Author Topic: British Phoenix Candlestick  (Read 498 times)

Offline FABphones

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British Phoenix Candlestick
« on: October 10, 2020, 11:34:31 AM »
I have the dial below on a British candlestick (made by Phoenix Telephones & Electric Works Ltd, London, dated 1928). Nice phone with a trumpet mouthpiece.

Dial looks like a #10 apart from the ‘O OPERATOR 0’ (not in hand at the moment to look at reverse). Can anyone give me any history on why this was so?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 08:02:44 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
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Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
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Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick - Dial
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2020, 09:03:55 PM »
Dial looks like a #10 apart from the ‘O OPERATOR 0’ (not in hand at the moment to look at reverse). Can anyone give me any history on why this was so?

Not sure what the question is. The number plate is fairly early from a time when "operator" was printed on them.

Look at some of the images here: https://www.britishtelephones.com/dials/dialbrit.html

Is that what you are asking about?

Regards
Jack


Offline FABphones

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick - Dial
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2020, 04:07:09 AM »
Thanks Jack, It would appear the dial plate is an L, but wondering why/where that particular style was used, and for how long, as it is an uncommon format for UK dials.

I think I will have to be a bit more patient and add more info from the back of dial once I have it in hand.

 :)
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
———————
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline tubaman

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick - Dial
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2020, 04:25:53 AM »
@FABphones,

I would say it is one of the earlier types as Jack Ryan suggested. Not too common to see certainly.
The different (known) types that were available are here - https://www.britishtelephones.com/labels.htm - yours is a Label No 150 by the looks of it.
 :)

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick - Dial
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2020, 04:56:39 AM »
@FABphones,

I would say it is one of the earlier types as Jack Ryan suggested. Not too common to see certainly.
The different (known) types that were available are here - https://www.britishtelephones.com/labels.htm - yours is a Label No 150 by the looks of it.
 :)

The later ones without "operator" are also No 150 - the same is true of the other plates.

The zero for the operator was withdrawn because it was wanted as an STD prefix.

Jack

Offline FABphones

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 07:58:56 AM »
So, on to the reveal, here is the rest of the phone.

This phone is intriguing. When I first saw the photos I thought I have a lot of work on my hands removing all that white paint. Now it is in hand I can see this paint job has been incredibly well done, it is no rattlecan.

I have never come across a #150 stick in white, but take a look at the photos, we will never know for certain but is this possibly a special order. Even the wiring diagram is over the top of the paint, and as far as I can tell it wasn’t removed and replaced, and each of the ID stamps remain clear, not blocked with paint.

It is complete with it’s Bakelite Daffodil mouthpiece, which is in good condition (not shown on the photos).
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
———————
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline FABphones

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick - Dial
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 08:00:32 AM »
Additional dial photos, showing marking on underside of dial and reverse.

Screenshots:
Aerial view of Phoenix Telephone and Electric Works factory site, circa 1937.
Ford Delivery Van in full livery, circa 1950’s.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 08:12:02 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
———————
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline Duffy

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  • Duffy
Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 10:41:45 AM »
That's an awesome piece of British telephone history you have. Congratulations!

Offline tubaman

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 12:53:03 PM »
Very nice. A 150 with a No1 transmitter is a pretty rare thing on its own - but in white!!
 :)

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2020, 07:41:03 PM »
I don't know how one would verify that the phone is a special order - or if one could.

It is clear that it was not painted white when it left the factory but during a refurbishment. That might make it more likely that it was a special order as when being refurbished, the phone might already be prepared for repainting. To repaint a new one would be a waste of black.

I am assuming that special orders came from the post office workshops and not the original manufacturer.

Jack

Offline FABphones

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 05:06:01 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys.

...It is clear that it was not painted white when it left the factory...


Could you just clarify how it is clear please, because (to our almost certain knowledge) only black were factory produced? Or because of the paint finish? Or other?

Thanks.

—-

G’Pa thinks of it as/calls it the ‘hospital phone’, and as the paint on this is so good I won’t be doing anything to it apart from cleaning it up. I’m pleased to finally have this dial in the collection, and another early candlestick.

This unusual finish will look quite odd next to the others, but it has a unknown story...

 :)
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
———————
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2020, 08:04:02 AM »
Could you just clarify how it is clear please, because (to our almost certain knowledge) only black were factory produced? Or because of the paint finish? Or other?

Sorry, I didn't mean to be obscure.

The phone is Phoenix and the transmitter is Western Electric. As the parts are mixed, it has probably been refurbished and if it is a GPO special order, I think it likely that is when it was painted.

Jack

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2020, 08:41:20 AM »
Paint sure looks original to me as the schematics don't look like the are not original. Not sure about a WE transmitter, as it looks proper to me.

Maybe for a Hospital?  I would have jumped at it if the price was right.

Looks like a find of the month again CJ....Doug
Kidphone

Offline FABphones

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2020, 11:35:37 AM »
Thanks Doug. I have nominated another member’s find for FOTM, not sure if I can nominate twice.

—-

For anyone not familiar with this candlestick, and for comparison, screenshot below (from the Internet) showing this model in it’s more usual Black colourway.


ETA: Thanks for the FOTM nomination. I’ll take a nicer photo of it. New photo added.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 07:08:35 PM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
———————
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline FABphones

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Re: British Phoenix Candlestick
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 11:54:14 AM »
I took myself off to a library and going through some antique valuation type books came across this photo. Book dated from about 2000.

Not exactly the same version as the stick in this thread, and paint does not look nearly so good on the example below, but thought some of you guys might like to see it anyhow.

 :)
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
———————
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’