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Old WE Interphone on Facebook Marketplace

Started by long jumper, May 04, 2023, 02:27:59 PM

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long jumper

Looking for some help to figure out if i should buy this phone on Facebook Marketplace. Will show photos. I don't know manufacturer. Just wondering if anyone knows what type of phone it is. Any help appreciated. They want 50.00. I would offer 25.00

long jumper

Just found out from seller it's a western electric intranet phone. So the question is can it be used on your home landline?


Not intranet, WE Interphone which, IIRC, is an intercom type phone system for use within a building, large house or apartments.

This is the first "woody" I've seen so it must be old.

No, will not work on a landline. Newer interphone components sell for real money.

Use the forum's "search" function for "Interphone" to get over 100 topics on Interphones.


Here's a paragraph I found posted by a very knowledgeable member about 8 years ago in a topic discussing creation of new boards on the forum.

"Interphones began as early intercom systems using candlesticks and wood phones.  They were sometimes called "speaking tube phones" early on because they replaced those. The term was used throughout the twentieth century to refer to home intercom systems that used telephones.  I see intercoms as phone-like apparatus that were used to communicate internally and interphones as telephones that were adapted for that purpose.   There is a lot of overlap and both types could be found in a single household."

long jumper

I saw this western electric inter phone on Facebook for sale 50.00 would offer 25.00. Just wondering if it could be wired to my magneto crank phone. Both would have batteries, but only the magneto phone has a induction coil. Would that possibly work using my spare pair of wires in house land line. also don't know model # any help appreciated


I would say this Interphone is not compatible with a phone with a hand generator (magneto). Even if you managed to talk between them, neither could signal the other.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


"Interphone" was a generic term used by several manufacturers in the early 1900s -- and was in use for more modern systems into the late 1900s.

Some info on the early Western Electric Interphone systems, including wiring examples, can be found in these documents in the TCI Library:
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



Quote from: TelePlay on May 04, 2023, 04:22:12 PM...

This is the first "woody" I've seen so it must be old.

At first glance I thought it was wooden but it's pressed steel.


Quote from: tubaman on May 05, 2023, 02:46:13 AMAt first glance I thought it was wooden but it's pressed steel.

Well spotted.  :)

Zoomed in close up of interior attached.
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble

long jumper

I think i will pass on this one thanks for everyone's input