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The Telecom Decorator from 1982


In 1982, Telecom Australia (Telstra) had already introduced their “Premium” range of telephones as an alternative to the standard rental telephone service. These telephones had additional features and were a sale only item.

Based on surveys conducted through the early ’80’s the Telecom “Decorator”  range of telephones was released to cater for personal tastes in décor.

The initial telephones were pulse signalling dial phones without any enhanced facilities, such as, abbreviated dialling, last number redial, hands free etc. The telephones were a high priced luxury item at around one week’s average salary. Although quite a number were sold, they are now reasonably rare.

The range was comprised of seven different telephones, namely

Ø  1. Minette Leather

Ø  2. Minette Onyx

Ø  3. Minette Porcelain

Ø  4. Regale Onyx

Ø  5. Regale Rosewood

Ø  6. Diplomat Beechwood

Ø  7. Heritage Hand Painted Craquelle



Heritage Craquelle


Information from Bob Estreich's site

Premium or Purchased Phones - The Decorator Range

For some time customers had been bringing in poor-quality antique-style phones from overseas. Most of these came from Singapore and had low-voltage ringers, which quickly failed. Telecom sourced a range of styles to meet this market, and did some redesigning of the electronics to make them more reliable and better insulated in lightning strikes. The result was a range of high quality well finished phones. They were generally fitted with cloth cords and gold plated metalwork. They were not particularly popular due to their high price (over $450 for the top models) but were steady if unspectacular sellers from their launch in October 1984.- I know of two still working today.