Originally called the Digitel 2000, this Loud-Speaking phone’s name was derived from it being imported by STC (for BT) from its associate company in Denmark, Standard Electric Kirk A-S, part of the then ITT Group. It was originally designed in 1976 by Jacob Jensen whose designs for Bang & Olufsen’s hi-fi equipment were world renowned. The Kirk came in either MF or loop dialling versions, there being no switchable option as on later phones. Unusually, the MF version also features the extra 4 DTMF keys A-D using the fourth ‘column’ frequency. It was one of the earliest phones to have on-hook dialling. Another interesting feature was the use of a mercury switch in the handset, so that the microphone was cut off when the handset was horizontal.
Like some mobile phones of a later era, the Kirk featured replaceable body covers to match its setting. Considered by many to be a design classic, the Kirk is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The Kirk was introduced in the UK in 1982 and became LST10.