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How many of you actually use your antique phones?

Started by BDM, September 21, 2008, 04:19:03 PM

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So, how many are actually using their phones?

I have no modern phones
several at any given moment
Maybe one hooked up, when I'm in the mood
Hardly ever. Besides, they scare the kids
Heck no! Are you kidding? Display only!!


Nicely done phone niche.  I have a friend in an old house, built around WW1 time, and it has one of these niches in the hallway.  When he moved in back in 85" his grandma's old 202 was still there, but he threw it away and got a cordless.  What did we know back then, we were all throwing old phones away it seems, at least in my family and circle of friends. 


All my phones are dial phones now. My only concession to modern times is with my kitchen phone. It is a Western Electric 500, but I have added an answering machine and installed a touch tone dialer into the phone line.

Dennis Markham

Perry, that is a very nice looking 500.  Is that turquoise (color suffix -64)?  What year is it from?  I think 1964 was the first year for turquoise 500's.  Yours doesn't look like it's yellowed at all.  Very nice.


Got yourself a Kit Kat Clock it appears as well, and a nice chrome toaster too boot.

Yah that's a pretty 500, my favorite color of the series, Ivory being next up. 


Yes, it is turquoise, rather than aqua. It is dated 1971. I would have preferred an earlier phone, but this color seems to be particularly difficult to find. I think we had the turquoise 500 when I was a kid (the reason I wanted that color), but I'm not absolutely certain. It might have been a yellowed aqua phone. (My mother smoked a lot.) That phone would have been put in our house when we moved in (1966), but unfortunately it was returned to the phone company in the 1970s for a more modern phone. I don't even have any old photos with that phone in them.

Dennis Markham

Well that is a very nice looking set.  It's difficult to find a nice one in turquoise.


In my earlier replies I forgot to mention what I use.  All Western Electric 500's right now till I get some 302's and a 5302 up and running.  They are paired with 2500's and a 2554 so I can use IVR and my dear wife can use a push button phone as she has no patience for dialing.


Can anybody who has an example of each of the two light blues post a picture of each?  It might help those of us who have neither differentiate between turquoise and aqua when we see them.

Dennis Markham

Below are two of my phones in Turquoise & Aqua.  The Turquoise (-64) on the left is dated 1964---the first year of production for Turquoise.  It's not as nice as Perry's in that there is some slight yellowing.  I do like the matching 4 prong plug.  It's basically as I got it.  I haven't "detailed" it.  The Aqua Blue (-62) 500 is one of my favorites from my humble collection.  It is soft plastic from 1958  with dates that range from 11/1957 to 3/1958.    The handset cord is the fat, thick cord in excellent condition.  The feet are suede.  This flew under the eBay radar a few years ago as I got it at a reasonable price.

The second photo is a comparison of the Turquoise and Aqua Blue Princess phones.  Both of these are hardwired versions.  Both are 701B models (no internal ringer).  The Turquoise is from 1960 and the Aqua Blue from 1961.



That is a nice comparison photo. The difference in color is obvious when they are next to each other like that. It's sometime hard to tell the difference with a single photo (in eBay auctions), especially because a yellowed aqua looks somewhat turquoise. Many sellers call an aqua phone turquoise or vice versa. Here is a current auction of a turquoise (I think?) phone, but the cord doesn't match:

I would buy it myself if I didn't already have one, although a real turquoise handset cord would probably be tough to find.


Oh My Gosh I think I'm in Love.  Sorry.  Nice Phones Dennis.

Dennis Markham

Thanks Matt.  Perry, I believe you're right about that model 500.  Often sellers will go to the trouble to look behind the dial for the color code.  Of course there is no guarantee that the dial had not been swapped out at some time.  I am not sure when the color suffix was no longer put on the back of dials, but I have later, #8 dials that have the color suffix on them.

Color codes can be found here:


Those are excellent comparison photos, Dennis.  Thanks for posting them.

Dennis Markham


Dennis, WOW :o Nice phones. I was kind of wondering what the difference in color was. Now it's obvious!

St Clair Shores, MI