"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

Main Menu

How many of you actually use your antique phones?

Started by BDM, September 21, 2008, 04:19:03 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

So, how many are actually using their phones?

I have no modern phones
several at any given moment
Maybe one hooked up, when I'm in the mood
Hardly ever. Besides, they scare the kids
Heck no! Are you kidding? Display only!!


Oh, I should add this. When I bought that, I had no idea what I was looking at. Back in the mid 80s I had no real education in vintage phones. I only knew candlesticks came with the obvious "spit cup". When I saw this one, it threw me. I remember looking it over thinking the transmitter looked original. I just didn't know. I had a feeling it was more "modern" from the look. When I took it apart at home, I realized the transmitter & receiver used F1 parts. Even my grandfather who remembered everything from the past. Couldn't ID this model.


St Clair Shores, MI



The prices I quoted are for ones with solid-back transmitters.

Like you observed, I've noticed that Bulldogs generally go for some less.  I also agree that I would much rather use them. The sound quality of my 151AL is on par with a 302, which I suppose makes since as it's electronically identical.

I should also mention, however, that many of the restored ones I see have a U1/T1 combination.

Restored ones do still bring really high prices-take a look at a few of these|66%3A2|65%3A13|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14|66%3A2|65%3A13|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14|66%3A2|65%3A13|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

All of these, as you can see, are near $500.

I also saw several unrestored dial sticks in the $200-300 range while searching for these.


Hmmmm, I haven't bothered to research sticks as of late. I have one that uses a T1 transmitter. I installed it originally in a basket case 51AL. Repainted it, installed a #4 dial. The receiver is a #144. Works nice, but needed cotton behind the transmitter capsule. Without it, it still had a somewhat hollow sound. The cotton mellowed it out.


St Clair Shores, MI

Doug Houston

This may not be considered antique, and I'd totally forgotten I had it. I must have had this thing for 20 years.

It's a multiple line desk set, in a olive green plastic case. It has 9 push buttons for lines, and a hold button in a row along the top of the panel. There is a cradle and handset on the left side of the case. On the bottom plate, rubber stamped, is: 2830A1M (Model?), followed by 3-72, the date?

Connections to the thing are by a 90 degree blue ribbon connector.

It has a touch tone pad.

I had always wondered if it could be used with my Verizon line, but that big connector causes me to wonder.

Neat sort of a thing. Anybody have any ideas about it?


Doug, not sure. Sounds like a business phone of some type. The ribbon cable has me scratching my head. Dennis may be able to shed light on that.


St Clair Shores, MI



I have always had a vintage phone of some type connected wherever I have lived.  For a while I lived in a 1936 home that had in the breakfast room a niche and screened-off section below it for a 202 with bell box.  I used my 202 there as my main phone and you could hear that thing ring upstairs no problem!  But I still had my 1938 302 ringing upstairs anyway.  That one was on a 25' black cord and could be taken into any upstairs room I wanted.  Most recently I had the 202 hooked up in the guest room with ringer disabled.  Over the years I've also had 302's deployed in bedrooms and/or offices.  I even brought one to work when we moved into a new building and didn't have enough phones.  Rigged up my 302 and had my own direct line on it.  That was back around 1985.

Currently the 202's and 302's are packed away and I have two 500's going.  The one from 10/50 is my office phone and gets the most use.  The one from 4/53 is in the basement on my dad's old desk.  Mainly for answering without having to run upstairs, but it dials out fine.  I have both set to ring but have the gongs adjusted so I can silence them via the thumbwheel on the bottom if I want.  This allows me to set the ringer to knock me out of my chair or not strike at all, or anywhere in between.

The one "modern" phone I picked up years ago and have yet to use anywhere is a 70's alligator type with rotary dial.  I'm thinking I might hook it up in the den since we need a phone there, and something more up to date but still rotary might be just the ticket.


Quote from: Bill Cahill on October 07, 2008, 05:39:54 AM
Actually, I'm re discovering a new love for my old phones. I'm sick, and, tired of dead batteries, lost signals, digital cut outs, etc.....
Bill Cahill

That's what drove me back to old phones.  Two "quality" Sony wall phones that puked and died and the second one needed four AA batteries that kept falling out. 


I have always had a vintage phone of some type connected...but still rotary might be just the ticket.

I admit that my main phone is a push button Sony.  I need it to talk on the modern phone lines.

But other than that none of my friends have the slightest idea why I love old telephones.  They however are idiots with no appreciation whatsoever.


I've found that more and more call trees (or IVR's/VRU's) have been designed for voice response, which reduces the need for a touchpad.  Since I use my 10/50 phone at my desk, I do have a secondary handset from my Panasonic answering system nearby for those times when I need a touchpad.  If I hit a call tree that doesn't have voice response, I reach for the cordless handset, switch it on, use the touchpad, and switch it back off.  Short of installing a "rotatone" this is my solution to the touchtone issue.


I guess I just miss the telephone; when I could dial and talk to a real person.

Nowadays we just talk to recorded robot voices on the telephone and that just seems sad.  Pink or Beige doesn't make a big difference.  I prefer speaking to a real person, whatever the color.  What do you think?


Nothing beats talking to a live human.  Modern push button phones are like light beer they are just not as satisfying.  For my push button needs I'd much rather have a 2500/2554/3554.  While I'm the same vintage as the 1500, ten keys is a # short of a happy meal.


the wifey has to have a touchtone, so she has an orange trimline (cinnibar, they call the color).

I use my 500 WE and 354 WE almost all the time.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Dennis Markham

Currently I have a black 554 from 1957 in the kitchen,  my black "birthday" model 500 from 1955 in the bedroom, An AE40 connected at my desk and in my work shop I currently have a green 202 and ringer box connected.  In my office here on shelves are 20 phones that I change around when the mood hits.

BDM that 151AL is a great looking phone.  I definitely have to get one of those.


I use them every day.  We had three of those Motorola 2.4 MHz phones but they suck.  We now have one left, and it is constantly out of range or has a dead battery.  Using these is what made me dig Nana's old 500 out of the atic and start this process.  Now I have a 202 in the hallway niche, a 302 in the living room and a 500 in the baby's room.  The baby's room (formerly the office) is the test center, because it has the most easily accessible jack.  If I refurbish a phone it usually sits there for a few days until I am sure the bugs are worked out of it.  My wife complains that she can't figure our which phone is supposed to work at any given time. I am in the process of mounting my 354 on the kitchen wall, but am slacking off.  Here's a picture of the phone niche:

Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409