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Telephones442 of 891found in my basementPhone purse by: Dallas Handbags
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Posted 5 years ago


(1 item)

Looking for someone to explain what this is to me. Western Electic product, assuming early 1900's. Not convinced it is a phone. Comments welcomed

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  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 5 years ago
    Does it open up still?
    It looks military, or naval
  2. walksoftly walksoftly, 5 years ago
    For some reason my post got lost & showed up after AR8Jason's post so you can dismiss mine or delete.
  3. jbond007, 5 years ago
    So let me give more information. The picture needs to be rotated clockwise. When I took the picture, it uploaded about 90 degrees counter-clockwise. My plan is to take more pcitures at different angles, as well as close ups on the details. One of the details I see on the wood, stenciled in is the phrase, "Push to talk, release to listen" above the black button. So it must be some kind of early phone. It's definitely western electic as it is inscribed on the headphones. Lastly, theoretically it could be opened but its nailed shut with small pin nails. I would hire a professional to open if we move forward with that option
  4. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 5 years ago
    You have a Western Electric type 293 wall phone was converted to a Railroad or Waystation phone, manufactured around 1910. The wall phone was used in noisy
    location and was converted so the operator could use a headset instead of a handset and a push to talk button was pushed only when the operator was talking this kept the background noise to a minimum. The wall telephone is being displayed upside down, the hookswitch should be on the left side.
  5. jbond007, 5 years ago
    So here's more information which might strengthen tom's theory. There is an engravement that reads "RDG Co". My research tells me that its Reading Lines, a railroad company. It has brass hinges on the back of the piece so it will open but looks like you need a key to get inside. On the back it also has a serial number engraved. The headset says western electric, not sure if they manufactured the actual chassis or just the phones. I'll post more pictures
  6. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    I just like it 'cause it looks cool. I do love how you all help to identify these items -- it is really great to read through the comments and learn along the way.
  7. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    That's what so great about this site, so many different people that have or know the things people post. If you follow along, you can sure learn a lot.
  8. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 5 years ago
    Western Electric manufactured the entire wall phone, it was converted at the factory for railroad use. somewhere at the top of the back board it is stamped 293S. They used the 293A and stamped it 239S for special use.
  9. jbond007, 5 years ago
    It's stamped 293 AK. With this being the case, would you consider this rare or common? Reason I ask is because I can't find any pictures of this type online. I see models with bells but nothing of this configuration.
  10. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 5 years ago
    Your 293AK used a howler instead of bells. Howler's were used in noisy location. the 293AK is not common, but not considered rare. they have a value around 100.00 to 150.00 with the howler.

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