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Telephones Made Into Lamps


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Western Electric D1     Junior Achievement

RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE:     Western Electric Design Line     TeleConcepts   TeleQuest

In the past, when phones were owned by the phone companies, huge numbers of phones were often replaced within a short period of time when a major change was made to the central office switching system or when a new line of phones was introduced.  For example, when magneto exchanges were replaced with common battery exchanges, all the old magneto (crank) telephones had to be replaced.
Many sets ended up in landfills or scrap yards, but many were recycled in other forms.  Lamps were among the most popular.  Some were made by Bell System employees to be used as retirement gifts or in commemoration of an event.  Others were modified and sold by Junior Achievement groups.  Publications such as Popular Mechanix published do-it-yourself articles on how to make phone lamps.  Lamps were made by professional lamp makers and by amateur tinkerers.
In most cases, the phones were considered worthless as phones, but had some value as decorative and useful items.  They were usually damaged in some way to incorporate the lamp components.  Drilling large holes through the handset and phone housing were common.

Phone collectors are continually amazed at the creativity and effort that went into some of the conversions.  We also look for lamps made from what are now considered collectible phones and hope to find some that can be converted back to phones or provide scarce parts for phone restorations.
This page contains photos that were harvested from auction sites and contributed by site visitors, and are presented with minimal comment.  Enjoy.


A real shame Painted, too.
Balanced handset

Flexible gooseneck holds handset
in any position.
Large reflector Ericofon
AE40 painted red
NE2 wall set

Wall model
Glass shade

Glass shade
Western Electric D1
Wood base
WE 302 aqua
Northern Electric Uniphone No. 1 deskset
Stromberg Carlson 1197 plus a Kellogg receiver
We're mixing eras here.
OMG -- WE B1 flocked with G handset
Flocked in green.
G handset on a B mounting.
Automatic Electric Stick
AE80 lamp
WE Wall Lamp
Try dialing this one!
WE D1 vertical
Probably the world's shortest candlestick lamp
Probably the world's shortest phone lamp.
Made from a candlestick phone base.
AE 3slot lamp
WE 500s - His & Hers

His & Hers
G3 handset
Euro styling
Metal Wall with Clodk
Strowger Stick
Payphone with Clock
Western Electric 5302
Western Electric 5302
AE40 Note dial modifications
Dial modified to turn lamp on and off
Patriotic payphone
WE candlestick with leaded glass shade
Ringer Box Lamp
What were they thinking?

Designed as a phone lamp!

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©2009-10 paulf.  All rights reserved.