891 Series WallFone

Another Australian design to replace the ageing 400 series bakelite wall phones. Electrically it was similar to the 802 series, with electromechanical bells. It was initially issued from 1976 in Appliance White, Black and Powder Blue in the PMG days, from around 1976. When Telecom Australia was formed out of the Australian Post Office they updated the range with three extra colors, Ebony Brown, Maize Yellow, and Driftwood Beige. The black color was rarely shown in the brochures but was surprisingly popular. The colors were selected after extensive public surveys, and the style proved extremely popular. Unfortunately the blue and yellow plastics suffered a little from the old problem of fading and discoloration if located in strong sunlight.

The development of the model parallels the 800 desk phone as regards new dials and cordage. Like the 800, the modifications were quite minor, proving the success of the original design. There were two main modifications. Once again, the clear plastic switchhook was replaced with a white nylon one, slightly larger to give better contact when the handset was replaced. On the early models there were sometimes complaints that the mechanical bells were too loud, so in later models a small nylon lever at the base was connected to a "clamp" that damped the bells slightly.

As usual a very small run of transparent models was produced for display and training. Sample models made up in other colours are also known. These were used for public evaluation trials.

 

 

A small production run in red also appears to have been made, as these sometimes turn up in emergency locations like lifts. They were not official Australian Post Office or Telecom issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Post Office Wallfone brochure, 1970s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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