Photos: History calling - the many faces of the iconic phone box

Photos: History calling - the many faces of the iconic phone box

Summary: From wooden huts and thatched mushrooms to glass coffins - via the classic red phone box...

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TOPICS: Networking
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  • Phone box 1908

    From wooden huts and thatched mushrooms to glass coffins - via the classic red phone box...

    Kids today are unlikely to be regular visitors to pay phones - they've grown up owning their own mobile phones. But the humble phone box has been part of the British landscape for more than 100 years, and it still hasn't entirely gone away.

    In that time, the phone booth has changed shape several times - with various design revisions ushered in, including lasting ones such as the iconic red Jubilee phone box but also a few experimental models that only survived a handful of years.

    The first ever phone boxes were not standard designs. Pictured above is one of six call-office cabinets which opened in Nottingham in 1908.

    These free-standing kiosks were typically wooden, resembling guards' boxes. Some were even manned by an attendant who would admit customers, set up their call via the operator and take payment.

    Photo: BT

  • Phone box 1909

    With no design standard to follow, early phone boxes took inspiration from existing structures or the environment where they were to be installed. Here's a highly decorative example erected in Folkestone in 1909, based on a rustic arbour or garden gazebo.

    More industrial locations, such as docklands regions, had telephones installed in galvanised iron sheds.

    Photo: BT

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Topic: Networking

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