If you are old enough to remember the 1970s telephone then it may conjure up images of a bygone age where communicating by telephone meant being at home and in a certain room of the house. How times have changed since then with the introduction of the cordless telephone then the revolutionary appearance of the modern day smart phone.
Whether it’s nostalgia or a need to escape from all the bland modern technology in our homes today, the 1970s telephone is just one example of something considered extinct making a comeback. The revival has got to such a level that replicas of old BT phones are being manufactured and exported from China!
The problem is these imports are nowhere near the quality of the original 1970s BT phones and don’t give you anything like the same experience you get when you plug in an original – even the bells sound better! The robust construction of the 1970s BT phone was a particular strength and one reason why they are now much sought after antiques.
This is particularly true of the bells, and the modern replicas are vastly inferior in terms of quality and sound of the bell ring. Some modern GPO 746 replicas are not even the same basic shape as the originals, apparently based instead on an American 500 series telephone.
Many people who buy these inexpensive replica 746 telephones (made in China) are often disappointed in these new telephones as they remembered the original old telephones fondly for the quality of construction, the substantial weight and the lovely sound of the classic bell “ring ring”.
As always do your homework, if you have a nostalgic desire for one of these iconic old BT telephones research it the key. You can still buy these original telephones that have either been restored or re-cased, provided you don’t mind using a rotary dial (which I believe is part of their charm).
Original 746 telephones, restored or re-cased (new plastic case but the original internals and dial) are usually more expensive than the modern replicas, however I believe they represent far better value for money.