Author Topic: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?  (Read 8611 times)

Offline gpo706

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Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« on: August 22, 2009, 08:52:43 PM »
I got few bits and pieces, mostly interested in the uniform items, a GPO donkey jacket, set of buttons for my brown (unused) warehouse tunic, a GPO hat metal/enamelled badge (perfect), a couple of GPO hard hats, different designs, a linesman test set, and recently a headset for it and some croc clip leads, so thats nearly complete.

A GPO staff rules book from the 60's, and an internal telephone directory.

Also bought a BT ashtray for peanuts sees much regular use in my "den".

I also collect local bus company items buts thats like a wardrobe full of kit compared to my phoneco stuff!
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 09:12:53 PM »
I just have an older model WE test set, the kind with the full size finger dial. It's pretty nifty. I don't know what year it was made.
-Matt

Offline bwanna

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 10:07:32 PM »
i have all kinds of bell system jazz. several first aid kits, flashlights, a battery, a couple of service pins,test sets, a box of paper clips, a printers block w/bell emblem, 1926 bell system almanac. one of my favorites, tho, is the lead ladle. way back when, the cable sheath was lead. i don't know the exact procedure for using the ladle& hot lead. but i do know it would be a real pain to work with. i can post pics if there is any interest. GPO i'd like to see some of your stuff. ;D
donna

Offline gpo706

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 10:13:02 PM »
If can get my bro's digital camera to download I'll be snap happy!

The printers block sounds an amazing find, also the hot lead ladle!

"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"

Offline gpo706

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 10:19:09 PM »
Here's a hard hat on ebay, bloke being trying to flog it for  months, its pristine compared to the same one I have, I think 25 is too rich,

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GPO-GENUINE-RED-HARD-HAT-AS-WORN-BY-OMIs-in-the-60s_W0QQitemZ390077184139QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_3?hash=item5ad269788b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"

Offline gpo706

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 10:23:50 PM »
GPO/BT 704

Nice bit of kit and bloody useful!

http://www.britishtelephones.com/t704.htm
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"

Offline bwanna

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 10:32:00 PM »
that sure is a pretty hard hat! looks too shiny to be 40yrs old or used much. i of course have the ATT hat that i wear everyday.(it is not shiny at all) also ameritech & michigan bell hats.

the test set  looks cool, albeit a little unhandy for field work.

i don't know what those prices are in US$$.

i'll get some pics up tomorrow. time for sleep now, as there are phone lines to be repaired tomorrow. :o
donna

Offline McHeath

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 01:36:19 AM »
Quote
one of my favorites, tho, is the lead ladle. way back when, the cable sheath was lead. i don't know the exact procedure for using the ladle& hot lead.

I've got one of these sets as well, my dad was a pipefitter and they used lead to join cast iron pipe.  It was an interesting process, I saw it done, where they had a portable gas powered burner with a tripod over it to hold a heavy iron bucket.  The lead came in 5 pound cakes, I still have a few, and they were melted in the bucket and then ladled out and poured around the joint on the pipe after a rope like material had been fitted into the joint and a cover placed on the outside to hold the lead while it cooled if the joint was not upright. 

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 06:02:10 AM »
Nothing yet, but I am on the look out for a vintage telephone directory (60s or earlier) that contains a listing of family members around at the time.
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Offline jsowers

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2009, 05:03:10 PM »
Anyone else have a Bell System toboggan? And here in the South, a toboggan is a knit cap and not a sled. I have two of them. One is blue and white with a Bell logo on it, and one is red and white from Ohio Bell and OBT on it. I have climbers and a two hardhats, but I'm leaving the pole duty to Bwanna. I have an aluminum pole tag from the pole at the edge of my property. One of the installers knocked it off and I scarfed it up. It says Lexington Telephone Co., which is my local telco and their name changed to Lexcom several years ago. I have two buttsets and some operator headsets and lots of phone company giveaways like matchbooks, coin purses, keychains, etc. Here is an entire Christmas tree of phone company keychains from 500 set ones (fairly rare) to Trimlines and Princesses.
Jonathan

Offline gpo706

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2009, 05:38:16 PM »
Thats err, quite beautiful and rather mad!

I like it anyway, don't care what the shrink says dude...
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Offline bwanna

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 06:47:27 PM »
beautiful tree jonathan.  thx for sharing. now i know, I am not crazy ;D
donna

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2009, 08:10:11 PM »
Jonathan, that is an interesting tree.  I tried on several occasions to buy some of those little Princess phones (key chains) but always got outbid.  I didn't want to spend a fortune on them.  But you have little model 500's too.  What else is on there?  What's the green 500 in the background??  Is that an Ivory phone in the foreground?  What you need is one of those color wheels from the 60's that illuminate the tree.

Here's one:  http://tinyurl.com/mpper2
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 08:12:00 PM by Dennis Markham »

Offline bwanna

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2009, 08:15:06 PM »
dennis,
 
i have a bunch of those princess keychains& some trimlines. they are pretty easy to find at the flea markets, etc. usually 1-3$. i have never seen the 500, tho.

i sure wish i had that christmas tree.

jonathan,
you can keep your climbers. i couldn't get rid of mine fast enough when i got out of "pole school".  give me a nice sturdy ladder. ;D
i have a MBT pole tag & a WE sticker off a bay in a CO
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 08:31:09 PM by bwanna »
donna

Offline jsowers

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Re: Anyone collect old phone company ephemera?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2009, 10:32:33 PM »
Jonathan, that is an interesting tree.  I tried on several occasions to buy some of those little Princess phones (key chains) but always got outbid.  I didn't want to spend a fortune on them.  But you have little model 500's too.  What else is on there?  What's the green 500 in the background??  Is that an Ivory phone in the foreground?  What you need is one of those color wheels from the 60's that illuminate the tree.

I think I have one glass bell (to signify the Bell System) and there are Princess, Trimline and 500 keychains and one flat Princess keychain from 1959 that was a souvenir from visiting the Shadeland Works in Indianapolis, where WE made the phones I collect. The 500 keychains are the hardest to find and come in all the 1954-59 soft plastic colors. I haven't found dark blue or brown yet. And I don't spend a fortune on them. I don't think I've spent more than $5 or so for the 500 ones and more like $1 or $2 for the others. I haven't gotten any recently.

The tree is only 3' tall, but I think somewhere in mom's attic is one of those color wheel things. We never had an aluminum tree when I was a kid, but she does have two complete trees in the box in her attic, bought from auction sales.

The ivory phone is a 1954 ivory with a matching straight handset cord, I think. I cropped out almost everything but the tree, but Dennis, you can spot soft plastic with one eye closed. :) The green promo on the shelf behind is an AE 80 with a mismatched handset. I did manage to find a green handset that matched on another promo with a broken base, so it's no longer mismatched. This was taken in 2007.

And to GPO706, I've never gone to see a shrink, so who knows? I was just trying to find a way to display all those keychains and I put the tree on display each December when I have visitors. I also collect old blown glass German Christmas ornaments and almost every type of Christmas lights you could think of. So maybe it makes more sense when viewed as the intersection of two collections. Or maybe I'm totally off my bean? I do have my full-size fir tree and the best part of my phone collection in the same room at Christmas. I think "mad" fits a lot of us around here! I've been a nut about Christmas since childhood.

Back to the topic at hand, I also collect the promo phones they gave away when you bought someone a present of phone service. They were also turned into music boxes and penholders and such by novelty companies and Junior Achievement. Most are 500s and Princesses, but there are a few 2500 promos out there.

I have another promo collection that has to be extremely rare. I've only seen the ones I have and no others. They're chalkware and made into the shape of a 500 set with little Bell System number cards and painted in the early colors. The handsets are separate and they all have the manual dial insert (no fingerwheels). I can attach a picture of them tomorrow.
Jonathan