Vintage Phones

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by Nick Charles, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. John_Z

    John_Z Familiar Face

    Messages:
    79
    Old telephones were built to last. Those issued by the GPO pre 1960 are my thing. My red WE 302 is 1 of 2 deviations from the home grown GPO models I own. Here's one of my red 1950's model 232's

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  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    That handset is very very close to the E1 pattern used by the Bell System in the US from 1928-37, to the point where you have to wonder if they sent the mold overseas.
     
  3. John_Z

    John_Z Familiar Face

    Messages:
    79
    I'm not familiar with Bell's E1. I do know that the 200 series phone I posted above was first introduced by the BPO (British Post Office) in 1929 as the model 162 replacing for the No.150 (Candlestick) model. The 162 was the same in appearance as the 232 only varying externally in as much as in it had no pull out drawer in the base plate. The base plate was plain fronted. The 200 series was introduced shortly after with the drawer and improved electrical circuitry. It continued to be produced until the later half of the 1950's. This particular design is commonly referred to as the Pyramid phone. It was designed in conjunction with the BPO by Siemens Brothers & Co. of Woolwich, London. Siemens name for the design was the Neophone.
     
  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    [​IMG]
    This is an E1 handset, which was the first handset model used by the Bell System, usually used with the D series base. This particular example is a good specimen of a phone that's been overrestored -- the originals were never this shiny. The handset came from the factory with a sort of a dull satin finish, and the base was painted with "japan finish," which had a slight sheen but not anything like this kind of high gloss.

    The E1 originally had a magnet-and-diaphragm receiver and a "bullet style" transmitter, but later versions used the capsule-style elements designed for the F1 handset. Some of the earliest 300-series desk sets in 1937 went out with E1 handsets before production of the F1 style caught up with demand.

    The "spit cup" is a distinctive feature of the E1, but was not used on any other Bell phone. It was common for D-series bases to be refitted with F1 handsets, and these hybrids were still common in the US into the 1960s.

    [​IMG]

    All the D series mountings were used with a separate subset box, usually a 534A or 634A. Bell never put out a phone with all the works integrated in the desk set until the 300 series came along.
     
  5. John_Z

    John_Z Familiar Face

    Messages:
    79
    Thanks Lizzie. A great post and very enlightening. I see what you mean re. the similarities between the 162/232 and F1 handsets although they are clearly not identical.

    162/232 telephones had no integral bells either. A separate bell set with a moulded cover was issued. This could be fitted to the phone between the underside of the pyramid case and the upper face of the base plate, so in effect the filling in a sandwich. The other option was for the bell set to be fitted in the premises remotely from the telephone. To the underside of a desk or on a wall for example.

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't until 1937 that the, by then, GPO introduced the 300 series model with integral bells. Below is a model 332 variant, this particular one made in 1947.

    [​IMG]

    The 300 series telephones were issued alongside the 200 series until the same end date.
     
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  6. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    1946 North Electric Galion Phone, mfg. Galion, Ohio Part of a nice collection I had before they all went to auction.

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  7. DNO

    DNO One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,815
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    This is my D-mount 202 with an F1 handset made by Northern Electric in 1939. It has a separate subset for the network and bell. It is my every day phone and works great. I sometimes change it for a 1941 model 302 for some variety (also works very well). I have a 202 with one of the original D1 handsets made in 1931 but I haven't got around to rewiring the handset cord (old one is brittle). D1 handsets can be a real challenge to open up.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,642
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    As we are in the process of designing our new farm house, and as I am able to treat myself to a library/office, I am working on a 1920s/30s period design and look, art deco where possible but not exclusively. I am slowly trying to piece together certain items in advance, and a phone appeared that is a nice first step.

    I got a restored c. 1939 Northern Electric No. 1 phone, Canadian built, modelled on the Western Electric 302 as I recall, but having a wider base. The shell has been restored (sandblasted and powder painted) as the original surface was not salvageable. Pulse to tone converter and a new handset cord, though I can get a new cloth-covered cord later if I want, it is an expense though.

    I have only quickly unpacked and tried it out, to the amusement (and initial terror when it rang!) of our daughters. I had to teach them how to "dial".

    Sorry about the first front view, my high-tech "smart" phone is not as good at focussing as one would think (or, it was my fault for not letting the auto focus work...):
     

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  9. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,642
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    Fuzzy front and better, plus back:

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  10. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,642
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    Some shots of guts:
     

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  11. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed A-List Customer

    Messages:
    447
    Location:
    Aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress
    this is my 232f GPO telephone with matching Bellset No. 26. its not wired up (nor do I know how to for the U.S. phone system) nor do I know for certain the bellset even works but its just for display just the same being I don't have a landline service and haven't for years. Always loved the look of the British GPO 200 series phones with the braided cord! found this one here in the states which is rare but the bellset I had to purchase out of England so a bit costly.

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    My personal touch! lol!
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  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,458
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    On the other end of the spectrum......my wife and I went into the CelPhone store today to change the billing. My wife has my 'old' unit from about 6 or 7 years ago. The young fellow serving us remarked...."Wow, that is old, never seen one like that!" Some things get old quickly.
     
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  13. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed A-List Customer

    Messages:
    447
    Location:
    Aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress
    yup! tech gets updated nd older stuff obsolete so fast these days! I used a dumb flip phone way longer than I should have and finally got an iPhone 6s about 4 years ago lol! now its considered ancient and the 6s I have is considered the oldest phone apple will consider for a trade in towards the new iPhone 11.. or is it 12 by now? lol!
     
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  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,458
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    My wife would still have her analog cel phone but she had to turn it in as it would no longer work on the all digital network.
     
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  15. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed A-List Customer

    Messages:
    447
    Location:
    Aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress
    I kind of miss not being tethered to a phone wherever and whenever I go. it was more freeing to know the phone was attached to the wall at home or you had to hunt down a pay phone... otherwise I was NOT available! lol! I remember my mom was thrilled when my dad brought home a 14 foot cord so she could go into the kitchen, laundry room, dining room or living room while on the phone with one of her chatty friends or aunts gossiping about soap operas. lol!
     
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  16. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed A-List Customer

    Messages:
    447
    Location:
    Aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress
    added this great circa 1928 Automatic Electric Monophone with type 38 handset (similar to the E1) to my vintage office decor.
    I haven't bothered to open it as you can often find date of manufacture inside on parts so I don't know when this particular one was made.
    This was the first desk top cradle set telephone Automatic Electric company made after the candlestick telephone. It was used with a subset for the network and ringer. These are some of the hardest telephones to find in good shape. I did have to replace the bottom rubber gasket as the original was petrified and crumbling. got one from Old Phone Shop.
    They have a plethora of NOS and repro parts for many old phones...

    Typically the Alpha numeric dial plate was used in big cities. The Numeric only type that I have was used in mostly rural areas.
    from what I understand in very small towns many only needed 2 numbers for their residence party line exchange. Apparently you could ask the switchboard operator for this person by name or tell them their number and this owner's number was 05 in that town's exchange.

    Application filed by AUTOMATIC ELECTRIC Inc
    1927-07-20
    Application granted
    1929-12-10

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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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