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Robbed a Payphone Today

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (810 items)

    My mom and her late husband (my sister's father) were scrapping in a dump back in the 70s. She spotted this phone, and he was like, "Oh no, you don't really want THAT, do you?"
    But she's all, "Yeah, I like it."
    "But it's junk!"
    "No, it's history."
    And so it's been from Michigan to Virginia and back again since then.

    And indeed it is history-- it was from a dump, now long-buried under a... place of ill repute (it is fitting to put such a trashy place over a trash-dump.) And it is a pay-phone from my town.

    Further, it's family history now. My sister, back when she was a lot younger than her 3 and a half decades, used to play with this and put coins into it.
    As a kid, I found it also, and put coins into it to play-- it still draws out a loud "ding" when a coin falls in.

    And, over a period of years, I've gotten almost all of the coinage out by turning it upside down, shaking it, and flipping it to where gravity pulls the coins into the direction of the coin-slot that captures them (obviously, the key is missing.) Mind you, this phone is weighted down with lead, so it weighs A LOT.
    Today I got $1.60 out of it.

    As land-lines cost too much, it will likely never be repaired and converted. It's still a neat display piece, but I'm afraid that it resides in our basement.

    The Automatic Electric plate has a 55 on it-- could that be 1955?
    Or the numbers on the back, ending with a 53-- could that be a 1953?

    It has also on it St. Louis Die Casting.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. fortapache fortapache, 7 years ago
      You may get some vintage coins from it. Be sure to check the dates, that will tell you when they stopped using that phone.
    2. OneGoodFind OneGoodFind, 7 years ago
      Hello....(like the songs)
      You should find a place to LOVE this. Really cool history and piece.
    3. EJW-54 EJW-54, 7 years ago
      Its cool that your family still has this, I would fix it up, I hope to find one for my country store collection.
    4. lzenglish lzenglish, 7 years ago
      Love It, Young Buck! Have you seen this site before?

    5. SpiritBear, 7 years ago
      Fort Apache: It was empty when thrown out. It was no longer in use about 1978 (when they found it.)
      All coins, which would be from my sister and her friends along with myself, were 1970s to 2006.

      One Good Find, I'm afraid that our house is small, and it doesn't fit in well. The place would likely have been my room, but that is tiny and too full to display anything else without it looking like a mess.

      EJW-54: they are readily available, but the prices can be high.

      lzenglish, thank you for the link. My friend and I once unsuccessfully tried picking the lock.
    6. lzenglish lzenglish, 7 years ago
      SpiritBear, you are Welcome, and may God Bless your Best Buddy Dog-that Passed Away!! Even though i can not solve your problem, Let me give you one more possible avenue to solve your problem. I have a old NCR Cash Register, that I hauled to our local small town locksmith, who has been in business for 50 years or so Years. It took him less than 5 minutes to open the locks for me, and he did not want to charge me for it, but I insisted on buying him lunch. What I'm saying is, "Seek and Ye shall find", Of course you do not want to spend more than the phone is wortth, as many locksmiths may charge in today's world! Best of Luck to You! !
    7. SpiritBear, 7 years ago
      God blesses us all.

      Is your NCR up on here?
    8. tom.adams1, 7 years ago
      Automatic Electric plate has a 55 on it-- could that be 1955?
      No, it means the phone accepts two nickels or a dime.

      LPC Series means P.C. Board Network and it is a LOCAL PREPAY TELEPHONE
      The key for the upper housing is most likely a 29S, could be a 21B or 10G, but if it hasn't been modified will be a 29S, can be found on eBay or from PHONCO.
    9. SpiritBear, 7 years ago
      Thank you for the info. But do you know when it is from?
    10. tom.adams1, 7 years ago
      Sorry, can't help you there.
    11. AnnaB AnnaB, 7 years ago
      I see a similar one on craigslist...$400!
    12. SpiritBear, 7 years ago
      To determine actual value of an item, I look at what it has sold for on e-bay in Sold/ Completed Listings (not current listings, unless there are multiple bids on an identical item in very similar or worse condition) in the last year (value changes.)
      If I find nothing, then I can only make guesses or ask.
      Or you pay for an account at They show 'actualised' values of items from online auctions going back several years. I haven't made an account there, though.

      Just a helpful place for you to learn values on, hence why I make note of it.

      As for that one, it likely won't sell. Waaayyy too much. But we can dream!
    13. AnnaB AnnaB, 7 years ago
      I think a general trend on craigslist is to initially set a high price knowing that people will bargain anyway. I was just browsing Antiques section and was disappointed as nothing looked like a deal. Everything was waaayyyy overpriced LOL
      Thanks for the tip on worthpoint. I actually do have an item i'd like to "appraise" since there's nothing comparable anywhere i looked. It's the electric fireplace i posted a few days ago.
    14. SpiritBear, 7 years ago
      Go to Worthpoint and type in your search. It'll show you everything (I think) except what it sold for.
      I have a few bottles and books I'd like to ''appraise'' on there, but I'm too stingy I guess. LOL.
    15. AnnaB AnnaB, 7 years ago
      Thank you Spirit, i will =)
    16. hotairfan hotairfan, 7 years ago
      Just saw the posting of your Automatic Electric three slot pay phone. It's a beauty. I worked at Western Electric for 30 years and found my self collecting many of the items that they marketed over the years. In one of those years, I found a Western Electric three slot pay phone and it listed "For Service in New Tripoli, PA". This is the area that I live, so it is no wonder that I had to add it to my other Western Electric phone collection. I found a nice wall location in our enclosed sun room, where I proudly display it. Enjoy your treasure.....
    17. SpiritBear, 7 years ago
      A very nice find you have!

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