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Paul Nelson can phones (Dr Pepper & Budweiser)

Started by SUnset2, January 24, 2024, 01:11:50 AM

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SUnset2

I recently acquired two Paul Nelson can phones (from two different Ebay auctions).  One is a Dr Pepper phone, and the other is a Budweiser phone.  The Bud has an ordinary rotary dial on the top, and works like a normal phone, but the Dr Pepper has no dial, but instead has a vacuum formed top representing a pull-tab.

Inside, both are made from modified 554's.  The Bud used Northern Telecom, dated about 1977, and the Dr Pepper used Stromberg-Carlson, dated about 1980.  The Bud has a standard ringer, but the Dr Pepper has no ringer.

The Dr Pepper phone is equipped with a potted white block, that appears to contain an auto-dialer.  It is pre-programmed to the Dr Pepper hot line (at least at that time).  When you pick up the handset, you hear the dial tone, and then it dials (in rotary pulses) the Dr Pepper hot line number.

The Budweiser phone does not have a label on the bottom, but I assume it was also made by Paul Nelson Industries.  I suspect that these were not made in large quantities, as they appear somewhat hand crafted.

Is there any more information about these? 

AL_as_needed

TWinbrook7

Jon Kolger

What is the purpose of the wood block inside these phones?

HarrySmith

My guess is to keep the internals in place so the switch hook operates properly.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

SUnset2

Quote from: Jon Kolger on January 24, 2024, 09:56:53 AMWhat is the purpose of the wood block inside these phones?
The bottom cover attaches to the wooden block using a drywall screw.

paul-f

Quote from: SUnset2 on January 24, 2024, 01:11:50 AMI recently acquired two Paul Nelson can phones (from two different Ebay auctions).  ...

Is there any more information about these? 


I scanned and uploaded 1981 and 1983 catalogs to the TCI Library:

https://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php/search?q=pni+catalog

... and also started a topic to post additional PNI documentation and photos.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=28041.0
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SUnset2

Thank you Paul F. for uploading the catalogs and the photos.  They made more varieties than I imagined.  It looks like the Budweiser phone was a standard product that anyone could order, though the Dr Pepper is obviously a custom job (or at least I assume that most people would not want a phone that only calls the Dr Pepper hot line).

paul-f

You're welcome Paul.

Most of the companies making designer phones in the 1960s - 80s made them in relatively small batches. They repeated batches that were good sellers.

Obviously the many can phones differed only in the decoration, so could be easily tailored to contracts with different companies.

ATC/Decotel is a good example. They ran batches of phones marked for various colleges and sports teams.

It's likely there are more catalogs with different versions, and many found sets may not have made it into catalogs, flyers or ads.

The autodialer in your Dr. Pepper set is interesting. The sets may have been given to retailers to facilitate ordering more product. It would be good to find documentation.

It's good to see the labels indicating PNI had permission to use the trademarked graphics.
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paul-f

Quote from: SUnset2 on January 24, 2024, 07:18:29 PM... though the Dr Pepper is obviously a custom job (or at least I assume that most people would not want a phone that only calls the Dr Pepper hot line).

I found photos of several more "hot line" phones that auto dial 800-527-2904 with stickers showing two different batch dates. 

Also posted photos of rotary and touch tone models.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=28041.msg269203#msg269203
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