TELEPHONE No. 232
Bakelite table telephone used on Automatic and C.B. systems in conjunction with a Bellset No. 26. This telephone is 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.
The C.B. version is fitted with a black plate in place of the dial.
This telephone was introduced in 1935 and superseded the Telephone No. 162. The No. 162 had a transformer and not an induction coil. The No. 232 was fitted with one of the later ASTIC induction coil, which gave superior transmission.
Optional items for this model were a lamp fitting and a second receiver. They were both mounted on a bracket that was clamped around the neck of the telephone, just above the dial. The Lamp Fitting No. 14B came complete with lamp and bracket, whilst the extra receiver used a Receiver, Watch, No. 7P and a Hook, Receiver 'L'.
The Mk 1 (1935) and Mk 2 (1948) designs of the Telephone No. 232 made different use of terminals 6 and 8. This meant that the green handset wire could be on one of two terminals. The case may have the wrong paster diagram on it so the wiring should be checked if restoration is taking place. Both diagrams can be found here
Whilst the telephone was a table model, a Bracket No. 14 was made available for wall mounting the telephone. See picture below.
Telephone No. 232 on a bracket No. 14
Bracket No. 14
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. 1/232 includes (1946 and 1956):-
Circuit diagram No.
N332 (Mark 1) & (Mark
Close up showing the internal connections of the handset cord (right), the dial cord and a new style line cord (left).
Telephone No. 232
Telephone No. 232, a development of the Telephone No. 162, was introduced in 1935. It featured improved electrical performance derived from an improved ASTIC circuit and large numbers remained in use into the late 1950s and a few until around 1970, making it a very successful and long-lived design. This telephone had no bell installed within the body, so if a bell was required then an associated Bellset would have to fitted on the wall.
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. These were numbered 1/232 or 2/232. 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.
The general consensus on the cradles is:-
Not all these 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, in the pull out drawer.
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) where 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.
232 Standard table telephone, for use in CB/auto areas with Bellset No.26, with no drawer.
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 and drawer in base.
The Mk 1 and Mk 2 designs of the Telephone No. 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 handset cord had been connected according to the paster! Both diagrams can be found here
Other types based on this model
Last revised: May 10, 2021