I love my vintage telephones so much, I thought I would share some with you.
My number one love is for the Ericofon or the Cobra phone. This was designed in the late 1940s in Sweden by Gosta Thames, Ralph Lysell & Hugo Blomberg. This was a revolutionary design, it was the first marketed phone which incorporates the dial and handset together…maybe a forerunner for the cordless and mobile phone. It was made in 18 colours for the US market…red, white and pastel shades but never black!
I love the dial underneath and the strange buzzer ringer. It hit the UK in 1956…amazing to think such a beautiful radical design is over 50 years old. They were made up to 1970s but these were a squarer shape…and be careful for all the repros out there. The originals will have the Swedish numbers and will more than likely need converting for use in the UK.
This is my pastel green cobra which sits pride of place in my lounge.
In the 60s BT started to mass produce phones: the most popular being the plastic, rotary dial 700 series. These came in various colours, cream being the most popular due to matching colour schemes. The blue was introduced for the Jubilee year 1977, black was considered serious and used in men’s offices, red was quite flash and left for the young! I had a cream one in my bedroom as a teenager, it took ages to dial the numbers!
Remember the wall hung kitchen phone, getting tangled around the curly wire whilest you cook? This one is in my kitchen now! These were quite rare in the UK, preferred in the US.
In 1977, BT introduced the Jubilee wall hung phone…a slightly stunted version of the 700 series. It came in blue and black…well done if you find one with the original crest paper in the centre of the dial. My one sits on a retro telephone table in the hall!
In the 1980s phones became more fun with the introduction of the Genie. This was designed by A. Besson and had a push button dial that looks like a rotary dial. I love the adverts….so glam for a phone which up to now was quite a functional item.
The novelty phone was introduced Daleks, Mickey, Snoopy and a pair of bright red lips…so brash yet totally summing up the era.
Finally, I must mention the Trimphone….the one phone I don’t have (but keep hinting). This was introduced in the 1970s as a rotary dial and then with push buttons in the 1980s. They had such a distinctive ringtone and came in some great colours. Snowdon produced a range in 2 tone colours….I lust for a baby blue one…….a girl can dream!
Oh, and this is my son, Herbie’s favourite vintage phone. The Fisherprice Chatterphone is dated 1968!
Visit Your Vintage Office to see some retro phones we currently have for sale.