Export and private system variants of the
Telephone No. 706
Several manufacturers made cheaper versions of the Tele. 706 for
use on private systems that had no need for the demanding standards of BPO
approval. Although none of these telephones were adopted by the BPO, it is
nonetheless convenient to deal with them here.
A number of firms made tropicalised versions of the 706 for use in warm and
humid countries. They are distinguishable by thick orange varnish on all
wound components and a ventilation grille of moulded plastic (fragile and
vulnerable, made by GEC) or pierced aluminium located where the recall button
dummy normally fits (on phones made by ATE). Many of these telephones were
supplied on private system contracts in the UK. Another oddity (to British eyes)
is the New Zealand dial with its 'backwards' numbering, and this turned up
regularly by accident on UK telephones.
Ericsson Telephones Ltd called their export version of the Tele. 706 the 'Etelphone'.
See the Ericsson model No. N1900E244.
Telephone Rentals had an operation in New York that used standard 700-type
telephones made by Ericsson Telephones Ltd. These look identical to the UK
product except that the number ring surrounding the dial has 6 MNO and 0
The 1806 was a near lookalike of the 706 made by Pye
Business Communications in Cambridge for its 'electronic telephone system' (this
designation was printed on the dial labels). The cradle switch plungers were
round and chromed, not oblong, and the case was fixed to the chassis with two
screws at the rear as well as in the cradle recess on top. The ringer was
a single-coil affair, whilst the dial was made in Germany and had a plain
background with no arrowheads. Two-tone grey and two-tone green are
colours noted. Further information on the Pye electronic system was given in
Philips Telecommunication Review Vol. 50, No. 2 (August 1992) and in issue 27 of
the THG Journal.
ATE's No. 6 telephone was a strange hybrid; it had the
looks of a 706 but the transmission circuitry of a 332; it too had round
plungers and a single coil bell (1650-ohm), together with a dial (ATE no. 5)
with dimples replacing finger holes. Their no. 7 was a much closer
equivalent of the 706, effectively the same except that the dial often had a
plain coloured back plate instead of one with chaplets (arrowheads).
GEC produced two versions of the 706 for private users, the
1200 (direct equivalent) and the
1100 (which had a simplified regulator using just one
47ohm resistor). The 1200 was later renamed the 'New Gecophone'.
The company also experimented with an unusual dial on 706 telephones made for
sale to its industrial customers (1100); this had spokes instead of finger
holes. The numerals on GEC's black, blue and two-tone grey 706 telephones
made for private system customers were generally silver, not white.
AEI produced an export version of the 706 for their customers in Canada with a
2500-ohm ringer; this was their Telephone 806.
It looks identical to a 706 externally except that the number ring surrounding
the dial has 6 MNO and 0 Operator markings.
The 7006 was a basic low-cost version of the
telephone made by STC. Almost identical to the Tele. 706, it had a
resistor network in place of the induction coil. Two-tone grey is the only
colour seen. Ericsson's N112419/4 was similar.
Pictured below is the Jersey variant of the 706. This
model is a very early variant and this shows the grebe cords and steel dial.
The number ring is exclusive to Jersey.
Many thanks to Andrew Emmerson for the above information