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Help Needed in Deciding to Pursue or Not... Large lot of telephones and parts

Started by Nick in Manitou, March 26, 2018, 09:06:19 PM

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Nick in Manitou

I wanted to let folks know that the Navy version of the Galion that was discussed previously in this thread has been posted on eBay.

The title for the auction is, "1944 North Electric Galion Navy Telephone w/Latch for Handset".

It will be interesting for me to see how the auction goes as it is the first auction I have set up on eBay.



Nick in Manitou

Well, sometimes life hands one a surprise....

There are changes in the air for my wife and me.  As the result of a massive layoff (13,000 people!), my wife, the breadwinner, is suddenly without a job. This might mean a change of location as the result of her finding a job that requires a move to another city, or a change in houses due to an unexpected early retirement.

Either way, there is the very real probability that there will not be space for the "Large Hoard of Phones" I am still in the process of trying to unpack in my garage.

I have only sold a couple of 'sticks, a 302 and a couple of 202s to a forum member who is from our region. The Navy Galion is on eBay at the moment, and otherwise the collection is still all here.

There is a lot of stuff!  If anyone might be interested in purchasing the whole thing please let me know. We will be putting the house on the market in the very near future and this material would be a lot more easily inspected where it is than stuffed into a storage unit.

Life can throw some surprises at us!



Nick in Manitou

Thanks for the good wishes.

I have a continuing problem...I open a box and want to learn about whatever is inside.

Today I opened a box with what is probably a 20" stack of paper inside. Some manuals from small phone companies, some old advertisements and a number of letters addressed to Mr. Jackson G. Sauers, Mill Valley, CA.

I have not been involved with the history of telephony and have read only a small amount on the topic, but I am hoping that perhaps someone on this forum will know the name, Jackson G Sauers.

There seem to be a lot of articles and letters about the history of telephony in various states (and I believe other countries).

I have attached copies of two pages of a letter from 1964 to Mr. Sauers from the Juneau & Douglas Telephone Company that apparently resulted from an inquiry to the governor of Alaska about the history of the telephone there. (A copy of the letter appears to have been sent to the governor.) (As I am of a certain age, 1964 does not seem that long ago to me...but although it is shocking to is 54 years ago!)

If anyone recognizes the person to whom this letter is addressed, please let us know what you can about him.



Well, a Google search returns one small thing about Jackson G. Sauers, that he was a Ham radio operator in Mill Valley, CA. If anyone is a Ham, maybe they can communicate with other Hams in the area to find out about the man? Here is a list of Hams in Mill Valley.

His listing says his Ham registration was cancelled in 9-2000, so something must've happened around that time.

One thing that made me curious is the man's name is very similar to mine. Sowers is an Anglicized version of Sauers, which is closer to the German derivation. But I've never heard of him before. Sounds like he was a phone collector and trying to find old telephones by writing old phone companies way out in the boondocks. The CC: to the Governor of Alaska was an odd addition on that letter. Why would the Governor care a hoot about that?

Nick in Manitou


My impression is that Mr Sauers was writing to a lot of people trying to get documentation of the history of telephony in their areas. If I get a chance, I will try to find some more letters that were responding to him.  In the first paragraph of the letter above, it says that Mr Sauers' letter to the governor was forwarded (presumably by the governor's office) to the telephone company for a response.

When I Googled Mr Sauers, I saw that there had been a newspaper articles written about him in a San Rafael, CA, newspaper in 1964 and in 1972, both seem to refer to his being involved with old telephones. (I didn't subscribe to the newspaper search site in order to read the articles because I am supposed to be focused on other things!) There was also an item about him opening a new "Beauty Shop" in a 1946 edition of the Mill Valley Record.

I just went out to the stack and took several pages off the top:
>A two page history of the telephone company in Florida, with a copy of a newspaper article pasted to an additional page,
>A few pages stapled together titled, "*Maryland Telephone Chronology (Partial)",
>A copy of several pages titled, "Southern Bell Telephone Company Observes 75th Anniversary Today",
>A copy (that appears to have come from a "Clipping Service") of an article from the News & Observer (North Carolina), titled,
     "First Phone in Carolina Rang in Raleigh in 1879",
>A very yellowed copy of an article from Australia, titled "Whatever's Happened to The Public Telephone?",
>Several more type written pages (originals?) about the history of telephony in various locations,   
This fellow was a serious gatherer of telephone history!



I knew Jackson Sauers well. I live just a few miles from his old place in Mill Valley.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s he used to set up a stand at a local flea market every Sunday. I bought my first phone from him there in 1979. I went on to buy a few more at his stand, and got to know him a bit. I really wanted to see his collection but he was very private and was not willing to let me in. It took about a year of talking at the flea market, and sometimes by phone, before he let me into his sanctum sanctorum. It was mindblowing...

In 1981 he started quietly selling a few treasures from his personal collection -- not his run-of-the-mill flea market pieces. I bought quite a few things from him, including a Strowger 11-digit candlestick with original Red Cross glass mouthpiece, a Gray 'Wanamaker' pay station, a Stromberg Carlson ball-top, and many more that are now slipping my mind. I still have the Wanamaker, the others are long gone at this point.

The one I wanted most at the time -- but simply couldn't afford -- was his early desk vanity phone. Stunning. If I remember correctly it was $3500, in 1981 or 1982.

He died many years ago but I can't remember exactly when, nor do I know what happened to the rest of his extensive collection.

He was definitely an interesting guy, and an extremely knowledgeable one. But he also had a strong arrogant streak and was pretty dismissive about many people. There was a definite art to dealing with him -- being diplomatic helped!


Quote from: ReneRondeau on July 12, 2018, 12:54:59 PM
......nor do I know what happened to the rest of his extensive collection.

It looks like some of it has turned up and is with Nick in Manitou.

Amazing story, thanks for sharing.
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble

Nick in Manitou

Thanks for the input about Mr Sauers, Rene.  If I can get a chance, I will try to see if there are more letters to him in response to his queries that might be of interest to this group.

Now, I have a request for you all...perhaps it should be obvious to me, but I have not figured out what phone this shell belongs to.  So far, I have not unpacked any others like it. Please let me know what it is if you know.



Quote from: Nick in Manitou on July 16, 2018, 01:04:26 AM
Now, I have a request for you all...perhaps it should be obvious to me, but I have not figured out what phone this shell belongs to.  So far, I have not unpacked any others like it. Please let me know what it is if you know.

That is from an S. H. Couch intercom.


Nick in Manitou

Thanks Larry!  That might have taken me forever to figure out!

Doug Rose

SH Couch was made in North Quincy just outside of Boston. Bakelite case makes a very sharp looking telephone. ...Doug

Nick in Manitou

Did Couch make their own handset, or use someone else's? If they made their own, would it be marked with SH Couch?

It is difficult to see what the markings on the handset are in the photo above.



The Couch handset looks similar to the AE type 38 but cruder. They might be made by Murdock.