Heemaf type 1955
In 1955 Heemaf introduced her newly designed Norm 51 telephone, being the last of the three Dutch telephone manufacturers to do so. The other two were Ericsson Rijen, with the type 1951 and NSEM with their type 1954. The Heemaf type 1955 was designed by Gerard (also Gerrit) Kiljan, graphic artist and industrial designer.
Kiljan was e pioneer of the Nieuwe Zakelijkheid (Neue Sachlichkeit, New Objectivity) en the closely related Nieuwe Typografie (New Typography).
Related to the Bauhaus, this movement is typical for its simple lines and shapes, in which functionality is more important than estetics.
The Heemaf type 1955 is a real design telephone and a marked appearance in telephoneland. Because of this it is sometimes called the batman phone or bat phone.
It is it the only rotary dial phone that was entirely designed and manufactured in the Netherlands.
It should be said that the dial, is a German design, although Heemaf did manufacture it themselves.
Push button (GDK)
A push button version of this telephone was produced for the Philips company in the Netherlands. Although it says Philips in several places on the outside, it was manufactured in the Heemaf factories. If you check the inside, you will find the Heemaf logo on most of the components.
Philips supplied these with their UB exchanges. This push button system is called GDK, Gelijkstroom Druk Kiezen, direct current push dialing, and only works on Philips UB exchanges. How that works is explained in this article from 1955.
My first telephone
The very first phone of my collection was a Heemaf 1955. I saved it from a building that was about to be demolished. I have many fond memories of that building and this telephone, so I won’t part with it even though I have even nicer examples of this model in my collection. It is also the first telephone I refurbished.
I collect them all!
Because I love this telephone so much and because it is a Dutch design telephone, I try to collect as many of the different version that I can.