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phones for police box

Started by Teletran, Jun 21, 2010, 03:19 pm

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Teletran

Jun 21, 2010, 03:19 pm Last Edit: Jul 13, 2011, 01:41 pm by Scarfwearer
I thought this might be useful to people who want an accurate phone for their policebox/tardis but don't want to pay a fortune:
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/pb-grand-phone/?pkey=chome-office-organization
(http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/1360/omni02g.jpg)

totallysonic1

Great find!

Get rid of the dial, and make it a one-button, and it's pretty bloody close!

Teletran

there's a link to "other products you might like" which is a direct line cordless
(http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/1360/omni02g.jpg)

starcross

Jun 23, 2010, 12:01 am #3 Last Edit: Jun 23, 2010, 12:04 am by starcross
That telephone looks pretty good, but resembles the GEC style more than the GPO 200 series.

There is one other reproduction telephone that matches the GPO 200 series closely. The Golden Eagle Electronics Classic Brittany Desk Telephone.

Its a modern telephone with push buttons disguised as a rotary dial. It matches fairly closely except for the handset which matches an American style also from the 1930s I believe.

I've never seen one up close but I suspect that a bit of tinkering might make this accept an original dial blank. Even an original handset may work on the cradle. Though that might mean forgoing functionality of the telephone.

A GPO 244 model Telephone
3986004569_a651fc8b6b.jpg

The modern Brittany telephone.
4726068192_891b467a6d_o.jpg

Cheers.

Borusa

This is incredibly useful information!  Thanks!

Just for reference: can anyone recall a moment from the classic series when the phone appeared on screen?  Did it ever happen?
"You have access to the greatest source of knowledge in the universe."

hb88banzai

Jun 23, 2010, 10:57 pm #5 Last Edit: Jun 23, 2010, 11:23 pm by hb88banzai
Quote from: Borusa on Jun 23, 2010, 06:09 pm
Just for reference: can anyone recall a moment from the classic series when the phone appeared on screen?  Did it ever happen?


Phones appeared in "Logopolis" (sort of, in that it was the revamped Newbery prop standing in for the then recently removed Barnett box) and, IIRC, in "Delta and the Bannermen" - though in both cases they were a newer 300 Series GPO phone rather than a 200 Series like the above example.

I don't know if a 300 Series was ever actually used in any real Police Boxes, however. It was probably just what the prop guys had on hand as an older type phone when it came time to use the Newbery as a stand-in for the real Police Box.

Quote from: starcross on Jun 23, 2010, 12:01 am
Its a modern telephone with push buttons disguised as a rotary dial. It matches fairly closely except for the handset which matches an American style also from the 1930s I believe.

The modern Brittany telephone.
4726068192_891b467a6d_o.jpg


That handset looks like an American Bell/Western Electric F1 type handset off a later (Bakelite) Model 302 phone. That would date more from the 40's to early 50's rather than the 30's as the early 302's (metal for the first couple years after their 1937 introduction) had the earlier E1 handsets that look very, very much like a GPO 200 or 300 Series handset.

It's really a shame they didn't replicate the 200 Series handset along with the rest of the phone.

meantimebob

Quote from: Borusa on Jun 23, 2010, 06:09 pm
This is incredibly useful information!  Thanks!

Just for reference: can anyone recall a moment from the classic series when the phone appeared on screen?  Did it ever happen?


I can only think of Logopolis, in fact I used to think that was the one and only time the phone panel was ever opened but then I noticed it was open, right at the end of Frontier in Space - weird.

Borusa

Jun 24, 2010, 04:41 pm #7 Last Edit: Jun 24, 2010, 04:53 pm by Borusa
Maybe this is more of a philosophical question (and possibly a provocative one), but...

What's the optimal goal: to build a TARDIS or to recreate an historically accurate police box?

If it's the former (as I thought it was), then shouldn't one be guided only by what's actually been seen in the show (e.g. if the only phone that's ever been seen in the show was not necessarily the phone that was first placed in real police boxes, then doesn't that make the "wrong" phone the "right" phone for TARDIS builders, despite the fact that it may be the wrong phone for police box builders?)?

I'm all for those who want to track the rich history of police boxes and then recreate them with a high degree of historical accuracy, but doesn't that potentially confuse the point of what Doctor Who fans want to do?

Not to be dogmatic (okay, maybe a little), but shouldn't the rule be that if it wasn't seen in the show, it's not (for lack of a better phrase) TARDIS authentic?
"You have access to the greatest source of knowledge in the universe."

deck5

I don't know about controversial -- they're just different choices.  Some people might want accuracy to what was on a certain episode, some might want to mix and match, or to blend in elements of a real Police Box.  It's artistic license.  No individual's choice invalidates anyone else's.  The box you build needs to be the box you want to build.

Borusa

Jun 24, 2010, 05:24 pm #9 Last Edit: Jun 24, 2010, 05:32 pm by Borusa
That's the perfect answer: "It's yours. Build what you like!"

Thanks!
"You have access to the greatest source of knowledge in the universe."

hb88banzai

Jun 25, 2010, 06:11 am #10 Last Edit: Jun 26, 2010, 08:56 am by hb88banzai
Well, since it's a TARDIS, the shape of the phone behind the door (or even the very existence of same) can pretty well change at the drop of a hat - any hat. ;)

That said, I think it's all about giving and receiving as much info on any given subject as possible so one has a richer tapestry from which to choose. No editorializing on what is "right" or "wrong" was ever intended by the comment that a given phone used in the series might not have been used in a real Police Box. It was just an observation that may help put things into context and thereby better inform one's own choice.

In the end I think to many people it comes down to "an old phone is an old phone." Even Sylvester McCoy was fooled into thinking an American-made Western Electric 302 was an old GPO phone when he first handled it - he actually wondered where on earth I got it. The heft of an old bakelite phone can be quite impressive.

starcross

Quote from: hb88banzai on Jun 25, 2010, 06:11 am
In the end I think to many people it comes down to "an old phone is an old phone." Even Sylvester McCoy was fooled into thinking an American-made Western Electric 302 was an old GPO phone when he first handled it - he actually wondered where on earth I got it. The heft of an old bakelite phone can be quite impressive.


I wouldn't be surprised if he was fooled. Except for the handset, the phone is a dead ringer for the GPO 300 series. Which was used in at least one London Police Post during the 1960s according to an eyewitness account.
Many different phones were used in police boxes as the GPO 244 was swapped out for repairs. Including the GPO 300 series, GPO 700 series (still inside the Crich Police Post), and a Mittel Ascom Berkshire telephone from the 1980s. The Mittel phone is still an operational Police telephone Line at the Northwood Police station inside the Police Post.

Western Electric Non-dial 302 telephone
302_nondial.JPG

GPO 300 Series
gpophone.jpg

Ascom Berkshire Telephone (made after 1987)
berksele.jpg

Borusa

Quote from: hb88banzai on Jun 25, 2010, 06:11 am
Well, since it's a TARDIS, the shape of the phone behind the door (or even the very existence of same) can pretty well change at the drop of a hat - any hat. ;)

That said, I think it's all about giving and receiving as much info on any given subject as possible so one has a richer tapestry from which to choose. No editorializing on what is "right" or "wrong" was ever intended by the comment that a given phone used in the series was likely never used in a real Police Box. It was just an observation that may help put things into context and thereby better inform one's own choice.

In the end I think to many people it comes down to "an old phone is an old phone." Even Sylvester McCoy was fooled into thinking an American-made Western Electric 302 was an old GPO phone when he first handled it - he actually wondered where on earth I got it. The heft of an old bakelite phone can be quite impressive.


Thanks.  Well said (particularly the bit about the hat)!  It's a fascinating and sometimes irksome truth of our favorite program that there has never been a "writer's bible" to guide staff through years of what's been shown.  As a result, wild inconsistencies often occur.  But for the grace or vagaries of the TARDIS (as well as infinite viewer patience), all of these might prove more controversial.

I like the idea of somehow trying to juggle the various contexts available: the classic series, the new series, and historical accuracy.  The picking and choosing that then occurs (with the added pressures of available time and financial resources for each one of us) yields our own personalized results.  In some incredibly dorky sense, we each become an incarnation of the Doctor - our own TARDIS reflecting individual tastes and circumstances.
"You have access to the greatest source of knowledge in the universe."

deck5

The black bakelite GPO 162 pyramid-style phones are a beautiful design; that they were used in actual police boxes is a bonus.  I'm delighted I've been able to get one for my build.  Not worried a bit that they never had any screen time as a TARDIS phone.  After all, most of the TARDIS phone doors were false anyway!

hb88banzai

Jun 25, 2010, 09:59 pm #14 Last Edit: Jun 26, 2010, 08:54 am by hb88banzai
Quote from: starcross on Jun 25, 2010, 07:41 am
I wouldn't be surprised if he was fooled. Except for the handset, the phone is a dead ringer for the GPO 300 series. Which was used in at least one London Police Post during the 1960s according to an eyewitness account.
Many different phones were used in police boxes as the GPO 244 was swapped out for repairs. Including the GPO 300 series, GPO 700 series (still inside the Crich Police Post), and a Mittel Ascom Berkshire telephone from the 1980s. The Mittel phone is still an operational Police telephone Line at the Northwood Police station inside the Police Post.

Western Electric Non-dial 302 telephone
302_nondial.JPG


Yeah, that's why we used it. Since then I've installed an E1 handset with the cupped mouthpiece on it so it looks even more like a GPO 300. Don't have any pics of it at the moment as it's some 750 miles away these days.

The thing that gives it away, though, is that the 300 Series GPOs really are kind of massive. It's so big that it won't even remotely fit into the cupboard made for the WE 302, while a 200 Series fits just fine.

Edit: BTW - if my memory isn't going completely, the 300 Series phones in Logopolis and Delta both had standard rotary dials rather than blanks.

Also, many thanks for the info on phone swaps in the real Posts and Boxes. I suspected this would likely be the case as old equipment wore out, but it's very good to have confirmation.