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Crosley Modern Reproduction 302

Started by Adam, February 14, 2011, 09:41:40 PM

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Pictured is the modern reproduction 302 made by Crosley.  It's a shame they don't make them with a real rotary dial, I think it might be fun to have one if they did.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


They do look like faithful copies, which is nice (besides the dial, of course).  They're always cluttering up my ebay searches, too.  Wonder what the sound quality is like.


Wonder if they are dimensionally faithful to the original?   I doubt it, but it would be fun to see if the plastics could work on an original 302.   They make these in a bunch of colors.   Wouldn't be worth more than the sum of the parts, but still it would be interesting to see how close the case is to the original.

LM Ericsson

I saw a chrome one at a motel in Arizona. I tried to pick up the base of it but would not budge. The whole phone was bolted down so nobody would be able to steal it!


Somebody should buy one and find out :D
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


I see these at garage sales occasionally.  Up close, they look like typical flimsy Chinese junk to me.  I have never been interested in buying one.



They were sold at Pottery Barn for a while.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409


At risk of making myself highly unpopular around here, I'll say that these have a valid place in the overall scheme of things, and I'll even admit to having a couple around (a bad habit that anyone here is welcome to cure me of with an original ivory 302 in excellent condition for a decent price:-)

One, they keep the original designs alive in the public eye.
Two, they encourage people to keep their landlines.
Three, they are affordable to folks who in no way could spring for the real thing, particularly in color. 
Four, they tend to encourage interest in the real ones.
Five, they tend to attract casual buyers in a manner that helps prevent originals from falling into less-than-fully-appreciative hands, and thereby helps keep the prices of originals stable.

The Crosley version is the best overall: all external dimensions are the most faithful of the genre.  The internals of the handset cannot be converted back to an original: the dimensions aren't right, and the transmitter & receiver caps are mounted with nasty breakable "bayonet lugs" and hot glue; don't even bother trying to unscrew them unless you want to repair them later.  The main housing is probably also not compatible to a real WE baseplate, and the hookswitch (as with all of these types) is not particularly good and doesn't even press down all the way flush with the cradle.  That said, it's acceptable for where you want a colored 302 you can't afford, and need touchtone for accessing voicemail systems and so on. 

The Crosley repro 354 is actually "good."  The hookswitch is also good on this one.  It's missing the louvers next to the bell, but it's acceptable for use where you want a colored 354 you can't afford.

Pottery Barn had a different version entirely.  Also externally faithful to the originals.  Also bad fittings for the transmitter & receiver caps, and not dimensionally compatible with original WE handset elements.  Dial is less well done than on the Crosley.  Hookswitch is tolerable. 

There's another that's got a very decent base unit and dial but a poor repro of an AE 41 handset on it, for some unknown reason.  There's also a poorly-dimensioned attempt at a repro of an AE 41, and about 10 - 15 years ago, poorly dimensioned versions of an SC 1243 (identifiable by its oval dial number card ring) and Kellogg 1000 (two buttons in the cradle, and the shape at the front is entirely wrong). 

The Pottery Barn and Crosley 302s and probably a number of the other repros, use single-gong ringers that sound nothing like the original but are acceptable as a signaling device, and also will suffice for folks who don't know what the original sounds like but would be happy to have any kind of mechanical bell. 

Pottery Barn did an excellent-looking repro of the European set that was originally made by Standard Electric and Bell Antwerp, similar to (but not quite the same as) a Siemens W-48.  These were made in a number of colors over the years, and are still available in black (looks decent) and in all-over chrome (yeeks!).

Last but not least, Telcer of Italy, which produced (and still does) something that looks an awful lot like an AE 1a Monophone but with three obvious dimensional differences:  a) the metal baseplate is taller/deeper, b) the hookswitch cradle moves up & down rather than having a single button in the center, and c) the depth of the receiver housing in the handset is deeper than on the original handset and the receiver handle comes to a longitudinal point underneath which is also not prototypical. 

That said, as it turns out, items (a) and (b) appear to be correct for Italy!  Some years ago I saw pics of an Italian phone that looked almost identical to an AE 1a, but had the taller/deeper baseplate and the hookswitch cradle arranged per the Telcer repro.  The Telcer repros use a 3" dial with the FACE Standard mechanism (sounds like a new-ish WE dial but all plastic inside), and the mounting is compatible with original AE 3" dials.  They have a mechanical buzzer in the base instead of a ringer, but you can always attach them to a proper ringer box. 

So you could buy one of these, repaint the base to match the main housing, repaint the brassed handset rings ditto, repaint the dial ditto or replace the dial with an AE, replace the cords (the 80s version used proper hardwired cords with spade lugs & screw terminals, don't know about the current version) with proper cloth-covered cords, and end up with a poor man's version of a colored Italian AE 1a.  I'll admit to having one that's going to go through that process one of these days (as per above, anyone who wants to cure me of this bad habit can do so with a decent colored AE 1a for a decent price:-).

One more true story:

I gave a repro 302 to someone in the family years ago and at first they weren't particularly moved to use it, since they had some decent cordless phones.   But then came a big storm and a power outage, and that phone came out of hiding in the closet and got plugged in, where it kept working while the lights were out.  And it sounded good.  So they kept it plugged in.  And then the batteries on their cordless handsets started wearing down, causing calls to cut off at random.  So now they use the repro 302 as their main telephone for all their long conversations.  Victory! 

So give these things to all your friends and relatives who have cordless phones and want touchtone.  You never know what might happen next. 

The only thing that could make it easier for people to switch from cordless, would be a version with a residential Hold button, or a repro of the multi-line version of the 302, with Hold, two Line buttons, and three Intercom buttons for calling other stations (or Flash, Redial, and Mute instead of intercom).   Anyone around here who's wealthy enough to spring for limited mass production, get in touch and we can design something.  Come to think of it, a repro of the 2-line AE 43 with hold buttons, could be a decent success too. 

And if someone wants to go all the way, we could come up with an entire series of these things, made to a high standard of quality: "what would have happened if the oldschool designs had been updated to new tech."  That would include proper handsets with replaceable elements, choice of rotary-style or 4x3 touchtone dials with round buttons, double-gong ringers, intercom or feature buttons, RJ-14 or RJ-31 (4-pair) jack types, multi-station dial intercom for small offices, and even a central "KSU" with a multi-line digital answering machine perhaps with individual mailboxes, perhaps even with a VOIP/SIP trunk option or Skype option.   What do y'all think? 


I think the Crosley 302 looks more like a WE 302 than the Asian version.  I would guess that this phone would have a modern Cortelco network inside and the handset would be like the F-4.  It would probably have some sort of mini ringer inside if not an electronic ringer.


What happens when you have hampers of broken phones of all makes and get bored ?

302 base fits perfectly on a Crosley.
Andy F    K1WI

Doug Rose

Looks great Andy,,,is the Crosley metal base or plastic. I just picked up a metal last weekend for $2...looks brand new. The metal is as heavy as a WE metal. The dial secures correctly?...thanks....Doug