Telephone Talk > Flea Market/Yard Sale/Antique Store Finds

1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones

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The right time of year to find Christmas colored phones. These two were at a local estate sale, still installed and connected, one in the attic and one in the basement, maybe in the same house since they were new. The green phone is dated 2-56 and the red 3-56, both have matching dates except the green phone has a newer cord (which is a dirty stretched mess). Both have satin hooks. The red phone included a gray 172B back board.
Both have a fair amount of dirt and scratches, and the housings have some warping, but nothing looks broken. Somebody wanted to silence the green phone in the past and chose to cut one of the ringer wires instead of disconnecting it.
I paid $60 for both, which is more than I typically want to pay for estate sale phones, but I don't see many early colored 554s.

However illogical it might seem, the following list shows in fact green and red 554s were installed with gray backboards, according to C32.560 issue 2 (11/55) and issue 3 (12/56):

172B backboard             554 Set

172B-3                           Black  [-3]
172B-50 [ivory]              Ivory  [-50]
172B-52 [gray]              Green [-51] or Red [-53]
172B-53                         Beige  [-55]

So the red backboard (172B-53) was originally used only for the dark beige wall set!


C37.201 Issue 8, Sept. 1956 lists the following backboards:

Code No.        Finish

172B-3            Black
172B-50          Ivory
172B-51          Green
172B-52          Gray
172B-53          Red
172B-54          Brown
172B-55          Beige
172B-56          Yellow
172B-57          Blue         

Nice find!
Contenders for find of the month

Just my opinion, but you scored big time. Congrats!

Scott K.

$60 for the pair is quite a deal.  Those early 554s are not so easy to find.  I am still looking for a green one, and I probably paid $60 or more for my red one.



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