Siemens & Halske Fg Tist 282 / M55

Siemens & Halske Fg Tist 282
Siemens & Halske Fg Tist 282

This unusual and innovative telephone was introduced in 1955 and is also called the M55 or Modell 55. It has won several design awards. Today it is hard to imagine how extraordinary this telephone really was.
Telephones had at moment a roughly square or rectangular footprint, with the handset placed horizontally behind the dial, while this model had an oval shape with the handset placed vertically over the dial.
Besides that this was one of the very first telephones made of thermoplastic in Europe and on top of that available in 5 colours: black, grey, white, red and green.
A lot of energy and effort was put into the design and ergonomics of this telephone and many features and ideas that were put into this phone can be found many other, later designs. Not in the least the 282 was a precursor of the wave of grey telephones that were to dominate the European telephone world for decades to come.


History

S&H Fg Tist 282 Advert 1960
S&H Fg Tist 282 Advert 1960

The Fg Tist 282 was developed from the Fg Tist 261 (or 264 for coloured versions). This unusual telephone, equipped with a drumdialer, sold less well than Siemens had hoped. Because of that they decided to redesign it. A great many further innovative changes were made by Herbert Oestereich, who was also responsible for the Fg Tist 261.

Fg Tist 282 chassis
Fg Tist 282 chassis

After its introduction this model has undergone a great many major and minor changes, resulting in a wide variety of variants with different dials, cords, ringers, etc. The most important change was the version called V60. This version no longer had an inner metal chassis and a different model handset. In addition that version was not available in the colours green and red.

Another development is the FG (CHECKCHECK), that is regarded as the wall version of this telephone. This was introduced in 1957.

External features

De Fg Tist 282 is a telephone with a oval base with the handset vertically placed over the rotary dial. The handset is place in two recessions on either side of the dial, of which the lower one also holds the number card window.
The outside is entirely made of thermoplastic with rubber feet.

On the bottom there is a small wheel for adjusting the ringer volume.

De first versions of this phone had a braided plastic cord, which varied in colour with the colour of the body shell.

Versions

Fg tist 282 magneto
Fg tist 282 magneto

The version with a rotary dial was available with an earthing button placed left or right. The phone was also available with an indicator light and a blinker.
There was also a common CB-version, with a blank cover over the dial opening and a CB-version with a magneto.

And there were versions with push button dialing systems. (DTMF)

Common issues

S & H Fg Tist 282 underside
S & H Fg Tist 282 underside

By modern standards the plastic used for the body shell and base plate is quite soft and resulting in wear and tear. Dents, scrapes and scratches are common. With a good polish the can be remedied quite easily, though.

Paling and yellowing is another issue: as with all early plastic products, making the colours stable was still in its infancy.

Another common issue is the handset splitting at the seam. And the small plastic window covering the number card is often missing.

S & H Fg Tist 282 diagram
S & H Fg Tist 282 diagram

The printing on the underside has often disappeared, like the piece of paper with the diagram that should be folded up and tucked next to the capacitor.

And I’m not sure if it is because of the age of these telephones, or because they were supplied to the private market, but the ones that are still around today are often very dirty, scuffed and scratched. The look like they had a rough and hard life. Fortunately they surface shine is easily restored.

In my collection

I

Fg Tist 282 grey and black
Fg Tist 282 grey and black

have in my collection several different versions of the 282. Firstly there is the common rotary dial model of which I have one in black. The black one is the first one of this type that I restored. It was a very rewarding restoration. As good as it looks now, so bad did it look before the restoration. Besides that one, I have a grey one, in good condition with an original terminal box and a grey version with magneto.

Siemens

And of course I have a very beautiful red one. I am still looking for a green one and a white one. Hopefully to be continued…………………

5 Comments

  1. Hi there, Arwin. Please, let me ask you something.
    I have three 282, all of them with no earthing button. 🙁
    If I connect two models with that button in my home (installed as extensions), would it work (that button)?
    Hope you understand what I’m talking about.
    Sorry my English and thanks in advance.

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