Oh No, There’s A Deutschen Bundespost Type TelH78 Telephone Booth On eBay

telH78_ebay1.jpgI’ve been trying for months to figure out the designer of what I think is one of the slickest phone booths around, the Deutschen Bundespost Typ TelH78 Telefonzelle.
You know it when you see it. It’s bright yellow, a fiberglass and safety glass box with beautiful rounded corners. It has just the stability, utilitarianism, officialism, and future-forward design you’d expect from a European, state-run telecommunications monopoly in 1980, which is when I think they started deploying them. [Near as I can tell, the type number refers to the year it was designed.] It’s the Helvetica of phone booths.
And it’s disappearing, if not completely gone. I haven’t roamed the German byways to see how far T-Mobile’s awful magenta & glass booths have taken over, but these days, phone booths themselves seem barely more than excuses for street advertisements. A few Telefonzellen, including TelH78s–oh, wow, look at that olive drab one–are being converted into tiny, neighborhood lending libraries.
And now one’s on eBay.de. In beautiful condition, a mere EUR71. For local pickup in Fritzlar, just outside of Kassel. Weighs around 100kg. So beautiful, so tempting.
Telefonzelle der Deutschen Bundespost, ends Aug. 19 [ebay.de]
Telefonzelle (Deutschland) [wikipedia]