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Any good books on collecting telephones out there.

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My daughter asked me the other day what I wanted for Christmas. After careful reflection I decided I wanted a book on collecting telephones. I would like an informative book and one with nice photos. The 500`s are my favorite. If any of you guys and girls out there can steer me in the right direction it would be most appreciated. Thank you, Jiggerman

Check amazon.com. I bought this one and am happy with it.

Books are so "last century" -- but quite appropriate for an antique collecting hobby.  ;)

Here are some that many of us started with years ago...

Note that the full range and beauty of the 500-series isn't covered well in any of the standard books.  Jorge's recommendation of Ralph Meyer's book will get you a good historical overview and loads of info on how phones work.  There are definitely hours of entertainment there!

I have several.  Some with pictures, and some with not so great pictures.

Ralph Meyers' Old time Telephones! Design, History, and Restoration, 2nd edition (Schiffer Publication) (2005) is at the top of my list for understanding how telephones work and how the circuitry has evolved from the invention up to, and including the touch-tone 2500.  Mostly US phones by the major players, such as Western Electric, Automatic Electric, Kellogg and Stromberg Carlson.  Black and white photos, and a price guide.

Then there is Telephone Collecting Seven Decades of Design by Kate E. Dooner (1993) (Schiffer) Full of color pictures of phones from the early to the later ones and a brief paragraph on each one noting the timeframe and great for identifying the phones.  A dated price guide is included.

Also from Dooner, is Telephones Antique to Modern , a Collector's Guide (1992) (Schiffer), much the same as the book above, with lots of color photos and a paragraph on each one.  Lots of wood phones in this edition.  Also a dated price guide.

Then there is Richard Montjoy's 100 years of Bell Telephones.  Lots of color pictures, lots of historical information, diagrams, old advertisements and much information.  This book is dated 1995, and is also a Schiffer book.  Looks like Schiffer has the market on some of these books!  Also contains a dated price guide.  I have used this book often for historical information.

If you are into everything pay phone related, there is the 475 page "Payphone History" by Ron and Mary Knappen of Phoneco.  Not very well organized, as it is more of a publication of years and years of notes and kind of reads like a gigantic scrap book.  A bezillion pictures and lots and lots of information about everything pay phone related.  There is a wealth of information in this book, but it takes some patience to sift through it.  Available from Phoneco and is only a couple years old.  Color and B&W photos.

On the same lines, there is Telephone Dials and Pushbuttons (Volumes 1 and 2) that came out last year, by Stan Swihart.  This is also a work of years of gathering information.  I believe this has to be ordered directly from Lyle Wright, the publisher, in California.  There is a ton of information on dials, from old to new, US, European and more information than I have had time to even start digesting.

Next, there is A History of Communication, made possible by the Telephone that just came out this year by Mia Maluchi and Don Walton.  Don Walton is a longtime collector who I have known for a few years and lives in the Beaverton, Oregon area.  He inherited his dad's collection, and has continued to collect for many years.  His own collection includes some priceless replicas of the earliest A.G Bell phones, and many other phones through the ages.  He was promoting his book at the Seattle phone show in May.  The book is mostly a coffee-table style photo book with a short sentance or paragraph beside each example.  The photos are primarily from his collection.  Soft cover, and I believe it needs to be ordered from Don directly.

There is also a real good book that I can't find to quote the title or the publisher or the date, but it is written by Larry Wolff, and is called something like Desksets of the Bell system.  It is black and white and is spiral bound.  Lots of great information on candlesticks, 102's, 202's, and 302's.  If you want to know just when the #2 dial was made and then replaced by the #4 dial, or want to know when the E1 handset came out, or the various versions of the 302, then this book is full of information.  Has historical information too, as well as actual cordage routing diagrams for 102, 202, and 302 phones and candlesticks too.

So there is a quick book report.

Jim Stettler:
I agree with Bill's summation.

1.Mountjoy's book is the most bang for the buck. It is filled with great photo's and info regarding WE.
2.Larry Wolff's book has a lot of B/W phots and a bunch of the cording diagrams. WE
3. Ralph Meyers book for technical info for repair and connecting up phones/intercoms ect.

Dooner's books are nice picture books.
The first edition is more wood (yellow)(new cover nowadays)
The second book is more desk phones. (blue)
Don Walton just released a nice photo book of phones. His book covers from beginnings onward.
(If you order Don's book tell him you are a forum member)

If you like novelty phones, then I would say Jim David Davis's book. "Collectable Novelty phones"

Technical books would be Ralph meyer's book


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