Expoga, a telephone company in Arhus, Denmark, purchased large numbers of surplus telephones form the various Danish telephone companies and gave them various make overs and sold them on again. It is unclear if Expoga resold any D30s unaltered, but original D30s are not rare and are widespread too. Mainly the telephones were restyled to look like phones from the beginning of the 20th century, with loads of brass and copper. That is, they were made to look like what people perceived telephones looked like in this period, as in reality they were made of black metal, wood and nickel plated metal! Please take a look at my section of telephones from before 1928 to get a feel for how the average telephone from this period looked.
Let’s do antlers!
Most of the telephones that got the Expoga treatment received a new cradle. In the case of the D30 the low single piece Zamac casting was changed for a wire high model antler type cradle, reminiscent of early Ericsson telephones. This gives the telephone a rather different look, but also makes handling it a bit cumbersome. The new high cradle is fastened to the plunger for the hookswitch with a small piece of threaded rod. This did not prevent the new cradle from turning, the weight of the cord on one side of the handset making it very hard to keep the cradle aligned right. Also these antlers are bent very easily, giving the poor phone a very lopsided look. <foto>
Copper and brass
Most D30s got a copper and brass treatment. The paint of the upper housing was stripped off and the steel given a copper plating. Many people think it is made of solid copper, but to demonstrate this is not the case I have sanded a bit of the copper off to reveal the original steel, as can be seen in this picture. Also the nickel plating on the bell was often removed.
Expoga also made a version with chrome plated body shell, such as is pictured here. The main difference with the original chromed version is that the lower housing was left unchanged by Expoga and wasn’t chromed as well.
Handset, old and new
The Expoga D30 has many different handsets. Of course the original standard Danish one, but they can also be found with Heemaf 1955 handsets and various other models. They were also often given newly made old style, Ericsson type handsets and but also original old Ericsson style handsets can be found on the D30 like the one picture here on the right on an Ericsson type B.
What is it?
Various combinations of the above details were produced. And even after Expoga pimped these D30s, various additional changes were made to these telephones by individuals as further enhancements, repairs or even attempted restorations. There is an endless patchwork of variations of these D30s around today. Some have had so much done to them, that they are hardly recognisable for what they were. It has happened to me several times that people refused to believe my explanation that their cherished very old Victorian antique was actually a plain not so old Danish D30 that a special treatment for the Expoga company. Because if anything it is still the good old D30. Most of it, that is.
Raad more about faux antiques like these in an article I wrote on this subject: Fascinating Faux antiques, Frankenphones and fakes