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When I was growing up my Parents had.....

Started by Aaron W. Gonya, July 24, 2011, 12:38:08 PM

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Aaron W. Gonya

Hi, new member and relatively new collector here.

When I was growing up my Parents had.....

A matched set of 70's (I think, it's been so long that I can't say for certain) WE500 and WE554 in yellow. They probably got them when they set up housekeeping in '76.  They went back to the local phone company in '88 or so when Mom got a new beige rotary for the kitchen.   I wanted to keep the old phones but it was still the "Lease or purchase" era around here.

My Grandma had a black WE554 that was replaced at about the same time with a phone that I can't seem to recall, and then a cheap knock off 2554 clone. 


We had a white 500 in the parent's room, and a yellow 500 in the kitchen from 1966-1973.  Around 1973 we got new trimline touch-tones, red in the kitchen, green in parent's room, and a black one for the den.  Dad hated the little round buttons, so a year after we got the trimlines, we had them taken out and got 2500s in the same colors put in.  I still have all three 2500s, (parents bought them in 1984) though mom uses a cordless now and they're on display at my house.
Jim H.

jsowers solitary black AE40 in the den, with a short mounting cord. Later in the 1970s it changed to a black AE80. I hated both of those phones then and still can't bring myself to collect more than one of them. The frequency ringer didn't ring as much as it just thrummed. It must have been a very low frequency, made even deeper sounding by the knotty pine counter in the den. When party lines finally went away in the late 1980s, the phones went back to the phone company, and good riddance. By then I had collected several 500s at yard sales and that's what my parents used until cordless phones became cheaper and reliable.

The phones to see were at my uncle's house. He worked for Southern Bell. They had a matching white 701 Princess and 554, joined in 1968 by a moss green Trimline. Both the Trimline and Princess dials were lit, and that fascinated me. Eventually he and my aunt moved to my grandmother's house and Granny's yellow 1977 500 set is still in service in the basement. I like to see the reaction from people at family get-togethers when it rings. That sound is a little foreign nowadays and it brings back memories for a lot of people.

Welcome to the Forum, Aaron! Good luck in your collecting.


Aaron, Welcome to the Forum!

Growing up, my parents had a Black 302.  It was in the hall in the Telephone Nook.  Remember when all modern homes built in the early 50's had that special place for the Telephone.  That was when the phone could ring 5 times before you could get to it.  I remember I was so jealous when my Uncle and Aunt (who lived next door) got an extension phone in their kitchen.  Wow, someone with 2 phones!  That's like someone that had 2 Televisions!

Enjoy your time here Aaron and thanks for stirring up old memories.


Welcome Aaron!

When I was in middle school & later we had a yellow 554 in the kitchen. When I recently decided I needed I phone for the garage, I wanted a 554 for that reason. Found a nice black one on ebay. The other phones in the house were rotary Trimlines.

When I was much younger, I lived with my Grandparents. They had a 500 in the kitchen (don't remember the color -- ivory?). Upstairs, I remember a black phone that got swapped out for Princess phone. I don't remember the black phone very well -- I assume it was a 302, but on the other hand I have vague memories of a subset so might have been a 202? Wish I knew now....

My GPs also had a trailer on a lake where we'd go on the weekends. I don't remember the phone itself, but I remember it being on a party line. The neighbors would take the phone off the hook and have parties, and we could pick up the the handset and hear them partying (guess that's why they call it a party line ;-)....

Thanks for making me remember this!


The first phone I remember in our house was a black 302.   Sometime around '60 it was replaced with what I think was a black 500, but I guess it could have been a 5302.   In the next house, we had a white 554 in the kitchen.   We never had more than one phone in the house 'til I was in college.

Fibber McGee

We had a telephone nook in the hallway as well.  I can't remember what was in it, however. 

After a remodel, the nook was gone (although the main line still entered at the same spot on the wall...the new phones were hardwired from this point.  They put in a white 554 in the kitchen (with a VERY long handset cord!) and a white (or maybe cream) Princess phone in my parent's room. 

When I was in Junior High, my folks let me run a line to my room...I connected at the same point in the hallway and ran the line along baseboard and doorframes just as Southwestern Bell did.  In my room I had a 1937 Model 302.  I do not remember where it came from, but sometime in the 60's my uncle had done a very psychedelic paint job on it.  It worked great.  I wish I still had it, funky paint and all.  I also had some other old phones that I used here and there. 

When I got my first apartment, I had an EE-8 field phone that I put on the line as a ringer and I had a Harris butt set to use for dialing.


1960s:  One black 554 wall set in the kitchen, and a black 500 upstairs in my parents' bedroom, which was safer than running down the stairs to the kitchen to answer calls at night.  Both with #7 dials.   

The setup with two phones: kitchen and parents' bedroom, was pretty standard in the suburbs in the 60s through mid 70s.  Then came extensions in kids' bedrooms, and then came Call Waiting. 

By the mid - late 70s, myself and most of my friends had extensions we wired for ourselves, using phones we scrounged from various sources or bought from Radio Snack or similar places.  For a while these included all manner of 302s, SC 1543s, and the three types of Dutch phones (Ericsson, HEEMAF, and Standard Electric) that Radio Snack sold for $8.95 each, and occasionally an AE 41 or 80. 

My grandparents got touchtone in the early 70s (white 2554 in the kitchen), but my parents wouldn't spring for the extra fee until the 90s. 


Quote from: old_stuff_hound on July 24, 2011, 09:13:50 PM
Upstairs, I remember a black phone that got swapped out for Princess phone. I don't remember the black phone very well -- I assume it was a 302, but on the other hand I have vague memories of a subset so might have been a 202? Wish I knew now....

I asked Mom and she said that the ringer was on the wall, so I suppose it had to have been a 202. I guess that means I need to get one now! ;-)