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Mark 1, Mark 2, Mark 3?

Started by hb88banzai, Aug 29, 2010, 09:29 am

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cathlyn847

Sep 05, 2010, 08:06 pm #15 Last Edit: Sep 05, 2010, 08:37 pm by cathlyn847
EDIT:..The candlestick phone behind the glass panel,
that would be the type without a dial, correct??  
I LOVE THIS BOX.
1931box.jpg

;D ;D ;D
What would the Doctor do?

hb88banzai

Sep 06, 2010, 10:13 am #16 Last Edit: Sep 06, 2010, 10:21 am by hb88banzai
Quote from: cathlyn847 on Sep 05, 2010, 08:06 pm
EDIT:..The candlestick phone behind the glass panel,
that would be the type without a dial, correct??  


Correct!

boxweb2.jpg

And me too!  ;D

hb88banzai

Sep 06, 2010, 10:16 am #17 Last Edit: Sep 06, 2010, 10:23 am by hb88banzai
Starcross - Great stuff!

Many thanks for all the info and great pics - I had no idea what was behind the door.

starcross

Quote from: hb88banzai on Sep 06, 2010, 10:16 am
Starcross - Great stuff!

Many thanks for all the info and great pics - I had no idea what was behind the door.


I'm not sure what happened to my afternoon but I ended up doing a bit more digging around on the Glasgow boxes. I have pieced together more of a complete picture on them including dates. Although rather than post everything separately I kept it all in the same massively long post about the Glasgow boxes.


To add my two cents into the mark discussion, what we've been calling the Mark 2 Boxes were probably started around 1937/8 when the PA 350 communications system came online (The PA 150 system is reported to be used on the PA1 Police Pillar after all). It seems to me that everything before that year was one particular design and then after 1936 everything changed.

The red telephone kiosks were standardized to the K6 design, the Police Posts became rectangular, and it stands to reason they would also standardize on the Police Boxes as well.

As I said I don't have any specific research put together on that bit of speculation, but perhaps you guys had come across something that will confirm of shoot down my theory.

Cheers,

~Starcross

ironageman

Excellent discussion! Now, the first use of 'Mk 1, Mk 2' that I came across was in a magazine article (it must have been the 'Death of the Tardis' one, which is here somewhere...) - perhaps someone has researched this further but it seems a good guess that the Met did indeed use these terms and that they referred to the structure, as the signage on all boxes was clearly periodically updated across the board regardless of the structure. The term 'Mk 3' is Pete D's invention and a very happy one, so there's no arguing about what it means! That said, both the top and front signs did seem to vary on the Mk 3. Indeed the signs and even the wall panels seemed interchangeable with the Mk2 version.

(I say 'Mk 2' but really there was a Barnet-type Mk 2 and the later Crich/Blackwall type.)

I'm sure that we could work out a chronology for all the various changes...
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong

Scarfwearer

Quote from: starcross on Sep 05, 2010, 04:59 pm

Cheers,

~Starcross

ps: I hope making a massive post script additions aren't a hassle. Who knew I'd have this much to say?


The massive postscript additions are fascinating and no hassle. Bear in mind though that once someone has read your post, they won't be notified of any edits to it, unless you do what I'm doing here and post again to draw attention to it. :)

If you click on the quoted text header above, you'll be taken to starcross's expanded posting.

Crispin

BTW:
If you have a longer topic that is the result of investigations or research and not intended to be part of a conversation, you could turn it into an article. Start a new topic, click Additional Options at the bottom and check the "Is Article" checkbox. The topic will then show up at the top of the board and will be presented in a more magazine-like format. This is the same mechanism we use for the tutorials.


hb88banzai

Sep 08, 2010, 01:05 pm #21 Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 02:02 pm by hb88banzai
Quote from: ironageman on Sep 08, 2010, 10:23 am
Excellent discussion! Now, the first use of 'Mk 1, Mk 2' that I came across was in a magazine article (it must have been the 'Death of the Tardis' one, which is here somewhere...) - perhaps someone has researched this further but it seems a good guess that the Met did indeed use these terms and that they referred to the structure, as the signage on all boxes was clearly periodically updated across the board regardless of the structure. The term 'Mk 3' is Pete D's invention and a very happy one, so there's no arguing about what it means! That said, both the top and front signs did seem to vary on the Mk 3. Indeed the signs and even the wall panels seemed interchangeable with the Mk2 version.

(I say 'Mk 2' but really there was a Barnet-type Mk 2 and the later Crich/Blackwall type.)

I'm sure that we could work out a chronology for all the various changes...


OMG - I had completely forgotten that article had the Mk designations in it. Have a copy someplace in my garage, but hadn't read it in like 15 years.

As it happens, back in 2002 a user on the old MSN TARDIS Builders Guild site named "heironymous" posted readable pics of the article and they are in the current Archives here:

http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=115.0

He didn't know the issue, but it's Doctor Who Monthly #77, the June 1983 issue.

Wow - such a long time ago and reading it again just now brings back a lot of memories (though I obtained my copy about five years after issuance). It was the first glimpse most of us got of part of the MacKenzie Trench plans (I remember many hours spent trying to read the too-tiny scrawl of dimensions and text on the reproduced plan sections) and one of the first attempts at anything close to an in-depth history in a readily accessible form. Unfortunately, in retrospect it was also chock full of errors.

They mistakenly state that the first TARDIS style boxes were erected in London beginning in 1932 - listing their source for this as Scotland Yard itself, mind you. They also say that ALL of them (all Mks) were of timber construction with the pillars sunk in concrete bases.

Ironageman is spot on in that DWM do indeed appear to give the first breakdown of the familiar Mk numbers, but they actually use pete d's attributions - dividing things based on signage, with the Mk 1 having the Dinky layout and signage (POLICE, etc.), and the Mk 2 the roughly TARDIS layout and signage (POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX, etc.).   After saying there were two Marks, like pete d they say "the only differences (between them) being superficial ones." No source was listed for the Mk designations, however, so whether they came up with this themselves to explain the differences between the plans and the later, TARDIS-like boxes, or possibly derived it from some info from the Met, we don't know.

They then do go into a bit of detail about the differences, but many of the details given are just plain wrong: they give the wrong text for the sign below the phone door on the Mk 1 (the wording they give is essentially identical to the Mk 2's phone door sign); they give the wrong window pattern details for both the Mk 1 and Mk 2 (saying the Mk 1 had clear glass on top three and mid-bottom panes, while the Mk 2 changed it to frosted on the top three leaving only the mid-bottom pane clear); they imply ALL the windows opened inward 2", etc.

Again, the big one was that they flatly say, "The boxes were constructed of wood sunk into concrete slabs weighing two hundredweight." They never mentioned concrete boxes at all, just re-iterating the concrete slab bases as the reason they were so heavy they reportedly had to be "blown up" rather than removed.

It's a good little read, though - amazing how many of the "facts" we now know to be wrong have been perpetuated in many of the other histories of Police Boxes over the years.

hb88banzai

Sep 08, 2010, 02:40 pm #22 Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 02:55 pm by hb88banzai
Quote from: starcross on Sep 05, 2010, 04:59 pm
(snip)
3) As for the Stencil style POLICE sign, It really does seem like the same sort of style as the Crowns on the London K2 telephone Boxes. I'm not sure exactly what date those are from, but it might be a GPO applied style.
There probably was no glass behind these and were most likely meant to ventilate the inside of the box. Later boxes I believe had the vents elsewhere, such as the glasgow boxes having the vents located below the signs on the sign box.

(snip)


Possibly - but if you look at the camera and box angles in the following pic, it seems like if there was no tinted glass or other backing behind the front "POLICE" cutouts you would be able to see some daylight somewhere coming through from the back "POLICE" cutout.

web1931box.jpg

Looks like at least half of the back "POLICE" would line up with the front (both side-to-side and top-to-bottom). There is so much variability in the letter shapes that I'd have to think something would line up somewhere, so we should get at least one or two glimmers of the background showing through. Instead, it looks pretty much uniformly very, very dark.

Also (for the life of me I don't remember where), I seem to recall some reference to the lack of ventilation causing problems with condensation in the timber boxes, along with other leakage and associated maintenance problems. Don't know if it was a reliable source (or for that matter referencing the Met boxes as opposed to garden shed varieties) or merely supposition, but a few grey cells do twitch at the thought.

Regardless, unless there were drainage holes in the bottom of the sign boxes (and I don't see any in the other pictures) it seems like un-backed openings for the letters might prove problematic in their own right.

Of course, it's still possible.

deck5

Sep 09, 2010, 02:36 am #23 Last Edit: Sep 09, 2010, 02:37 am by deck5
Quote from: hb88banzai on Sep 08, 2010, 01:05 pm
As it happens, back in 2002 a user on the old MSN TARDIS Builders Guild site named "heironymous" posted readable pics of the article and they are in the current Archives here:

http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=115.0


Here's an updated scan, at higher resolution.

death1.jpg

death2.jpg

hb88banzai

Sep 09, 2010, 10:06 am #24 Last Edit: Sep 09, 2010, 10:07 am by hb88banzai
Very cool deck5, thanks.

IIRC, there was another page that had some in-situ Police Box pics, but ones we've all seen by now.

deck5

Quote from: hb88banzai on Sep 09, 2010, 10:06 am
Very cool deck5, thanks.

IIRC, there was another page that had some in-situ Police Box pics, but ones we've all seen by now.


Not in that issue.

ironageman

I'm pretty sure that they did print some real Police Box pictures - passing them off as the Tardis to illustrate their complete episode guide. (Perhaps someone could have a look? - I'd have to venture into a dusty part of the house to check this!)

I seem to remember an architectural magazine running a series of little Tardis-spotting articles at about this time, too.


Here's the apparent sequence of events for the signage.

(Timber box introduced)
(Spherical lamp)
Lintel sign: POLICE stencilled metal
Instruction sign below telephone door

(Concrete Barnet-style box introduced)
(Fresnel lamp)
Lintel sign: POLICE - sans serif, dark letters, white background, possibly acid-etched on flashed glass
Instruction sign still below telephone door, but possibly further instructions on the glass door?

Lintel sign: POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX - still with a white background. (Still sans serif - the exhibition version may have been a mock-up.)

Lintel sign: POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX white letters on blue
Instruction sign included in telephone door

(Concrete Crich-style introduced)
New typeface for instruction sign

(Mk 3 introduced, same lamp and signage as Crich)

Lintel side signs just reading POLICE
Instruction sign in white lettering on blue
(Possibly cylindrical  lamp)


Have I forgotten anything...?
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong

hb88banzai

Sep 10, 2010, 10:32 pm #27 Last Edit: Sep 10, 2010, 11:40 pm by hb88banzai
Quote from: ironageman on Sep 10, 2010, 01:43 pm
I'm pretty sure that they did print some real Police Box pictures - passing them off as the Tardis to illustrate their complete episode guide. (Perhaps someone could have a look? - I'd have to venture into a dusty part of the house to check this!)

I seem to remember an architectural magazine running a series of little Tardis-spotting articles at about this time, too.


Here's the apparent sequence of events for the signage.

(Timber box introduced)
(Spherical lamp)
Lintel sign: POLICE stencilled metal
Instruction sign below telephone door

(Concrete Barnet-style box introduced)
(Fresnel lamp)
Lintel sign: POLICE - sans serif, dark letters, white background, possibly acid-etched on flashed glass
Instruction sign still below telephone door, but possibly further instructions on the glass door?

Lintel sign: POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX - still with a white background. (Still sans serif - the exhibition version may have been a mock-up.)

Lintel sign: POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX white letters on blue
Instruction sign included in telephone door

(Concrete Crich-style introduced)
New typeface for instruction sign

(Mk 3 introduced, same lamp and signage as Crich)

Lintel side signs just reading POLICE
Instruction sign in white lettering on blue
(Possibly cylindrical  lamp)


Have I forgotten anything...?


Good rundown.

Couple of points for consideration -

First is that even though the signage changes are listed during and after the Barnet intro, I assume you are also including the changes applying to the Timber boxes as they seem to have been included in these changes (witness the air raid siren pic earlier in the thread that shows a Timber box with white sans-serif letters on dark (probably blue) background with full POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX wording (though with a new type of frame around the sign ala Glasgow)). I think it reasonable to assume that the interim forms were also used on these boxes as maintenance and funding allowed. Unfortunately we don't know what kind of priority these changes warranted, or to what schedule, as things changed quite a lot in those first 10 years.

As to the Timber box top signs being metal - I'm not sure how likely that would be. The pictures seem to show a thickness of the material at the stencil cuts of 1/4" or more, and a metal sign of those proportions and thickness would be devilishly heavy, at the very least requiring some pretty beefy attachment hardware we see no evidence of.

Next, I also think it reasonable to assume on the basis of the Dinky toy (and the grey instead of black on the few B&W pics of the real thing) that the lettering on the dark "POLICE" on white was probably blue (and by extension, the same color used with the interim full wording on white signs).

reallifedinkytoy.jpg

CopyofCarshaltonmk1II.jpg

As to the transitional box signage - seems like it would be rather difficult to see any additional lettering on the phone door glass in the transitional concrete design as all the pictures I've seen of them retain the clear glass. Black or blue on clear would be pretty problematic to see and read clearly, and if a lighter color would likely be visible even in the low-res pics we have of them. (Ah, those pesky MacKenzie Trench plans.)

As to the dark lettering on white full wording transitional top signs, I don't think the Olympia timber box was just a one-off. I think this type of top sign may well have been serif (possibly Times) on all the boxes that had them. Enlarging the below image pretty clearly shows some weight differences on the strokes that are indicative of a serif font with even a hint of the serifs themselves (as much as a medium res pic will allow).

web1937box.jpg

This last pic also doesn't show any obvious wording on the Phone Door (though note the additional framing in the inset around the door) and the St. John sign opposite the Phone Door rather than below opposite the sign as in most earlier boxes. It's also one of the few concrete boxes (it's a Barnet type c.1937) that I've seen with the high "Timber Box" lock position. And why do the top sign boxes seem to be painted a darker color? Quite the mixture of things going on here.

Perhaps the addition of the St. John signage changes should also be mentioned in the sign progression.

One last bit - I think there may have been more than two versions of the classic Phone Door Sign used on the concrete Mk 2 boxes vis-a-vis fonts, spacing, etc.

ironageman

Oh yes, serifs! I hadn't noticed that, and the Exhibition signs did look like cardboard cut-outs. I'm still not sure about the MK 1 POLICE being cut out of timber; I can't imagine the centre of the O lasting long with those thin little supports if they weren't metal.

I suppose that the same doors were used for the timber boxes as for the early concrete one, hence the same lock position. Certainly the panels of the Barnet door were a neat 12" wide, not matching the concrete panels.

It's not only the plans that show wording on the telephone door as well as below; I've a children's book of that era (somewhere! I'll dig it out) which has a sketch of a police box with the same feature. Well, that's not exactly proof, but I think it a possibility. There was clearly a desire to say PULL TO OPEN in big letters on the glass door, giving the unreal impression that people were wasting precious minutes trying to push the little door (though more likely they were smashing the glass, or it was feared that they would).

It would be good to include the colour change of the box in the list, as that very dark Met blue seems to have been a relatively recent change.
leonard cohen  1934-2016  standing by the window where the light is strong

Scarfwearer

If anyone wants to put together a summary of any part of this for reference and turn it into a forum article, do feel free. We have more facilities for this kind of thing on this new forum. It should also be possible to set it up so that an article could have several editors.

Crispin