Author Topic: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?  (Read 4542 times)

Offline Matilo Telephones

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Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« on: December 20, 2013, 07:01:29 AM »
A couple of months ago I bought this phone.

Didn't know what it was. Still don't.

Saw the design, saw the cords, and decided to have a go at buying it. Asking price was 17,50 and shipping was 6,75.

It is complete, with a little connector block. Cords are in great condition. The nickel could be better. The phone is undamaged and working. It is made of bakelite, with matel base plate an nickel plated dial.

There are no markings regarding to the maker. Only on the inside of the casing is the word Futurit. I think that is a marketing name for bakelite.

It looks German. The dial looks very much like a Fuld design, as does the handset. The handset is very similar to the Franfurt telephone (Bauhaus).

There is a little paper card inside with some abbreviations and a date in 1941. I think it was the production date, but it could also be a refurbishment date. Otherwise no words, logo's, dates or anything.

I looked in all my books, and all over the internet. I cannot find any telephone like it.  I already showed it to some European collecters I'm in contact with, but they do not know it too.

A great find and it will gleam like liquid pitch by the time I have finished with it, but what is it? Does anybody have any idea?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 07:09:01 AM by Matilo Telephones »
Groeten,

Arwin

Check out my telephone website: http://www.matilo.eu/?lang=en

And I am on facebook too: www.facebook.com/matilosvintagetelephones

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 07:40:39 AM »
I don't know anything (and I mean anything) when it comes to foreign phones, but that housing doesn't look like a production model to me, it almost looks like one of those wooden prototypes.
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 08:18:45 AM »
It does have a kind of homemade look to it. Very cool if it is ;D
Do you have a picture of the inside?
Harry Smith
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there is only
do or do not"

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 08:32:40 AM »
Perhaps it is a prototype.

Larry

Offline Matilo Telephones

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 08:51:02 AM »
Homemade? I do not think so. It is made of bakelite.

The design of the housing doesn't look too well thought out. It is a bit off.

It is a very simple form. It reminds me of the Ericsson 1931, which has a similar combination of flat and curved surfaces and sharp edges.

I'll take a pic of the insides, label and connector block tonighht, if I have time.
Groeten,

Arwin

Check out my telephone website: http://www.matilo.eu/?lang=en

And I am on facebook too: www.facebook.com/matilosvintagetelephones

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 08:55:29 AM »
OH, OK. I guess Bakelite is not homemade but you are correct, not looking well thought out, that's why I thought homemade. Is the inside as badly realized?
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 10:42:59 AM »
Does look a lot like the Ericsson design (as used on the GPO 300 series), but it looks so rough, and the handset is weird... ???

Maybe it's a copy made in former soviet states, or something where they sold off old casting moulds to developing countries to make their on phones, it just looks bodged together just to make a working phone... :D

unbeldi

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 02:53:11 PM »
Has a bit in common with the DBH-1001 by Ericsson, except that the cradle area is quite different. The front is a bit extended to make room for that button.
The handset looks very much like an Ericsson design.
In that respect it looks like a forerunner of the WE-302, which Dreyfuss supposedly "copied" from Ericsson.

Is there any evidence that the Bakelite finish was ever shiny?

Futurit may be the key to finding out.  There was (is?) a manufacturer of Bakelite things, radios, parts in Wien, Austria.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 03:07:49 PM by unbeldi »

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 02:56:01 PM »
Hey, I just noticed, you have the same Motorola cordless as we do... :D

Do the batteries in yours conk out as fast as ours do (barely lasts for an hour on a call)? The handset really saps the power out of them, and I've replaced them 3 times since new (about 4 years back), but it still kills them.... :o

Offline dsk

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 03:18:18 PM »
Has a bit in common with the DBH-1001 by Ericsson, except that the cradle area is quite different. The front is a bit extended to make room for that button.
The handset looks very much like an Ericsson design.
In that respect it looks like a forerunner of the WE-302, which Dreyfuss supposedly "copied" from Ericsson.

Is there any evidence that the Bakelite finish was ever shiny?

Futurit may be the key to finding out.  There was (is?) a manufacturer of Bakelite things, radios, parts in Wien, Austria.

Agree about another variation of the Ericsson design, but who didn't do that.  Even German design was inspired by Ericsson, e.g. the amtsanschliesser 33
This one has the bigger base with room for ringers.

dsk

unbeldi

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2013, 03:25:08 PM »

Agree about another variation of the Ericsson design, but who didn't do that.  Even German design was inspired by Ericsson, e.g. the amtsanschliesser 33
This one has the bigger base with room for ringers.

dsk
The dial on this one is also very similar, it appears, to the mystery phone, see the finger stop shape.

unbeldi

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2013, 03:48:55 PM »
So there is some label with the year 1941, but I think I would place this design into the 20s or early 30s. To me it shows a transitional character into the rectilinear design elements of Art Deco.

The green button, however, is rather strange.  Is it plastic? looks much more modern, and I am wondering if that was in the phone originally. Could it have been connected to a PABX?  Does the button shunt the line to ground?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 03:56:13 PM by unbeldi »

Offline Matilo Telephones

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2013, 04:43:35 PM »
Some additional pics.

Pic1. There are letters on the dial.

Is is almost the same as on the Fuld Frankfort Bauhause Phone Pic2

Pic 3, the receiver is also very similar. Especially the receiver and transmitter ends of it.

Pic 4, crandle. Nice nickel plated shafts.

Pic 5 Connector box. The cover has a 2 letter and number combination. On the paper are the standard connection letters for German telephones EW (extra Wecker, A, B, E (Erde). A and B are tip and ring, but I never know by head which is which.

Pic 6 bottom of the Phone. There are 2 sort of rails. Maybe some kind of slide out card of drawer? It was never used often if ever there was one. No traces of wear.
Groeten,

Arwin

Check out my telephone website: http://www.matilo.eu/?lang=en

And I am on facebook too: www.facebook.com/matilosvintagetelephones

unbeldi

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2013, 04:48:04 PM »
So, have you taken it apart?


Offline Matilo Telephones

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Re: Mystery phone. Who knows what this is?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2013, 04:56:54 PM »
Pic 1, diagram inside. No makers mark. Just technical stuff.

Pic 2 The label I talked about. It says 4/4/1940 (not 41, sorry mistake). It Says Brnn. Am 4/4/1940, Kontr. <probl a name, unreadable>

Pic 3 other side of the label, pencil writing L No (i think) 18.551

Pic 4 another paper label with codes for connecting the wires. Generic 30-40's codes, IMHO. At least for this area.


Pic 5 Overview of the inside. Please note the extraordinary small oval bells.

Pic 6 Finally found something! A logo. It is also stamped on the bracket that holds the capacitor. The stamp was almost impossible to photograph, the printed one merely difficult. Looks like 2 running twins holding hands, in a circle. Never seen this one.
Groeten,

Arwin

Check out my telephone website: http://www.matilo.eu/?lang=en

And I am on facebook too: www.facebook.com/matilosvintagetelephones