Saturday, March 17, 2012

Designing a telephone box, 1905

I like visiting Auckland Council Archives in central Auckland very much, and have done ever since first visiting the place in the early 1990s. Over recent days, I've been doing some research for an upcoming article for the Point Chevalier Times. One day, one of the archivists came up with a small plan, showing me another cool treasure from their collection.

In March 1905, Auckland City Council draughtsmen drew up this -- a plan for a rather neat-looking telephone box proposed for Quay Street. I have no idea if this actually went ahead (if it did, it may not have lasted long) but ... what a pleasant chance from the rectangular box types I grew up with! More finials on phone boxes, I say ...

Source: ACC 015 1670, 20 March 1905.

Update, 14 April 2012: I think I've found an image from Quay Street, 1910, which shows the phone box.

 Ref. 4-1318, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Library. 

This is from the jetty at the end of Commerce Street. Here's a crop of the image:

 Pity it's from the back, but ... I think that's the one.


  1. Did you have English style red phone boxes? We have none left now as far as I know.

  2. Have you seen my previous post ”Public telephones in the wild”? There's a few varieties there. I think we did have similar to the Brits, but then we went astray ...

  3. Mind you, with the suggested construction being made of galvanised iron, it would've got rather hot in that phone box! Can't imagine calls would have lasted very long!!! LOL

  4. I had seen them but forgotten. They are not really like the Aussie red phone box. I am not sure how close to English phone boxes ours were. I was surprised the other day to see someone actually using a phone box. He must have been having trouble with his mobile phone card.