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British Antique/Vintage Telephones circa 1900-1980

Antique/Vintage Telephones UK

I have set up this website up to display photographs of all the British Vintage Telephones that I collect, like the lovely old ivory model number 312 1950s Bakelite GPO telephone that you can see in the photograph below.

I will build this site up with more photographs of my antique/vintage rotary dial telephone collection as I get the chance and as I collect more. (Please call back and visit from time to time to check for updates).

British Bakelite Telephones are probably the most sought after Telephones ever produced. These old Telephones were produced in the UK between 1931 and 1960 and have now become very collectable. During this period several beautiful Bakelite Telephone models were introduced into service in the UK by the GPO. These are all very highly regarded by both Vintage GPO Telephone Dealers and the general public.

In good condition and fully restored to their former glory these Bakelite Telephones are in great demand by people who appreciate the classic nature of these historic/iconic old telephones.

Provided that they have been correctly converted and serviced properly these old dial telephones still work today on all modern telephone lines. If the microphone has been replaced with a modern electronic version these old telephones are as good if not better than most modern phones (this is important and most telephone restorers will do this as part of the restoration).

One of the real joys of owning one of these Antique Telephones is the sound the bells make when someone rings you on your vintage telephone. You can hear these old telephones all throughout the house even though they don't sound that loud when you are stood next to them. Modern telephone electronics cannot match the beautiful mechanical bell sound produced by these lovely old telephones. Although there are lots of modern replica telephones that look vaguely similar they are all vastly inferior to these original vintage telephones.

1950s Bakelite Telephone

Vintage and Antique Telephones

Over time I intend to build up a comprehensive collection of all types of vintage telephone antiques produced in the UK. I collect Old Vintage Telephones from the early 1900's mostly 1940's and 1950's. However the later Vintage BT 746 Telephones from the 1970's to the mid 1980's such as the model known as the 746 Telephones are now also very collectable. The 746 telephone was the last of the British telephones designed to be repaired by telephone engineers and basically to last forever. In fact Collecting Old Retro Telephones has now overtaken older Antique telephone collecting in popularity.

A large proportion of these vintage/old phones were made for the GPO, hence they were often known as Vintage GPO Telephones. However, some of these vintage telephones were made for use by internal telephone companies such as ATM for use in offices and Banks etc. These British Internal Office Bakelite telephones were made to the same design and to the same exacting standards. Only the dials on the ATM Bakelite phones were made to a different design. The vintage telephone case and the rest of internals were exactly the same and thankfully they are completely interchangeable if they go faulty.

Black Bakelite Telephone

Old BT Telephones may appear to be a strange thing to collect, however more and more people are falling in love with these classic old style Black Bakelite 1950's phones. Some people buy them simply because the old Bakelite Phones are "Art Deco", while others because these vintage phones are from a different era and are vastly different in many ways to modern phones, particularly in quality. I believe these old telephones are worth collecting because they are truly classic icons of a very memorable point in UK history, where British engineering was the best!

I will put more photographs of my old telephone collection and telephone antiques on this page as soon as I can find the time.

For now, I have included a number of links below that relate to Old British Telephones, so please feel free to have a look and see if you agree with me about the classic nature of these phones.

If you find any useful websites relating to British Bakelite telephones or old BT telephones (before 1980) in general please let me know and I will add them to this old phone information page.

Similarly if you have any good pictures of Retro telephones (made in the UK) please send them to me.

Red Bakelite Telephone

The Telephone above is a very rare 332 Red Bakelite telephone. The standard colour for all old GPO/BT telephones before 1960 was Black Bakelite. In fact 99.9% + of all telephones in this Bakelite era were Black so the coloured telephones are very rare, particularly if they are still in good condition.