Ericsson type 1951

Ericsson 1951 voorEricsson type 1951

Ericsson was the first manufacturer that came up with a newly designed telephone, that conformed to the Norm 51 specifications. This type is the most produced of the 3 newly designed Norm 51 telephones (the others being the Standard type 1954 and the Heemaf 1955).

You see this telephone, both as the wall version as well as the desk version, often at fleamarkets, marktplaats (a kind of Ebay), etc etc.

These telephones have been exported as surplus material to the USA and other countries, there to be sold as 2nd hand telephones. You can find them all over the world.

Ericsson type 1951
Ericsson type 1951

What is it called?

Ericsson tafeltoestel/wandtoestel type 1951 is the official PTT name. It was also called CE 51, in accordance with a classification system that was in use by PTT in the 50s for a while. Outside the Netherlands it is sometemes called “RUEN”. This is derived from the mistakenly read logo at the underside of the phone, where it says RIJEN. Rijen is the town where the Ericsson factory in the Netherlands was located. The IJ combination is typical and quite common in the Dutch language, but it often leads to misunderstandings and confusion with people who do not speak Dutch.

Development

Ericsson 31 48The family resemblance with the very first all bakelite telephone by Ericsson, the DBH1001, is unmistakable and the type 1951 evolved from this Art Deco telephone through a number of stages. In 1947 Ericsson redesigned the DBH1001 and introduced the DBH15. Again this was an all Bakelite telephone. The outside was similar to the DBH1001, only with softer lines and an all bakelite dial. The DBH1001 had its electrical components mounted on a frame that was mounted inside the body shell, where the DBH15 had all its components mounted on the base ericsson binnenwerk voor Norm 51plate in a more or less similar configuration. Ericsson Holland used the DBH15 as a basis for the type 1951. The main difference was the lay out of the electrical components.

Typical features

Typical for the type 1951 is the shape of the small number window at the front. The length-to-width ratio is typical for the Dutch built version. The others have a slightly higher window or no window at all. Furthermore the cords of the type 1951 run out of the back, while the DBH15 has the cords running out of the side. And there is the handset, which is similar to the F1 handset by Western Electric. They occur often on Dutch telephones, but it can also be found on Ericsson telephones from other countries, albeit sporadically. See also the paragraph on handsets.

Variants

Undoubtedly there are even more variants, than I have seen so far. So the overview below is non-exhaustive.

Wall and Desk model

rest 51 9 klaarObviously of course there is a wall model and a desk model. The electrical components are exactly the same, as is the dial, handset and number window.

2 different spacers on the wall version
2 different spacers on the wall version

Please note that early wall telephones have rubber spacers (before ca 1955), while later versions had metal spacers.

Earthing button

Most of these telephones are equipped with an earthing button. In this design the earthing button is a small white button, on the top of the body shell, just above the dial. It is made of thermoplastic and the up and down action is provided by the leaf springs of the earthing switch.

3 different buttons
3 different buttons

The shaft of the button is fitted in a small metal or plastic tube, that runs through a drilled out hole in the housing of the body shell. There are versions which accommodate the button without the extra tube. Probably the ones with the tube are older than the ones which have the position for the button moulded directly in the Bakelite.

Wiring/connecting the phone

Although the type 1951 adheres to the Norm 51, which specifies exactly what terminals are to be used for the dial, handset and line cord, there is a version of the type 1951 that has a different order of the terminals for the line cord. The reason for this is unknown to me and this variant is not very rare.

Bells

The bells for the ringer are in most cases painted in a semi glossy black, but also shiny unpainted bells can be found.

Lock

There is a version with a lock on the side of the body shell. The lock operated a switch, which connected and disconnected the dial. Unfortunately mine is missing its key and parts of its mechanism.

Handset

The first couple of years the type 1951 was in production, it had the older type Ericsson handset. After that it was replaced with a newer model, that is very similar to the Western Electric F1 model. The older type handsets are almost all replaced by that newer model. The newer model is of a less complex design and has caps that are interchangeable with those of other Norm 51 telephones. A type 1951 with an original older type handset has now become very rare indeed.

Amplifier

There are versions of the Ericsson handset with a small amplifier built in. Sound volume can be adjusted with a small wheel at the side of the handset.

Colours, maily white

Besides the well-known black ones, there is also a white version. Notably these come in a wide variety of shades, and different parts of a single telephone can be of very different shades of white. Many mistakenly believe that there is a white and a cream/ivory version of this model. PTT have offered an Ericsson type 1951 in ivory and on the bottom the model number of this phone is always followed by /W, with the W for white.

Apart from the white ones I have seen a red and a dark green one, but these were unique specimen, perhaps literally one offs. These were never offered by PTT to the general public.

For private installations

Versions made for private installations lack the PTT logo, just under the handset. They have a circle with the Ericsson Holland logo, moulded in the Bakelite. These often have the older style handset, sometimes without the number card window at the front. Sometimes they have a plastic dial, instead of one made of bakelite.

BB, Bescherming Bevolking (civil defense)

The Dutch civil defence organisation (BB, Bescherming Bevolking) used an LB version of the type 1951. It had a battery compartment bolted on the back.

NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Dutch railways)

The Dutch Railways too used the Ericsson type 1951. Their telephones had the NS-logo, under the handset. That logo came in 2 varieties. There is one with the winged train wheel and one with the simply NS in a circle. Those railway versions are quite rare and highly sought after by train collectors.

17 Comments

    • Hallo Mike, het is waarschijnlijk een PTT-toets (push to talk). Deze knoppen schakelen de microfoon in, wanneer ze ingedrukt worden, zoals bij een walkie talkie.
      Je vindt ze op LB-telefoon (lokaal batterij) waarbij de telefoon een batterij heeft om de microfoon van stroom te voorzien, ipv dat de stroom wordt geleverd door de telefooncentrale (CB, centraal batterij).
      De knop zorgde ervoor dat er alleen stroom verbruikt werd, wanneer er gesproken wordt en bespaarde daarmee op het stroomverbruik van de batterijen.
      Je vond ze op van die militaire telefoon, met zo’n zwengel (generator), maar ook op bijvoorbeeld testtelefoons.
      Groeten, Arwin

    • Hallo Roxy, bedankt voor je bericht. De Ericsson 1951 is eigenlijk, aan de buitenkant, een gemoderniseerde model 1931. Alleen de scherpe randen zijn iets afgerond en de hoorn heeft een ietsje andere vorm.

      Het model 1931 is ontworpen door de Deense kunstenaar Jean Heiberg.

      Wie de modernisering heeft gedaan is mij onbekend. Soms wordt de Nederlandse ontwerper Gerrit Kiljan genoemd, maar dat is pertinent onjuist. Die zou dit nooit zo doen.

      Groeten,

      Arwin

      • Hallo Arwin, Gerrit Kiljan heeft voor Heemaf het bakelieten telefoontoestel ontworpen, de hoorngreep is i.p.v. driehoekig nu vierkant en het toestel werd al gouw het strijkijzer genoemd omdat het daar op leek.
        Groetjes
        Petet

        • Hallo Peter,

          Bedankt voor je reactie en aanvulling. Het artikel over de Heemaf telefoon zal in de toekomst worden uitgebreid. Het toestel kent vele bijnamen en deze zal ik zeker in het lijstje opnemen.

          Groeten,

          Arwin

  1. I have two of these, both in white, one of them a desk model and the other a wall model. I’ve converted them to the British PSTN system, and the desk one is the most magnificent thing to use – the sound quality is outstanding, and the bells ring very clearly. Lovely.

  2. Beste Arwin,

    In de afgelopen maand heb ik mijn Ericsson 1951 (met behulp van deze website) gerestaureerd. Hij ziet er weer fraai uit en werkt bijna perfect. Ik zeg bewust bijna, want zodra ik er mee bel of gebeld wordt, zegt degene die ik aan de lijn heb, dat ik erg slecht verstaanbaar ben.
    Is er een mogelijkheid om mijn (microfoon)volume naar buiten toe te versterken zonder daarvoor in de hoorn te hoeven schreeuwen?
    Ik hoor graag van je.

    Met vriendelijke groet,
    Pedro

    • Hallo Pedro,
      Wat vreselijk leuk om te horen dat dit artikel zo behulpzaam was.
      Dat het microfoontje zacht is, is een veel voorkomend euvel. Ze worden vaak zacht als ze oud worden.
      Vervangen door een goedwerkende is het makkelijkst. EVT heb ik er eentje voor je. Ik stuur je een mail.
      Groeten,
      Arwin

  3. Hello Arwin,
    I’m writing to you from Germany and my dutch is not the best (can read simple text though), so I will try in english. Thank you for your helpful website and your informations concerning Ericsson bakelite telephones. In this article you mention a DBH 15 variant. I just purchased a swedish DBH 15X22 from a german ebay seller. It has a bakelite dial starting with 0…9 (typical swedish) and a sticker inside reading “Förradsverkstaden Norrköping”. It is marked 34 51 – LM Ericsson – TV (for swedish Televerket). I can’t find any more information about this special type, maybe you have some? The phone works and looks original except for an additional 0.5 uF capacitor soldered across the original one. Some parts are dated 64, maybe it was refurbished or repaired then.
    Best regards from duitsland, Dietrich

    • Hi Dietrich, thank you for your message and compliments. Congratulations on your purchase.
      I’m afraid there is not much info about this model. I have searched for more for several times. I do not have any real additional info.
      Even the site of Ericsson History does not have much about it. It has a section with called sources, which contains catalogues and magazines, but the ones from 1947, when the DBH15 was introduced, are missing.
      I do not have one myself, yet. That is the main reason why I do not have an article on it.
      If I understand you correctly, I would say 34 51 means it was made in week 34 of 1951 and the other dates indicate it was refurbished in 1964 or later.I would think that 1964 is quite late as a production date, as its successor the dialog was introduced in that same year.
      If you like I have a finger wheel for you with the normal number distribution (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0).
      Best regards,
      Arwin

  4. Hi Arwin,
    guess what, I had a nice surprise in my mailbox yesterday! With your finger wheel, dialling will be much more comfortable. It matches the phone perfectly.
    On the site STSF.org there are numberless diagrams for Ericsson phones but not for this one. It has a network resistance of 1200 Ohms, not the usual 600 Ohms. I’m not sure if this is the reason for it’s very good voice quality on my VOIP router. It also works perfectly with a transistor microphone I built for it (the original capsule was dead). I asked the seller about the history. He bought it on a surplus sale from the volunteer fire department of Norrköping in Sweden and never used it. As it has the “Förradsverkstaden Norrköping” sticker inside, I figure that it was once refurbished and stored there as reserve material.
    Once again, thanks for your help which is very much appreciated!

    • Hi Dietrich, you are welcome.

      Perhaps it was adapted for a specific purpose and no longer a standard factory Ericsson phone and that is why it is not on the STSF list.
      I am just guessing of course. The STSF list is wonderful and big, but not complete.
      Regards,
      Arwin

  5. Ik heb een kabel RJ11 met 2 stekkers en wil er eentje afknippen en dan de die aan de ericsson van 1961 verbiden. Kan dat ? en op welke aansluitingen krijg ik het werkend? De kabel heeft alleen rood en groen. De telefoon 4 kleuren.

    • Hallo Ronald, bedankt voor je je bericht. Ja dat kan. Verbinden met rood/blauw in het toestel. Dat komt meestal overeen met terminal 10 en 11, maar soms 9 en 10. Kijk aan de achterzijde van de terminal strip welke van 9 10 en 11 rood en blauw zijn. Ook nog even een verbinding maken tussen blauw en geel (geel is meestal 9, maar soms 11). Anders rinkelt de bel niet.
      Groeten,
      Arwin

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