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My Best Find Ever - Kellogg Phones Stored NIB in Warehouse for 60 Years!

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Telephones471 of 646Vintage TelephoneThe Compact Telephone Co. Sign
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Posted 4 years ago

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potrero
(155 items)

I've had some great finds in the past few years. But in terms of sheer excitement, finding a half dozen art deco telephones in mint condition, still in the original shipping boxes, that had been hidden away in some dustry warehouse before I was born - its hard to beat that.

Above are four pictures that will give you a little taste of what I experienced. I saw a vendor selling one of these phones - he had taken it out of the box - and asked him if he had more. Turned out he had a bunch, all still in the original sealed boxes. "My friend found them in a warehouse where they'd been sitting for a long time" he said.

The Kellogg Mastephone line is one of the most artfully designed series of phones ever designed - in the 1920s. They were manufactured up through the 1940s. The above phones are the model 925 or so-called 'ashtray' model (the cups where the handset rests look somewhat like ashtrays). Some had dials, but these are extension phones.

Turns out the US military used these phones, and was shipping them out to the Pacific Theatre during WWII. Apparently my phones never made it out of the U.S. - the war ended, and some operations person just put them back in storage in their boxes for future use - in 1945. Kind of like the end of Indiana Jones.

Exactly 60 years later - 2005 - I bought them. I still have four unopened, and maybe will keep them that way! I sold two on eBay. In an interesting psychological experiment, I opened one and took pictures so the buyer could see the goods. I advertised the other as closed-box, 'you're buying whatever you find inside.' But then I linked the two auctions to each other so people could see they were from the same batch. I wanted to know which would bring the most money. They sold within $5 of each other, to two different buyers as I recall. Go figure.

Comments

  1. mcmurdosilver mcmurdosilver, 4 years ago
    Wow! What a great find! Something you rarely see.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
  2. kris meddock, 4 years ago
    I have always dreamed of finding something from the past that no one has seen for years just like that!Perhaps someday...also , do you have any idea how to remove the transmitter cup from a kellogg candelstick? I have tried everything under the sun short of wrapping it in newspaper and setting it on fire and i just cant figure it out.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
    GREAT Phone and Story.
  4. Bootson Bootson, 4 years ago
    Thanks for the post and info on the Kellogg 925. I have one too but don't know much about it. It is stamped 'Tropicalized AUG, 1945' on the bottom. I'll post a picture of mine ASAP.
  5. Glassnthings Glassnthings, 4 years ago
    Great story... every collectors dream! Thanks for sharing.
  6. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 3 years ago
    Scottvez,
    Nothing like finding MIB Kellogg "ashtray" telephone. Back in the 1970's I found a 11 hole sunburst dial still in the original A.E. dial box. I know the feeling.
  7. AntiquePhoneGal, 3 years ago
    I adore this story. I have one of these phones, with a dial, painted ivory, that I use in my bedroom. It's a unique and delightful telephone to use.
  8. Mary, 3 years ago
    Phoneco has had many of these over the 38 yrs of being in business of restoring old telephones. The Kellogg Ahstrya phone is a favorite, but getting hard to find. For the person with the kellogg candlestick, first you should remove the transmitter and undo the 2 wires on the back. Then remove the screw on the side of the perch. Then the trick is to slip the perch off the stem. Usually this is easy, but I have a stubborn one that I just can't get it to budge, as well. One has to be careful not to chip the bakelite sleeve.
    http://www.phonecoinc.com

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