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AE 3-slot with a coin return

Started by kleenax, April 22, 2018, 02:34:57 PM

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Photo shows where AE located their coin return button on their experimental 3-slots. 
AE experimented with adding a coin return on their 3-slots, but it didn't seem to go too far. I was told by Paul Vaverchak that AE initially made 25 of these prototypes to test in the field. I had the opportunity to look over #1, #5, & #7 (they were each numbered on the inside). Here is a photo of #5 (sold in Paul Vaverchak's estate) showing the VERY unique coin gauge that incorporated the coin return button. Notice too that these phones also required that the dial be pushed out about 3/16" to make room for the mechanism on the inside.
Ray Kotke
Recumbent Casting, LLC

Dan F


Ray - Thanks for sharing and starting a new thread on this.  Very cool - interesting that this design required a cast coin gauge instead of the newer, cheaper, stamped stainless versions used by both WE and AE at that time.  Makes me wonder if patents prevented AE from copying WE's design.....


Small button tucked into a corner like that looks like trouble trying to push it to me. And how many broken fingernails hitting the edge of the 10c slot while pushing the button.

But, collectors would love to have one!



I miss talking with Paul, he was such a wealth of information about payphones, I was amazed. I remember reworking some AT&T smart chassis and dials with ITT parts so they would be working telephones. That is a cool prototype, I wonder if that was why they decided to not have coin return buttons on later sets.


I may have access to one of these (#7 I believe), so I will try and get some photos of the insides sometime this summer.

And, for your viewing enjoyment, another prototype from Paul V's collection that I reluctantly sold for the benefit of the estate (photo attached). This is the Western Electric prototype for the single-slot pay telephone.
Ray Kotke
Recumbent Casting, LLC


Pretty cool, never saw one like this. Thanks for posting.