Home:  Early Telephones: L.M.ERICSSON GPO TELEPHONE No.16, circa 1909


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This instrument was designated the No.16 by the British Post Office and was in use until the 1950's. It is based on an earlier design introduced in 1895 which looked almost identical and was supplied to the National Telephone Company.

The example shown was made for the GPO by L.M.Ericsson and is is marked No.16. The transfers are almost certainly not original.

Also known as a 'Skeleton Phone' or 'Eiffel Tower' in America.

Your comments:

  • The GPO ordered UK manufactured phones from British L.M. Ericsson's of Beeston, Nottingham by the time they were designated a 'Telephone No 16 -circa 1909 onwards. Prior to that they were not designated 'Telephone No 16'but 'Telephone, Table, with Generator B,complete' - for reference see page 284 of 1909 edition of Post Office Telegraph's "Connection of Telephonic Apparatus and Circuits" which explains the new designations. I have copies of the publication and its early editions up to the first one of 1886 if info on the GPO's earlier telephones is needed
    The transfers are very likely to have been added later as the GPO ones were plain. If it was one taken in 1912, it would not have had the 'No 16' engraved on the front.
    .......... Ian Jolly, Yr Wyddgrug, North Wales, 22nd of April 2010

  • This was almost certainly manufactured by LM Ericsson of Sweden. Ericssons built very beautiful equipment that was a work of art,as well as functional. The legs of this telephone form the magnets for the magneto, used to call the exchange.
    .......... David Knight, Adelaide, Australia, 3rd of April 2010

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