TELEPHONE No. 232


Bakelite table telephone used on Automatic and CB systems in conjunction with a Bellset No. 26.  Fitted with a handset called a Telephone No. 164. There is no bell or capacitor fitted inside the telephone, so a Bellset No. 26 would have normally been fitted.

This telephone was introduced in 1935 and superseded the Telephone No. 162.

The picture below shows the interior of a genuine Telephone No. 232.  On the right is the Induction Coil, the switch hook springs are in the centre and the dial cord is shown to the left.  This dial cord is plastic, which would have replaced a cloth covered dial cord.

Telephone No. 232 with base removed showing components (Induction coil to the right)

Additional good quality pictures


Telephone No. 232

Telephone No. 232, a development of the 162, was introduced in 1935.  It featured improved electrical performance derived from an improved ASTIC circuit and large numbers remained in use into the 1950s and a few until around 1970, making it a very successful and long-lived design.  The telephone had to have an associated Bellset, because the telephone itself has no provision for a bell.

The Bellset could be fixed under the telephone with special screws - some people describe these telephones as a "King Pyramid".  Click here for more information.

Later versions featured a drawer in the base (for dialling instructions or number lists) and an improved cradle fork design made of cellulose acetate instead of Bakelite that was less damage-prone and made the telephone easier to carry around.  Simon Chappell explains this concisely: I think most people might define the two types as ‘162 cradles’ and ‘232 cradles’.  The earlier type closely follows the profile of the top of the ‘pyramid’ whereas the later type overhangs to provide the lip.  Not all telephones have the pull-out drawer and of those that do (types 1/232 and 2/232 made with coloured cases) generally have a stainless steel cover with the GPO roundel embossed in red and a clip for a notepad.

Manufactured by: All main telephone suppliers.  The Bakelite parts were also made (in black only) in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a local manufacturer called H. C. Urlwin (Harry Urlwin). The mouldings carried the maker’s mark  H C U N Z .

Colours: Black, ivory, red and green.  The ivory models are hard to find in perfect condition as the moulding material (which is not Bakelite but Urea Formaldehyde) often deteriorates badly.  Either the manufacturers had difficulty mixing the ingredients or else the material was unstable from the outset.  It often cracks and goes like toffee ripple ice cream, with swirls of yellow-brown in the ivory.

Users: GPO and other telephone and railway administrations in Britain and the British Commonwealth. An example made by Siemens Brothers has been noted with Arabic numerals on the dial and ESR (standing for Egyptian State Railways) in the oval recess of the handset.

Variants:

232                  Standard table telephone, for use in CB/auto areas with Bellset No.26.

1/232               Development of the Tele. 232, with induction coil Nos. 22 or 24, lipped cradle and drawer in base.

2/232               Improved circuit, with induction coil No. 27.

The Mk 1 and Mk 2 designs of the Tele. 232 made different use of terminals 6 and 8. Restorers should note this carefully;  a telephone collector bought a phone with a Mk 1 case (and paster diagram) but Mk 2 innards.  It did not work because the cords had been connected according to the paster!

Other types based on this model

Tele. 238
CB/Auto instrument intended for use with Box, Coin Collecting No. 14 and Bellsets No. 33 (auto) or 35 (CB).

Tele. 240
CB/Auto instrument for use with Loudspeaker, Amplifier No. 1 and Loudspeaker, Telephone No. 1.

Tele. 242
This instrument was used with Box, Coin Collecting No. 14 and Bellset No. 36 in UAX 5 and 6 (auto) areas.

Tele. 244
An ASTIC instrument used on police telephone and signal systems, fitted in police call boxes and so on.

Tele. 246
Wall-mounted pendant telephone for use with Bellset No. 37 (CB), Bellset No. 37 and Dial Mounting No. 16 (auto) or Bellset No. 31 (LB or long auto/CB lines).  Used as a ‘kneehole’ telephone on executives’ desks and in lifts. Fitted with the Extensicord elasticated handset cord.

Tele. 248
This ASTIC instrument was mounted on a Bellset No. 39 or 44 to make the main unit of Extension Plan 5 or 7 in CB/auto areas.

Tele. 264
Auto instrument for use in "certain call offices on automatic exchanges" (no further information available).

Tele. 232L, with drawer open to show dialling codes card. Tele. 232F mounted on Bellset 26, used by Hull Corporation Telephones. Note the non-GPO dial.

Circuit diagram N332.

Click here for the circuit diagram - Web users - CD users

General information on 200 type telephones

Collectors Information - what to look for

How to dismantle a 200 type telephone

How to restore Bakelite

How to wire your Telephone No. 232 to make it work on BT Plug and Sockets

Lamp Fittings

Labels that fit in the sliding tray

How to fit a Bellset to a Pyramid Telephone

Click here for pictures of the 200 type Telephone - from all angles

London's Millionth Telephone

General fault finding on your phone



Pictures courtesy of Paul Follet

 
 
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Last revised: January 10, 2016

FM