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Telephones from France

In 1878, the Postal and Telegraph Ministry was created to administer the services of post and telegraphy. Possibly a French government statement about the perceived importance of the telephone development, was that when the telephone appears in 1878, it is operated by a private company. In 1889, the telephone service is nationalised. In 1909 two managements clearly covering telecommunication activities are created, one for telegraphs and another for telephone services.

It isnít until the 1970ís that Telecommunications becomes an autonomous service under the Head of Telecommunications (DGT). The DGT becomes France Telecom  on January 1, 1991.

France Telecom chose the S63, which was available in a number of decorator colours and two-tones.

Pictured in the following table and made by Socotel France, this vibrant orange dial phone with the common 2nd receiver, was common in the 1970ís. It was also made in some of the more subdued tones.

French telephones that I displayed in 2006

Most recent additions

Berliner (Systeme Berliner) 

made in Paris, c1900




Ornate timber base and "Ball and Claw" style feet



Berliner (Systeme Berliner) 

made in Paris, c1900



Appears to have been used as the main telephone (reception) for a French restaurant


Very unusual and delicate handset cradle


Various French telephones in the collection

Bailleux made from an unusual (soft) marble-like material




Very unusual shaped handset with a Bakelite grip

A superb P.Jacquesson Mottled Brown Bakelite

Click for better quality pictures

Click for better quality pictures

One of my favourite Marron colour telephones

TH with a very unusual cradle

Earlier Thomson Houston

Still popular is the 2nd receiver

Sonnette - "sleigh bells"

Test phones - Buttinski's

Ader and Pherphone

Superb Ader handset

Systeme Ader with a pencil carbon microphone on a vibrating timber diaphragm

Some French toys