Telephone Booth (Double)

New Zealand. Post Office Workshops, Manufacturer

Circa 1930s
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Maker and Role
New Zealand. Post Office Workshops, Manufacturer
Production Date
Circa 1930s
Double telephone booth made of wood and painted red. It is fitted with glass panels all around. It has a green sharply sloping gabled roof, squared off on top. On one of the front panels is an etched coloured glazing announcing it as a PUBLIC TELEPHONE. The entire booth is partitioned off in the middle enabling 2 users simultaneously at any given time.

Object Sign:
At the turn of the 20th century telecommunication companies began installing phone booths in major cities, although at first it wasn’t an instant hit, as people were reluctant to make a private call on a public thoroughfare, by the 1910s they were becoming commonplace in many industrialised countries. In the 1970s phone booths in the United States and parts of Australia and New Zealand were largely replaced with kiosks in non enclosed areas, to make them more accessible to disabled people. Enclosed booths, such as this one, remained in the United Kingdom and are still in use today. However, public phones declined sharply in the late 1990s due to the mobile phone boom. This is a public telephone booth used from about the 1930s. The entire booth is partitioned in the middle enabling two users to simultaneously make phone calls at any given time.

Crank the phone handle to ring the adjacent phone.
Processed Material/Glass
Processed Material/Metal/Tin
Signature/Marks and Type
Accession No
Credit Line
New Zealand. Post Office Workshops. Circa 1930s. Telephone Booth (Double), 2005.60. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

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