Ivory 706 telephone, made by the General Electric Company for the General Post Office, British, 1958-1960
The GPO 700 series were the standard telephones offered by the General Post Office from 1959 until into the 1980s. It was much lighter than previous designs with lightweight components and a new easily cleaned plastic material, available in a range of six attractive colours, marking the demise of black as the standard telephone colour. The familiar 'curly cord' connecting the handset to the telephone now also made its first appearance. The 700 series was designed for the Post Office by W.J. Avery of Ericsson, but owed a distinct debt to the Bell 500.
The 706, introduced in 1959, was designed jointly by Ericsson Telephones Ltd, The GPO Engineering Department and the Council of Industrial Design. It had a rocking armature receiver, with an automatic sensitivity regulator controlled by the line current, after subscribers with short lines found the 700 receiver too loud. Several manufacturers made the 706 on behalf of the GPO, and some called it by different names, for example, GEC called it the 'New Gecophone', while AEI called it the 'Type 800'.