People started collecting phones shortly after Alexander Graham Bell patented them in 1876. Some of those early handmade wood telephones from the 1880s (e.g. those marked Charles Williams Jr. or American Bell) are among the most prized finds for telephone collectors.
Collectible antique and vintage telephones basically fall into three groups. Wood wall phones, which were produced from 1876 up through World War II, have lost much of their appeal (except those earliest models) as few collectors still remember growing up with them. Candlestick phones, produced from the 1890s through the 1920s, are still in great demand, especially the earliest turn of the century nickel-plated models.
Desk sets, including most phones after 1930, are the bulk of the hobby today, and range from early 1920s models with ringer boxes to the groovy 1960s and 70s Ericofon, Princess and Trimline models. The most commonly found phones are rotary dial models such as the Western Electric 202s (1930s), 302s (1940s-50s), and 500 sets (1960s and 70s)...
While Western Electric is the big name for many American collectors, makers like Automatic Electric, Kellogg Switchboard and Supply, Stromberg Carlson and others are also in high demand. Many telephone collectors also focus on related items such as telephone signs and switchboards.
Interviews & Articles
How did I get started collecting antique telephones? As a kid I always liked phones, using them, talking on them. As a teenager I … [more]
Every collector dreams of being the person to uncover cities of lost gold, the next Tutankhamen's tomb, or if not that, an overgro… [more]
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Clubs & Associations: Telephones
- Antique Telephone Collectors Association
- Telephone Collectors International
- Telecommunications History Group
- Telecommunications Heritage Group (UK)
- Australasian Telephone Collectors Society, Inc.
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Source: Google News
Change text size for the storyLondon Free Press, May 18th
Undeterred, he dismantled the phones and repaired a loose wire. They worked and he was hooked. Phones became an obsession. His father bought him antique phones and a switchboard and he wired his own phone system for his neighbourhood buddies...Read more
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Break ItWall Street Journal, May 17th
I don't mean going back to eight-track players, rotary phones or pop-up toasters. But corporations have often cavalierly altered popular products without bothering to ask the public if it would welcome such modifications. These companies should follow...Read more
Want To Destroy Any Hope Of Serious Cybersecurity? Give The DOJ Its Desired ...Techdirt, May 17th
Update the software? Passwords and Protocols will be broken before they finish a nation wide update. The people that came up with this idea ... think that rotary phones are a newfangled idea that will never catch on. [ reply to this | link to this...Read more
Giants showing new dimension heading into series at Coors FieldPurple Row, May 16th
Runs like a rotary telephone thrown into a running clothes dryer." Angel Pagan, who was the recipient of a pretty hefty contract during the offseason, is the lone below-average regular, posting a 98 OPS+ in 162 plate apperances. If Crawford and Pence...Read more
Hotel insider: The Beautique Hotels Figueira, LisbonThe National, May 16th
A black rotary telephone sits alongside an iPod dock, signifying the hotel's balance between old and new, and the room's earthy tones are a nod to nature. In keeping with Silva's mission statement, "I don't follow trends, I seek to create them", the...Read more
BKLYN Designs returns with rotary phone lamps, reclaimed wood everythingMother Nature Network (blog), May 13th
Essentially, this involves designer Tyagi Schwartz transforming flea market junk — cigar boxes, plastic trucks, gas cans, tins, electric mixers, CB radios, and old rotary phones … lots of lots of old rotary phones — into whimsical lamps. Each...Read more
Apple to Classify iPhone as 'Vintage' PhoneIndiatimes.com, May 3rd
Follow @indiatimes · Indiatimes Login Facebook LoginTwitter Login. Search. Shopping Home News Entertainment LifeStyle Technology Boyz Toyz Sports Top Lists IPL 2013 · Home Technology Mobile Apple to Classify iPhone as 'Vintage' Phone. Comment...Read more
Rotary phones and other ancient stuffEscanaba Daily Press, April 25th
Rotary phones and other ancient stuff. April 25, 2013. By Andy Heller , Daily Press. Save | Comments (2) | Post a comment |. FLINT - Now that we're past 50, I've noticed that the world wastes no opportunity to let the lovely yet formidable Marcia and I...Read more