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Old 8th Jan 2020, 8:44 am   #21
bobsterkent
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Default Re: BT Inphone

we didn't get many 'simple telephones' in for testing in Teleprove, but we did do the GEC version, we tendedto hang on to any phone we could as they were always useful for other things.. and for some reason I still have this one, which I don't really want.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 9:12 am   #22
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Default Re: BT Inphone

Well, if you really don't want it, I'd love to add it to my collection

At Birmingham Dental Hospital where I trained, they used the variant shown at the very bottom of this page, with a rather pointless grey-painted section around the Recall button:
http://www.phone-pages.org.uk/stat.htm

They were all replaced in about 1997 (end of a 15 year contract, perhaps?), the old ones being unceremoniously chucked into a huge tub on wheels to await their fate. Obviously, it would have been rude not to grab a couple, so I did.

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Old 8th Jan 2020, 9:23 am   #23
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Default Re: BT Inphone

Somehow, I never quite felt that the one Nick describes was a proper Statesman - without the distictive curved sides to the body. As for the one above it in the linked page, it's just a bit too squared-off (not that I've ever seen that design before).
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 12:47 pm   #24
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I remember the Inphone ads...yes, the "novel" concept was that you could plug your phone into different sockets around the house...or...gosh...even have two telephones. In the highly regulated state owned telecoms era, this was indeed seen as a luxury and a novelty.

I think my mother may still have a burgundy Stateseman type phone somewhere, it fell off the back of my dad's work desk if memory serves.

Didn't one have to dial 100 for the operator and ask for "freephone inphone" in order to get your sockets installed? I know ours were bought from Tandy....
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 1:12 pm   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
we used to get these in for repair from factories, back in the early 1990's, quite a few had the company logo engraved or printed on them to dissuade employees from taking them home.
I have a couple of Statesmen with the Rank Xerox logotype screen printed on the bottom right corner.

At the risk of getting off topic, the phone in the attached photos turned up in the office the other day during a bit of a clearout. I wondered what a BT Viscount was doing in Poland. Then I turned it over - it turns out that they were also manufactured in Poland, in Wrocław to be more precise, in the 1990s. The Elwro factory was also famous for making the 'Odra' minicomputer, a licensed version of the ICL 1900, and the '800 Junior' microcomputer, a version of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum for use in schools, as well as pH meters and water quality testing vans!

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Old 8th Jan 2020, 1:33 pm   #26
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Incredible. Thanks for the post, Chris!

I wonder whether they'd stopped being produced here by then, and the tooling was shipped over to Poland.

I still think that the design of the Viscount has aged really well. When I see one, they still look fresh to me, whereas the Statesman, much as I love the design, looks distinctly like a relic from the early eighties.

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Old 8th Jan 2020, 2:19 pm   #27
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The Polish Viscount was made by a joint venture between Elwro and Northern Telecom. I forget the full corporate history, but didn't Northern Telecom absorb STC or GPT or whoever the original UK manufacturer of thr Viscount was?

By the 1990s the Viscount was basically obsolete in the UK, so it doesn't surprise me that the tooling got shipped off to another market.

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Old 8th Jan 2020, 10:16 pm   #28
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The brown Statesman was the principal phone used by British Rail on their own internal national (Strowger) telephone network - embossed with the BR logo (sometimes unkindly referred to as “the arrows of indecision”!). Presumably bulk purchased in their thousands from the manufacturer.
The BR version was a little different as they were fitted with bells rather than warbling ringers. Same applied to a GEC DTMF version which I found customers much preferred to the warblers..

BR ones came in both LD and MF versions but can't remembers seeing a switchable LD/MF version. I think the GEC version was switchable LD/MF and Earth / Timed Break Recall. I've got a New Zealand Post Office one which has numbers and letters from memory. Must dig it out.

The BR 'don't know which way we are going' logo was only on the first batch so I'm told by a Network Rail Telecoms manager.

We still use the brown BR ones on the Minor Railways ETD telephone network - they aren't that rare. I have several.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 12:33 am   #29
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There was a BT 'inphone' roadshow bringing the delights of the system to the general public. I went to the one at Trentham Gardens (not far from Stone/Yarnfield) and had a merry time playing with all sorts of new phones, vintage and new PABXs/PBXs, vintage telephones etc, all with free outside line access and lots of buttons to play with. It was the first time I heard MF dialling and it was rather exciting.

Wasn't it the Ambassador that had the bell ringer? Very similar to the Statesman but with a deeper body.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 1:37 am   #30
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I was also quite surprised to see the version of the Viscount telephone produced in Poland. I've only come across those made in UK by STC. Some of the other BT 'Inphones' were made internationally, too. I have a bright orange Contempra phone with rotary dial, made in the UK but designed by Northern Telecom in Canada and originally manufactured there. I also have an imported Genie phone made in the USA. Unlike the ones that BT supplied, the American Genie has DTMF 'Touch-Tone' dialling, making it more useful these days.

There were a large number of variants of the Statesman as well as some other phones in the Inphone range like the Viscount and Tribune. I have a few of them, along with a relatively rare DTMF version of the Sceptre phone (model 120MF). I haven't yet come across a switchable LD/MF Statesman phone; that would be interesting to see. I once had a faulty LD Statesman phone that picked up BBC Radio Bristol in its earpiece (I lived in Bristol at the time). No idea what was wrong with it.

I think the 'Inphone' era was an exciting one. There was an explosion of choice. For the first time, customers could buy their own handsets and change them when they wanted. It's no coincidence that the "In" in "Inphone" meant something that was in fashion or trendy. Sadly it ushered in the throwaway society we now live in, but at the time most of the phones were still being made in the UK by great British companies like GEC, STC, who had a long history of making quality products. Some of us are still enjoying them.

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Old 9th Jan 2020, 1:16 pm   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post
Somehow, I never quite felt that the one Nick describes was a proper Statesman - without the distictive curved sides to the body. As for the one above it in the linked page, it's just a bit too squared-off (not that I've ever seen that design before).
\\the ones with the straight sides weren't marketed by BT as the 'Stateman' - they were the Plessey PBT range - they went from the basic PBT100 up to the PBT500 with the models in between having various memory facilities etc.

If you looked at them from underneath , the familiar 'Statesman' shape was still there.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 1:49 pm   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
There was a BT 'inphone' roadshow bringing the delights of the system to the general public. I went to the one at Trentham Gardens (not far from Stone/Yarnfield) and had a merry time playing with all sorts of new phones, vintage and new PABXs/PBXs, vintage telephones etc, all with free outside line access and lots of buttons to play with. It was the first time I heard MF dialling and it was rather exciting.

Wasn't it the Ambassador that had the bell ringer? Very similar to the Statesman but with a deeper body.
I know that GEC produced a 'Statesman' style telephone but with a bell - KT1 possibly. I'll see if I can find any wholesalers catalogues with it in.

The British Rail 'Statesman' style telephones definitely have a bell fitted.

Can't find any mention of an Ambassador with a bell mentioned in the Ratebook/Vocabulary of Engineering Stores for 1983. Nor does Bob Freshwater website make any mention of a version of the Ambassador with a bell. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a version but may have been a 'non-BT' version.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 2:03 pm   #33
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If I recall it was for additional services etc. like call forwarding, but i'm not 100% sure
It was just a 'trendy' marketing name that came out at the time that they introduced their new 'Telephone Shops' in 1984/5. I can only find mention of it in one of the many telephone directories from the 1980's other than on the rear of the June 1984 Chester area Telephone Directory.

See attached

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Old 9th Jan 2020, 2:42 pm   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pellseinydd View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
There was a BT 'inphone' roadshow bringing the delights of the system to the general public. I went to the one at Trentham Gardens (not far from Stone/Yarnfield) and had a merry time playing with all sorts of new phones, vintage and new PABXs/PBXs, vintage telephones etc, all with free outside line access and lots of buttons to play with. It was the first time I heard MF dialling and it was rather exciting.

Wasn't it the Ambassador that had the bell ringer? Very similar to the Statesman but with a deeper body.
I know that GEC produced a 'Statesman' style telephone but with a bell - KT1 possibly. I'll see if I can find any wholesalers catalogues with it in.

The British Rail 'Statesman' style telephones definitely have a bell fitted.

Can't find any mention of an Ambassador with a bell mentioned in the Ratebook/Vocabulary of Engineering Stores for 1983. Nor does Bob Freshwater website make any mention of a version of the Ambassador with a bell. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a version but may have been a 'non-BT' version.
Definitely got an Ambassador with bells here, with BT branding. There was even a rotary dial variant.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 10:02 pm   #35
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From Bob's website:
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:30 am   #36
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Here is a nice overview of the Inphone campaign. It was all about the new sockets which allowed phones to be plugged "in"...and about being part of the "in-crowd".

http://www.lightstraw.co.uk/ate/tao/sales/inphone1.html
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 11:37 am   #37
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Well found, thanks for posting.

Nice to have a definite date (Oct 83) too.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 5:38 pm   #38
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More Statesman-type phones here, from Philips: the KT1 and KT4 (why on earth did they call their TV chassis the same things?!).
https://www.britishtelephones.com/phikt.htm

The KT4 was available widely in the early 1990s as a surplus item, screenprinted "County" below the number window. Presuamably ex-County Natwest, the disgraced arm of the bank which hit the news in 1987: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Arrow

The KT1 seems to be a LD Statesman, the KT4 seems identical to the MF Statesman, but housed in a more angular, matte-finish case.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 5:48 pm   #39
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Fascinating to see a photo of the old KT3: I remember loads of them used by various financial-services clients, usually via a ROLM 'CBX/Redwood' [the equivalent of a PABX].

They had "PhoneMail" - one of the first successful voicemail systems! That was really revolutionary 35 years ago.

Seems it was cheaper to source the CBX from the US and pay for development of compatible custom-firmware in the KT3 desksets!
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 9:41 pm   #40
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The KT1 seems to be a LD Statesman...
Here's one on eBay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-1...e/362688016369
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