How to identify an original Push-button Trimphone

Push button Trimphone, STC version, 1970s

With so many reproduction Trimphones around, shopping for an original one on eBay can be difficult. Not that there is anything wrong with the reproduction phones, we sell them from this site; see buy Trimphones from Retrowow. But if your heart is set on an original phone from the 70s or 80s, then you need to be careful.

Our guide should help you to identify an original phone.

Description

Most sellers of reproduction phones do make it clear their phones are new. However, these phones could appear on the secondhand market and some sellers may not know that they are reproduction and therefore try to sell them as originals.

Model numbers

If the seller has a picture of the underside or tells you what numbers are on the bottom of the Trimphone, this will help. The original phones had the following model numbers:


  • 766 - 10 button keypad originally old fashioned style connection, not plug
  • 8766 - 10 button keypad originally had new plug and socket style plug
  • 786 - 12 button (MF) keypad, no plug
  • 8766 - 12 button (MF) keypad, with modern plug

The phones will also have a code giving the manufacturer name and two digits, indicating a year of manufacture: something like, 766 GEC 77/1. 766 is the model of phone, GEC the manufacturer and 77/1 means made in 1977 and production batch 1 (the batch number is of little significance).

Original Push-button Trimphone keypad showing chunkier keys

Keypad

The original phones had chunkier keys. Modern ones look flatter. Look at the picture on the right to see what the keys looked like.

All modern phones have multi-function (MF) keypads with # and * keys. Some old phones had these, but if it does not, it is almost certainly original.

Phone number slot

The original Push-button Trimphones (but not dial Trimphones) had a slot at the front of the phone with a clear plastic cover to display the phone number. The modern reproductions do not have this.

Colours

Dating a phone by colour can be very difficult. If you want an original Trimphone from the 70s or early 80s remember they mostly only came in the standard colours of:

  • Two tone blue
  • Two tone grey/green
  • Two tone grey/white

However, the exception is the Phoenexphone of the early 1980s which was available in special colours: two-tone red, olive green/beige, two-tone orange, black/grey, light green/mid green and cream/brown. Modern reproduction phones also use very similar colour schemes.

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