|Velour covered Princess Phone -- Leave it to
ITT/Kellogg to spruce up the classic. The base and handset are
covered with brown fuzz. Interestingly, the plastic under the
fuzz is gray, while the caps and cord are beige. Probably an
The phone is similar to Western's 701B, although the lead weight in the base is a different shape and the terminal block is mounted above the weight, not under it.
||TeleConcepts "Circa 1926" -- Model 236142. When
first saw this, I did a double take. It looked like an early
Stromberg Carlson handset on a Western Electric D1 base -- but it had
pushbuttons, tone/pulse, redial and * and # keys. The modular
coiled cloth cord was a nice touch, also. Made in August,
For comparison, I put a "real" SC handset on a WE D1 base, and
it looked like this. The dimensions were virtually
|WESTERN ELECTRIC 500 -- Unusual clear model.
David Massey's collection
(Photo courtesy of Dave Massey)
Transparent (color code -29) sets were made in small
quantities to check the molds before large production runs were
made. Once the marketing department got hold of them, they were
used for trade shows, business office displays, gifts, etc.
North 541 Desk Set -- After the Western Electric 500 set was introduced, competitors rushed to modernize their product lines. Here is an example from North Electric, Galion, Ohio.
By the mid-70s, most companies licensed the WE500 design and an era of creativity in design came to an end -- until the Bell System was split up in 1984.
Click to see more examples and ringer styles.
||STROMBERG CARLSON 1573 -- 3 line business telephone
with separate hold buttons for each line and line switch on front of
phone. Also has a button near the cradle for signalling.
|STROMBERG CARLSON 1575 -- 5 line business telephone
with separate hold button and line switches with lights on front of
|STROMBERG CARLSON 1215 -- Bakelite base and handset
similar to the SC1198 placed on a cast metal extension base containing
12 pushbuttons used for signaling and intercom functions. Surprisingly,
the photo captured the small facets on the receiver and transmitter
This phone is wired with a modern network and modular line cord and works great. The buttons activate a small buzzer in the base.
|NORTHERN ELECTRIC NO. 1 -- Canada's version of Western
Electric's model 302. It's electrically similar, but the case is
much wider when viewed from the front, giving it a more substantial
Normally found with an F1 handset and #5 dial, this unit has the more angular NU handset and a British Post Office (B.P.O.) type dial with chromed fingerwheel.
Check out the wiring diagram found
View the wall model and handset evolution here.
||Will the real NORTH Desk Set please stand up?
From a distance they look identical. On closer inspection, the phone on the left is a copy. The case is unmarked, and of inferior quality. The base and internals are from a "recycled" WE 302 (turned sideways). The dial is an AE, which is commonly found on the "real thing." Even the handset is a genuine North -- although I've seen them with Western Electric F1 or Automatic Electric handsets -- whatever was available.
|TeleConcepts El Rondo
Beginning in the 1970s, customers were permitted to own their own phones for the first time. An explosion of creative and artistic designs were produced.
This set uses standard phone company internal components in a distinctive enclosure.
Click here for more TeleConcepts phones.
This one bends in the middle. When bent as shown, you can dial and talk. The phone is straightened to hang up. Then it can be stored in any position without risk of getting a dial tone until picked up and bent again.
By the 1980s miniature electronics became more common in phones, making even more creative designs possible.
Click here for more TeleQuest phones.
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