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Payphone Enclosures Bell System Old Ones

Started by Payphone installer, May 05, 2017, 07:06:53 PM

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Payphone installer

I am sitting here and it is cold and rainy in KY so I thought I would post something. So here are some pics of some early payphone stands or pedestals.  So here is what I think is a one of a kind stainless pedestal from the late 50's or 60's. lots of these were in the lobby of Woolworth's stores. when I first became a installer in 1980 they were right as you came in the door. Most were made of wood or particle board and Formica. This one was located in downtown Cincinnati in the Hilton Netherland  Hotel.

There is a arcade with shops all made of marble. Between the elevators in the arcade up to the rooms was this payphone pedestal. When I worked at Cincinnati Bell I knew it was there and spent years going after it. I was successful. It is solid stainless steel and you should hear a 635A subset ring in the bottom.

Payphone installer

Sorry about the wording I keep getting distracted by other things. Here are the wood versions of the same pedestals. These were what I remember being in Woolworth's. The cheaper models being in Woolworth's the higher end piece in the hotel.  The wood ones were yellow maple like most 50's phone booths. But some were made of particle board with Formica over it,as in the pics.

Payphone installer

There were also sit down units I bought this one years ago from John Fischer a great collector friend. John was a installer at I think Ohio Bell.

Payphone installer

This unit is as it was removed from service. Note the 685A subset mounted under the shelf below where the phone book would go. John hauled this to a telephone show for me to buy. When he carried it in collectors were all over him to buy it but, it was already bought and paid for. I have not changed a thing on it,it is still locked up as it was when removed.  No key to the money box.


My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." --Robert Heinlein


These are really interesting, I really like the stainless steel pedestal and can well imagine it in an art-deco setting.

Dennis Markham

Really enjoyed reading about the pedestals.  Great stuff and a great collection!  So the coins in the locked box are not newer than what year??


Payphone installer

There are a few coins in the box but I am not sure how old. Silver coins were done away with in 1965 many of these phones were in service beyond that point. A phone really has to have been locked up before that date to have many silver coins in it. Most 233G payphones or 200 series in general were still in service in 65. The earliest 1A single slot I have was dated 1966 by then the coins were being removed from service at a fast rate. Most people don,t realize that the price of silver is cheap. You can go on eBay anytime and buy all the silver coins you want at a decent price. A black vault door cost you more then 3 ounces of silver. I just leave locked up phones locked up most  of the time. If you really want the coins you can remove the hopper parts,turn the phone upside down and shake them out.