GPO GPO 1970'S Retro Telephone

Community images

GPO GPO 1970'S Retro Telephone

without Hands Free - without Caller ID - without Loudspeakers - without SMS Function

> Show product information

100% positive

1 reviews from the community

Review of "GPO GPO 1970'S Retro Telephone"

published 01/04/2015 | dobieg
Member since : 31/01/2003
Reviews : 256
Members who trust : 34
About me :
I'm a miserable old git. I'm ashamed to say it's been a **** very **** long time since I reviewed my "trusts", have sought to rectify this by going through every review I've written in the past couple of years, if you feel hard-done-by, drop me a note.
Pro Bomb proof
Cons only voice calls possible
Reception & Clarity of speech
Range of reception
What is the durability of this product?
Range of features

"Ours was navy blue!"

In terms of telephony, it doesn’t come much simpler than this.

The rotary design telephone was initially designed in 1891, and other than a few stylistic improvements, it remained largely unaltered over a period of 80 years – hard to believe anything can last that long when a typical mobile pay monthly deal builds in a replacement every 24 months!

This instrument was issued at a time when ‘mobile telephony’ meant an extra long cord had been fitted, ‘phone jacks’ were only available for the (radioactive) ‘trimphone’.

The success of the design relied on it’s simplicity.

Under the sleek plastic shell, there lurked a bewildering array of ‘screw down’ connectors, joining an electromechanical bell, a couple of resistors, capacitor, carbon microphone and a magnetic earpiece.

The GPO (General Post Office) had a state monopoly on equipment and fittings. It was technically illegal to interfere with any part of the apparatus, and if you wanted yor phone relocated, it involved a costly call-out.

It was only in the 1980s that you could have phone “jacks” fitted round the house, and even then you could only attach certificated equipment.

At the heart of the device was the ubiquitous ‘rotary dial’
You put your finger in the appropriate hole and rotated the dial clockwise to a chrome end-stop.

As yoou released the dial, it slowly returned to the original position, sending the requisite number of pulses down the line.

You could buy a lock (probably wasn’t entirely legal) which prevented you dialling anything other than the number 1 – I remember my landlady had one of these.

The locks were notoriously easy to pick with a paperclip, but if you *really* knew what you were doing, you could tap the number out on the cradle (0 was ten taps, 9 was nine and so on) – thankfully in those days itemised billing wasn’t available, and I took particular pleasure in calling my parents long-distance when the landlady was out!

These phones were almost universally installed in the darkest, coldest, most public part of the house – most homes only had one phone, and you were officially ‘posh’ if you had an extra ne in the master bedroom.

A small industry developed providing ‘telephone tables’ these consisted of a shelf, a seat, and somewhere to store the paper telephone directory.

Even after most of the world went ‘digital’ a place remained for the old ‘pulse dial’ telephone – they were almost literally indestructible, being immune to ‘electromagnetic pulse’ from nuclear warheads – I remember even as late as the 1990sa bank I worked in had a rotary phone ‘just in case’ all the clever stuff failed.

The existing telephone system still supports the rotary dial phone, it uses the standard ‘two wire’ connection, if you need extensions, a third wire is used to stop all the other extensions on the line from ‘tinging’ when you dialled.

This is almost my all-time favourite phone, only coming second to the much earlier
Bakelite version my grandmother had – it came with a slide out drawer with several sheets of card onto which you could write your favourite numbers.
Is there still a place for a dial-phone? That’s a good question, as a bit of retro chique it certainly scores points, but practically, its had it’s day.

Units can be bought on “fleabay” for as little as twenty quid, although for particular and specific models there is a’ collectors market’ commanding silly prices.

Along with the national anthem on TV at midnight, power cuts and hard toilet paper, this is an item I would scarcely miss, but someone somewhere will.

Community evaluation

This review was read 1040 times and was rated at
54% :
> How to understand evaluation of this review

Comments on this review

  • 1st2thebar published 16/06/2017
    Unable to compute the market value of a GPO 1970's Retro Telephone. Should be under the category: 'collectibles.'
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 20/03/2016
    Nice in navy!
  • euphie published 25/04/2015
    e :o)
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

offers "GPO GPO 1970'S Retro Telephone"

Most popular similar products

Product Information : GPO GPO 1970'S Retro Telephone

Manufacturer's product description

without Hands Free - without Caller ID - without Loudspeakers - without SMS Function

Product Details

Bluetooth: No

Display of Calling Number: without Caller ID

Number of Name Keys:

Low Radiation: No

Type: 2 Piece Phone

IP Phone: No

Manufacturer: GPO

H.323 VoIP-Protocol: No

SIP-Standard (Session Initiation Protocol): No

ISDN Port: without ISDN Technology

Ethernet: No


Backlight Illumination: No

Built-in Camera: No

MMS Functionality: No

SMS Function: without SMS Function

Polyphonic Ringtones: without Polyphonic Ringtones

Video Phone: No

Loudspeakers: without Loudspeakers

Hands Free Functionality: without Hands Free

Elderly Friendly Phone: No

System Phone: No

Long Name: 1970's Classic Rotary Dial Retro

EAN: 5060203260347


Listed on Ciao since: 16/12/2013