance having not seen it beforehand.

After some discussion with a restorer it turns out that this phone was constructed in 1924 as a GPO 105. It probably returned to the GPO factory in 1944 to be converted into a 121 due to a telephone shortage during the war. From what I found they were having to modify and repair phones deemed inadequate to keep a supply going.

When I opened the case it was a real mess inside, I just wish I took a photo beforehand. It was obviously owned by a collector and maybe used on a private PABX system. The original wiring loom had been cut and tapped in several places and it was a very messy job with what looked like a birds nest of cables crammed in the casing.

I ordered some solid cored cable in the right colours and spent a couple of evenings pulling out every old wire and making up a new wiring loom for the phone. The photos are the results of the work and I think it is a fairly neat job. I've also now converted it using some fabric covered cable to keep it looking authentic. I'm yet to try it out but rather excited to do so.

So there it is, a phone with a rather interesting history. I wonder how long it was in service for after 1944? It surprises me that some of these were wtill going into the 60s and 70s, they must have been considered ancient even then!
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