The United Kingdom Post Office introduced the first public telephone kiosk, designated K1, in 1921. These were constructed out of pre-cast concrete sections, had a four-sided rectangular form with a pyramidal roof, and was topped by a wrought iron spear. It was not a particularly bad design, but somehow, it didn’t appeal to the British public. The London Metropolitan Boroughs as well as the Birmingham Civic Society voiced their dislike and even resisted the Post Office’s effort to erect K1 kiosks on the streets. To ease the tension, the Royal Fine Art Commission intervened and offered to organize a competition to design a new kiosk.
George Basevi’s painting of Eliza Soane’s tomb.