If you like vintage advertising, do I have a site for you. I read on Web User yesterday about a new online image gallery from BT (which I thought was called British Telecom but it looks like no, it’s BT.) This site has just over 1100 images related to telecommunications and going back to the late 1800s. You can access it here (sorry, messy URL).
Categories include Advertising & Marketing, Communications in War, Famous Events, Phonebooks, etc. Some of the categories have subcategories. (There’s a keyword search as well, but there are few enough images scattered across enough categories that I liked browsing better.) I checked out the Kiosks and Payphones section — 46 pictures of phone kiosks, I am not kidding you. They’re presented in thumbnails with titles; clicking on the thumbnail gives you a larger version and descriptions of the images, including dimensions, date, description, category, etc. You might want to keep a close eye on those dates; one kiosk photo was dated 2026 and unless it was a TARDIS I’m fairly sure it’s from 1926 or therebouts. (Yes, I know the TARDIS was a police box. They look similar.)
The images in this collection are for sale. In addition to the regular-sized image you also have the option to view a larger image, and while there’s a watermark it’s not too bad, so this site is a fun browse even if you don’t want to buy anything. If you DO want to buy something for personal use, the prices are reasonable; low resolution photos are 1/10 of a pound (which is, what, 15 US cents?) High-res pictures are eight pounds (about $11.82). Commercial use is a different scale which is “confirmed at checkout.”
If you had told me that over 1100 photos of the telecommunications industry would be so interesting I don’t think I would have believed you, but there’s plenty of good stuff here. Despite the fact that the site is designed to sell items, there’s enough data available to make browsing fun as well (which is smart because then the site gets covered/linked to by people like me.) If you enjoyed this site back up to the BT Asset Bank; here you’ll find more things like videos, pictures of BT buildings, logos, etc.