A new desk telephone model with a cradle for a combined handset
appeared in the 1920s. The desk telephone took on many slightly
different forms, each one a work of art. When equipped with a dial
on the base, this style could be used in an automatic switching
system. With or without a dial, the early monophone or cradle phone
needed to be wired to a bell box.
In the 1930s, the 300 series of desk telephones appeared. Made of
Bakelite plastic, they had a rotary dial and the bells were
concealed in the base. In the 1950s, they were replaced by the 500
model with newer styling details. Later, these phones were offered
in a variety of colours.
In the late 1950s, streamlined designs such as the Princess and
the Ericafone were available.
When touchtone dialing arrived, the 500 model phones were adapted
by mounting the keypad in place of the rotary dial and introducing
electronic circuitry inside.
Copyright © 2004
Heritage Community Foundation and
Telephone Historical Centre All Rights Reserved