Author Topic: My Collection of Telephone Photos taken in homes where they are still being used  (Read 794 times)

Offline CanadianGuy

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I still like to take photos of old phones I come across in my travels as a contractor repair tech for our local telco, MTS (now called BellMTS since the acquisition last month.)

This is one I took a few days back. My friend thought it might be a replica, but I'm very confident it's authentic. Might not be rare, but I figured you guys would like to see it anyway, and give some feedback in case there's something unusual about it. I found some discussion on the zero having QZ Operator, so feel free to talk about that as well.

Sorry if I pretty much say this stuff in all my posts (few and far between!)

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 11:56:37 AM by TelePlay »

Offline CanadianGuy

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I have some other telephone photos I've taken in recent times and would like to post those as well if that's ok. If not, maybe it might be better to finally set up an online album of all the phones I've seen while working, and just post the link? I don't feel I've seen anything exceptional, so I'm always reluctant to post on forums like this.

Thanks again

Offline AL_as_needed

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Always like seeing rotary or other older phones "in the wild" and still doing their job without fail. Perhaps a thread devoted to that topic would do well here. I too have a small collection of pictures of phone sightings.
TWinbrook7

Offline LarryInMichigan

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It looks authentic from here.  The dial is British made and would have been installed to be compatible with a British CO switch.  British dials have a different make/break ratio for dialing pulse than American ones.  The lever on the cradle is probably for party line operation.  I believe that those are rather rare on AE50s.

Larry

Offline ThePillenwerfer

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    • Joe's Corner.
It does indeed look like a GPO Dial No 10.  The markings are a bit different to those used in Britain though.  When dialling letters here 6 was for M and N, and 0 for O.  Later Q was added to 0 and finally so was Z and O added to 6.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 01:37:08 PM by ThePillenwerfer »

Offline LarryInMichigan

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The GPO dials which were used in Canada have the North American lettering with "MNO" on the '6'.  'Q' and 'Z' appear on some dials but not others.  When I see a British phone listed for sale by a North American seller, I always look first at the '6' to determine if the phone was likely used in the UK or Canada.

Larry

Offline paul-f

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    • Old Telephones as Entertainment!
I have some other telephone photos I've taken in recent times and would like to post those as well if that's ok. If not, maybe it might be better to finally set up an online album of all the phones I've seen while working, and just post the link? I don't feel I've seen anything exceptional, so I'm always reluctant to post on forums like this.

From my point of view, this is a great topic.  Post away!

We love photos and are glad to know that vintage phones are still installed.

It's better to post here than to post a link.  That assures that the photos will be archived for the future, even if the photo hosting service goes away.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Alex G. Bell

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From my point of view, this is a great topic.  Post away!

We love photos and are glad to know that vintage phones are still installed.

It's better to post here than to post a link.  That assures that the photos will be archived for the future, even if the photo hosting service goes away.
I agree completely. 

About 20 years ago I visited the home of a new acquaintance.  As I followed him through the hallway we passed a 553 or 653 dial wall "hotel" phone with an original 3L-4N black border perforated number card native to the area. 

I was amazed to find out that this phone was in place when they had moved in a year or so earlier, an artifact originally installed by the telco.  The house dates back to the 20s but surely had manual service at that time and may have had 5 or 6 digit dialing originally, so the phone must have been newer than the house itself or updated by the telco.  The phone was in perfect condition, never painted over, receiver cord perfect. 

Yeah-yeah, I know: that was 20 years ago so the phone was only maybe 50 years old at that point, no big deal...  Still seeing a 2-piece phone still connected to the network in the mid/late 90s, in the suburbs of a big city (not a rural area!) has to be an outlier. 

Offline CanadianGuy

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Thanks for all the replies! When I have time, I'll try to round up all the photos I've taken in my 10 years as a "cable guy" (yeah, it's a generic term) :)

Offline CanadianGuy

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I hope some of the vintage things I see in the central offices also applies to this thread. I just found this yesterday. I'm assuming it's a 48v DC (-48? Not sure that matters for lightbulbs) and maybe used during power outages? I've also seen regular sized bulbs on the ceilings of CO's (I have a pic somewhere) labelled 48vdc. I wonder how old this unit is? I sure do love this stuff.

Alex G. Bell

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I hope some of the vintage things I see in the central offices also applies to this thread. I just found this yesterday. I'm assuming it's a 48v DC (-48? Not sure that matters for lightbulbs) and maybe used during power outages? I've also seen regular sized bulbs on the ceilings of CO's (I have a pic somewhere) labelled 48vdc. I wonder how old this unit is? I sure do love this stuff.
I'm not sure how old they are, probably the early 1950s, maybe the 40s or 30s. 

Most of them are 48V and the voltage absolutely matters a great deal.  The bulbs have a KS # along with voltage marked in ink on the base.  There are some 24V bulbs too, mostly used in ESS offices.

They were used during the normal course of performing repair and adjustment work on equipment, not for power outages.  48V soldering irons were also used in some places.  It avoided the need to have AC outlets in the equipment racks in some kinds of offices.

Compatible bulbs (reflector spot or flood with double contact bayonet base) are very hard to find.  It is possible to adapt them to modern reflector LED bulbs.

Offline CanadianGuy

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Thanks for the info. I only meant the positive vs negative voltage. I sure hope someone wouldn't blindly try to use one in any other voltage ;)

It's easy to forget that battery headlamps and such were not ubiquitous like they are now, so it completely makes sense about day to day duties now. All those mechanical switches must've needed constant attention!

I'd love to have one of those warning gongs and 2 or 3 bulb setups I sometimes see at the end of the racks. Saw one on YouTube and the gong sounded so cool. So much stuff looks like it's abandoned in place. I guess if it wasn't taking up large spaces like the switches used to, they didn't worry too much about it.

Alex G. Bell

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Thanks for the info. I only meant the positive vs negative voltage. I sure hope someone wouldn't blindly try to use one in any other voltage ;)

It's easy to forget that battery headlamps and such were not ubiquitous like they are now, so it completely makes sense about day to day duties now. All those mechanical switches must've needed constant attention!

I'd love to have one of those warning gongs and 2 or 3 bulb setups I sometimes see at the end of the racks. Saw one on YouTube and the gong sounded so cool. So much stuff looks like it's abandoned in place. I guess if it wasn't taking up large spaces like the switches used to, they didn't worry too much about it.
You're welcome.

In fact the iron framework and equipment covers in early Panel and perhaps early SXS offices were painted black and ceiling lighting was quite dismal, so work lights were absolutely essential.  Later they started using aluminum paint, which must have improved the ambient considerably.  Still later they went to light grey.

I think you are referring to the "Tone Bar": a solenoid driven plunger with rubber tip striking a flat bar mounted on rubber bushings with a wooden resonator cavity, perhaps about 18" square by 2-3" thick sitting over it. 

It has quite a low pitch and because everything is shock mounted in rubber you hear almost no mechanical impact sound, just the resonating bar, but the sound carries well over the din of switching equipment noise.  There were also smaller chime bars, which were also used for Code Call systems in department stores.

I'd like to see the YouTube video if you can find the link or remember the title.

Even battery operated headlights have improved so much with LEDs.  I have two Bell System Just-Rite "Light Sticks" consisting of a 4 x "D" cell battery case and lamp assy.  One is a 1-piece hand held flashlight.  The other has a belt clip for the battery pack and head strap for the lamp assy.  This latter one was indispensable for so much of the salvage work I did where the CO lighting was out and the far end of the room was pitch black even by day.  But I've retrofitted some of my earlier lights with PR-base LED bulbs.  The improvement is extraordinary both in terms of battery life and light output.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 09:29:52 PM by Alex G. Bell »

Offline CanadianGuy

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Not sure why, but there's two of your replies. One with my quote and one without​.

Anyway, I found it! At 3:54 you'll hear it loud and clear. https://youtu.be/gkXzljS74Nw

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     ( EDIT:  fixed that, the reply was imbedded within the quote. Pulled the reply out of the quote - all's good now )
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 09:05:47 PM by TelePlay »

Alex G. Bell

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Not sure why, but there's two of your replies. One with my quote and one without​.

Anyway, I found it! At 3:54 you'll hear it loud and clear. https://youtu.be/gkXzljS74Nw

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     ( EDIT:  fixed that, the reply was imbedded within the quote. Pulled the reply out of the quote - all's good now )
Two replies because I added a para. and didn't do it correctly: quoted myself instead of modifying.  I've added it back into the original message and deleted the repetitive 2nd one.

Thanks for the link.