Early telephone services in New Zealand

Telephone wires in the Buller backblocks Wires in Adelaide Road, Wellington Wellington telephone exchange Public telephone box in Christchurch

A youthful adopter of the new technology, c. 1914.

In the early 20th century, New Zealand’s telephone network was increasingly visible. Telephone exchange buildings festooned with wires and insulators were prominent in the larger towns, while rows of telephone poles advanced like triffids through city suburbs and into the countryside. The first public telephones (‘2d in slot’) were installed in the main centres in 1910. 

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2 comments have been posted about Early telephone services in New Zealand

What do you know?

Jamie M

Posted: 04 Mar 2019

Not sure if this helps, but a search of PapersPast suggests the studio closed in 1922: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19221004.2.7? - the photographs were then moved to Bartlett Art Gallery: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19230209.2.8.5?query=wilbar%20studio%20telephone&sort_by=byDA.rev&items_per_page=10&snippet=true

The earliest report of the Studio is from 1916 (44 Queen St): https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19160930.2.9?

These reports also confirm that at this time Auckland phone numbers were 4 digit

Lorraine Warner

Posted: 04 Mar 2019

I am trying to date an early art work sold by a gallery, Wilbar Studio and Art Galleries, whose phone number on the label is Auckland 2793. The Studio was based in the Imperial Buildings 44 Queen Street Auckland. I am hoping someone can tell me what era these four digit phone numbers relate to.