Telephone Talk > My Telephone Collection

Small But Definitely Eclectic

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I've just acquired another phone, a white Trimline.  I've always liked the phones' design in either t/t or dial, and now I have a Trimline in each configuration.  Those are in addition to the AE40 and my vintage military phones .  I'll try to put up a few pics as time goes by, and I get the new one shipped here.

Cool. We love pictures. Please include the military phones.

Jim Stettler:
 Trimlines are a very neat and award winning phone.
Trimlines are a great phone to collect, because nobody pays much attention to the variations. They were high tech and expensive to manufacture. Collectors tend to ignore the trimline because the BSP's don't address the changes to the internals of the sets, And they were the most modern of the Bell telephones..

 Trimlines were originally planned on being repaired in the field, but they MD'd the practice after the first issue 1 of the BSP, the second issue 1 of the BSP said the omitted the practice and the 3rd issue 1 says to replace the bad part ,which was the  base, handset or cords.
 There are a lot more variations of trimlines besides just Rotary and Touchtone. The basic configurations for trimlines include, Round button (10 and 12 buttons), square button (12), And rotary (incandescent and LED). Typically the round button sets are "fat Mod" housings and are typically an incandescent light, There are also "fat mod" and "Mini mod" (Standard) Rotary handsets. Most fat mod handsets are incandescent , and mini mods are LED. However I have seen  "fat mod" rotary sets that were LED.

As far as bases goes there are desk, wall, and noteworthy bases and there were several different wall bases.  On the round button  handsets they use the same tone generators as the other TT pads  , but in 1969 they also started using Tone generating IC's . Most of the (fat mod)  IC sets seem to be from the mid 70's and later. It appears that many repaired handsets were upgraded to IC's, I have seen at least 3 different variations  of the IC sets.

The early round button sets had a colored Paper dial mask, and later (and rebuilt) sets had the metal TT mask. I have heard that many times the color  mask is still in place under the metal plate, but I have never checked for  them.

Some of the other variants are 2 line sets, Secretarial sets and interphones. Paul F's site  has other variations.

Jim S.
BTW as far as I can tell, the were  still making "Fat Mod" sets at the breakup.
   I have had the opportunity to hold the only 1-in-a-1,000,000,000 telephone made by Western Electric and it was a gold plated Trimline with a medallion on the back explaining what it was and who it was awarded to. This seemed to be a metal plated set vs the imperial gold type  plastics of the 1-in-a 1,000,000 sets. It was being offered as a trade for a Blake transmitter, which would of been worth about $500 at the time.

The rotary version is said to be a 1976 model.  My t/t beige unit is one I took ownership of after the breakup.  it is a 1982 model.  I agree they are a very ergonomic phone, lending itself to the head and shoulder hold.  :)

I also think that the vintage trimlines with the thick cords are pretty cool. For me they are a perfect match for my Princesses. Specially the wall units compliment them very well. Then for the piece de resistance a, colour matching backboard (191C). Paul-F knows a lot about them. They made a lot of the handsets and bases interchangeable. WE and later companies sure milked the Trimline name and their later (bastard) offspring for a long time. John     


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