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Some common phones from 1930's to 1980's.



1960’s Telephone instruments

By the early 1960’s, telephone availability was becoming widespread, and many homes had more than one phone. Phones in various colours were used to match the décor. Wall phones became popular for kitchens to save on bench space. Throughout the world, there was to be only minor differences in features and appearance of their own plastic telephones. Some manufacturers produced moulded plastic telephones very similar in appearance to the Western Electric 500 series from the USA.

(Pictured above) In Australia, a quite different shaped plastic telephone called the 800 series was available to telephone subscribers in 1963. The Australian Post Office had recognised for some time that a range of colour phones would be demanded by subscribers. Eventually a consortium of STC, AWA and APO engineers all contributed to the development and manufacture of the 800 series. Based on a design by Bell Telephone Manufacturing Co of Antwerp, Belgium with considerable change to internal design and reasonably cosmetic changes externally.


It was available in Light Ivory, Mist Grey, Fern Green, Topaz Yellow, Lacquer Red, and Black.

The preceding picture shows a collection of the various versions of the 800 series.

The lower shelf contains the first version of the dial phone with the dial numbers moulded into the case’s plastic adapter ring in black or white lettering.

This was quickly found to be more costly to manufacture and the later version instruments were made with the numbers on the dial plate and a plain moulded case. Examples are on the middle shelf.

The uppermost shelf has other miscellaneous 800 series  phones.


In the picture below, can be seen the wall phone versions of these 800 series of telephones