Northern Electric Contempra Red Rotary Telephone Made in Ireland

Northern Electric Contempra Red Rotary Telephone Made in Ireland


Red Contempra telephone in good vintage condition. The phone is fully tested and working. There is a small chip on the bottom edge of the handset and there is some scratching around the handset rest on the phone. Please see pictures for details of condition. Underneath is the original sticker that says Made in Ireland. Bright red with rotary dial in the handset, this phone is easy to hang with just one screw using the keyhole hanger on the back or just set it on your side table or desk. Just plug in and it's ready to go.

The Contempra is a telephone designed and produced by Northern Electric beginning in 1967. Contempra was the first phone designed in Canada, previous Canadian sets having been designed in the US for Western Electric and built under licence.

Contempra was highly stylized, using straight lines and oblique angles where curves and corners would be found on contemporary sets like the Trimline. The design was further notable at release for being available in "nine outrageously elegant colours" including bright red and orange, deep brown and green, and other colours selected to match new styles of interior decorating emerging in the 1960s. The one option that was not initially supplied was black, the standard colour for phones for decades.

Contempra remains an icon of Canadian industrial design, famous to the point of being featured on a postage stamp. It won numerous design awards and is part of the permanent display at the Canadian Museum of History and Canada Science and Technology Museum. It was widely licensed around the world and its production, including that of a smaller version known as Contemprette, continued into the 1990s.

Measures about 23cm x 12.5cm

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