The iconic standard phone from the plastic era. Many a Dutchman is overcome with feelings of nostalgia upon seeing this phone, like a Brit with the GPO 700, a Frenchman with the S63, or a German with the FeTAp 61.
Millions were produced during the more than 20 years that this phone was the standard model of the staatsbedrijf der PTT (the state company of the PTT). Initially it was only made in grey, but from 1973 the so-called de Luxe versions were made in various colours, the range of which was changed several times through the years.
Aside from the coloured version all kinds of variants were produced with different kids of functions and a whole range of acessiories were made for this phone. A part of that has found its way to my collection, be it permantly or temporarily. Although it is a fascinating subject, it is not my ambition to collect all variants and all souvenirs of this phone.
Through the years I could not withstand the temptation to acquire some special examples often just out of curiousity and sometimes solely to be able to publish pics of it on the internet. In this way somebody can learn something from it.
And that is why I wrote this extensive article with just about everything I ever learned about the T65. Another reason for writing this article is, that most information cannot be found or is very hard to find on the internet and that which can be found is all over the net in bits, on different pages.
The ever increasing demand for telephone lines, telephones and the ever increasing network lead to higher demands in efficiency of production, logistics and maintainance. This lead PTT need for a newly designed phone, that made use of the newest technical developments, aterials and that was easily adaptable for various applications.
So PTT developed, together with Ir H. de Mol and the Krone company from Germany the T65 desk top telephone. The first versions were grey, with a cream coloured base plate, handset caps and grey cord, together with a clear plastic dial.
It bore a very striking resemblance to the German FeTAp61. So much o that PTT saw the need to defend itself against accusations of plaguerism. Who made these accusations and to what extent I have not yet been able to find out.
T65 stands for Tafeltoestel, desk top phone, 1965 and was reveiled to the public in 1965. The first phonese were issued to the PTT-subscribers in 1966.
The T65 is a light weight phone, of about 1250 grams, made of ABS. The standard version has a rotary dial, grey cords, grey body shell and handset, creme coloured accents such as the base plate and the handset caps and the numberring of the dial. On the bottom is a wheel with which you can adjust the volume of the ringer.
On the back is a handgrip, so the telephone can easily be picked up. Cords enter into a small compartment which closes with a small hatch, that is fastened with a single screw.
The body shell is fastened with 2 screws. All components are on the base plate, including the dial. All electronic components are on a printed circuit board, together with the hook switch mechanism, which is easily swapped out. The dial is connected by means of simple screw terminals.
The phone came with a wall terminal box at the end of the line cord or a white PTT plug.
Hints for the subscriber
The T65 came with a small booklet, wenken voor de gebruiker (hints for the subscriber). There have been different versions of it through the years. Of the first Original version I was able to obtain a copy. I have made scans of it and transcribed and translated the text in English:
The T65 was made by several manufacturers. It is certainly not hte case that they were all, as many people seem to think, made by Ericsson. And there are more manufacturers than people realise, because there are no less than six. Aside from co-developer Krone, often under the name Isolectra, the T65 was produced by the three Dutch telephone manufacturers: Heemaf, Ericsson and NSEM/ITT (Nederlandse Standard Electric Maatschappij, Dutch Standard Electric Company).
The CWP too Centrale Werkplaats der PTT (Central Workshop of PTT) in the Hague also had their own production line, where many parts were produced. They also made the so-called Delft version of the T65. The model Delft was the transparent version of the T65.
The sixth manufacturer was ATEA, who only produced the so-called S65, the multiline version of the 65-range, see also the paragraph on Special Versions.
The coloured versions were called “de Luxe”, although aside from the colour, there was no single difference between the “de Luxe” verion and the grey version.
Typically for the coloured version is that they have black cords and a black under side. Some have a colour coordinated ring around the earthing button, others have a black ring. The picture below has a good example. The green phone has a green ring around the earthing button and the rest has black ring.
Early version do not have “de Luxe” on athe sticker on the underside.
After a field trial in 1972 in the Arnhem telephone district with the colours Smaragd (emerald green), Azure (blue) and Robijn (ruby, red), from 1973 these coloured versions were made available to the public, with addition of the colours Oranje (orange) and Ivoor (Ivory white).
In 1976 Azure is replaced with Mokka (moccha, brown), causing Azuur to become the least common colour and because of that rare and sought after. Be aware, they are often discoloured.
From 1986 onward the for its time very futuristic Delft (transparant) was made available. The black version was available only briefly in 1987 so it is very rare and sought after among collectors.
Read this article about the mysterious black version
Also in 1987 the Delft Neon (transparant orange red) and the Delft Fluor (transparent yellow green) are added to the range.
This is all with regards to the rotary dial version. The push button version was never made in blue. The push button version was only ever made in red, green, orange, ivory and brown.
I have made a diagram showing when which colours were made. All colours except grey, and then based on my current understanding. I have trief to verify as much as I can with the aid of catalogues, flyers and articles.
Oh oh oh, how about that very rare black one!
Well, the rarest, most expensive, sought after version of the T65 is the black one. It was available for a very short time and only made in very small numbers They go for idiotic prices. The most peculiar the body shell and handset are new, but the base, inside and rotary dial are used and refurbished and often much older that the body shell and handset.
At one time I had no less than three, of which now 2 have found a different home. I have searched for ages for the story behind this version, because it was not clear why and for which purpose this version was made.
By now we know a little bit about the reason why it came into being and I wrote this blog about it.
The T65 has this iconic white button that almost every Dutch person know. Almost all T65s have one. Only in early production years some were made without such a white button. Those are sought after by collectors.
They are often overlooked. Even I found mine by accident in a box of T65s that somebody gave me. I had it for months before I noticed it did not have an earthing button.
As far as I know there is no W65 without a button.
And what does this button actually do? You can find that out in this article 🙂
In 1974 the touch tone version of the T65 was introduced. This push button version of the T65 nearly always dials DTMF (tone, TDK Toon Druk Kiezen, Tone push button dialling) and never pulse. There is a push button version that dial GDK (see the paragraph on special versions), but not many of those were ever produced.
The first TDK versions had a special round push button unit that fitted exactly in the place of the rotary dial.
Later versions had a converted body shell where a rectangular keypad was fitted.
This body shell was a standard T65 body shell which had e conversion plate over the round opening for the rotary dail, which had square holes for the buttons.
The first real versions of the TDK had the same styling as the rotary disk models: creme coloured undersides and handset caps, grey cords and a white earthing button.
Later versions had a black underside grey caps, black cords and black earthing button.
Touch tone, converted models
Many T65s with a rotary dial were converted at CWP to a touch tone version. Early touch tone versions had a touch tone unit that fitted in the place of the rotary dial. Later versions were converted by removing the rotary dail and adding a special conversion plate to the body shell, and placing a touch tone unit in the place of the rotary dail. This converted version can be identified by the number card window just below the buttons instead of on the front of the telephone as is the case with factory made touch tone versions.
For grey T65s a grey conversion plate was used. For the de Luxe versions a black conversion plate was used for all colours.
So it is possible to find a converted blue T65 with touch tone buttons. See also the paragraph on colours.
Simply the wall version of the T65, using many of the same parts as the desk top model. Also the model we used to have, back in the day. A lot less graceful than the desk top model and rather large, compared to the desk top model.
Where the T65 was made with easy maintainance and repair in mind, the W65 is hard to open and uses different printed circuit boards as the table top model.
Also this model has a separate wall bracket, that has often gone missing.
Touch tone versions are only available as conversions with a conversion panel over the dial opening, like withe the desk top model or with a round touch tone unit that fits in the place of the rotary dial. The W65 was only available in grey and introduced in 1967.
GDK stands for Gelijkstrook Druk Kiezen (Direct Current Dialling).It was a push button system that only worked on certain types of exchanges made by Philips. This variant is somewhat rare. The keypad does nothing on a normal telephone network. How the GDK system worked is in this document.
The T65 TDK (Toon Druk Kiezen, DTMF) has a # and a * on the key pad. The GDK pad has a + and a – instead. All the ones that I ever saw had a round key pad, that fitted the position of the rotary dial. So it looks the same as the early touch tone T65s.
The I stand for Inbouw (built in) and this version was often used in elevators and on consoles like reception desks and security desk in office buildings.
It is very compact. There is for instance no double gonged ringer, like with the wall en desk top versions, to save space.
This was was also never made as a touch tone version. Some have a conversion unit, though, like the one pictured.
One of mine even has 2 LEDs in the handset.
Most where issued with a lock, that disconnected the dial, like with the T65.
No type designation for this version, except the name drieling (triplet).
This version can be identified by the 2 white buttons and the indicatior lamp placed around the dial.
The phone could, by means of a switching box, be connected to 2 other triplets. A small network like that (hence the name triplets) was designed for small businesses or a as a house network.
Calls could be place from one triplet to another.
Series phone, somewhat similar to the old line selector telephones. It can be identified by the row of smalle black buttons under the rotary dial. This version was only made in white. It needed a special PBX for small businesses. These networks were a size bigger thant the triples-networks, mentioned above. The SE5 was also younger than the triplet. This version was introduces in the 1980s.
Serietoestel (multiline apparatus) 65, made by ATEA only, in Belgium.
In reality only in name part of the ’65 line. It share only a few components with its brothers and sisters. In any case, the colours matched with the other phones from the line.
There were basically 2 versions: a phone for 2 outside lines and a phone for 2 outside lines and 5 inside lines.
The different buttens lit up on an incoming call. This model was succeeded by the SE5.
In the picture on the right the original handset can be seen. This one was different from the standard T65 handset and was of course an ATEA design. It was replaced on most of them.
The local battery version of the T65, for military use, civil defence, railways etc.
On the back is a battery compartment. In place of the dial there is a generator: a dynamo that generated current to ring the bell in the manual exchange, like the turning handle on older telephones.
Testset “onderzoek micro-telefoon”
Although I could not find any type designation or name with “65” in it, it is clearly part of the family. It not only has the same colour scheme, but shares many parts with the T65 as well. As far as I know this phone was made only by Ericsson.
A black box shaped box case came with it, of pressed cardboard.
Some have been modified with a touch tone dial.
The NS-version (Dutch railways)
Although the T65 was developed exclusively by Krone with PTT as a standard phone for PTT, this telephone was produced for at least one other organisation. The NS, Dutch railways, had an extensive telephone netwerk of their own and bought their own T65s from Ericsson. These were never made for PTT and do not have PTT printed on them.
Aside from the sticker on the under side, these phones were identical the those of PTT. Wether NS had many, is hard to say. In all my years of collecting I have only ever seen one and I bought that one out of sheer curiousity for not too much money.
This phone is no longer in my posession. I donated it to the museum of communication in the Hague.
Please note that it has type 11570 on it like the transparent version below.
Ericsson transparent (type 11570)
No, not a Delft. The transparant T65 type Delft was made in the mid 80s by CWP themselves. But this particular transparent version was made in 1971 by Ericsson. It does not have T65 on the sticker on the underside, but type 11570 instead, the model number Ericsson themselves used. In all my years of collecting I have only ever seen this one. They were probably made in small numbers. Usually these transparant phones are use as instructional material, special gifts or for demonstrational purposes and it seems likely that is the case here.
Add ons and accessoiries
For the standart version of this phone a lot of add ons and accessoiries were made. If I have been able to list them all here, remains to be seen. It is very well possible there are even more.
Buttons on the handset
There are a few different versions. The most common is the amplified handset, or the handset with volume control. This has an adjusting wheel to set the sounds volume of the receiver. It has some additional electronics tucked away in the handset.
There is also the handset with switch, that switches off the transmitter. “You no longer need to cover it with your hand, when you want to consult with somebody in the room”
Last but not least there is the whisper amplifier, that amplifies the transmitter.
In Dutch something like “auxiliary listening device”, extra receiver or mother in law receiver. Available in grey and black for the T65. The bracket fits ont he W65 too. There weren’t many of them around, back in the day. I myself knew them mainly from police TV-shows.
Number ring for the visually impaired
This sticker was put around the rotary dail. Because of the large white letters on a black background the numbers were better legible than those on the dial itself. \
A nice specimen of a T65 with a sticker like this is rare. Fortunately I was able to find this new and unused sticker.
“Aply this self sticking numberring on a dry and degreased surface and smooth it down with a dry cloth.”
This enabled the dial to be switched on or off. This made it possible to control outgoing calls. Incoming calls were of course unaffected.
The dial lock (see below) had a similar function, although that only blocks the dial mechanically.
This lock blocks the dial. By applying this, outgoing calls were made impossible. Unless the lock was not put on correctly. These locks were mainly used by private parties, for example to keep the kids from using the phone without the parents knowing. They were also used in offices to prevent unauthorised international calls. In those days international calls were very expensive.
Tastes differ! In the 70s consumer demand for diversity was on the rise. The ornamental cover enabled the subscriber to adapt the phone to their own taste. Unfortunately only these tacky ones were made. They were forbidden by PTT and were quickly removed when a technician called.
Although not to my taste I had to have one for my collection. As you may well know red is my favourite colour.
Although they were a common sight back in the day, they have all but disappeared. I had to search for mine for quite a while.
An add on by PTT themselves, they were available in all kinds of colours. They are collectors items now.
The colours in which they were made, indicates they are from around 1980. I have a red one, but I have also seen them in orange, brown and green. There may be other colours too.
Please note the small notch at the front, for the number window on the T65 TDK.
Labels and stickers
Almost exclusively third party marketing: labels and stickers for the telephone. Usually round ones to put in the dial or to stick it on the centre. All this to promote real estate agents, insurance agents and taxi companies.
Already in the bakelite era there were marketing stickers for telephones. These were usually round with a holo in the middle, to be put on the finger wheel. The round hole was to accomodate the locking bolt in the centre of the dial.
A Brother! Krone FTA 67
After the T65 for the Dutch market, the Krone company made the FTA 67. This phone was never adopted as a standard phone by a telephone authority, but it wa sold on the private market all over the world, mainly to businesses. Not in big numbers however, you’d be hard pressed to find one today.
On the inside it is exactly the same as the T65. Only the body shell is different. It is defacto just a T65, that looks a bit different on the outside.
The same goes for the wall version and the W65.
Is this everything?
Of course not. I keep discovering new things every year about the T65. So this is by no means the final word. Everything I know now, in 2018, I wrote down in this article. Ongetwijfeld zal ik dit artikel nog eens moeten updaten. I have no doubt that I will need to update it in the future.
There are, for instance, a number of matters about which I would like to learn more. What is the story with those plaguerism accusations, agianst which PTT defended itself? What is the deal with that black T65 exactly?
Also I may very possibly discover new variants, like I did the other day with that transparent Ericsson T65.
So there is no end to the story of the T65. And that is why I like it so much. 🙂
What’s your T65 story?
After reading this article you will have learned everything you need to know about the T65. But why did you read it in the first place? Did you or do you own one yourself? Did your granny have one? Or do you know something about the T65 that I do not? Please leave a comment below, so we can all enjoy it.
Here is a PDF with scans of some dial labels for the T65. Feel free to download them and use them on your T65.