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A Summary.

prepared by Mark Hutchison, and presented as a talk at the ATCS meeting in Sydney, September 2001.

This article is to help telephone collectors identify the manufacturer of equipment, the year of manufacture, the version number and the circuit. It applies mainly to equipment manufactured in and for the British Post Office but pertains to much of the "British" equipment used in Australia. Manufacturer codes were allocated by the British Post Office (BPO) and are found both on instruments made for the BPO and on othes. These are the most commonly found codes and, when followed by two digits, this number indicates the year of manufacture. Australian manufacturers also used this system.

All BPO telephone sets (and piece parts) carried a pattern number, in which table telephons, portable telphones and piece parts such as handsets carried even numbers whilst wall phones had odd numbers. Special and experimental telephones had numbers perfixed SA (Special Apparatus), whilst designs inherited from the former National Telephone Company were prefixed NT. The pattern is often followed by a mark number, generally starting with mark 234, which would be equivalent to Mk 1, 235 = Mk 2, etc., in any other organisation's series.

The first and second letters in the code identify the company while the third letter in the code can indicate the town or city where the manufacture took place.

Wooden wall sets and bell sets code markings.

Number 11 telephone
E = British Ericsson, 25 = the year 1925.
Mark No. 5, the fifth version of this item.

E 25


164 and 184 handset code markings on the handgrip.

S = Siemens, 34 = 1934.

General Post Office, 164 = Handset type for 3 wire cord (note).
Mark No. 1, the first version of this item.

GPO 164


164 handset
- where one side of the transmitter and one side of the receiver use a common wire in the circuit.
184 handset - where a 4 wire cord is used and the transmitter and receiver are in separate circuits.

The British Post Office (BPO) purchased telephones and other apparatus from various manufacturers. On a lot of equipment the manufacturer can be identified by the use of the manufacrurer's code.

Where a PO factory code is shown, this means that the equipment has been made or refurbished by one of the BPO factories. Quite often these codes are on labels stuck over the top of the original manufacturer's code. At present these are still a "grey area" and not necessarily correct!

A very useful website for further information and updates on this list is the Bob Freshwater site. There is a lot of information about telephones and related equipment.

A9W Trench & Manhole Covers Ltd AAG Mullards Ltd - London SW18
ACL Advance Electronics Ltd. Hainhalt, Middx. ACW AVO Ltd - London SW1
AEI Australian Electrical Industries AEK GEC-AEI Telecommunications, Kirkaldy, Fife, Scotland
AEG GEC Telecommunications, Glenross, Scotland. AEP Automatic Electrical, Portugal
AEI AEI Telecomms Group - Worsley Bridge Rd, London, SE26 AK Peel-Connor Telephone Works Ltd - became GEC
AKA Sterling Telephone & Electrical Co - Dagenham, Essex ANS Ansaphone Ltd - Camberley, Surrey
AP Admiralty Pattern (British Navy) ASW Armstrong Stevens & sons - Willenhall, Staffs
ATE Automatic Telephone and Electric ATL Austin Taylor Electrical Ltd - Bangor, North Wales
ATK Plessey Telecom Group - Kirby Ind. Estate, Liverpool ATW Automatic Telephone & Electrical Co. Ltd - Wigan, Lancs
AUC Unknown AWA Amalgamated Wireless Australia (AWA)
AXA White, H & Co - Yarmouth B2P Inventec Electronics - Malaysia
BBK Bakelite Ltd - Birmingham BCL Bratt Colbran Ltd
BDA Unknown BDB W T Henley's Telegraph Works Co. Ltd - London (became AEI)
BEB Callenders Cable & Construction Ltd - London E16 (previously BE) BLD Birby's Ltd - Liversedge, York
BSD Mullard Radio Valve Co - Mitcham, Surrey BUL Bullers Ltd - Stoke on Trent
C General Electric Co - Coventry (later GEC) CCA Carron Co (previously CC)
CCB Creed & Co Ltd - Brighton, Surrey CCD Creed & Co Ltd - Croydon, Surrey
CSB E S Gurnett CTP Creed & Co Ltd - Pontypridd, Glanmorgan
CWL Pye Telecommunications - Cambridge CYA Marconi Co Ltd - Chelmsford, Essex
DAE A P Beeson Ltd - Hove, Sussex DAW Duct & Access Covers PLC - Wales
DBA John Gell Ltd DBK Bakelite Ltd - Durham
DCA Synchronome Co Ltd - Wembley, Middx DEA Muirhead & Co - Bekenham, Kent
DEK Dover Engineering Co - Dover, Kent DFM Denis Ferranti Meters Ltd - Bangor, North Wales
DJA Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co - London SE10 (see S & SEG) DZA Relay Automatic Telephone Co
E British Ericsson - later Plessey, then GPT and then Siemens EEC Elliott Ltd - West Midlands
EET Plessey - Beetson, Notts (formerly Ericsson, see E) EEX Plessey - Sunderland (formerly Ericsson)
EHA Cambridge Instrument Co - London SW1 EMI EMI (Valve Division) - Ruislip, Middx
ENA British Time Recorder Ltd - London EC1 (previously EN) ETL Ericsson Telephones Ltd
FB GPO Factory, Birmingham FBR GPO Factory, Fordrougth Lane, Birmingham (refurbish)
FEL Fidility Ltd (see FID) FEN Unknown
FGB Sontronic ltd - Edgware, Middx FH GPO Factory - Holloway
FHA GPO Factory - Holloway, London (assembly) FHB GPO Factory - Holloway, London (construction)
FHR GPO Factory - Holloway, London (refurbish) FID Fidelity Radio Ltd (see FH)
FMC Caine Electronics - Caine FNB GPO Factory - Edinburgh (construction)
FNR GPO Factory - Edinburgh (refurbish) FRA Ferranti Ltd - Hollingwood
FRG Unknown FW GPO Factory - Wales (Cwmcarn)
FWG STC Consumer Electronics - Cwmcarn (formerly BT) FWR GPO Factory - Cwmcarn, Wales (refurbish)
G General Electric Co (GEC) - see C GAB Greenwood and Butler - Leeds
GEC GEC Telephones - Coventry GEG Osram Lamps and Lighting Co Ltd - Gateshead Co, Durham
GEL GEC-AEI Telecoms - Accrington, Lancs GEN GEC-AEI Telecommunications - Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
GEP GEC Telecoms Ltd - Treforest, Pontypridd GKT GKN PLC - Telford, Shropshire
GTE Ferranti H Automatic Telephone & Electric Co (ATE) (formerly ATM, H stands for Helsby)
HA Hall Telephone Accessories Ltd (later HAS) HAA Automatic Telephone & Electric Co - Liverpool (later Plessey)
HAS Hall Telephone Accessories Ltd (formerly HA) HCA BICC Cables - Warrington
HCC BICC - Liverpool (ex Helsby Cables) HCL BICC - Leigh (ex Helsby Cables)
HCP BICC - Prescot (ex Helsby Cables) HDL Hudson's Electrical Devices Ltd - London SW2
HND Highton & Sons - Dalston, London E8 HVA Plessey Hivac Division - Ruislip, Middx (ex Hivac Ltd)
I Ibex - London (later IBX) IBX Ibex Telephones - Harrow, London (formerly I)
IMP Imperial Typewriter Co JEK Unknown
JKA Brooker and Jackson Ltd - London N1 JX Julius Sax & Co Ltd
JXA Julius Sax & Co Ltd KB K E Beswick - Frome, Somerset
KEC E K Cole Ltd - Rochford, Essex (later Ekco Avionics) KKA E K Cole Ltd - Southend, Essex
KNE K & N Electronics Co Ltd - Maidenhead, Berks KRN Krone - Cheltenham
LDA Cossor Communications Co Ltd - Stannore, Middx LEA Litholite Mouldings Ltd - Leicester (ex Watford)
LEB Elliott Bros (London) Ltd - London SE13 (previously L) LER Lero Engineering Co - Coventry
LF Lion Foundry - Kirkintilloch, Glasgow (later LFA) LJS Lustraphone Ltd
LWA Lightwood & Son - Birmingham M P O Factory, St Johns Road, Dublin
McK&H McKenzie and Holland (Australia) MF Walter Macfarlane & Co - Glasgow (later MFA)
MOV M O Valve Co Ltd - London W6 MRL McMichael Ltd
MS McDowell Steven & Co - Falkirk (later MSL) MTW Modern Telephones Ltd - London SW19
MTJO Mullard Ltd - London WC1 MM Murphy Radio Ltd - Welwyn Garden City, Herts
MWB Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co - Basildon, Essex MXB Motorola - Basingstoke, Herts
OE Unknown OAA Gent & Co - Leicester (previously O)
PA Unknown PCB Plessey - Whiteside Works, Bathgate, West Lothian (see PLF)
PEH Pye - Hastings PER Plessey Electrical Equipment Divn - Romford, Essex
PGH Pirelli - Eastleigh, Hants PGL Pirelli - Southampton
PL Plessey - Ilford, Essex (later PLA) PLA Plessey - Ilford, Essex
PLF Plessey - Whiteside Works, Bathgate, West Lothian PLP Unknown
PLS Plessey - Kemberry Rd, Swindon, Wilts PLV Plessey - Havant, Hants
PLW Plessey - Chaney Manor, Swindon, Wilts PLX Plessey - Newport, Gwent
PMC ATE Wigan Ltd - Pioneer Works, Wigan, Lancs (see PML) PML ATE Ltd - Chorley, Lancs
PSD Plessey - Dublin, Ireland PSL Poulton Selfe & Lee Ltd - Wickford, Essex
PTE Pye Telecoms Ltd - Ekco Works, Southend, Essex (see KKA) PTL Pye Telecoms Ltd - Haverhill, Suffolk
PM Reliance Telephone Co Ltd - Birmingham PUJ Plessey - Upminster, Essex
PWM Postal Workshops Melbourne, Australian PMG PX Phoenix Telephones & Electrical Ltd - London NW9 (later PXA)
PXA Phoenix Telephones & Electrical Ltd - London NW9 (formerly PX) PYE Pye Telecoms Ltd - Cambridge (see CWL)
PYI Pye Radio Ltd - Cambridge PYL Pye Radio Ltd - Leicester
PYT Plessey - Taplow, Maidenhead, Berks RAA Llandis & Gyr (formerly Aeronautical & General)
RAW Roberts & Armstrong (Engineers) Ltd - Wembley, Middx RBA Reid Brothers (same as W Reid & Co?)
RIA Rathdown Industries Ltd - Ascot, Berks RLA Ryford Ltd - Aldridge, Staffs
RLE Ripaults Ltd - Enfield, Middx RML Rotheroe & Mitchell Ltd - Greenford, Middx
RNA Radio, Phonopore & Electricals Ltd (Sterling took over) RTL Racal Transcom Ltd - Salisbury, Wilts
RTN Reliance Telephone Co Ltd - Birmingham S Siemens Bros - Woolwich, London SE15 (later SEG)
SB&Co Siemens Brothers and Company SA Denotes Special Apparatus on BPO instruments
SBD Stonebridge Electrical Co Ltd SBM Salford Electrical Instruments - Manchester
SEA Siemens Edison Swan - London N17 (became AEI) SEC Salford Electrical Instruments - Heywood, Lancs (part of GEC)
SEG AEI Ltd - Woolwich, London SE18 (ex Siemens, see S) SER AEI Ltd - West Hartlepool, County Durham (ex Siemens)
SEW Siemens Edison Swan - Woolwich, London SE15 (see SEA) SUR Siemens Halske - Germany
SID Salmon Industries Ltd - Northern Ireland SLW Speke Telephones Ltd - Wilmslow, Middx (see SPK)
SPK Plessey-Speke, Liverpool (ex Speke Telephones Ltd - see SLW) SSA Ebonestos Industries Ltd - London SE15 (previously SS)
SSG Splintex Safety Glass Co - London W7 SSS Smith's Industrial Instruments Ltd - London NW1
STC STC - New Southgate, London N11 STE STC (Valve Divn) - Paignton, Devon
STM STC - Belfast, Northern Ireland SUE Submarine Cables Ltd - Erith, Kent
SUG Submarine Cables Ltd - Greenwich, London SE3 (see DJA & S) TBE Telerelays Sales Ltd - Braintree, Essex
TCD Telephone Cables Ltd - Dagenham, Essex TCE STC - Eniskillen, Northern Ireland
TCH STC - Larne, Northern Ireland TCON Team Concepts International Ltd (Hong Kong)
TE Telephone Manufacturing Company (formed in 1915, later TEA) TEA TMC - Dulwich, London SE21
TES TMC - St Mary Cray, Kent (from 1939) TEW TMC - Winford, Cheshire
TGR Thorn Ericsson - Rochester, Kent TGW Thorn Ericsson - Scunthorpe
TMA TMC - Airdrie, Lanarkshire (see GNA) TMC Telephone Manufacturing Company (Australia)
TMK TMC - King's Lynn, Norfolk TM TMC - Malmesbury, Wilts
TPC TMC Transmission Divn - St Mary Cray, Kent TR Ernest Turner Electrical Instruments Ltd - High Wycombe (later TRA)
TRA Ernest Turner Electrical Instruments Ltd - High Wycombe (formerly TR) TSD Telephone Supplies Ltd - Aycliff, County Durham
TTC Taylor Tunnicliff & Co Ltd - Lastwood, Flanley, Staffs TTH TMC - Canterbury, Kent
TTL TMC - Livingston, Bathgate, West Lothian (from 1969) TYA H Tinsley & Co
UAA Walters Electrical Manufacturing Co Ltd - London (previously U) UME Multitone Ltd
VG Evershed & Vignoies Ltd - London W4 (later VGA) VGA Evershed & Vignoies Ltd - London W4 (previously VG)
VLC Varta Ltd - Crewkerne, Somerset VTS Venner Time Switches - New Malden, Surrey
W STC - North Woolwich, London (Western Electric pre 1925, see WAA) WAA STC - North Woolwich, London E
WAB STC - Newport, South Wales WAE STC - Basildon, Essex
WAS STC - Southampton WEA Weatherlite Ltd
WER Whiteley Electrical Radio - Mansfield, Notts WI Webb & Wells - Ilford, Essex
YA British Army prefix Z Found as the first letter on most British Army items
ZA Unknown ZEA Zenith Watch Co Ltd (GB) (previously ZE)
ZE Zenith . .

Information from Bob Freshwater's web site is reproduced with permission.

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