Cracks in Bakelite Telephones
Although vintage Bakelite dial telephones look fantastic once restored, Bakelite is actually brittle and if it is damaged it is almost impossible (and very expensive) to repair. When you are examining your antique/vintage GPO telephone (before putting it up for sale or getting ready to buy it) look very closely at all the Bakelite parts of the telephone looking for any fine hairline cracks.
On 300 series British vintage Bakelite GPO telephones a very common place for the Bakelite case of these vintage
telephones to be damaged is on the back right hand side of the telephone case (see phone picture to the left).
This particular damage is caused by someone trying to remove the insides of the 300 series GPO Bakelite telephone, without first removing the rear retaining screw inside the Bakelite telephone chassie.
Other common areas of these vintage telephones to check for damage are the drawer blank, the bakelite screw on ear cap or mouthpiece and around the vintage telephone rotary dial.
The damage to the antique/vintage GPO telephone shown of the left is just about visible in this picture, however all too often cracks to these vintage telephones are not visible in a photograph and can only be seen when you examine the Bakelite telephone carefully under a good light.
Always check your vintage telephone carefully for these cracks. This type of damage makes a massive difference to the buying or selling value of an antique Bakelite telephone. Damage to the bakelite can make a GPO phone only worth 15% of the value of a "Grade A" telephone.