Author Topic: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?  (Read 19527 times)

Offline Kenny C

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2010, 03:03:31 PM »
i got my first phone from my aunt an all matching dates 1959 SC 500 free i now have9 or 10 500's 2 554's an AE 90 a princess a 302 and a 202 and a SC wallphone
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Offline Shovelhead

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2010, 11:57:30 PM »
My start came with having a parent (mother) that worked for Michigan Bell from 1945 to 1975. I still remember once going with her upstairs above the business office in Farmington (23616 Farmington Road) where the switchboards were. This was sometime before the changeover to automatic dialing in 1955. I would call her when she was on shift, and would ask for my mommy. Well, the other shift operators knew who was calling.

I had a couple of 500 sets while in my teen years, but my first ultimate find was in the basement of that office, changed to a business office in 1966. A 302 stuffed in a cabinet built into a wall of the basement.  Still have it today.

That office closed in about 1974. I had occasion to go in there with my wife as it has been changed over to a mini-mall years ago. My wife was buying jeans for our daughters there, it was a "trendy" store in the late 90's, skateboards and that type clothing. As my wife was buying, I was "casing" the place. The clerk asked me what I was looking for. I pointed out the old 4 pin wall jack receptacles still on the walls to her and told her the "history" of that storefront and the upstairs converted to apartments.

She was one of the owners of the business and had heard that it was a office of some sort or another.

Offline bwanna

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2010, 06:57:29 AM »
shovelhead, thanks for the bit of local telco history. is the building still there, part of the shopping plaza at grandriver & farmington rd?
donna

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2010, 12:00:28 PM »
One of my hobbies the last few years has been finding out where "old" telephone offices were here in British Columbia and then checking to see if the building still exists and if it does, taking decent pictures of it since in many cases they are on borrowed time.

In most cases these are buildings that lived on after conversions from manual to automatic dial service but sometimes exchanges moved from one area to another to follow shifts in the developement of towns.

In most cases the CO's have remained in the same block they were originally located in. A new building goes up beside the old to house automatic equipment. Then the old is either sold, torn down or used for office space etc. If the Telco still owned the old original manual exchange building when it came time to convert from electromechanical switching to electronic, frequently the building was then torn down and the space used for an addition to the exchange building to house the new equipment.

All that said, I am amazed at how many of the old buildings I have located.

Terry

Offline Shovelhead

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2010, 07:36:59 PM »
shovelhead, thanks for the bit of local telco history. is the building still there, part of the shopping plaza at grandriver & farmington rd?

23616 Farmington Road, now part of the mini-mall there. From what information I gathered here and there, the building was erected in the 1920's. Two story building, the upstairs was converted to apartments many years ago as Farmington went to automatic switching in 1955. That building is at Grand River & Power Road, about a half mile east from the old office.

The Public Office closed in late '74. Still remember the phone number, GR 4-9940, how's that for useless information?

My wife and I went in there probably in the late 90's shopping for our daughters. As my wife was looking at clothing, I was "casing" the place. I peeked around, the clerk started watching me. I then told her the story about the building, and pointed out the wiring and jacks on the baseboard molding. She said that she had heard it was some sort of office before, she and her husband were leasing the space. Once I pointed out these things, she became a little more at ease with us.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 07:39:14 PM by Shovelhead »

Offline bwanna

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2010, 08:11:28 PM »
i will pay attention to that address next time i am working in that area....i had no idea. of course i know where the current CO is.  :)  many of the central offices are still located in the original buildings. grand examples of architecture. sadly much of the floor space of these buildings is now vacant. marble foyers & brass railings go unpolished. flower beds over-grown.
donna

Offline Shovelhead

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2010, 10:12:16 PM »
Yes, how things have changed since the breakup. You never saw a Bell company vehicle dirty, rusted, or damaged. And over a certain age they were rotated out of service.
Personal appearance was important, I had a friend that was a biker, had tats before everyone did, this was back in the early 70's. When he wore short sleeve shirts, they had to cover his ink.


Offline AE_Collector

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2010, 12:45:30 AM »
Here is what I am declaring to be "THE BEST USE" for an old British Columbia Telephone Company Exchange building. The first picture is the exchange in 1921 and the second is quite recent. It has become the town of Aldergrove BC's museum and archives building. It has a REAL emphasis on telephones and the BC Telephone Company.

There are a couple more pictures at this link.
http://www.telephonemuseum.ca/pages/museum.html

Terry

Offline Brinybay

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2010, 02:44:40 PM »
It was an offshoot of my interest in antiques and vintage artifacts in general.  Not having a budget that affords me the luxury of high-end antiques, I learned to search for affordable vintage artifacts.  Persistence and patience eventually paid off with a few nice affordable antiques (or at least nice looking vintage if not actually antique) in my collection.

I was browsing the antique phone thread in another forum and decided I wanted to add one to my collection of antiques.  My first choice was a WE 202 w/E1 handset, but the ones in relatively good shape were all out of my price range, and I didn't have the skills or equipment necessary to bring a beat one back to life.

In January 09, persistence paid off and I got a fairly nice looking phone on CL from a guy in Portland, OR, for $30.  It wasn't a 202, but was similar looking.  I didn't know what it was, neither did he.  Turns out it was an NEC Type 3 Automatic, a Japanese phone made by Nippon Electric Co.

Once I found out that even a person untrained in electronics (such as me) could get them to function and looking nice with basic tools, I was hooked.  I just kept looking for phones, eventually found this forum which has been extremely helpful in educating me on what to look for and troubleshooting. 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 12:05:09 AM by Brinybay »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2012, 02:53:01 PM »
Hi All:

I guess I never put my story on here.

I grew up in Brockville, Ontario, home of GTE/AE in Canada. About 1/3 of the town worked at the plant, and for that reason, close to 1/3 of the kids I knew had old phones in their basements.

I am not the only Bricville kid who developed an interest in phones - another notable Brockvilian with similar interests is Don Woodbury of OldPhoneWorks, who grew up a few blocks from us and who also attended the same schools I did. We knew each other as kids though Don was younger than me. It was a thrill some years ago to discover he was the Don I knew!

I got interested in them, and began picking them up whenever I could. Eventually, I made connections with people working at the plant. Some of them would pick up interesting phones for me, and a couple of them would let me know when interesting phones went into the plant dump.

In the summers, we summered here on PEI, where automatic exchanges hadn't yet come to the rural areas. As a result, I became fascinated with the magneto phones and magneto exchanges.

SO, I guess I saw the two best parts of the 50s.

My first collection of Brockville phones was lost when I went to college - Mom and Dad saw the phones as junk, and discarded them while I was away. In that lot were three 11 digit Strowgers! all kinds of AE 40s and 50s.

After school was done, I worked with a contractor installing a Strowger switch donated by Automatic Electric to the school I had graduated from some years before. This job lasted for a couple of months, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Eventually, I moved down to PEI full time, and shortly after I moved down, I picked up my first magneto phone. My collecting had begun again. From then, it never stopped, and in 2004, my parents, who had followed me down to PEI, living in the other house on the property, moved into a nursing home.

Time finally for my dream. We moved into the front, larger house, and I decided to use our old house as a museum. Finally I had room to take my collection out of storage and invite people to enjoy it. I enjoy having people to see them, and it had become a great educational experience for them. I never charge for entrance (not for exit :)) , and just love seeing their faces when they see phones they grew up with. The only problem, is I had to require that people make appointments, as at first I wasn't home all the time.

But, anyway, this is beginning to go beyond the subject of this thread, but now you know the story as it pertains to me and my collection!

Dave
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 06:49:02 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline dsk

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2012, 03:45:37 PM »
I have never started, but suddenly...
Well at about 7, I got 2 magneto telephones and 200 yds of field wire.

Now its telephones all over, and I have been modern, automatic exchanges and rotaries too.

I do even have a mobile, but it doesent have either a magneto, or a rotary dial.

dsk

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I have even got a regular New York number :-) 646 570 1796

Offline DavePEI

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2012, 03:49:11 PM »
I have never started, but suddenly...
Well at about 7, I got 2 magneto telephones and 200 yds of field wire.

Now its telephones all over, and I have been modern, automatic exchanges and rotaries too.

I do even have a mobile, but it doesent have either a magneto, or a rotary dial.

dsk


Nice to see this topic reviving again. It is really interesting to see what interested people into the wonderful hobby....!

Dave
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
http://www.islandregister.com/phones/museum.html
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2012, 06:10:33 PM »
Great story Dave....this is what its all about....Doug
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2012, 11:23:29 PM »
For me it was the BT Viscount that started it, I grew up with this red, push button pulse dial phone that had a nice, pleasant tone ringer, and it lasted for years until the mother's ex threw it out (ex-bt "engineer" who apparently spent more time screwing up than fixing!!) as he didn't like them, so, I bought my own identical one off ebay, which is still in use too...

My first rotary dial was a GPO 746, two-tone grey, no idea where it came from, it was just one of those things that seemed to appear in a box of ours. I grew up in the era where the old bells & rotary dial phones were disappearing, and tone ringers were taking over, so the 746 was the only one I really remembered (my grandma had one for many years until it was replaced with a faux-rotary phone), so hearing that phone ring was a memory spoon for sure (you know, stirring them up!!)... :D

So, when I first got my own cable line (wanted the broadband & TV, never thought about the phone), I put that 746 into service, and it was a rough old thing, but worked perfectly, the NTL engineer didn't think so, but it wasn't his pace to say what I could use, but again, it got thrown away by a disgruntled ex-BT employee which rather annoyed me... ::)

Over the intermediate years between that 746 vanishing, I had bought another Viscount, a beige loudspeaking model, not handsfree though (press the patch button on the top, dial, listen, pick up on answer), and later a pair of grey viscounts (one was in bad shape so it's serving as spares), and finally came my purchase of a faded ivory GPO 746 in March last year, and that's where it kicked off for me... :)

Soon had my collection increase in population, and that's how it started, and probably won't end... :)

Offline HowardPgh

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2012, 10:37:31 AM »
THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT!!!

I have been collecting phones since the 1970s.
The first seriously old phone was one that was hanging on the wall in the principal's office at school.  It was an AE21 metal wallphone that was part of a defunct intercom system.  I asked about it and they gave it to me.
I think I have over 140 phones now.
Howard
Howard