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and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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What Made You Start Collecting Telephones?

Started by Doug Rose, June 06, 2010, 01:51:59 PM

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Doug Rose

Great stories! 

This is just an amazing thread that I strarted over 29.6K views ago in June of 2010! It's still going.

You can feel the passion in these posts!....Doug


I just rejoined this forum after several years away and so I am going to rejuvenate this thread.  I am by no means a big time collector but I have been interested in all things electrical since I was a kid.  I developed a deep interest in communications equipment in high school.  I obtained an amateur radio license (WB5CYS) in 1979 and began developing an interest in telephony.  I was lucky enough to be able to obtain this WE 202 that was my grandparents' phone for many years.  It was eventually replaced by somehow my grandfather was able to keep the phone.  I found it in a closet in his house in the mid-80s and subsequently stored it in a closet in my house until recently. 

I have just finished rewiring it.  I built a small external enclosure which contains a modern switchable ringer, a mini network and a Dialgizmo pulse converter.  The phone works great and I am very much enjoying using it as my desk telephone.  I still have some cosmetic work to do on the case - especially the handset cradle, but I have already had so much fun with it.

My next project is restoration of a WE 302.  I have learned so much from the information on this forum.  Thanks to all who take the time to post this information and to help newbies like me.

Best regards to all from Cal in Tyler, Texas.


Welcome back Cal. Nice phone, they are much more fun when you can use them.


Welcome back, this forum needs the old members returning!


What made me start collecting them is how scarce they were becoming, and how they represent part of our culture, (at least to me), and therefor need to be saved.  Plus, they represent our (former) industrial might, which to me is something that should never have been given to Japan.



Don't remember if I ever posted to this thread but, I started collecting phones back in 80 I believe.
Why, because I've always liked the mechanical/electrical, collecting radios, electric fans, small appliances, clocks, etc.etc., anything and everything that plugged into the wall or ceiling even plugs and attachment plugs of the early days. Just fascinates me ever since I was old enough to lug a antique Aircastle radio and a old yellow screen Hoffman TV home and got them both working (about 14 years old I think).


I wish I could find a really old - late 40s or early 50s - TV, but here in California, people only want foreign and hate any and everything American-made.  I have three Zenith table  radios from about 1939, and I wish I could find somebody who knows how to work on them so I could end up with at least one good radio.



You must have been a pretty smart kid!  I could put brakes on your 37 Ford or tune it up, but I only know the basics about radios and TVs.  And nobody around here has a tube testing machine any more.



Quote from: MMikeJBenN27 on March 05, 2023, 01:38:29 PMYou must have been a pretty smart kid!  I could put brakes on your 37 Ford or tune it up, but I only know the basics about radios and TVs.  And nobody around here has a tube testing machine any more.

Mike, I'll let you in on something sir. I used to live in California, most my younger years and that's were I found it all. I wasn't an educated child either, failed every year of math but, I've just been good with my hands and figuring things out most the time. Being raise by a mother that was born in 1916 and lived through the Depression taught me a lot about fixing it before throwing it and keeping things that you know might be useful to you or someone else someday. I rebuilt my first carburetor when I was 14 years old too and then all the guys would bring me their carbs to rebuild. I do most my learning from doing, hate to read and don't retain much of it anyway. Went to electronics school and became a CET somewhere between failing DOT physicals LOL! and can't remember half of what I learned. So it's true if ya don't use it ya lose it my friend. Of course I've been loosen it for a long time now.
I can still recap a radio but, as far as adjustments I'm lost and I still have a tube tester. I use to build my own computers but, that was when a Pentium I was a hotshot of a PC, LOL! But, I can still fix just about anything around the house from appliances to stereo components as long as they don't need a complete rebuild and more brains then what I have on hand. Jack of all Trades and Master of None I am I reckon.


I may have written this elsewhere but here it is for this thread.

I was probably about 6 years old and remember we had just moved into a new place. It was about 1969

The Pacific Northwest Bell installer came to our house (new construction multi-plex) and simply removed the round blank faceplates and installed jacks into the pre-wired home. First in the living room then in an upstairs hallway. It was like Magic that they worked and I remember all those wires and how he knew which to connect it to.   I watched every step.. It just worked, and I was so impressed and in love with the "new phone smell" . My mother always insisted on "baby Sh1t yellow" Trimline for her main phone and at that time it was rotary.

Some time later it was probably soon after Christmas and my birthday, my neighbor had an AE model 80,beige in color, missing a fingerwheel.  Both Christmas and my birthday had just passed. I do not remember what I got for my birthday or for Christmas that year but I was willing to give it all away for that beige AE model 80, and I did. Some time later our parents found out about our trade and they felt I had been taken advantage of , swindled out of my fine Christmas and birthday gifts. They insisted we trade back. I refused and kept that old phone. My mother hated that old broken phone and yes I disassembled it some. She threw it away one day on a cleaning rampage.

Several months later I was taking out the garbage and found my mother's clock/radio in the garbage can . She said it no longer worked. I pulled it out and kept it. I took it to my bedroom and disassembled it to find a swollen electrolytic Capacitor. I had no idea how to fix it.

Some friends of my mom's came to visit nd I managed to get the attention off the husband who I knew worked with electronics. I asked him his opinion and he agreed that I probably needed only to replace the Capacitor. Some days later he brought me a replacement capacitor along with a soldering iron and solder. I had that radio working again and back next to my mothers bed, only to hear her insist that it did not work. I was all of 7 years old or so and told her to try it. She was amazed when she found out that yeas I had fixed the radio. From that point on by broken electronics ; radios , phones etc were "off limits" in her future cleaning rampages.

The phones however were always my favorite and this was probably because it was more taboo to mess with phones.

Phat Phantom's phreaking phone phettish