Author Topic: My first phone  (Read 1791 times)

Offline elmwood

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My first phone
« on: November 28, 2010, 02:48:25 AM »
Back in 1982, when I was still in high school, the only phone in the modest house where I grew up was an old black Western Electric 500, hard-wired into the wall in the dining room.  The line cord must have been 4' long, and the handset cable was also quite short.

Anyhow, I had a new girlfriend, and had no privacy when we chatted on the phone. With privately owned phones hitting the market, I bought an off-white ITT 500 clone, a modular jack, a long line cord, and a long headset cord, and with the permission of my parents, replaced the venerable WE 500.

I found the that '82 ITT 500 clone a month or so ago at my parents' house.  I sanded a portion of the scratched headset, and found the phone darkened a bit with age.  After polishing the sanded area, I took the plastic body and headset parts, and soaked them outside in a bleach/water bath for about four days.  The result: a 500 clone with a uniform creamy color that is somewhat lighter than WE ivory.  Still works, of course.  I have to replace the dial fingerwheel, but otherwise the phone looks new.

Pictures?  Sorry, I just packed the phone up.  I'm wondering if any of you still have your childhood or teen phones, though.

What happened to that girlfriend, you ask?  She broke up with me. Haven't seen her since high school, and that's probably for the best.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 02:50:19 AM by elmwood »

Offline bingster

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 08:39:22 AM »
I have a decidedly non-exciting phone that we got when I was ten years old, or so.  It's a Design Line Chestphone that Chesapeake and Potomac installed in our living room in the 1970s.  It's packed away in it's original box somewhere.  The other two phones went with the house when my parents sold it in the mid-90s.
= DARRIN =



Offline AE_Collector

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 09:36:43 PM »
The full chrome AE 40 from my parents living room when I was a kid is now in my livingroom hooked up and working.

Terry

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 10:38:03 PM »
Terry:

Post a picture please.
Jorge

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 12:00:00 AM »
10-4 Jorge...

Offline McHeath

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 09:40:24 AM »
That's a very cool phone history you have there Terry. 

I have two phones with childhood tie ins, the first is the black 2554 that Pac Bell installed in my parents garage to replace the black 554 when Ma Bell was broke up in 1984.  It's nothing special, and I did not live there long after it was installed, but it sorta is carrying the memories of the black 554 that it replaced so I keep it for that reason.

The second is a Western Electric 500 in ivory that I bought new in 86' for my college dorm room.  That phone has outlasted all it's replacements, various cordless models and cell phones.

My mom is still using the ivory 2554 that Pac Bell installed in her kitchen in 1984, it replaced a yellow 554.  It's a bit of a Frankenphone these days, the cord is a 25 foot modular one that is more white than ivory and the handset is a G6 in beige.   

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 10:46:58 AM »
The full chrome AE 40 from my parents living room when I was a kid is now in my livingroom hooked up and working.

Terry
Terry....Cool story...cool phone...Were your parents the only owners? .....Doug
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 11:05:53 AM »
This great AE40 is just what I was telling another collectors about, a find that you will always remember. How can this phone possibly be more important to Terry's collection. He used it when a child and now he has the pleasure of owning it. Perfect! Like I was trying to tell the collector, its your find and you will remember it forever. Time and place snapshot will always be there. Like for us oldies, "where you were when JFK was shot?" I remember. Everyone remembers there own personal snapshot. As nice as Bushman' skeleton is, its not his find, it was presented to him. Much in the way that  Janet finds a phone for me. It's great and I remember that my wife found it for me. Like when she found my A1 for my collection, its a fabulous phone, but not my find. There is still something special about your own find that will never leave you....Doug
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Offline Russ Kirk

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 11:15:45 AM »
There is still something special about your own find that will never leave you....Doug

Ahh,  so true Doug.  For me, I take great pleasure in "the hunt".  My phone room is, in a way, my trophy room.  My wife also gets some phones for me from time to time. She also takes great pride in saying , "I found that phone for you!"

Russ...
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 02:58:45 PM »
Terry....Cool story...cool phone...Were your parents the only owners? .....Doug

When my parents built the house and moved in I was 1 year old (1958). The "Newton" exchange was still manual then so they had a brand new 80 without a dial installed in their new house. Then the conversion crew came around changing peoples phones to dial phones for the upcoming automatic conversion. They replaced the 80 with this dial 40.

My mom said several times over the years back then that they had a nice modern phone and it was replaced with this "old" one when they got dial service. Eventually at 18 years old (1975) I started with the phone company and brought them home a brand new white 80E "fashion Plate" (replaceable paper mats under a clear faceplate) for the livingroom and the 40 officially became a part of my museum that was in its infancy then. The 80E might have been a piece of junk phone but it sure looked nice and modern as a replacement for the old black 40.

The 40 would have certainly been a refurbished one at the time it was installed in 1958. I think it is an older one with cloth wiring inside but it has been a long time since I've opened it up. It is one of the bakelite phones that really doesn't want to polish up and shine very well either. I didn't take it's picture too close up for that reason!

Terry

« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 03:02:07 PM by ae_collector »

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2010, 03:01:41 PM »
Terry....Cool story...cool phone...Were your parents the only owners? .....Doug

When my parents built the house and moved in I was 1 year old (1958). The "Newton" exchange was still manual then so they had a brand new 80 without a dial installed in their new house. Then the conversion crew came around changing peoples phones to dial phones for the upcoming automatic conversion. They replaced the 80 with this dial 40.

My mom said several times over the years back then that they had a nice modern phone and it was replaced with this "old" one whe nthey got dial service. Eventually at 18 years old (1975) I started with the phone company and brought them home a brand new white 80E "fashion Plate" (replaceable paper mats under a clear faceplate) for the livingroom and the 40 officially became a part of my museum that was in its infancy then. The 80E might have been a piece of junk phone but it sure looked nice and modern as a replacement for the old black 40.

Terry


Terry....Great story.....thanks....Doug
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2010, 03:33:41 PM »
I also enjoyed your story.  Thanks for sharing that.  You're fortunate to have that phone.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 03:35:30 PM by Dennis Markham »

Offline McHeath

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2010, 09:59:05 PM »
Yes good story, very neat.  Funny how back then they could replace a "modern" phone with an "old" phone and people simply had to grin and bear it.  Never happen today, people want the latest and greatest.

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2010, 10:39:18 PM »
Never happen today, people want the latest and greatest.

And they want it FOR FREE!

I guess the upgrade from manual to Automatic Dial service was a pretty exciting upgrade so the fact that the dial phone was an older one probably didn't get too much air time. And besides, I don't have to post side by side pictures af a less dial 90 and the full chrome 40 to know which one I'd take! And I suspect I'd have 100% agreement on the forum with that statement.

Terry

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My first phone
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2010, 08:41:16 AM »
There is still something special about your own find that will never leave you....Doug

Ahh,  so true Doug.  For me, I take great pleasure in "the hunt".  My phone room is, in a way, my trophy room.  My wife also gets some phones for me from time to time. She also takes great pride in saying , "I found that phone for you!"

Russ...
Russ...I have the worst memory in the world, but I can usually look at any phone and remember how it came to be mine. As my wife says, selective memory....Doug
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