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Saturday, August 31, 2013

British Telephone Boxes

The distinctive, red, British, public telephone box is another icon of the UK's streets to rank alongside the postal pillar box.

British Telephone Boxes, London, UK

With the advent of the mobile phone, the number of public phone kiosks in Britain is diminishing and many are just empty shells with no phone inside.

The first public phone box appeared in the UK in 1920 but it was not until 1924 that the first red kiosk (K2) appeared.

British Telephone Boxes, Hyde Park, London, UK


The architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) won a competition to design the new kiosk but it was the later K6 version in cast iron that was to become widespread across the UK from the 1930s, incorporating the royal crown in the roof section.

From 2000 onwards a more utilitarian BT Telecom steel and glass design began to replace the K6.

British Telephone Boxes, London, UK


K6 boxes can still be seen in Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar as well as scattered around the globe as art objects.

Some phone boxes were early internet stations and some remain wireless hotspots.

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