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Soft Plastic Model 554's

Started by jsowers, September 15, 2009, 04:47:44 PM

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sheeesh, i am just going to take my little hodge podge collection over to the corner & drool.

just gorgeous, guys :)

Dennis Markham

Thank you everyone for the nice comments.  You know, I think this is the first time I had them all out at once---when I "played" with them today to take the photos.  The brown looks black in the photos.   That is a difficult color to photograph.

My best bargain is the Mahogany Brown set.  As I've reported before, I got this phone early on in my phone buying venture.  I was buying up a lot of stuff that was cheap.  I was refurbishing and reselling stuff, keeping some for myself.  I saw a group of phones being sold as one lot.  I think there were 6 554's.  At the time I didn't know about hard/soft plastic or brown.  I just saw 6 554's and bid on them.  I got all of them for about $20.00.  The brown one was in the box too.  I hung it on a nail in my basement workshop along with the others and it sat there for probably a year.  I decided I'd take it down and clean it up to sell.  I had no clue that brown was difficult to find.  I was beginning to learn about the color codes on the dial and did not know what color went with -54. I e-mailed a friend that is a phone collector and said I had a 554 with that color code and asked if he knew what it was.  He replied by asking if I had a brown phone, and said it was rare.  He said he'd be interested in buying it and if I listed it on eBay to let him know.  I decided then and there to begin a collection of all the colors and I'd start with one of the most difficult to find.

The red 554 in the photo is soft plastic.  The handset cord was replaced with a newer one.  I have another soft red 554 but used this one for the photograph.

I just started picking them up when one came along.  It's taken about five years so far to get the ones I have, which I think is a rather short period of time.  I did buy the Ivory and Yellow from a collector friend that was liquidating his stock.  But he listed them on eBay and I had to be the highest bidder.  I paid a little bit more for those than I would like to have paid.  The fun part is hunting them and trying to get them cheap.  Fixer uppers are good.


Quote from: JorgeAmely on September 16, 2009, 05:44:42 PM

Are you OK?   :'( :'( :'(

Just fine. I've had lots of responsibilities besides posting on the forum lately. Had to be a caregiver to my mom, but she's now getting back to normal and I have more free time. I didn't need reviving after seeing Dennis' 554s, but they were very nice to see all together. One day when I have time, I'm still going to take a better group picture of mine and post it.

I did go back and change BuffaloBob to BBQBob, in case anyone was confused. I guess I had Howdy Doody on the brain or something.  :)


Just awsome collections guys. I only have 1 554 and hard plastic at that. But it was my first rotary phone ever.

Dennis Markham

Thanks Tony.  You just need to find them one at a's the hunt that is the most fun...OK, bragging about them is fun too! :)


I felt this was the best place to post a picture of my latest "find", a black 554 with satin hook.  This one's a real beauty, but I didn't do anything other than hang it on the wall-- this one is some of Dennis Markham's latest work.  He traded this one for a color 554 he was wanting for his collection.  Maybe, if we all smile :) :) :) & say "Pretty ,Please", he'll post a photo of what he got in trade.  BTW Dennis, the black 228 mount looks GREAT--Thanks Again!!



I got a green all original 554 in soft plastic for five bucks ;D ;D ;D (look in my other thread) I like the soft plastic. It's strange that more things today aren't made in the tenite soft plastic. It has a  unique feel to it.

Dennis Markham

Thanks Jester, I'm glad you like the black 554.  I have been meaning to post a photo of the phone I got from you.  I just haven't had a minute to take a "new" picture.  I will do so and post it here soon.  Thank you again!


Comeon, Dennis whatcha get? Enquiring minds want to know...
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Dennis Markham

Stephen contacted me a couple of weeks ago after Jsowers and I had posted photos of our soft plastic 554 wall phones.  I had indicated that the three colors I needed to complete my collection of them were Light Beige, Oxford Gray and White.  Stephen said he had purchased one in Light Beige and had done some refurbishing to it.  He proposed a trade for a soft plastic model in Black with the satin switch hook.  The deal was done and Stephen sent me the phone he had refurbished for my collection and I in turn sent him the black model shown above.

The phone Stephen sent me was made in December of 1958 and is soft plastic.  It has the wide chrome hook and now proudly fills the vacancy in my collection.  I'm still looking for Oxford Gray and White.

Thank you Stephen!  Below are a couple of pictures.  The ones on the wall were taken at Stephen's home.


"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


You guys are getting me way too interested in 554 wall phones, I just can't swing another addition to my collection.
BTW, what is the average prices for a plain black one, that should satisfy my urge........ ::) ::)

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson


Really depends on the date, Dan, but a real early black one should set you back around $75, especially with a thick switchhook
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Dennis Markham

A couple of years ago I was buying those black 554's on eBay for under $5 plus shipping.  If you keep your eyes open there are still some good deals that surface from time to time.  The dirtier they are the more likely to get an original one.  Sometimes those really nasty ones turn out to be the most fun to refurbish.  At least for me that is the case.


I haven't had anything to report in awhile, so I thought you might enjoy these 554's.  This ivory is my latest acquisition, and it was a BUY IT NOW for $29.95 with free shipping.  It only had one picture, but I noticed the larger chrome hook & took a chance.  It is from 6/59, & all the plastic except the transmitter cap was soft--it was dated 8/59.  The only disappointments were two breaks I discovered in the cover-- one in the upper right corner & the other was a diagonal break in the right corner of the hook cutout.  Other than addressing those & some deep scratches along with the usual filth on the outside, cleanup was routine.  This has now replaced the black wallphone that I got from Dennis as my daily driver.