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Old 8th Dec 2017, 12:26 pm   #1
WaveyDipole
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Default 1934 jade green GPO model phone

This is a local story which I thought might be of interest regarding a 1934 jade green General Post office (GPO) model - 'customised for Royalty and celebrities' that has been discovered in Market Harborough and will be going up for auction. It will be perhaps interesting to see how much it goes for.

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/ne...covered-876955

Black bakelite phones were common, but I didn't know they were made in other colours (did they maybe have the odd red in particular goverment offices?) but it seems if you were wealthy enough you could also have ivory or red. Does anyone have or has seen one in any of the other colours?
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Old 8th Dec 2017, 12:53 pm   #2
OscarFoxtrot
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Tele 162 (from 1929) in Jade Green, Chinese Red, Ivory & mottled Brown were made available when another plastic called Urea Formaldehyde was used instead of Bakelite.

http://www.britishtelephones.com/t200info.htm

The 2,000,000th instrument installed for HM King George V (1931) was made in a special finish and was modified in the 1980s at the request of HM Queen Elizabeth when Buckingham Palace replaced its PMBX with (aptly enough) a new Monarch call connect system, which also had to be modified because of the large number of manual extensions required and for these to immediately indicate to the operator which manual extension was calling.
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Old 8th Dec 2017, 5:16 pm   #3
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

The so called reporter/telephone enthusiast who wrote the article should check up on the facts. The coloured telephones were available to anyone. You paid a single charge (in c1960) of 2 for a standard colour and 7.7.0 (seven guineas in old money) for a 'non-standard' colour. Bakelite telephones could be supplied by the GPO in 'non-standard' colours by the GPO. Plus if you had a 'non-standard colour, you had to pay the cost of restoring the telephone to its original colour. The two main colours were gold and silver. You paid no extra in rental for the telephone according to a copy of the GPO 1957/1966 'Telephone Service Instructions' - the document used for anything 'Sales Division' wanted to know (Their equivalent of the engineers 'Engineering Instructions' or the later 'Technical Instructions').
So don't believe all you read in the newspapers.

There is a gold Tele 232 on eBay at the moment which looks like one of the old gold ones.

I have a 1932 ivory Tele 162 in excellent condition and it appears to be Bakelite. It has a totally different white 'ivory' finish to a later 'slightly' yellowish ivory Tele 232 that I have. The 232 has the same finish as some 'brand new in their original boxes' ivory 300 type phones that I have. Bakelite was available in colours other than black from 1931. The mottled brown colour was known as 'Mahogany' by the GPO from what I've read.
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Old 8th Dec 2017, 7:13 pm   #4
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

This was quoting the TV antiques expert and consultant for Hansons Auctioneers Marc Allum, so presumably that would seem to suggest that the 'expert' got it wrong? I did rather assume that his knowledge was correct - but I know there are very knowledgeable folk on here.
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Old 8th Dec 2017, 8:07 pm   #5
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

They are so rare that you could get one from e-Bay or a dealer any time you chose to put your hand in your pocket.

General auctioneers certainly know very little — my local ones catalogue any 332 as "1940s" no matter what the markings say — and journalists are notorious for inaccurately reporting what is said to them.
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Old 8th Dec 2017, 8:47 pm   #6
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Two on eBay the moment if you want one?

And if you'd ever been on the third floor of a certain telephone shop that used to be in Cheltenham, you'd have seen boxes & boxes of green Bakelite parts for 200 type telephones made by Indian Telephone Industries in Bangalore. The parts are not up to the standard of the original GPO parts but unscrupulous folk have produced phones which they claim to be 'GPO' (Cheltenham shop never sold them as 'GPO' parts)

See Bob Freshwater's website and Neil Carpenter's http://www.antiquetelephones.co.uk/e...pygenuine.html. His photos show red phones but same applied to the green ITI bits.

Don't pay a lot for green Bakelite without examining it!

Ian
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Old 8th Dec 2017, 9:51 pm   #7
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Quote:
The 2,000,000th instrument installed for HM King George V (1931) was made in a special finish and was modified in the 1980s at the request of HM Queen Elizabeth when Buckingham Palace replaced its PMBX with (aptly enough) a new Monarch call connect system, which also had to be modified because of the large number of manual extensions required and for these to immediately indicate to the operator which manual extension was calling.
and it was my Manager at one time who was the person who was responsible for making sure all the phones were to standard, his role also included timing how long it took the Queen Mother to lift the handset so that the operator was already ready for her.. the QM never dialled the number, the operator always did!
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 1:06 pm   #8
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Well yes, I see a couple of green 200 series on eBay although you would need to put your hand very deep into your pocket to acquire one! They seem to be far fewer in number than the black or red, or even ivory (which also seem to fetch quite a bit although much less than the green) versions, so perhaps 'rare' might apply be by comparison, although from the comments above perhaps not quite so rare as one is led to believe in the article. Unfortunately that descriptive 'rare' does tend to get very overused, particularly on eBay. I have always understood it to apply to something that there is probably only a handful of in the world so that one is extremely unlikely to ever see or come across one. For example, the 1933 penny coin would qualify as rare.

I'm not quite sure how the description 'holy grail' applies either. I can only imagine that it was added for sensationalism so as to attract public attention.

bobsterkent, nice little story about your manager timing the QM!
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 1:58 pm   #9
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

I've heard that many 300 series phones on the market have been imported from Commonwealth countries, particularly India & Australia.

Also some less scrupulous restorers have been painting black ones into other colours, so be wary of a coloured one at a cheap price.

Some more info:

http://www.dustygizmos.com/arcpages/...300%20Telephon
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 7:30 pm   #10
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

HI I was in Aldi today and they had 746 clone phones for 14.99 ( gold ,ivory, blue )

Dave
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 9:29 pm   #11
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsterkent View Post
the QM never dialled the number, the operator always did!
The QM apparently didn't understand the point of television remote control either, it was easier to ring the bell for the footman to change the channel.
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Old 10th Dec 2017, 10:14 am   #12
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Would you keep a dog, then bark for yourself?

Just a logical side effect of the privileged existence and resistance to change.
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Old 10th Dec 2017, 11:00 am   #13
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Default Re: 1934 jade green GPO model phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pellseinydd View Post
And if you'd ever been on the third floor of a certain telephone shop that used to be in Cheltenham, you'd have seen boxes & boxes of green Bakelite parts for 200 type telephones made by Indian Telephone Industries in Bangalore. The parts are not up to the standard of the original GPO parts but unscrupulous folk have produced phones which they claim to be 'GPO' (Cheltenham shop never sold them as 'GPO' parts)
I remember that shop well. its now a kebab house or something similar as far as I'm aware.
It used to be a treasure trove of old and new phones, and you could even buy complete telephone boxes if you wanted.
I used to go in there lots and buy bits n pieces ,and the prices were quite reasonable as I recall.
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