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Gopher

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
424
I had 30+ years as an installer/repairman for GTE/Verizon. In all of that time, I have never seen a purple rotary desk phone. That is cool.
We still had rotary-only service in our main office until it converted to touch call in 1982! When people started converting to TC phones I had a box of old phones in my van to work on the older phones that people hung on to. We threw hundreds of those old phones away. I kept the oddballs for my collection. We changed hundreds of ringers in the old phones when we took out all of the old four-party lines. We converted the last of the party lines to straight private lines sometime in the late 90s. I retired when we stopped working on phones and copper cables and were more worried about DSL and computers.
 

Armybrat

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,711
Location
Round Rock, Texas
This is my grandpa, sitting at his roll-top desk, on the job as manager (1912-1920) of the rural phone company mentioned in post #22:
(Note the tall gas lamp on the desk)
B424F205-97CB-4B90-8F84-BDD6BC044104.jpeg
 

eveled

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
5,620
I could be wrong. But that might be a wall mount gas lamp. Here is one I found last year.
IMG_2340.jpeg

Gas meters used to be measured in "gas lights". A 10 gas light meter was the right size for 10 lights.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
2,431
Location
Communist Paradise of NY
Those old crank telephones also had a nefarious use. Look up "Tucker Telephone" One lead was wrapped around the big toe and the other one wrapped around the dingdong and sacajawea... Crank that bad boy up and you would confess to anything. The line "You got a phone call" would make you cry before you even got hooked up. A long distance call was reserved for special occasions. You might not survive one of those...
 

Gopher

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
424
Those old crank telephones also had a nefarious use. Look up "Tucker Telephone" One lead was wrapped around the big toe and the other one wrapped around the dingdong and sacajawea... Crank that bad boy up and you would confess to anything. The line "You got a phone call" would make you cry before you even got hooked up. A long distance call was reserved for special occasions. You might not survive one of those...
They might have been used to crank up a fish or two, or so I've been told.
 
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
996
Location
New Jersey
I was at an antique store with my daughter, we came across this beauty. She had to ask how it worked! Good times…

But my oh my, check out the price tag.

If I remember right, the phone at my house growing up was green, and we had a wall phone in the basement that was black


View attachment 28081
I Freakin' LOVE it! I collect old phones and oil lamps. This one- especially in this color- is actually commensurate with the price tag, if not worth more. The color is what really kicks up the price.
 
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
996
Location
New Jersey
The bedroom phone here, still working decades later is the same old square designs but with the push buttons instead of rotary dial. Going strong so no reason to change.
Don't know if you care, but if it was a rotary it would still work. You would just combine a line ( I think it was the green one, but it's been awhile) with the red, connect a modular adapter to it and the black line and ignore the 4th wire (Yellow?). I'm just having trouble remembering whether it was the green or yellow that gets combined.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
2,431
Location
Communist Paradise of NY
They might have been used to crank up a fish or two, or so I've been told.
They bring nightcrawlers to the surface too. Many years ago I was connecting a phone up for a friend in his garage. While I was handling the wires someone called him. I could hear the phone in the house ring and I was doing the electric boogalo as the current jolted the crap out of me. It lit me up like a neon sign!!
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
7,976
Location
Memphis, TN USA
Funny story about those old hand crank telephones:

Years ago my neighbor worked for the Telephone Company. He saw a batch of old oak casedwall phones, these having been removed from a rural county in Mississippi after going to more modern phones. He asked to buy one ans was tld to help himself. He brought it home ans wired it t be used an an extension phone, as one could not make outgoing calls with the thing.

On day his young grand daughter was visiting and asked about it. They explained that it was an old time telephone. She got up on a stool, put the receiver to her ear and cranked. Her expression changed suddenly and she hung up and stepp doown off the stool.

"What happened?" asked my neighbof's wife.


"That lady told me to quit messin' with the phone," the child replied.

Puzzled, she took up the receiver and cranked, and to her surprise got the message, "The number you have reached is no longer in service." Apparently the magneto had triggered some dailing device.

Bob Wright
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
8,649
Location
Southern California
Have you seen any mail boxes on the street anymore
Our post office here in Nuevo (small town) used to have a big mail box out at the street which was kind of convient. You could drop mail right from your car. About six or so years ago, they removed that box. Don't know why, I've seen lots of people use it. I guess no one wanted to walk out to it and pick up the mail.
 

Armybrat

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,711
Location
Round Rock, Texas
Was that the whole phone company? Looks like that switch board was meant for giants to operate. I noticed that the lady operator's chair is sitting up on a box. :ROFLMAO:
Yep, except for the gasoline powered generator out back.
I think most of the customers that had no generator could bring their wall phone batteries in for him to recharge.
That old building was recently demolished from what I hear.
I have not been back to visit the town since 1985
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
8,649
Location
Southern California
Yep, except for the gasoline powered generator out back.
I think most of the customers that had no generator could bring their wall phone batteries in for him to recharge.
That old building was recently demolished from what I hear.
I have not been back to visit the town since 1985
Oh well, whatever worked. ;)
 

Armybrat

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,711
Location
Round Rock, Texas
Well, not much is working in that town these days - its population has dropped to 139.
After 1920, Grandpa went into the auto repair business and operated this garage until retiring in 1958.
Grandma ran a small cafe in the left front corner of the garage.
Note the old hand pump gas pump.
First Photo taken about 1950.
Second photo 1940 when my dad was shipped out to Fort Richardson, Alaska
377A1881-1240-4BED-BC26-5ECA535460EC.jpeg
A7E040CB-B134-41A8-BF45-51F359F559F6.jpeg
.
He would not see his parents until late 1943 when he returned Stateside after participating in the Aleutian Campaign.
 
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