Author Topic: Estimates on surviving phone "populations"?  (Read 3932 times)

Offline trainman

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Re: Estimates on surviving phone "populations"?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2011, 11:35:29 AM »
I was in grade school when Ma Bell was broken up. I remember my Mom took our two 2554 down to Ace Hardware and turned them in. Then, we bought a white  Touch Tone AT@T Trimline, which I still have today. Must have been cheaper to buy a new phone than buy the old 2554's?

Offline ESalter

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Re: Estimates on surviving phone "populations"?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2011, 12:07:48 PM »
When my parents moved into their house in the mid 80s all of the old phones were in a paper bag in the basement.  The phone company called looking for them and said they had to either be turned in or purchased for $50 or $60(can't remember which my dad said).  There was a red 2554 and a 2500. 

Offline Owain

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Re: Estimates on surviving phone "populations"?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2011, 01:39:29 PM »
But what did Bell do with all the phones they got back after the breakup? I doubt they'd want to fill up warehouses with old phones. Did they rip them up and sell the scrap metal? Did they sell them to South and Central American countries?

British Telecom had a division, BT Teletrade, which refurbished recovered equiment for export, everything from dial phones to entire Strowger and Mitel exchanges. I think most of it went to Africa.

Offline GG

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Re: Estimates on surviving phone "populations"?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2011, 12:17:18 AM »


A lot of Bell "step by step" (Strowger) equipment from the US ended up going to South America, as a friend told me who was involved in removing some of that equipment from the COs. 

Telephone sets:  the number I had for 500 sets (from somewhere on this website) was a total of 350 million, which surprised me because that's equivalent to one for every American alive today.  So conservatively you could guess maybe 35 million of them are still alive out there somewhere, probably quite a bit more than that.   But if Dreyfuss or someone associated with him was quoted as saying 161 million, that's an answer with a bibliographic citation on it, which should be taken as correct unless/until someone has a citation for a different number.  In that case I would guess that the population still alive is somewhere in the range of 16 million.

I have two Cortelco 500s from the very last batch ever made, and they're dated either March or June 2006 if I recall correctly.  I've since been trying to find a few more, one of which would go to Dan who has the '48 prototype 500, but all the places I thought to go looking for these don't have 'em, nor do Cortelco themselves even have a single one left sitting around.