Hi. my name is Pete.
I have been collecting PMG and Telecom phones since 1981.
My guide is for people wanting to know about Australian rotary and pushbutton telephones from the 1960s to the 1980s. The PMG (Post Master General) introduced the "colorfone" in 1962, they were available in 6 colours - Light Ivory, Mist grey, Lacquer Red, Fern Green, Topaz Yellow and in 1964 Black. They were made of plastic and not bakelite some people on Ebay describe them. The original 801 model had outboard numbers or numbers around the outside of the fingerwheel and the 802 model, introduced in 1971 had numbers under or inside of the fingerwheel. 801 phones are getting harder to come by, especially ones that haven`t faded. The 801 model ran from 1962 to 1971. The 801 and 802 model telephones were made by AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia) and STC (Standard Telephones and Cables) - not "Sydney Telephone Company" as some people have invented. The 891 model is the number for the "wallfone" and was a telephone that was hard wired to the wall and mounted on a special bracket. The wall phone was released sometime around 1971/72 ans was available in Powderblue, white and black. The white and powderblue were very prone to fading and they are very very hard to get in their original colours. Sometime around 1977/78 Telecom released some newer colours, Maize Yellow - which is now highly collectable, Coffee (Sandstone) and Chocolate brown.
Most phones are easily dated by the stamp on the base and 2 digits which is the year of manufacture.
If a phone has a sticker on it`s base it is a reconditioned phone and not as valuable to a true collector as is one with an official stamp on the base. Telephones with stickers on the base for example "T W M 1/9/1977" is a phone made from second hand and replacement parts at the "Telecom Workshops in Melbourne" meaning the 1st of September 1977. "T W S" was the Telecom workshops in Sydney and "T W P" Perth etc etc. Phones with stickers on the base are often referred to as "Frankenstein Phones" and are okay for decoration but true collectors see them as non-original and not that collectable.
To work out too if a phone is original and not cannibalised from old or junky phones check the serial number out on the base stamp.
S1/231 is Light Ivory. S1/232 is Mist Grey, S1/233 is Fern Green, S1/234 is Lacquer Red, S1/235 is Topaz Yellow and S1/236 is black and black also wasn`t released until late 1964. Black was not popular after decades of black bakelite from the 30s to the early 70s. Black was added though for garages and where phones were prone to getting heavily soiled so after a lot of feedback from the public to the PMG they released black.
Around 1976 Telecom released the "touchfone" and was available in Mist grey and Ivory and they only had 10 buttons and were all pulse or decadic dialling. Around 1980 they were produced in other earthy type colours.
12 button versions came later (around 1980 and were touchtone/DTMF and still used mechanical or spring based contacts) Full plastic versions were made from 1984 till 1987/88 when the "touchfone 200" was released for the bicentenial which was in use up until the late 1990s as either a rental phone or a purchase phone.
When listing a phone make sure you take a photo of the base of the phone as 99% of the time it will have the date on the bottom of it and this is important as it can be a good selling feature as earlier phones - especially from the 1960s. Early 60s phones are becoming highly collectable now - especially any colorfone dated 1962 !
Also try to show pictures of the phone if it has discolouration as that can devalue a phone substantially and you can end up with a negative feedback.
If you need to know information on your phone please email me via here or on mrtv 1967 at gee mail do t com (Join it all together and use a plain g)
Hope you get some basic information out of this, regards Aussiephones (Pete).
Collecting Telecom phones from the 60`s to the 80`s
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29 June 2016
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