Author Topic: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?  (Read 27682 times)

Offline Slal

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #105 on: December 09, 2016, 03:33:29 PM »
Hadn't seen this topic before.

Wanted a companion piece for some office antiques: an old GE fan from early 1900's, and a Royal #10 typewriter from 1923 to name a couple. 

Bought a brassed out candlestick phone & homemade subset for (what I later learned) was way too much money.  Turns out most of it was legit, just overpriced.

Since I like learning about most anything-- especially antiques-- the candlestick led to a second, more 'collectable' phone... And a third... And...  ; )

Now I'm up to my ears in telephones, typewriters, adding machines, fountain pens, clocks, barometers, mantle lamps...  You name it, and pack rat that I am-- probably have one, or something similar lying around. 

Offline markosjal

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #106 on: December 12, 2016, 12:03:52 PM »
I always had an interest in ELctronic items.

When I was a wee child in the late 60s we moved to a new house. It was a new house that was prewired for phone but I remember following the phone guy (Pacific Northwest Bell as it was then) around as he installed a phone in the kitchen, and one upstairs. I remeber I was so impressed that he could pull the wires out of the wall and know what color to connect where . He put these really cool modern looking round wall plates on the wall with the hard wired cords sticking out the hole.

I also remeber this is when I learned to dial 1191 and hand up to make the phone ring

I remember my mother correcting the installer that the trimline phone had to be 'baby poo yellow" and it was so cool to the the external transformer illuminate the dial pad.

Several months later it was just before christmas I remember that a neighbor kid had an AE desk set (Model 80??) with plastic case with metal base, probably the current model at the time. It was missing a fingerwheel but other than that it worked. I thought it was so weird , so different from the (Western Electric) phones I had seen. It was a day after christmas and do not recall what the christmas gift I received that year was but it was soon traded for the AE 80. I had been able to get enough information out of the installer guy to know how to actually wire it up and it worked.

It seems the adults decided I was taken advantage of by the neighbor kid and demanded that I give him the phone back to get whatever that christmas gift was back. I refused and kept the phone.

I remember studying how the dial worked and taking it apart further and further . Later I acquired more telephones , and more electronics in general, mostly broken non- working phones that most would have considered garbage.

I was really good at taking them apart and re-assembly was only a dream.

I went on acquiring these items over all other electronic items , sometimes I got only a mic element or a handset

One day I was at school and my mother came into my bedroom and threw away all of my phone parts. I was broken hearted to find them all gone

At about 10 years old I remember my mother always had a clock radio next to her bed, and as I took out the trash I saw it there , removed it from the trash and took it to my room for further exploration. I found an exploded electrolytic capacitor and when I showed it to a family friend, he helped me to relpace it, then to re-string the radio dial (which I would have never been able to figure out).

My mother returned home one day to find that clock radio at her bedside a few days after tossing it out and asked me why it was back. After telliing her I fixed it she never threw away another electronic component froom my bedroom again! My phone collection grew and was sacred no matter the condition or level it was disassembled. I guess she had realized the value in what I was learning.

I remember a few yeas later a building in the neighborhood that had buned down some neighbor kids tore the boards off and got into . One told me there was an old payphone in there . I was willing to do anything for it so I went into the old burned up building and there it was in all its glory. The wall had burned and the payphone , a 3 sloter laid there on the burned  floor in all its metalic glory mostly undamaged from the fire, just as it had fallen in the fire. It was so heavy i could have never got it home alone and only ended up taking the dialing instructions card which incredibly was not burned. The phone eventually came my way after some of the bigger kids got it out and sold or traded me something for it, but by that time it had been disassembled , broken into, etc. It was 70% of a WE 3 slot payphone, and a tremendous piece to add to my collection.

later I remeber I also acquired one of The Dutch PTT phones (Ericsson??) from radio shack. I left it premanently connected to the line then came the call from the phone company about "unauthorized phone on the line". I quickly learned to disconnect the bell. YES YOU CAN CHEAT THE PHONE COMPANY , and then phreaking began.

I was always seen as the weird kid.  Why would he want old phones?

Over time I had 3 telephone collections completely lost 
1 to my mother as a child in her cleaning rage. (mostly fragments and parts)

2 when I did military service and left some at my uncle's home and were stolen form there when someone got into his basement.

3 My ex wife claimed in a divorce they were "donated"  to the Goodwill but would never say which goodwill. She knew the value of them.

Each loss was never a deterrent rather a motivation to continue. I currently sit here surround by a disassebled french novelty phone , 2  Rotary Ericssons circa 1980, working, ATC Snoopy just reassmbled after a clening and resurfacing of snoopy who had yellowed, Beige WE princess rotary disassembled, Rotary WE green trimline and some simulated brass Japanese phone.


« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 12:12:50 PM by markosjal »
Phat Phantom's phreaking phone phettish

Offline RotarDad

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #107 on: December 13, 2016, 01:01:17 AM »
Great story, Markosjal!  Thanks for sharing your journey of perseverance.  I have no story, really.  When I was a kid, we had one yellow 554 in the kitchen, but I always liked the 500s I saw in other people houses.  Several years back I decided I needed something to work on for fun that could easily fit into small available chunks of time.  I wanted something electro-mechanical from the 50s/60s, inexpensive, good quality.....  Then I remembered those 500s that I'd admired as a kid.  I found a nice black one on EBay to start.  Then to learn more about it, I started searching and found this forum.  What a great group of people, always willing to help! 

Offline Vern P

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #108 on: January 19, 2017, 06:43:24 PM »
Some fun stores. As for me nothing  that exciting.  As a kid in the '60s, I wanted a phone in my room. We only had the 1 phone in the kitchen.  I found a 2500 in the trash, hook it up next to my Dad's chair.  We were on a party line, (we were #2 on the line) Dad would make long distint call on that phone, the call were billed to the other party.  After the phone co. came out, to see way,  we changed to a Private line. That was around '75.  It was some time before I got one put in my room. Now I have a room just for the phones, all 200+.  I have 13 phones on line (not all ring), there are only 2 TT, one is in the bathroom, due to size (2554).


Offline Lee David Day

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #109 on: February 16, 2017, 09:10:41 AM »
Shortly after the touch tone phones came out I saw a TV news
feature showing hundreds of dial telephones being crushed. The idea
was they were now obsolete and useless. I have always been a coin collector
so I knew, as those old phones became scarce, their value would go
up. I started buying them for a dollar or two at yard sales and flea
markets and socking them away. As time went on I also fell in love with
with them. I now have over 80, all sizes shapes and models. I have also
since retired and now have the time to clean them up and get them all
working. I also intend to trade or sell duplicates if anyone is interested

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #110 on: February 16, 2017, 10:18:22 AM »
"if anyone is interested"
Of course we would be interested!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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

Offline Butch Harlow

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #111 on: July 15, 2017, 09:50:43 AM »
I think what made me start the collection was my lament in not being able to slam down the receiver when angry. Cell phones are expensive when you angrily throw them at a wall, and the effect is just not the same. As a kid we always had WE 500 and 2500 phones, they were amazingly durable. The bug of collecting the phones came from my technical background and need for a more interesting hobby. I am an HVAC tech and maintenance man, I needed something to tinker with that wasn't an air conditioner or toilet. Ebay provides the gambler in me some satisfaction, so buying phones there, researching them, and repairing them satisfies everything. Then making calls and angrily hanging up on people is a real bonus. I don't actually have anger issues, I just love the effect of slamming the receiver down. I am currently stuck on only WE and NE phones, but I am sure I will expand that eventually. That is, if I don't drive the wife away first.

Offline AL_as_needed

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Re: What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?
« Reply #112 on: July 16, 2017, 09:02:29 PM »
I think what made me start the collection was my lament in not being able to slam down the receiver when angry. Cell phones are expensive when you angrily throw them at a wall, and the effect is just not the same.

There is an unmistakable sound when your on the other end of the "slam down". A great way to round out a heated phone conversation, something lost in the era of touch screen.