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and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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Happy 1st Birthday to Us!

Started by McHeath, September 04, 2009, 12:33:32 AM

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Well a year ago we started up our humble little island of phonedom.  For you who just tuned in here is the story so far:  (as I know it, undoubtably there is more history that I've missed)

Late August and early Sept 2008, Mark Stevens, who has the blog "Classic Rotary Phones" kicks the idea around with Dennis Markham and myself about starting a phone forum to compliment the blog.  We agree it'd be a smashing good idea and would join.  Mark says that Dennis Markham has agreed to be his 2nd in command.  

Sept 4, 2008, 7AM pacific time, I do a trial sign in to see if the forum join feature works.  It does.  Members begin joining right away, heavy hitters like Bingster, BDM, D/P, Bill Cahill, Dan, Ben Hutcherson, and mienaichizu sign on early and often.

Interestingly the top 5 posters all signed up in the first week and have stayed with the forum faithfully.

Mark gives out "Rotary Phone Forum Charter Member" banners for a month to early adopters.  

Bingster starts up our ever popular e-bay auction guessing games within our first week.  Auction #1 won by Hello Central, Sept 12, 2008.

Our first month we had 143 new topics started, 1061 posts, 44 new members and 32,122 page views.  This compares to last month when we had 112 new topics, 1856 new posts, 16 new members (total of 179 at current), and 77945 pages views.  

After the first of the year Mark Stevens, a busy man, hands off the forum to Dennis Markham, who now assumes the helm.  We miss Mark, but he still lurks about and keeps an eye on us.  ;)

We added a technical reference section in January 2009, a read only file that you must be a member to view.  Handy stuff.

The forum has really done what Mark wanted it to a year ago, it's a place for people with all levels of interest and knowledge to hang out, learn and share info, and connect with others who like the phones of yesteryear.  The tone of the forum is quite friendly, a nice place to hang around.  

Here's to another year!


I am glad the forum was started and have learned a few things and am sure I will learn tons more. Here is to another year!! ;D


I hope that more members will join us!

Dennis Markham

Heath, you did a great job of summing up the events that transpired that resulted in this Forum.  One thing about Mark, he didn't waste any time.  Because of his experiences with building other web sites he knew what he was doing and went right to work.  I was reviewing my e-mail exchanges with him from last year.  He sent me a short e-mail on September 03, 2008 saying that he was thinking about adding a forum to his site and asked my opinion.  By the 4th it was up and running!

So the forum took off right away.  It wasn't until the end of the year that I learned that I was locked out of the General Discussion board.  I think it was Bill Cahill that alerted me to this by asking me to check out a posting in that category.  I couldn't find the posting he was referring to and after some digging and talking to Mark he discovered he had not checked a box in the software that allowed me to view that board.  So for those first six months I missed all the postings in that category.  I guess those are growing pains.

As the forum moves into the second year I hope we see the membership continue to grow.  It would be great to have collectors that have been at it for years to come on board and join in on the discussions and help with issues of those with less experience.  I think we are all grateful that such a collector, Bill Geurts (Phonesrfun) has joined and been extremely helpful. Thanks Bill!

There are many that have logged in to the forum but have yet to become active.  I think in time some of those members will do so.

My thanks also to all of you that have made this forum what it is today.  Without those original users the forum wouldn't have gotten off the ground.  Heath mentioned some names.  I don't want to miss anyone so I'll just leave it at that.  All of you have done a great job and continue to share what you know so that we may all continue to enjoy our hobby of phone collecting.

Happy Birthday everyone!  I look forward to the coming year.  If anyone has suggestions that will improve the forum, please share them.


I joined on halloween and it has quickly become my main source of fun on the internet. Thanks to all the" founding fathers."
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


I joined last September just interested in learning a little bit about good old classic telephones. Little did I know then. And how little I know now. Thanks Everyone!

Now let's just see if we can get this phone working... :)


The Operator

Happy Anniversary!

And many thanks for providing us this little corner of the web to enjoy in the pursuit of personal telephony. I browsed this forum from one end to the other earlier this year and could see this was definitely the one to sign-up with. I waited a little longer too before finally speaking-up, so the "cast of characters" here were somewhat familiar to me before you even knew I existed.

And when I say "cast of characters" ;D  I sincerely mean that as a compliment.

~The Operator
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."


here! here! 

quite by accident i found this forum. i looked up an old friend online, a link on her site sent me to dennis' vintagerotaryphones. from there i got here.

first online forum i have ever joined, it has been a great experience.

i look forward to checking in every evening. sometimes i get a good chuckle :D,
other times i actually learn something. :o

best wishes to all!


I really enjoy this forum.  Quite a difference from others.  Here's to yet another successful year!

-Bill G


I also stumbled into this site accidentally when I was researching on WE500. My search leads me first to Dennis' site then to Marks' site then I checked out the Rotary Phones Forum which is a new addition to Marks' site. Without thinking twice, I suddenly joined in so from that point on, my interest in phone collecting grew.

Bill Cahill

"Happy anniversary. Happy anniversary. Happy anniversary. Ha---ppy anniversary!"  from "The Flintstones".
;D Bill Cahill

"My friends used to keep saying I had batts in my belfry. No. I'm just hearing bells....."


After having received help from Dennis via his own web site, I went back a few months later to visit and found his link to this forum.  I joined up and have learned a lot about 302's and 500's since.  I don't think there's another place on the web where a person can find step-by-step (there's an old telco term for you) instructions on how to tighten up a stretched handset cord or even restore color to a faded one.  That's just one example.  And I think if a '49 500 exists out there, the world will see it here first.

Many thanks to Mark and now Dennis for providing this very informative source for all things rotary.



If it weren't for you guys, I would have two old 500 style phones that I didn't even realize were different companies, one A.E., and One W.E.
They would still be as found, and there would still be about 50 phones, floating around out there, that I most likely would not have purchased, let alone restored.
It has been a wonderfully informative year and, many, many hours of relaxing fellowship, and nerve calming therapy. I now have a display of many different styles and colors of phones that I'm very proud to display.
Here is to another great year, and many more.
Thanks everyone.

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Dennis Markham

Thank you Dan, very nice commentary!  Hopefully a year from now we will all be sharing our experiences and new finds.  Perhaps there are a few more people interested that will join us during that time.