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How many of you actually use your antique phones?

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

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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!!


I have a black WE 1554 in my kitchen that is used every day.  The network has a 1964 date on it, the case is from 1966, the handset and cord are from 1967, the receiver from 1965, and the transmitter 1964.


All  my phones are Western Electric or ITT and I have 5 working payphones in WE and AE single slot housings with Protel boards. 23 extensions 8 ATA boxes and a 1A2 key system operate over 40 phones.  Each room in my house has at least 2 phones and there are 4 outside.


Currently have three hooked up: 302 and a 554 in the bedroom, and a 500 in the living room
"The day will come when the man at the telephone will be able to see the distant person to whom he is speaking."

-Alexander Graham Bell


We moved into my DH's family home after his mother passed away.   The house maintained POTS for the house alarm, so I can use my rotary phones without any extra equipment.  However, I'm only using one.   My yellow 702B is on my nightstand (with the nightlight, of course) and I'm currently using a red 2502BM in my office.   Most everything else is either on display or awaiting it.
Tony Stokes

TCI Member; ATCA Member #4893


My WE 202 sits on my computer desk next to my Apple iMac - talk about a diversity of technology!!

I use it every day - love it!


I change the phones I use, a year a go it was pretty different, most of my phones was US made, now they are German made.... with some exceptions, The wall telephones are pretty stable. 'in the basement my AE 120B payphone just stays, almost never in use, but you may call all around in the world for a quarter, and if no-one answers, you get your money back. In the living room we have a glowing wall version of the AE-Starlite phones. Maybe the only one plugged in to 230V 50Hz :-)  Another one who will always be there is the tabletop from Siemens, The ZBSA11. The very first rotary telephone used in Norway, but that is just connected to my rotary PA(B)X with a ip line...


I am a CallCentric subscriber so that I can have multiple extensions around the house -- specifically so that I can use my old phones.  I currently have a Trimline in the kitchen (extension 101) and a Princess in the office (extension 103).  Once I get my candlestick working, it will become my office phone.  I have a phone display in my mancave, and a spare ATA so that I can have two more "demo extensions" in the mancave/office.  I plan to cycle those through several of the phones, or it can be used to demo any working phone that visitors want to see.  Most of my phones work, and my goal is for all of them to work.


I have struggled a lot to get it working, but I have my 1946 mechanical exchange on a Callcentric line, and rotaries in several rooms.  (The exchange was designed around WWi and does not have as much as a diode or other semiconductors. Buzzer making dial tone, and another vibrator making ring frequency.  Since Callcentric do not have Norwegian numbers we have one mobile adapter for the regular phone too. No copper lines any more  >:(


Glad that most of us actually use them, unlike so many car collectors, who never drive the thing, and then if they try to, it has so many issues that it can't be used for anything more than yard driving.



it's also good to keep them in use to keep the fingers nimble to always avoid any dialing timeouts.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke


I regularly change the phone I use, too. It started with a RFT W38/58, then a GPO 312, then a Siemens M28, the GPO 312 again, a PTT 1918 only for 1 week, a Swiss M29, and now a Siemens M36. I did not like the metal 1918 handset, it had a resonance that is absent from Bakelite ones. I suppose it is one of the reasons why telephone manufacturers developed them before any other Bakelite part.


We got a new computer man at job so I could not resist. I deed use some of my ownt ime to be sure to be able to reach him if the network goes down :-) ... or at least a joke with a jung man. he had never used one of this kind before.  :)   3 floors between us, but the cable was available  ;D


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke


living room WE 51C w/554c (replaced chromed out AE40)
kitchen red 554 '71 ( replaced black NE 554 '57)
master bedroom WE 302 w/chrome finger wheel)
spare bedroom D1 w/634a (replaced North Telephone desk set w/SL ringer)
last 3, bedroom, office and family room modern TT
Until I installed the 51c w/554c and the D1 w/634a all phones rang. those two hogs with their 2-500 ohm coils sucked the life out of my REN capacity. had to buy a line booster.   
I love the sound and so do my old friends
Why do people with cell phones use "old phone" as their ring tone?

-Dave S.


I hve to change phone from time to time, this one in our livingroom at moment.  Had to put in a transistor capsule to get good sound. It's my only working English phone.  The circuit is a little complex, but it works fine.