The Dutch Universal telephone TYPE 65

by Remco Enthoven


Since the invention of the telephone, there has always been a large variety in shape and appearance of the telephone apparatus. If one considers that wall telephones used in a local battery system need to have room for two rather large cells that provide the microphone current, one can imagine that such an apparatus will be fairly large in size.

Apparatus for central battery systems can be made much smaller because of the lack of mentioned cells and a generator that was used to signal the operator at the start and end of a call.

Due to a relatively small market (e.g. compared to Germany and the United Kingdom), Dutch PTT was forced to order telephones from various manufacturers that produced a variety of phones.

Besides the different telephones, different parts also had to be in stock in order to repair or refurbish the apparatus. Therefore telephone repairmen were forced to carry a large supply of different parts with them as they didn't know what type of telephone was going to be present at the subscriber's premises.

Because of their huge needs, telephone companies  in Germany and the United Kingdom could demand technical and design standards and the manufacturers that could and would meet these demands were allowed to supply.

In the early 1960's, technicians of the Dutch PTT started the development of a standard telephone that differs only in the design of the body of the table or wall version. The inside of both table and wall telephone (electrical characteristics) is the same and the handset (acoustic characteristics) is the same.

They adopted a large simplification of repair, maintenance and revision activities by:

1. Extensive standardization, which led to a large reduction in the variety of spare parts needed.
2. Improvement of quality of parts resulting in a lesser fault percentage.
3. Constructing the apparatus in such a manner that parts can be easily replaced which minimizes on-site repairs.

In 1965, a new standard telephone was being developed by Dutch PTT in close co-operation with the German manufacturer, Krone: The T 65.

T65In 1966, the newly developed standard telephone T 65 (T stands for Tafeltoestel / table phone, 65 for the year the development ended), was introduced to the public, in grey.

The phones are made of an ABS, an unbreakable plastic, and have a light greenish grey color.
The dial, bottom plate, and connection cords are cream colored. The insight and studies of the Dutch professor H. Mol from Rotterdam played a major role in the design of the technical part. The German firm, Krone, designed the case.
Fe Ap 61

There is some talk of plagiarism, as the T 65 looks very much like the new phone of the German Bundespost, the Fe Ap 61 (1961),


but also resembles the Dialog (1962), made by Ericsson Sweden.

The T 65 was produced by German Krone (located in Germany) and under license by Dutch Ericsson (located in Rijen the Netherlands), NSEM (Nederlandse Standard Electric Maatschappij, located in The Hague the Netherlands) and HEEMAF (Hengelosche Electrische En Mechanische Apparaten Fabriek, located in Hengelo the Netherlands).

The make is only recognizable on the outside by the trademark of the manufacturer on underside of the bottom plate. On the inside, the manufacturers used their own parts that were made to meet the specifications of the Dutch PTT. For example, Krone and Ericsson used their own dials, NSEM used an ITT dial and HEEMAF used the Krone dial.

The construction of the Krone dial mechanism is very different from other dials. It uses an ingenious mechanism that contains two small metal balls which operate the pulse contact instead of the cogwheel that is normally used.


The T 65 was designed with maximum comfort for the user in mind. The phone was meant to be moved more easily and therefore is much lighter than its predecessors. In order to make the phone more portable, it is fitted with a handle on the back. In addition, the weight of the handset has been reduced by half, making the phone easier to use, especially for the handicapped.



The volume of the ringer was adjustable from the level of a buzzer to loud ringing.

The small hatch on the underside of the telephone makes it is very easy to connect various ancillary equipment such as an external ringer, mother-in-law receiver, counter, recording machine, automatic dialler, and speaker phone, without opening the telephone itself.

The T 65 type telephones have a special provision that makes it possible to connect two T 65 type telephones to a public telephone line in a special manner. In Dutch it's called a "tweeling' or "tweepuntschakeling" which translates into "two point" or "twin connection".

This configuration consists of two T 65 type telephones connected together with nothing more than copper wire, both phones ring on incoming calls and when a call is answered with one T 65 the other one is excluded from the conversation. In English it´s  called "extensions in parallel with privacy arrangement".

The white button, on the Type T 65, is the so-called "earth (ground)" button. It is the forerunner of the "flash" button* (which momentarily opens the line) which is for use in connecting a caller with someone else on a PABX.

A special GDK (Gelijkstroom Druktoets Kiezen / DC current pushbutton dialling) version of the T 65 was produced for use with a PABX that was developed by Philips.

The T 65 had to be rented from Dutch PTT by the subscriber for a monthly fee. Today telephones in the Netherlands no longer need to be rented; it is allowed to connect any telephone as long as it is approved.


During the second quarter of 1967, the newly developed standard telephone W 65 (W=Wandtoestel/wall phone),  was introduced to the public, in grey.






The W 65 was also developed in close cooperation with the German firm, Krone. The design of the W 65 makes it possible to hang the handset on the site of the telephone in order to facilitate a short interruption of the conversation.





Drielingtoestel Type T 65

At the end of 1970 the new "Drielingtoestel Type T 65" (Drieling=Triplets) was introduced to the public, in grey. The Drielingtoestel Type T 65 was a system providing direct access from any one of three stations to an exchange line, with signalling between stations.

Colored T 65´s in ruby red, orange, emerald green, azure bleu, black, ivory and mocha.


T65 De Luxe

Colored versions of the T 65 were introduced in the Arnhem telephone district on October 1 1972.

At the introduction, the T 65 "de Luxe" was available in five colors: Emerald green, azure blue, ruby red, ivory, and orange.

Only the table model (T 65) was made in other colors than grey.

The colored T 65 "de Luxe" becomes available nationwide on October 15 1973.


The I 65 (I=Inbouwtoestel/built-in phone), was introduced in December 1973.
The I 65 was especially designed for those situations in which table or wall telephones could not be used. For example control panels in factories, or elevators. Because of the small size of the apparatus it is fitted with a buzzer instead of a ringer. The I 65 is provided with a lock that can be used to prevent unauthorized outgoing calls. The T 65 and W 65 can also be equipped with the same sort of lock, which in fact interrupts the dial's pulse contact.





T 65 with lock.


The T 65 TDK (Toon Druk Toetskiezen= touch tone dialling), was introduced in 1974 with push buttons for touch-tone dialling.

Ruby Red T 65 TDK with an Ericsson  mother-in-law receiver


Various manufacturers such as Dutch Ericsson, and Philips, designed a replacement touch-tone dial that would convert the T 65 type telephones, especially the W 65 and the I 65, from rotary to touch-tone.

T 65 with replacement touch tone dial, Ericsson mother-in-law receiver and a handset with amplified receiver

The azure blue T 65 (dial), was discontinued in 1977; a new color mocha (dark brown) was introduced.

In early 1977 the production of T 65's at HEEMAF was terminated. This caused a shortage in supply of T 65's and only with a lot of effort could the great demand for T 65's be met.

At the end of this year, colored versions of the push button T 65 TDK were made in ivory, ruby red, orange, mocha (dark brown) and emerald green.


During the 1970’s velvet covers came available but these covers were forbidden by Dutch PTT because there was a slight possibility that the handset wasn’t properly placed on hook.

T 65 with a green velvet cover

T 65 SE5

At the start of 1980, the new "SE 5", a special T 65 with keys, was introduced to the public in ivory.

The SE 5 was a key system providing direct access from any one of five internal stations to an exchange line, with intercom between stations.

T 65 SE5
T 65

For a very short period of time, the T 65 (dial), was also made in black; now a collector’s item.



In 1985 the transparent T 65 Delft was introduced in three different colors, white, red and yellow. The Delft was manufactured at CWP (Centrale WerkPlaats), the refurbishing department of the Dutch PTT in The Hague, most likely with the equipment that was discarded by HEEMAF in 1977.

T 65 Delft in three colors


Krone ad with W 65 with mother-in-law receiver & T 65

The German manufacturer Krone, and Dutch Ericsson, both made a different mother-in-law receiver in grey for the T 65 and the W 65, each with its own bracket.

They also made the same mother-in-law receiver in black that could be used on T 65 de Luxe.

Besides the normal grey handset there were three special handsets available in grey only:

  • Handset with amplified receiver
  • Handset with amplified transmitter
  • Handset with transmitter interruption switch

T 65

Dutch Ericsson also designed and manufactured a local battery version of the T 65, called the LB 65.

The dial was replaced by a generator and a black bakelite battery box mounted on the back of the telephone held two D cells, which provided the speech current.

The production of the T 65 was terminated at the end of the 1980's when it was already succeeded with many newer models. The amount of manufactured T 65’s is unknown.

In many Dutch households the T 65 is still in use today as a second phone, for instance in the bedroom. The colored T 65 has now become a collector's item and many of them have found their way into retro interiors.

I would like to thank all that helped writing this article, especially Gary Goff.

All photos and illustrations are from the authors collection.