This is the standard telephone handset, made of Bakelite and used on most GPO 200 and 300 type telephones.  The very early Telephone No. 164's had the mouthpiece retained by screws on the outer edge, but this was method of fixture was probably only found on prototypes.

The earpiece is screwed onto a thread on the earpiece mounting, whilst the mouthpiece locates on three lugs and then turns to secure.

Introduced circa 1930.

There were two variants of Telephone No. 164, the Mark 1 and the Mark 2.  The difference was that the Mark 1 had a Receiver No. 1L with Diaphragm No. 12 and Earpiece No 18, whilst the Mark 2 had a Receiver No. 2P with Diaphragm No. 25 and Earpiece No 23.  The Mark 1 is pictured above.

The Mark 2 was introduced circa 1946.

Drawing for Mark 1 - 9509/0
Drawing for Mark 2 - 9509/1
Drawing for body part - SBO2

Drawing for Base, Telephone No. 1/164 - 90117

Circuit Diagram - N264.

After introduction of the Telephone No. 164, refurbished Telephone No's 59 & 88 were converted to accept these handsets.

Available in the colours - Black, Chinese Red, Ivory and Jade Green.

Colour samples

Telephone includes (1946 and 1956):-
1 x Cord, Instrument No. 3/63A, (Colour), 42".
2 x Part No. 1/SWA/72 (Colour).
1 x Receiver, Inset No. 1L (Mark 1) or 2P (Mark 2).
1 x Mouthpiece No. 15 (Colour).
1 x Part No. 1/SBO/2 (Colour).
1 x Transmitter, Inset No. 13.
1 x Part No. 1/SPL/389.

The Telephone No, 164 could also be supplied with a Cord, Instrument No. 3/99BN 26", a 3/99BN 33" or a Cord, Instrument, Extensible No. 3/1 Brown 21".

This handset can be fitted with a Receiver No. 1L or  2P - see below for more information.  The Receiver No. 2P was introduced in 1946.

See also the Telephone Efficiency Committees Report on Local Battery Area telephones

Removal of Mouthpiece
On the rim of the mouthpiece, in line with the handle, there is a small hole.  Insert a drawing pin into the hole and press.  Whilst pressing the drawing pin, turn the mouthpiece anti-clockwise.

How to wire a cord to the handset
In the picture below the handle of the handset is uppermost.  You will find the letters MR stamped into the central metal plate and the letters M and R in the plastic moulding.


Additional Pictures

All the above are Mark 2


Mark 1 component parts

Receivers Inset No's 1L and 2P

Early handsets were fitted with a Receiver, Inset No. 1L but these were superseded by the Receiver, Inset No. 2P in 1946.  The two are interchangeable but only if the correct diaphragm and earpiece are used.  This is because the receiver, the diaphragm and the earpiece are a matched set.  If they are not matched the speech reception will be faint.

Receiver No. 1L with Diaphragm No. 12 and Earpiece No 18


Receiver No. 2P with Diaphragm No. 25 and Earpiece No 23
Ensure that spring washers are fitted on the screw fixings

Remove of the Receiver and Mouthpiece

The Earpiece must be firstly removed by unscrewing anticlockwise.  This will either be very easy or very hard.  If the earpiece will not budge then try the following methods:-

  1. Ask a friend to have a go - my neighbour is great with these.

  2. Spray WD40 around the edge, hoping that it penetrate the thread.  Leave a couple of days.

  3. Use a vice and wrap the earcap in a rag or card board - be careful.

  4. Lower the earpiece into a cup of very hot water - hopefully it will expand.

  5. Cover with a rag and tap the earpiece on a hard surface - this may break the earcap!

  6. Smash it and replace!

Once removed - slide off the diaphragm - see the picture to the right.  Then you will find two screws - remove these screws and the receiver will fall out.

To be honest they do not often go wrong.  The normal problems found with them are:-

  1. One or both fixing screws not tightened down.

  2. Spring washers missing from the fixing screws.

  3. Diaphragm missing.

  4. Ingress of water causing rusting to the internals.

  5. Rust or metal swarf on the pole faces.

The mouthpiece is located on three lugs, one of which is sprung loaded.  The mouthpiece has a hole which can be located on the handle side of the handset.

To remove, use a drawing pin and push into the hole under pressure (choose a pin that does not have the centre pin showing on the back - there is a danger of this being pushed out due to pressure!).  A pin badge could also be used.  This pushes one of the metal lug inwards and allows the mouthpiece to be unscrewed anticlockwise.

The Microphone Inset will drop out exposing the screw terminals for the handset cord.

To assemble, insert the Transmitter and then locate the mouthpiece, ensuring that the hole is close to the handset handle, push down and then rotate clockwise until the spring locates.  Once located try turning anticlockwise to make sure the spring clip prevents removal.  If the mouthpiece can be moved anticlockwise then bend the lug slightly outwards.


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Last revised: April 25, 2023