View Full Version : Retro Telephones

May 9th, 2006, 01:31 PM
OK, since we all have wonderful vintage computers, we need phones that accompany them nicely.
I collect 1960s-1980s Rotary Telephones.
In a few months, I hope to have a desk devoted to 1980s stuff. IBM 5150, Red rotary phone, etc.
I was wondering if anyone else here did the same.
I have six of these phones.
To the left is an ivory colored 1968 model 500c/d. To the top left is a Brown 1977 model 500dm, to the upper right is an orange 1979 s-c500d, to the lower left under the stand is a baby blue 1962 500c/d, and to the lower right is a burgundy red 1971 500c/d. I also have a cream colored s-c500d I use on my desk now.
I have restored and modern wired all of them.
I do however need a ringer mechanism for the orange phone. I have a wanted ad posted in off topic market place.
The red one is the one I intend to use on my desk with the IBM 5150.
I also have three more of these phones coming soon. A harvest gold, a solid white, and a chinese red. They cost very little.
Anyone else here like these kinds of telephones?

May 9th, 2006, 01:34 PM
I have an old rotary WE 500 which I use in my room.

May 9th, 2006, 05:51 PM
I bought one of these at a yard sale for $1, and completely refurbished it physically; electronically it was fine.

Phone: Western Electric Sculptura


*not my picture

May 9th, 2006, 06:39 PM
Very nice, tgunner.

Although I don't have a landline, I wouldn't mind having one of the one-piece phones as seen on the desk of Number 2 in "The Prisoner."

"Who is Number 1?"
"You are Number 6."

Be seeing you.


May 25th, 2006, 09:45 PM
I have a few more now, including a 1939 WE302. Just gave her a fresh gloss black paint job. I'll buff the handset later.

May 26th, 2006, 06:01 AM
Ah, the 302 is a beauty. I have one in BakeLite (with cracks, of course) and one in steel. The steel ones are older, as when the US entered the war the steel was conserved for the war effort.

Don't you just love the handsets on these things?

For those not familiar with the 302: It's the phone you see in old 'I Love Lucy' reruns.

May 26th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Ah, the 302 is a beauty. I have one in BakeLite (with cracks, of course) and one in steel. The steel ones are older, as when the US entered the war the steel was conserved for the war effort.

Don't you just love the handsets on these things?

Oh Yes, I don't think there was ever a nicer looking phone.
I love it though. When I got it, it was pretty beaten up and didn't work. I rewired it and painted it, now it works like a charm and looks nice.
I have never seen a bakelite version, do you have an image?

Micom 2000
May 26th, 2006, 02:03 PM
I have a few old phones including a standard black one from the 50s or 60s. My favorite is one from Nortel, a low-profile, muted colors one called I think a Nordic or Viking. The other one I liked was the "Princess" which was a smaller phone which took power from the system to light the dial.

My favorite of all tho is a non-rotary Technicom "Smartset" which I use usually by preference, even to closer ones, or to the "Grand Piano" model in my music room which uses a piano keyboard to dial. You can play simple tunes on it which is kind of neat.

The Smartset is one of those large console types that has a good display, an adding machine, time, frequently dialed numbers, LND and other things. Likely came out in the seventies. One function I've never found out about but have seen on some other phones is a "Flash" button. What does Flash do ?


May 26th, 2006, 05:08 PM
If I remember correctly, the "flash" button will briefly cycle the switchhook. Useful for call waiting.


May 27th, 2006, 04:36 PM
I have a old phone downstairs that amuses me...Does'nt take much somedays!!! Its a Mallard Duck phone....Instead of ringing it Quacks...very irratating...It got sent to the basement years ago...Me Too...but I made it back. I guess its just a novalty phone...The Cat hates it !! My Wife hates it !!! Its a push button so not to old,has switch for pulse/tone.... Maybe Jack would like it...Oops...;)

May 27th, 2006, 07:10 PM
I just scored this bad boy for $45 on ebay.

A few hours, and it will look like this one.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Art-Deco-Western-Electric-302-Telephone-Antique-Phone_W0QQitemZ6626941138QQcategoryZ38038QQrdZ1QQc mdZViewItem

over a $600 difference. It is amazing that people don't see potential beuty in items with wear and tear....shame...

I'll paint the body, buf the handset, dial wheel, dial cup, rewire with original wiring, get two new repro brown cloth cords, one for handset and one for line.
Wrap the feet in thin leather, and the ugly duckling I baught for $45 will look as good as the one someone paid $687 for. Wish me luck.

Terry Yager
May 28th, 2006, 08:58 AM
Nice score!


May 28th, 2006, 02:37 PM
Thanks Terry. I can't wait for it to come in and get her looking all nice and proper.
I have added the costs to fully restore this beast.
New brown cloth handset cord(I prefer coiled(coiled is $25), not straight(straight is only $9))
$60.00 for phone
$25.00 for handset cord
$10.00 for line cord, 7' 4 wire brown cloth with 4 wires
$9.00 for center card holder
$6.00 for internal wiring harness
$4.00 for paint
$4.00 for 6"x6" piece of thin leather to recover the feet
$1.99 for buffing compound

Total of $120.00 for a mint WE 302....lol, will be more fun too. ^_^

May 28th, 2006, 07:07 PM
On the 302 I already have, i decided to replace the leather on the feet.
I used a light brown suede leather. It isn't white like it looks in the images..lol, the camera's flash is too bright.
http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/221/10000305bc.th.jpg (http://img528.imageshack.us/my.php?image=10000305bc.jpg)
http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4895/10000320ey.th.jpg (http://img210.imageshack.us/my.php?image=10000320ey.jpg)

May 31st, 2006, 01:05 AM
I updated my wiring guide on my site.
Here is the modem ready dial up guide. (http://www.ubertechworld.com/museum/ubertech-museum_we500series_phone_wiring.htm)
Here is the BroadBand ready wiring guide. (http://www.ubertechworld.com/museum/ubertech-museum_we500series_phone_wiring_bb.htm)
I spent a good three hours on that broadband guide. Let me know what ya'll think?

June 1st, 2006, 09:30 PM
I got a new score. A guy had this listed for $5 buy it now a week ago, because he believed it was a newer one, like 1980s. Turns out, the whole thing, all the parts are dated 1954 with leather triangle feet and metal dial wheel. This is a c/d 500 from the first five years of production, which only those had the leather feet in the 500 series. Don't understand why people never research items before listing..Good for me though.