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The Phones of an "old_phone_man"

Started by old_phone_man, July 10, 2011, 03:35:11 AM

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I love going to shows to see different types of phones and exactly what turns collectors "ON".  Unfortunately I can't go to all the shows and too many times people don't bring their Pride and Joys to show off. 

This is one of the many things I Love about this Forum.  Not only do I learn a thing or two, but I get to see so many neat and unusual phones. 

This is the part of my collection that sits in a display case.  If you can't tell by looking, I'm pretty much a Western Electric  type guy (over 30 years with the phone company will do that to a person).

Of the more interesting finds are my three candlesticks (picture marked "3 Early Bases").  Each one has the Early Date Stamping on the base.  One on the front, one on the side and one on the back.  I have to thank my wife for 2 of them.  She picked the front stamp up at a garage sell for $10 and the back stamp up at a flea market for $20.  Because these 3 were so unusual I acquired 3 different number 2 type dials and original notch less dial plates (picture marked "Early Base Dials") for them (2AB, 2AE and 2AA).  One of our forum members sold me the neat Celluloid Dial Sleeve for the Party Line Dial.

My 1937 302 I found at a flea market.  I was shaking when I picked it up and felt the vents in the grip.  I was so excited after I bought it that I bought a dollar screwdriver while I was there so I could take it apart in my vehicle before I got home.  I was amazed that it has all matching dates.  Everything from the transmitter and receiver elements in the seamless F1 handset to the celluloid 149B Dial Plate.  It looks rough but it works.  I guess that's probably why it kept all its original components.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to get my hands on 3 hard to come by sets.  The D76869 (some call an A1) and the E4 (aka 205) and E5 (aka 208) multi line desk sets.

My favorite dial card is on one of my B1 bases.  It reads "Dial Correctly".  I have never seen one before and I haven't seen another one since.

And to top it off I was able to collect my Rainbow of plastic 302's.

For the most part I try to keep my sets original equipment (paint, cords, dial plates, etc) unless they are just in too bad of shape.  One exception that I have made over the years regards dial plates for number 2 dials.  I hated getting a number 2 dial with a notched plate and not being able to find a decent replacement.  I tried an overlay but my compulsive nature wouldn't cooperate.  After a year of proto types I finally built a decent looking reproduction 132B dial plate (picture marked "Repro 132B Composite").  I have these on my Daily Driver Candlestick (that would be the phone that everyone wants to touch and dial when they come to my house) and my 2 Bulldogs and 151AL with the porcelain (yes it too is a nice reproduction)  mouthpiece.


Remaining Photos.

Tom B


Doug Rose

Very Nice Indeed! I missed these when originally posted. You truly have an outstanding collection. You should be very proud with more than a few very tough phones. I love the 205 and the 208....Doug


Thanks guys! 

My wife always hits Garage Sales and I'm always going to Flea Markets and Antique Shops looking for these beauties.  You really never know what you're going to find.  Just like Doug pointed out in a previous post, when you go to a Garage Sale, just ask.  I found a D1 once that same way.  It was a phone she had in her house that she didn't really intend on selling, but she showed it to me.  I made her an offer and now it's hooked up in my bedroom. 

It's really something else when I get a phone call at my house with all the old phones I have connected.  All you hear are those ringing bells!  I Love It!

Doug Rose

These #2 dial plates are truly amazing. The work that went into recreating a #2 plate is mind boggling. I can't keep both shoes tied and Jon is creating a perfect dial plate. Anyone who has been on the Forum a while, knows my feelings towards reproduction parts.

These are like the Red Cross Mouthpieces that John Infurna created a few years ago, not a reproduction, but a creation. Look at the "red" the numbers are, perfect match to the originals.

The one thing that really irritates me is a notched dial plate on a #2 dial. My eyes go right to the notch. Can't help it.

Jon has done a perfect job. I can only imagine the hours that went into creating these beauties. I am amazed!....Doug


Thank you Doug for your kind words.

I really never thought of them as a creation, and I am humbled to be mentioned in the same text as Mr. Infurna!

I love original parts but when it came to notched plates on a #2 dial I just couldn't keep my eye from being drawn to that gap. 

It took a good year to come up with something I was happy with.  I kept all my prototypes and every now and then I look at them to remind me how much fun it really was coming up with the finished product.

Thank you again for your very kind words!



Will you share how you made the 132 plate?




I wanted to try to duplicate the entire process that I thought was used originally.  I quickly found out that Porcelain Enamel will only stick to certain substrates and was going to be cost prohibitive.  I decided to use a heavy gauge sheet metal.  I found a company that would cut me out round flat doughnut disks.  My Brother-In-Law, who is a machinist, made me a die that would punch through the middle hole and create the flare.  I created a press from a 10 ton hydraulic jack I had and started pressing out the flare in the disks.  I then made a jig that would allow me to position and attach (solder) the aligning pins just perfect.  The first disks I made I had painted with an automotive paint but I didn't really like the results.  The second batch of disks I made I was able to find a guy that was able to powder coat the disks without my pins falling out from the heat of the oven.  Once that was accomplished I was off to my local printer who "Pad Printed" the design on them. 

On a side note: I have found through this, you do get what you pay for.  A Very Good machinist, powder coater and printer were key to making this work.  Short of only using one machinist, I did have to go through more than a couple of the latter 2 in order to find someone who knew their trade well enough to accomplish this.

These have worked out well for me and allowed me to have notch-less plates on my #2 dials.


where can i buy these #2 number plates?