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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,342
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

I'm old enough to remember my grandmother having a candlestick phone. She also had a party line, and I was such a naughty girl listening in on conversations. I grew up with our family rotary dial desk phone, solid black of course. In high school I had my own phone in my room, a white desk phone with rotary dial. I didn't have my own number, just my own phone. When I married we had a powder blue princess phone in our bedroom and two wall phones in kitchen and garage. Both wall phones were rotary dial that Ohio Bell later converted to touchtone. Both corded of course, the kitchen phone having a really long cord so I could prop it on my shoulder while walking around the kitchen and cooking. One wall phone was avocado green, the other was harvest gold. Those old phones were heavy, but they had great sound, so much better than these cell phones. The phone company owned the phones....great because they would come out and repair them for free. 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 865
Registered: ‎12-11-2014

Re: Telephones of the past.

[ Edited ]

I have this Trimline phone (in orange) on the wall in my kitchen, right next to the carport door. Very handy. Landline, and always works. Our local Bell co. wanted it back at some  point, but I held on to it,  and over time they seemingly forgot about it.

 

First phone I remember had no dial! There were rotary dial phones in other cities, but in my dinkyburg, when I was very young, one would pick up the phone and an operator would ask, "number please!" I could ask to speak to my daddy, tell her his name and where he worked, and she (always a she) would connect me. Quaint, right? There may have been a few Dinosaur sightings just beyond our town limits during that time. It was exciting when roatary dial phones were available in colors beside black! On my 13th birthday, I received a pink Princess model for my bedroom.

 

Now we have cordless phones in other rooms that work with our landline, but they go out when the power is out.  Also have 2 cell phones (Samsung & iphone, 2 diff. numbers) and a few power banks for them. So I started with no dial, then rotary dial, then pushbutton, then heavy cell phone with tiny button keypad, then touch screen. I've finally begun to use Siri sometimes for iphone calls. Ah, "progress."

Vintage 1977 Western Electric Trimline Desk Phone, Bell System AD2, Rotary Dial, Bright Yellow, Works!

thumbnail 1 - Vintage Western Electric 302 Telephone Without Dial, dated 1939 ~ Metal Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,532
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Seems I have a problem letting go of things. I'll just leave it at that. I still have a phone similar to the first one below but mine is a bit more ornate. I also have a neat, old, but mod looking phone that I couldn't find a pic to represent it. It's round shaped, very flat, the handle sits across it east to west, and it's a beige/tan color. Groovy. Ha! And did any one else have the phone in the second pic? I had one like it but no longer do now. Fun, fun thread!!!

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,648
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I worked for Pacific NW Bell when they broke up the Bell System in 1984 & they let us keep the phones that we had in our homes.  I have a couple of desk phones, a Princess phone & a wall phone.  Those old heavy Western Electric built phones are built like tanks & I think they'll survive forever!  I still pull one of the desk phones out if the power goes out for an extended period & plug it into my landline, since cordless phones are useless without power, so I can have dialtone, call out & know if the phone rings.  They're not pretty, but they're dependable!

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,353
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

My husband collects and restores old phones. Some are from the 30's, 40's and so on....almost every decade is somewhere on a shelf in our house. He even restored a chrome pay phone from the 60's. It's a good thing none of them are hooked up to really work.....can you imagine that many ringing at once??!!🤣🤣

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,019
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

I have a small collection of old phones. 

 

I have a candlestick (original) that still works. No dial on it, it is a leftover from the era where you asked the operator to 'get me Aunt Bea' and they put you through. I had it hooked up in my old house, and it was great to use to answer and talk on, just no dialing out, as there was no dial!

 

I have a rotary dial phone from the 1940's on my desk. I've never hooked that one up, just like the look of it. 

 

We have a couple of phones from the 60's and 70's like princess phone, and wall rotary. 

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,826
Registered: ‎12-24-2010

I loved my Pink Princess in my twenties.  (single gal living alone....Hmmm)

 

It must have been a rental - no idea what happened to it.

 

Still have a yellow hang-on-the wall kitchen number - sitting in the basement.  I look at it when doing laundry. ....wonder why I keep it................  LOL

Honored Contributor
Posts: 65,696
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Telephones of the past.

[ Edited ]

Among the dumbest things ever was breaking up Ma Bell. Those phones worked every time, were sturdy, lots of style and color options and frankly, the monthly bills weren't so bad. Almost every house I know, had a wall phone of some kind in the kitchen. I had a white princess phone growing up. An orange desk phone in college and trimlines of different colors until cordless phones became the norm. I still have a trimline somewhere that I purchased.


In my pantry with my cupcakes...
Valued Contributor
Posts: 816
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@stevieb The company that sued to break up Ma Bell ( MCI ) is no longer in business.

They wanted the profitable long distance part of phone service but didn't want to provide local service.

I'm retired from the phone company. My company was sold so many times in the last several years. Nobody really wants to provide land lines anymore. 

 

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” Abraham Lincoln
Honored Contributor
Posts: 65,696
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Telephones of the past.

[ Edited ]

@azgal  Pretty clearly, the landline business is provided grudgingly by phone vendors and the lack of quality really shows... Woman Wink Really a shame. I still have a landline via my cable provider but their directory assistance isn't good (then again, neither is my cell providers service) and there are none of the convenience numbers like time, weather and so on, as there were in the olden days. Can't even remember the last time I saw an actual phone book. As for MCI, they got what they deserved. That whole 'pick a provider' thing didn't last very long.


In my pantry with my cupcakes...