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Post# 1014575   11/15/2018 at 18:27 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Is this the party to whom I am speaking?


Post# 1014578 , Reply# 1   11/15/2018 at 18:35 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Part One

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Finally, a thread all about vintage telephones up to 1989. Advertisements, humor, history, collections, equipment, restoration/repair, technical questions, resources or just plain memories, it's all here. While emphasis is placed on American telephones, vintage telephones from around the world are also most welcomed.


"Hello central???"

This post was last edited 11/15/2018 at 19:01
Post# 1014579 , Reply# 2   11/15/2018 at 18:39 (629 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Two, ni-yun, fi-yuv, ni-yun, four, fi-yuv, O.

Post# 1014580 , Reply# 3   11/15/2018 at 18:39 (629 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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When I was a Telephone Operator I worked with an Operator who did a spot on impersonation of Ernestine. She would answer calls sometimes as Ernestine if there weren’t any supervisors doing observations. The customers loved it! And we all would just howl with delight! It really helped to brighten the day.


Post# 1014581 , Reply# 4   11/15/2018 at 18:40 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Stromberg-Carlson 1953

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Stromberg Carlson 1953



Post# 1014587 , Reply# 5   11/15/2018 at 19:00 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
The Bell Telephone Story 1965

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The Bell Telephone Story 1965


Post# 1014589 , Reply# 6   11/15/2018 at 19:06 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
The Bell System Telephone Story 1976

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The Bell System Telephone Story 1976

Post# 1014593 , Reply# 7   11/15/2018 at 19:16 (629 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Another Fantastic Thread.

Thank You Louis. Great Memories from the 50s up.

Post# 1014600 , Reply# 8   11/15/2018 at 19:57 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hey thanks Eddie! I think this is going to be a fun thread.

Post# 1014601 , Reply# 9   11/15/2018 at 20:02 (629 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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My mother worked at a switchboard like Earnestines at Ma Bell's, only much bigger. The supervisors were rotten old hags she said. Made good money but couldnt stand the working conditions. I still have a landline and it always works if the power goes out but my Bell dial desk phone always works. I worked there also and know how those lines, unless broken, will work when there is a power outage with all the backup power they have.

Post# 1014604 , Reply# 10   11/15/2018 at 20:44 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Western Electric 1954

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Western Electric 1954

Post# 1014606 , Reply# 11   11/15/2018 at 20:53 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
General Telephone 1959

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General Telephone 1959

Post# 1014607 , Reply# 12   11/15/2018 at 21:00 (629 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        
Re: Reply #10

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and ALL of these, except the wall phone cost EXTRA! Even the coiled handset cord! I remember telling one of my younger Gen X workers this and she said, “No way”, to which I repied “Way”. Ma Bell charged extra for everything then that wasn’t the standard, Black desk set, with a regular hanset cord. The customer paid the extra charge monthly on their phone bill for some extras and for others I believe it was a one time extra fee at installation of the option.

When I got my first telephone in 1971 my landlady told me to request that the phone be installed in the most difficult place possible for the installer. They had to install your one phone anywhere you wanted. She told me that the installer would most likely offer a longer cord to accomodate the request, and not charge for it. Then you would forever have the long cord credit on your acct.and never have to pay extra for the longer cord, I had a 20 ft.cord for years that I didn’t pay for, and never needed an extension phone.


This post was last edited 11/15/2018 at 21:28
Post# 1014609 , Reply# 13   11/15/2018 at 21:09 (629 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Southwestern Bell 1980

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Southwestern Bell 1980

Post# 1014613 , Reply# 14   11/15/2018 at 21:34 (629 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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This website is a treasure trove of historical AT&T films.


This one showcasing the Bell System display at 1962 Seattle World’s Fair is great.  Check out the size of that new "Bell Boy" pager just after the 5 minute mark!




Post# 1014628 , Reply# 15   11/16/2018 at 00:00 (629 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        
Slightly off topic...

Someone has put old phone to a new use...


These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

The phones themselves (spotted by a BoingBoing tipster) are genuine antiques, and not even the mass-produced Bell sets you see so often. I personally love the copper-plated model, though I certainly wouldn’t say no to the candlestick.

Dick Whitney, who runs the company, modifies the hardware to make room for an Echo Dot inside. Pick up the phone and speak, and Alexa answers, just like the operators of yore! Except you can ask Alexa anything and it won’t be irritated. Some of the Alexaphones, as he calls them, will include the original audio hardware so you can experience the cognitive dissonance of talking to a virtual assistant and having them answer using a century-old speaker. (I bet it sounds terrible and brilliant.)

I’m also delighted to say that the microphone physically disconnects when the phone is on the hook, though — so Amazon won’t be listening in to your conversations and emailing them to random people.

“The Echo microphones have their connections severed or are removed completely, and the microphone in the handset is connected via the original switches in the base, so it’s only in contact when the handset is picked up,” explained Whitney in an email.




Post# 1014631 , Reply# 16   11/16/2018 at 01:42 (629 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Another scarred-for-life Ma Bell veteran here, and Eddie & Tim you are both so right!  Stepford hags every last one of them!  Once we had heavy rains and it was almost impossible to get to work due to flooding in the area where our building was located, but I made it in.  By Noon the parking lot was beginning to flood and the river behind the building was on the verge of spilling over its levee so we were told to go move our cars.  We were almost trapped in the building and nobody had the guts to make an executive decision to evacuate.  The area manager from 50 miles away had to come down -- at the hags' request, and in the middle of the storm -- to decide.  He was pissed off but good, and asked them why in the hell they hadn't already gotten everybody out of there.  That's how blinded the hags were, and fearful of using their own judgement, lest customers have to wait longer on hold than the PUC mandated.  I never had any respect for them from day one, and on that day they lost any chance of gaining it.


Another story I was told by someone in Operator Services was about a guy who needed a bathroom break.  The hag/hags wouldn't let him leave the board, so he stood up and pissed all over it.  A true hero, he was.


                                               * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Those color phones and the sets with special features not only cost extra back then, but they do now, too.  The Oxford Gray phone is a super rare color.  The "mushroom" lighted dial phones are also highly sought after.  Those two-tone phones were just plain fugly IMO.


Eddie, I like your landlord's style.  Sticking it to The Phone Company was considered a sport by many.  We had a 25' cord on our phone but I know damned well my dad wasn't paying for it.  I don't know how that happened.  It might have been there already when we moved in back in 1960.  Neighbors next door had a long cord too.  Their phone was all over the TV room and living room, with the thick black cord snaking across the floor behind it.


I kept a landline (with our same 1960 phone number) when we moved recently.  I was really disappointed to find out that, because AT&T has abandoned copper in favor of fiber in our neighborhood, the dialtone passes through the fiber gateway on the premises, and if the power goes out, so does our landline.  That is precisely why I wanted a landline -- because it would still work when everything else didn't.  The installers told me not to even waste my time trying to get it converted to copper POTS service.  How far the mighty have fallen.


Here's a shot of one of my most prized phones:  a 1950 model 500 that saw very little use.  Although introduced in 1949, those first 500s produced were only test models and had to be returned to Bell Labs.  Very few of them exist.  The 1950 500s are fairly rare as well, as deployment was both selective and spotty due to certain components being in short supply attributable (supposedly) to production or other roll-out issues.  One thing that sets early 500s apart from those produced in 1952 and later is the painted alphanumerics on the dial plate, which were protected by a fitted clear plastic cover.  In 1952 Western Electric began using a soft plastic injection mold process for the numbers and letters instead of paint.  That I even managed to come across a 1950 500 (at a thrift store in 1981) on the west coast is amazing.  Pacific Telephone was Ma Bell's ugly stepchild and was the last to get anything new.  How a 500 made its way to the Bay Area in 1950 is a real mystery. 


I have much older phones, but they're actually not as rare as the 1950 500.  While the straight cord is age-appropriate, I opted to put a far more manageable coiled cord on it, as it sat on my desk as my daily driver for a number of years.  It will be pulled out again once I've done some wiring work to add a couple of jacks.  I love the feel of a heavy bakelite type G-1 handset, its superior e(a)rgonomics, and the solid sound it makes when replaced on its cradle.


It has been suggested that the model 500 is the mother of all industrial designs from the 20th century, and I have to agree.

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Post# 1014634 , Reply# 17   11/16/2018 at 02:42 (629 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        
Oh Yes Ralph

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Mother Bell could be heartless. Once I was at the CAMA board (Centralized Automated Message Accounting) and I had to take a “Special”, so I put my flag up to be relieved. All 40 positions at the board were full and the lights were standing indicating that about 10,000 cusotmers were waiting for their numbers to be keyed so their calls could be connected. The ATOM (Assistant Traffic Office Manager) Agnes Liversage reached over my shoulder and threw my flag down on the board and said I didn’t need to go, I had a break in 30 mins. Well, it just so happened that a Union Steward, Ruth Estrada was sitting next to me. She covered her mouthpiece and asked me if I really needed to go? I said yes, so Ruth put my flag back up, and told Agnes that I was going to be relieved, and when I got back so was everyone else, one by one, or she would call a “wildcat”. So every other operator at the board put up their flags too in solidarity,and one by one we all got our specials.

Another time, a forest fire was raging near my Mom’s home. I couldn’t get through by dialing to see if she was OK. I was working in theToll office on a cord board then. While at the board I put a call through for a customer to one of our neighbors by double trunking it, and made a successful connection.. So, I asked the supervior on duty if I could please place a 30 sec. call home by double trunking it and bill it to my home number? She said, no, I could call from the lounge on my break. Well, I thought F you and F Ma Bell, and I put it through anyway and “deadheaded”it by not billing it to my number. And I didn’t feel the least bit guilty either.

And on another occasion, a older operator named Lillian had a heart attack at the board,and an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital. She was out for two weeks. Lillian had over 20 years of service with Ma, but when she returned to work, the ATOM called her into the office, and advised her that her attendance was unacceptable and forced her to sign a document the acknowledged that if she had another occurance of absence within a given period of time, she would be terminated. She asked Ruth, the Union Steward if she had to sign this? And Ruth told her, “Yes, if she wanted to keep her job.” So Lillian said, “Then what you are telling me is that we all work for a bunch of assholes”, and Ruth said, “Unfortunately, yes”. So Lillian signed it.

I never before or since worked in a more oppressive enviornment!


Post# 1014635 , Reply# 18   11/16/2018 at 02:46 (629 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Eddie --

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Post# 1014653 , Reply# 19   11/16/2018 at 07:57 (628 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Do we have

your mumba Mr. Jeffries, do we have your numba?
Name the movie.
Hint; Mahalia Jackson sings "Trouble" at the end.

Post# 1014658 , Reply# 20   11/16/2018 at 08:19 (628 days old) by beekeyknee (Columbia, MO)        

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This thread is especially poignant for me at this time as I just had my landline disconnected. I had that same number for 32 years. I agree with Eddie that working as a telephone operator at that time was surely miserable. I resented paying long distance fees to talk to my cousins that were only 100 miles away, but the connection was always perfect.I'm sure having the old woman pacing up and down the line whacking people with a pencil was infuriating. I eventually whittled it down to a POTS line and I even had them take off the long distance too, to save money. I did all this to try and keep the price down and it helped for awhile, but the price kept going up all the time. Paying $40.00 + for something I rarely used or just to have around to irritate me (telemarketers and machines asking me stupid questions) seemed pointless.

My sister had an extra space on her cell plan and she put me on that. No bill at all now. She's in a different area code and I rarely get any telemarketer calls.

The lady at the phone company said I could have my landline back any time I wanted. I'm a bit skeptical about that. She tried to offer me a discount of a few dollars to keep me on, but I told her that it would just go up in a few months and I'd be back where I started so I told her, 'Thank you anyway'.

My friend who lives upstairs from me said he has some kind of a machine that screens calls before your phone rings. I can't remember the name of the machine right now. The person calling hears the line ring but your phone doesn't ring. The machine picks up the line and requests the caller to enter the proper code to talk to a certain person. If they know the code and enter it, then your phone will ring in a particular manor or sequence and you will have an idea who it might be, depending on who you have given the code to. There are several codes so you'll know who's calling. If I ever get a landline again, it sounds like a must have.

Post# 1014659 , Reply# 21   11/16/2018 at 08:28 (628 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
FaceTime, 1960s style

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Now you pull a phone out of your pocket to do it, and for a lot less than $16.00 for three minutes

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Post# 1014677 , Reply# 22   11/16/2018 at 15:08 (628 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Phone Project

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Here's the phone niche in our 1922 house.  I'm wondering if it was original or added later.  Usually there's a recessed space below with some sort of screening material on the front, which is designed for placement of the subset (aka bell box), and I don't recall ever seeing one like ours.


The plan is to relocate the jack from the upper corner and mount a subset on the front of the lower section.  The severed original wires are visible in the basement and are fairly easy to access for reactivation.  This will function as the main ringer that can easily be heard from anywhere inside the house, and likely outside as well when windows are open. 


While I don't envision myself or anyone else choosing to talk on the phone in this location, I figure that as long as there's going to be a live connection there, I might as well have the phone serve as something more than just a prop.  I'll leave this same manual phone there rather than one with a dial.  I don't intend to initiate any calls here, but there might be incidents where I would answer one.


My research on the GIBRALTAR exchange indicates this phone belonged to a mom & pop local exchange provider somewhere in Arizona.  The F1-W handset is also a dead giveaway that Western Electric produced this for use by an independent provider as opposed to the Bell System.  The Bell System phones don't have the "W" designation on their handsets.

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Post# 1014700 , Reply# 23   11/16/2018 at 19:05 (628 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        
This thread needs some switchgear

AT&T #1 crossbar, New York 1938. Link is to the page where the photo came from.


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Post# 1014701 , Reply# 24   11/16/2018 at 19:17 (628 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        
1923 AT&T panel switch

This one is now in the Museum of Communications in Seattle; I'm not sure where it came from. This was AT&T's first automated switch design, before the crossbar. Incredibly costly and complicated, these types of switches were only installed in big urban areas where the call rates justified the cost.


Post# 1014705 , Reply# 25   11/16/2018 at 19:27 (628 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        
Everybody loves a step switch

An Automatic Electric step switch operating (and making an incredible amount of noise) in Weedsport, NY, in 1990.


Post# 1014709 , Reply# 26   11/16/2018 at 19:49 (628 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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The house I grew up in had one of those telephone niche things in the hallway. I guess people didn't mind standing up while carrying on a conservation, there was little or no room for a chair. The phone had long ago been moved to a more convenient location, so my mom kept a big plaster religious statue in the niche. If you moved the statue you could see the phone jack behind it...St. Anthony calling. The only other religious statue I remember was a plastic magnetic one on the dash of our Oldsmobile. 

Post# 1014710 , Reply# 27   11/16/2018 at 19:52 (628 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

That was so relaxing to watch I almost fell asleep. Very little fascinates me more than electromechanical telephone switches.

Post# 1014711 , Reply# 28   11/16/2018 at 19:53 (628 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Cool panel switch video!


Locally, we had one last 5 xbar switch that Pacific Bell took forever to upgrade and cutover to a 1A.  We were fielding complaints from subscribers in that exchange for a long time because they wanted Call Waiting and the xbar switch couldn't support it.  I think it was 1992 before that switch was upgraded, over a dozen years after the neighboring exchange got a 1A.  That xbar may have been the last of its kind Pac Bell territory, or at least in one of their major urban exchanges.

Post# 1014716 , Reply# 29   11/16/2018 at 20:21 (628 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Wow - 1992.


The custom calling features provided by ESS were featured in that 1962 Seattle World's Fair video.  30 year wait for them!

Post# 1014729 , Reply# 30   11/16/2018 at 23:21 (628 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Yeah Jim, as I stated above, Pacific Telephone was Ma Bell's ugly stepchild.  They had a lot of catching up to do after the modified final judgement for divestiture of the "Baby Bells" by AT&T effective 1/1/84. 


Joe, let me guess.  The Oldsmobile was home to St. Christopher, and he was glued to the speaker grille.  As for St. Anthony, was your mom always losing things?

Post# 1014749 , Reply# 31   11/17/2018 at 03:43 (628 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Ha !

I forgot about that Ralph. Yes, it seemed many cars back in the 50s to late 60s had St. Christopher on the Dash. My Dad had a St. Christopher medallion he kept in the Glove Box as he did not like anything on the dash nor did he ever have a bumper sticker or a Dealer's plaque or License plate frame with any message or advertising.

No Hi Jack.

Post# 1014753 , Reply# 32   11/17/2018 at 03:55 (628 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone 1958

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Bell Telephone 1958

Post# 1014780 , Reply# 33   11/17/2018 at 13:06 (627 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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All of our extension phones were bootlegged in by my dad.  He disabled their ringers, as the level of current during the ring cycle was monitored by Ma Bell to detect any equipment they didn't know about and could charge for.  He routed all of the wires through a false electrical box covered with a porcelain light bulb receptacle that was attached with a single screw so it could be swung out of the way.  A single pair of alligator clips connected all of the extensions to the adjacent telephone terminal block.  If ever there was a call for service, he'd go down and unclip the wires and shove them into the decoy electrical box behind the porcelain receptacle.


My room didn't have a phone, so one day when I was 7 or 8 I took it upon myself to install one.  I got an old oval base phone off a shelf in the garage and proceeded to take it upstairs and stick the wires into an electrical outlet.  Of course the smoking began immediately and I ran out of the room.  My older sister had to go in and yank the phone out of the wall.  There was a black mark on that outlet for many years afterward, and my dad was not at all happy that I had ruined that old phone. 

Post# 1014799 , Reply# 34   11/17/2018 at 17:31 (627 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        
Model 300

In Martinez, CA we had the Western Electric Model 300 with no dial. We had operators until the late 1950's when Pacific Bell came to the house and added a dial to that same phone. We had an additional extension installed at the same time. That phone was there for decades.

When I moved from Berkeley to San Francisco in 1969 my roommate insisted that we get touch tone service. I think it was an extra $6 per month.

I still have my ATT copper land line and it is copper to the pole and after that I do not know. It may be fiber to the box on the next street that was put in for Uverse services. I keep it because I think it may work when the power goes down like it always used to. I have heard ATT will eventually get rid of the copper lines. I have a cell phone but don't trust the robustness of the system. There is little regulation of the system, for instance no generators are required at cell tower locations. I have two Cortelco Phones that look like Western Electric and have real bells in them. I donated my other phones when I found out how little they are really worth.

Post# 1014800 , Reply# 35   11/17/2018 at 17:39 (627 days old) by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

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I have this lovely Western Electric model in my living room. My grandparents had it since their marriage in 1952, I assume it was a used unit at that time.
I’m undecided on which exchange I want in center of the dial.
Should I go with the LUther7 number my grandparents had, or if I should use my WHitney7 number.

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Post# 1014816 , Reply# 36   11/17/2018 at 18:56 (627 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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I would go with your current exchange. Having the (correct) phone number in the center of the dial is a classy touch.

Thanks for explaining about the ringers, Ralph. Our first extension phone (a curious hybrid of a 500 base and a long, heavy 300 handset) had no ringer and that must have been why.

Post# 1014828 , Reply# 37   11/17/2018 at 21:11 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Future kitchen phone...

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This Western Electric 554 was manufactured in June 1962. The modular plate has a date of June 1982. It was amazingly filthy when I got it last year. Cord is new. Even the wall jack will be age appropriate.

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This post was last edited 11/17/2018 at 22:53
Post# 1014834 , Reply# 38   11/17/2018 at 21:54 (627 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Thats the white one in my garage, so that is a 554. I forgot after I left the phone company all the phone model numbers. I just know a landline phone can go my closest switching station still and go thru. Cell service is spotty, at best in Maine without going thru costly International roaming from Canada. They have the towers close to our border but the big cell services cant be bothered with giving decent service around here because we are all forests and lakes. I'll keep my stupid TracPhone that can make and receives calls. Someday I may get one with camera when I can use one.

Post# 1014836 , Reply# 39   11/17/2018 at 22:23 (627 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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John, what you had with that extension phone was a model 5302.  Those phones were basically the old 302 type (as seen in Sam's picture above) that were given a new case and dial assembly to resemble a model 500.  During the first half of the 1950s, the 500s were in such demand that Ma Bell couldn't keep up.  Seeing as how Ma Bell was the undisputed queen of corporate frugality, they hatched a plan to give the suddenly undesirable model 302 a new look.


One of the reasons everybody wanted the 500 was the loudness adjustment for the ringer.  Western Electric made modifications to the 302 base that gave it a ringer adjustment, and with the more modern looking case and dial assembly, they fooled millions of subscribers into thinking they were getting a new model 500 when they were actually getting an old, recycled many times over model 302 with a ringer adjustment.  Some of the 5302 models got a G1 handset like the 500s, others kept the old style F1 handset, which looked just so wrong on a 500-type base.  The G1 handsets required modifications to accommodate the transmitter and receiver elements from the F1 handset because the elements used in the 500's G1 handsets were not compatible with the 302's older technology.


I have a model 5302 with G1 handset.  I was using it the den at our previous house, but it's boxed up now.  I liked the idea of people thinking they were using a '60s phone when really it was much older.  At first glance it's not easy to tell.


The guts from this:

Image result for western electric model 302


Combined with a modified case from this:


Image result for western electric model 500


Equals this:


Image result for western electric model 5302


Or this (like mine):


Image result for western electric model 5302


How they did it:


Image result for western electric model 5302

Post# 1014840 , Reply# 40   11/17/2018 at 23:05 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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A Western Electric Princess phone I picked up last year. Manufactured April, 1960. Sadly one of the prongs of the modular plug has broken off.

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Post# 1014842 , Reply# 41   11/17/2018 at 23:11 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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A Western Electric C/D 500 set manufactured December 1964. This phone was hard wired. Notice how thick the wire to the wall was. This is just like my parents bedroom phone when I was growing up.

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Post# 1014844 , Reply# 42   11/17/2018 at 23:15 (627 days old) by soapgirl (Northeastern Ohio)        

Funny story about a Pennsylvania Bell installer. My 13th birthday present was a phone in my room. Those were the days when you were allowed to let repair men into the house before your parents were home from work. The Bell man came right after I got home from school. I watched him string the line down the hall from my Mom's room to mine and put the jack in. He plugged the Trimline phone in. He did the callback to test the phone. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. After he got the third phone from the truck and still had the same results I told him I knew what was wrong. He said "Kid, if you can tell me what's wrong you can have my job!" So I told him that the callback only worked when he was hanging up on the base, and never worked when he hung up on the handset. He tried it. I was right. He gave me the turquoise color phone I wanted and left in a huff. Mom got home just a bit later. She was fit to be tied when she saw the installation. Joe Lineman had stapled the line from her jack, along the baseboard down the hall, over and around two doors into my room instead of fishing a line through the wall. She called the phone company, demanded a supervisor, and gave them a piece of her mind. They came out the next day and fixed it, and at a time Mom could be there to supervise.

Post# 1014852 , Reply# 43   11/17/2018 at 23:26 (627 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

After my grandmother passed away, I rented her apartment for a while, before buying a house.
She had a black, hardwired 500 in her bedroom.
When I was moving out, family members told me to take the phone with me, because nobody else wanted it. They probably would have thrown it away.
I still have it, but it needs cosmetic restoration, and to be rewired for modular.
If I'm not mistaken, it's all dated March of 1954.


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Post# 1014859 , Reply# 44   11/17/2018 at 23:44 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Very cool Barry. There are various ways to polish up that phone. And rewiring it to a modular cord is a cinch. Click the link, I think this would be the appropriate line cord for your 500.


Post# 1014867 , Reply# 45   11/18/2018 at 00:35 (627 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Barry, try some Brasso on that dial bezel and see if it removes the white film.  Pry up the number plate at top dead center and then loosen the nut underneath it so the finger wheel can be removed to allow easy access to the whole bezel.


Brasso will also shine up the handset and case.  Unless that phone saw refurbishing, it should still have its heavy original bakelite handset.


Here's what you need to put on that hard wired original mounting cord so it can be plugged into a modular jack (no need to buy a whole new cord).  You might be able to find one cheaper than this ebay listing:


Antique Telephone cord adapter wall cord modular plug use any vintage cord


Post# 1014870 , Reply# 46   11/18/2018 at 04:33 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
A rather odd bird...

ultramatic's profile picture



For me at least. A General Telephone & Electronics Mod 80. Manufactured July 1978.

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Post# 1014871 , Reply# 47   11/18/2018 at 04:39 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
International Telephone & Telegraph 1956

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International Telephone &amp; Telegraph 1956

Post# 1014872 , Reply# 48   11/18/2018 at 04:47 (627 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
BSR Phone Butler 1974

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BSR Phone Butler 1974

Post# 1014878 , Reply# 49   11/18/2018 at 08:54 (626 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Louis and Ralph,

Thanks for the tips!
That replacement cord does look like it would be the right one.
I like that it's round, like the original.

And, that adapter would probably work too.
I haven't seen the phone in a while.
It does have the heavy handset!
But, now that I'm thinking about it more, the dial is also sticky.
I don't want to mess with the mechanical workings myself, (all thumbs), and I don't want to replace the dial assembly altogether, because this original one always had such a great sound to it! Plus, I believe the phone is almost, if not 100% original.
I know a guy who does a beautiful job refurbishing vintage phones. I would just have to get up the nerve to ship it to him. I'm just afraid of it getting damaged in transit after 60+ years.

I do have this similar, albeit newer, modular one that's ready to be plugged in and used.
This is a picture when I first got it from eBay. It polished up beautifully since then.
I still want to get my grandmother's working again eventually though.


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Post# 1014940 , Reply# 50   11/18/2018 at 19:15 (626 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
You're very welcomed Barry.

ultramatic's profile picture



I guess it's a question of esthetics when it comes to the line wire Barry. Wow, that 500 led a hard life. Never seen one with a broken finger stop.

Post# 1014946 , Reply# 51   11/18/2018 at 19:58 (626 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

I didn't even notice the broken finger stop. 


I think it's worth putting the older phone into use.  The 500 is really easy to work on.  Loosen the two screws at front and rear on the bottom and the case will lift off.  The dial is held in place by two or three screws depending on the age of the chassis.  Two on the sides and the third one (if there) in front.  You don't have to remove them completely; just loosen them enough to lift the dial off the mounting bracket.  The intricate part of the job is removing the transparent plastic cover for the mechanism behind the dial.  The two tiny screws that hold it in place can easily get lost, and you'll need a smaller screwdriver to remove them.  


Use just a tiny bit of light oil such as Zout or 3-in-1, like on the tip of a toothpick, and apply sparingly to the exposed gears and any related posts that may also rotate.  After each application, give the dial a try and see if it's working properly.  Don't over-lube.  Dab away any excess with a paper towel.  It's also not recommended to lube the spring mechanism (located inside a round brass casing about the same diameter as a nickel), but I've done so in the past and haven't had any problems.  At worst, lubing that spring would perhaps cause the finger wheel to return faster than normal.  I would only do this if lubing the gears didn't help.  The spring mechanism is calibrated and is best left alone.


If you restore the dial to proper operation and then outfit the end of the mounting cord with the modular adapter, the phone will probably work fine.  If it's been sitting for a long time, unscrew the cover for the transmitter capsule and remove the capsule from the handset.  Shake it and you should hear the carbon granules inside if you listen closely.  If you don't, rap the capsule's sides gently on a solid surface to loosen the granules.  Transmitters are the weakest link on any old telephone set.


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Post# 1014952 , Reply# 52   11/18/2018 at 20:26 (626 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone System 1957

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Bell Telephone System 1957

Post# 1014959 , Reply# 53   11/18/2018 at 21:00 (626 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell System 1977

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Bell System 1977

Post# 1014986 , Reply# 54   11/19/2018 at 05:54 (626 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I remember the Mickey Mouse phones!  I wanted one but at the time we didn't have touch tone at home.  It cost extra and my dad wouldn't switch.  Later in the 80's we did, but it wasn't truly a touch tone system I don't think because when a number was dialed quickly with the buttons, I could hear the clicks on the other end for a couple of seconds and I'd count them...they correlated with the number dialed.  Now it's all the real deal.

Post# 1015013 , Reply# 55   11/19/2018 at 10:46 (625 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



That was called "Pulse" dialing. You would still have button dialing, but it mimicked the clicks generated by a regular dial phone. It was only slightly faster than dialing a rotary phone. I remember back in the late 1980's touch tone dialing was still not widely available in Germany and pay phones used "pulse" dialing.

Post# 1015029 , Reply# 56   11/19/2018 at 13:30 (625 days old) by jakins (Kissimmee, Fl.)        
OMG I just love my old phones

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I have a few. I think they are as fun to collect as old appliances and the Husband does not complain as much. love my candle sticks, but even more I have 2 WE 102's with the 4H dial one is hooked to my x-link. also have a WE 202 and
2 WE 302's The best one That I think I have is my Rovafone from the 70's. First cordless phone still works also have a Porta-Call Trimline push button but Pulse dial cordless phone. My husband hates the cordless phones but I love it when someone comes to the house and goes wild over it. The X-link lets you connect to your cell phone and use antique phones via Bluetooth. it also supports rotary dialing.

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Post# 1015030 , Reply# 57   11/19/2018 at 13:41 (625 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Excuse me while I pick my jaw off the floor. What a great collection. I have never seen a Rovafone or a Porta-Call. And here I thought cordless phones came out around 1979. Those 102's are beautiful. And I agree about the husband complaints. The smaller the appliance, the less grumbling.

Post# 1015034 , Reply# 58   11/19/2018 at 14:04 (625 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

Nice phones John! 


I do like the round base phones and they're less common than the oval base types.  My oval base is nearly identical to the one in your picture 4.  I have it connected to a minty 1931 subset, but for now it's all boxed up.  Do your E1 handsets still have their original transmitters?  I retrofitted mine to accommodate an F1 transmitter capsule and nobody on the other end of the conversation has any idea that I'm talking on a phone that's nearly 90 years old.


I may have to look into an X-link.  I'm beginning to receive more casual calls on my cell phone than I'd like, so being able to use a real phone as an alternative when I'm at home would make the whole experience more tolerable, even if it doesn't resolve the annoying lag time of wireless communication.

Post# 1015057 , Reply# 59   11/19/2018 at 17:31 (625 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Two pretty Touch Tone Princesses

ultramatic's profile picture

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Post# 1015410 , Reply# 60   11/22/2018 at 10:31 (622 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
General Telephone & Electronics 1957

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General Telephone & Electronics 1957

Post# 1015600 , Reply# 61   11/24/2018 at 00:31 (621 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
General Telephone & Electronics 1962

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General Telephone &amp; Electronics 1962

Post# 1015601 , Reply# 62   11/24/2018 at 00:33 (621 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Western Electric 1960

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Western Electric 1960

Post# 1015602 , Reply# 63   11/24/2018 at 00:37 (621 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
I had that GTE princess style phone back in the late 70's , push button though with lighted dial. It had to be plugged in to light.

Post# 1015604 , Reply# 64   11/24/2018 at 00:58 (621 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Automatic Electric 1916

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Automatic Electric 1916

Post# 1015606 , Reply# 65   11/24/2018 at 01:03 (621 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone System 1934

ultramatic's profile picture



Bell Telephone System 1934

Post# 1015607 , Reply# 66   11/24/2018 at 01:08 (621 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
North Electric Company 1954

ultramatic's profile picture



North Electric Company 1954

Post# 1015608 , Reply# 67   11/24/2018 at 01:12 (621 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Automatic Electric 1939

ultramatic's profile picture



Automatic Electric 1939

Post# 1015768 , Reply# 68   11/25/2018 at 19:39 (619 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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One of my Northern Electric Chest-O-Phone's or whatever they were called.

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Post# 1015770 , Reply# 69   11/25/2018 at 19:47 (619 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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The BC Telephone Co. float in the (Vancouver) 1958 PNE parade.. Pacific National Exhibition. BC Tel was percentage owned by General Telephone hence all the phones were GTE

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Post# 1015777 , Reply# 70   11/25/2018 at 21:04 (619 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

I bought an Ericofon on ebay a few years ago.  I thought it would be useful in our den and would also serve as a conversation piece in more ways than one.  It turned out to have an issue with the switch contacts related to the dial and switch hook, and because it was so flimsy in comparison to a WECo phone, parts broke when I tried to repair it.  I declared it junk, and decided that an Ericofon wasn't worth owning.


While the design was interesting, there had to be a learning curve regarding how to set down the phone if stepping away for a moment, since standing it on end would terminate the call.

Post# 1015795 , Reply# 71   11/25/2018 at 22:03 (619 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        
How about a Kellogg?

No corn flakes here... Kellogg was a big supplier of equipment to small independent telephone exchanges and hotels. Here's a Type 1000 "Red Bar" Masterphone, circa 1947. Being that Kellogg supplied a lot of equipment to rural telephone companies that had most of their subscribers on party lines, there were a bunch of factory options for frequency-selective ringers that made it possible to ring a specific phone on a party line. Photo is from the link below.


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Post# 1015808 , Reply# 72   11/25/2018 at 22:28 (619 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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What a BEAUTIFUL Redbar!

Post# 1015809 , Reply# 73   11/25/2018 at 22:37 (619 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Southwestern Telephone News, Winter 1936-37

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Southwestern Telephone News, Winter 1936-37


Post# 1015810 , Reply# 74   11/25/2018 at 22:41 (619 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
The Pacific Telephone Magazine, Christmas 1938

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The Pacific Telephone Magazine,  Christmas 1938

Post# 1015813 , Reply# 75   11/25/2018 at 23:12 (619 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
IT&T, Kellogg 1956

ultramatic's profile picture



IT&amp;T, Kellogg 1956

Post# 1015863 , Reply# 76   11/26/2018 at 13:48 (618 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

I enjoy seeing Northern Telecom (now Nortel) novelty phones. I bought a lot of these as a department store buyer years ago. They were high-quality phones. My late partner was a director for Northern Telecom/Nortel. Being a Dynasty fan, he'd always remark that the phone on Blake Carrington's desk was part of a Nortel system. Dale passed away in 2001 from a brain aneurysm at age 45. We were together 22 years, really just kids caught up in the disco era. Somewhere I have a tape of him doing a Nortel presentation. Oddly enough I have never viewed it...the only video of him I have. Sorry, just going way off track and waxing sentimental. 


these were fun phones...

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This post was last edited 11/26/2018 at 15:05
Post# 1015868 , Reply# 77   11/26/2018 at 14:21 (618 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

I loved the discreet "ring" of Alexis' office phone!  I wish I could find one of those, whatever they are.


Nortel made the "EBS" phones (Electronic Business Sets) that only worked on Nortel switching equipment.  They were one serious PITA to provision, as what one phone was capable of doing had to be acknowledged in provisioning every other phone in the system.  That could really snowball and a giant matrix was needed to map it all out.  An integral part of the design and programming involved Multiple Appearance Directory Numbers (MADNs) and they were indeed a maddening thing to plot out.


These were great phones and had some good options on them, but we used to dread it when the account reps sold them.  Thousands of these EBS phones were all through the big HQ building in San Ramon.  Business customers with EBS phones that they bought and paid for were not happy if they moved to a new location where there were no Nortel switches in the CO.

Post# 1015869 , Reply# 78   11/26/2018 at 14:24 (618 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Great looking phone Joe!

ultramatic's profile picture



I have two Northern Telecom Contempra phones, one in green (rotary) and the other in Harvest Gold (touch tone). They're buried somewhere in the closet.

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Post# 1015887 , Reply# 79   11/26/2018 at 18:12 (618 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

I remember my first time at Epcot--I was very impressed to see a Nortel coin phone in the Canada pavilion.

Post# 1015894 , Reply# 80   11/26/2018 at 19:15 (618 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Kings Island amusement park used to have Nortel coin phones. That area was served by United Telephone, and they used Northern equipment.

Post# 1015896 , Reply# 81   11/26/2018 at 19:26 (618 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
I have a few of the Contempra phones.. those handsets are heavy.

Post# 1015947 , Reply# 82   11/27/2018 at 06:15 (618 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

No question that parts of metro Orlando are former United Telephone areas; just happened to notice that years ago and was impressed.

Post# 1016183 , Reply# 83   11/29/2018 at 03:58 (616 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone System 1932

ultramatic's profile picture



Bell Telephone System 1932

Post# 1016184 , Reply# 84   11/29/2018 at 04:00 (616 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone System 1938

ultramatic's profile picture



Bell Telephone System 1938

Post# 1016505 , Reply# 85   12/2/2018 at 05:33 (613 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Western Electric 1957

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Western Electric 1957

Post# 1016506 , Reply# 86   12/2/2018 at 05:37 (613 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone System 1961

ultramatic's profile picture



Bell Telephone System 1961

Post# 1016513 , Reply# 87   12/2/2018 at 09:08 (612 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Image result for vintage spacemaker telephone










Family friends had a beige GTE "Space Maker" installed in the breakfast nook of their home when they built it in the early 1960's.  I was always fascinated by the look of it.

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Post# 1016553 , Reply# 88   12/2/2018 at 16:22 (612 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Old "Space Saver"

rp2813's profile picture

I had this WECo 201A set above the bench in my workshop at our previous place.   I won it for $10.99 on ebay without a handset.  It's boxed up now since I don't have a shop set up at our new place yet.  I originally wanted one with a dial, but decided I'd never initiate a call from the work bench, and the adjacent room had a 500 model on the desk in there.


This phone was hooked up to a 634A subset.  The handset should be the older E1 type, but the later F1 style also works on it.  I had a spare F1 laying around, and I prefer the coiled cord that stays out of the way.



Post# 1016556 , Reply# 89   12/2/2018 at 18:27 (612 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
General Telephone & Electronics 1962

ultramatic's profile picture



General Telephone & Electronics 1962


Post# 1016558 , Reply# 90   12/2/2018 at 18:33 (612 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone System 1963

ultramatic's profile picture



Bell Telephone System 1963

Post# 1016641 , Reply# 91   12/3/2018 at 07:46 (611 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Ask me how much I hate Verizon.

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Verizon hangs up on landline customers in Brooklyn


September 11, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle


Trump’s FCC reduces consumer protections


If you’re a Verizon customer who uses a traditional landline in your home or business, you may soon be facing an unpleasant surprise.


Over the summer in Brooklyn Heights, numerous customers, with no warning, discovered their phones no longer had a dial tone.


Kevin Carberry, an independent real estate broker specializing in Brooklyn Heights brownstones, co-ops and condos, told the Brooklyn Eagle that the phones at the six work stations in his home office on Columbia Heights were recently shut off with no warning.


“I noticed I was getting no calls on my business line and when I checked, the line was dead,” he said. When he got in touch with Verizon, “I was informed that my service was out and my voicemail was not activated.” Verizon told him that there had been a major interruption to a trunk line and repairs would take 3 to 6 months.


Carberry said Verizon provided him with a “wireless gizmo” [Voice Link, which connects to a cell phone tower] that would answer one phone. “I have six stations,” he said, and trying to answer all the calls on one phone is not feasible for him. “I had all the calls forwarded to my cellphone. What a mistake.”


What bothers Carberry the most is Verizon’s “cavalier attitude,” he said. “To be without a business phone for 3 to 6 months with no answering service is outrageous. I complained that their solution is not a solution to my problem. Their fix was to charge me to forward calls to me.” Their solution is not “consumer friendly,” he said.


The Eagle has received complaints from other Brooklyn Heights residents concerning their Verizon landline service outages as well.


Jeffrey Smith, an area activist who checks up on a number of elderly residents, wrote via email on June 29, “Over the last two weeks I have received mounting reports of home phones suddenly becoming inoperative (no dial tone) with little or no warning over a wide area of Brooklyn Heights. When people call Verizon (through an outside or cell phone), they are told that the outage is due to ‘cable problems’ or ‘the installation of new cables.’ Beyond this, they are offered little or no further information.” The residents were told repairs would take roughly two weeks, Smith said.


Smith called the outage a serious concern because wired landlines are used for home security systems, fire and intrusion alarms and personal emergency notification devices for the disabled and elderly.


“Pendants are used by the hundreds among the elderly and impaired in the general downtown area. This provides the option of living independently. But given a service interruption, especially a prolonged outage, such a situation could spiral into a tragedy,” he said.


When the Eagle reached out to the Brooklyn Heights Association to learn if the organization had received any complaints, Executive Director Peter Bray said their own phone service had been affected.


“The BHA’s DSL line stopped functioning in mid-May and despite endless promises by Verizon to repair it, it is still not in service. Instead, Verizon provided the office with a device that establishes our internet connection through cell phone towers, though it is not 100 percent reliable and there are days when the connection is intermittent,” Bray said.


He added, “The last time I spoke to Verizon, I was told by a representative that Verizon has no intention of repairing our line, which is part of the old copper network. The line will only be restored when the building we are in switches to FIOS, the fiber optic network, which is something we do not control. In the meantime, we have to make do with a band aid approach to our problem.”


Happening Across the Nation


The problem is not limited to Brooklyn Heights or New York City, according to the non-profit Washington, D.C.-based public interest group Public Knowledge.


Across the country, copper lines are being replaced with fiber or wireless networks that use Internet Protocol technology, which can provide faster and better phone service. But new rules adopted by the FCC under the Trump administration do not contain sufficient consumer protections or sufficient outreach to the 49 million customers who are still using landlines, Public Knowledge says.


The technology transition will be a good thing in the long term, Daiquiri Ryan, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge, told the Eagle. In the meantime, however, Verizon and AT&T “are not taking care of their copper” network. She said the FCC under President Trump “rolled back all the consumer protections the previous administration put in place.”


The Voice Link units customers are given as a replacement “are so unreliable they don’t even consistently call 911,” she said. Landlines, by comparison, continue to work even when the power goes out, and they are compatible with credit card machines, faxes, alarms and medical devices.


“For the disabled and elderly, it’s a huge deal,” she said. The FCC eliminating advance notice requirement could make a big difference “if grandma falls.”


The problem is there’s no competition, Ryan added. “Seventy percent of Americans only have the choice of one or zero landline providers.”


Depending on the carrier, customers with a complaint have only a certain number of days to contact the FCC to oppose their repair or landline replacement, and the average consumer won’t be able to navigate the process, she said. She recommended people affected complain directly to Verizon. “Let them know that you know this is about copper retirement, and know Verizon is trying to push [you] into a higher contract.”


Because of the cost to replace copper with fiber (about $30,000 a mile) consumers will be paying higher costs for the upgraded service, she said. “Verizon is the only provider; they can charge what they want.”


Public Knowledge says the problem can be even worse in rural areas, where service providers like Verizon can virtually abandon their customers, and in places like Fire Island, where Verizon was blocked from abruptly terminating service to the entire island in 2013.


“They just let the [copper wires] rot when they stop working,” she said. Public Knowledge is fighting in the 9th Circuit to “get some of these rules back on the books,” she said.


“Verizon’s tactics are definitely Trumpian,” said one longtime Heights-based business owner, who fears retribution from Verizon.


“I need a fax, I need a hard line,” he added. “It is typically short-sighted and again, Trumpian, to allow the abuse of something like underground cables under public streets … it’s a public trust, for God’s sake.”


A Verizon spokesperson told the Eagle on Tuesday that Verizon would be looking into the cases we reported, and would have no comment until they knew “what’s going on with individual customers.”


Another incentive for Verizon to rip out landlines is the fact that most employees of Verizon’s landline business are unionized, while most wireless operations are not. As landlines disappear, unions slowly lose ground. In Brooklyn, however, wireless workers voted to join Local 1109 in 2014 and won a contract in 2016 after joining landline workers on the 49-day strike against Verizon. According to CWA, the workers fought off “an extremely aggressive anti-union campaign.”


FCC Rule Changes


According to, the FCC adopted rules in November 2017 eliminating certain consumer notice requirements, enabling service providers to discontinue certain low-speed data services that had been grandfathered and eliminating the need for service providers to receive FCC approval before upgrading legacy services.


The FCC is expected to give permission to the phone companies to stop maintaining the old copper networks somewhere around 2020, according to ARsTechnica, “potentially bringing an end to the century-old regulations that guaranteed universal service and other consumer protections.”


In a press release, the commission said the new rules “allow carriers to invest in modern networks rather than devote scarce resources to outmoded legacy services.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that carriers such as Verizon could save $40 to $50 per year per home if they were not required to maintain copper infrastructure.


The FCC changes flew under the radar because the public was more focused on the net neutrality fight going on at that time, Ryan said. “Net neutrality is our number one issue — 85 percent of people want net neutrality back on the books. So many FCC protections have been rolled back. It’s been a stressful year and a half.”


Post# 1016671 , Reply# 92   12/3/2018 at 12:00 (611 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Here's the Explanation:

rp2813's profile picture

This might be news to some, but there has been a smug Verizon puppet in charge of the FCC for the past couple of years, thanks to YKW.  Scroll down to the last couple of paragraphs in the linked article if you don't want to read the whole thing.


Post# 1016708 , Reply# 93   12/3/2018 at 18:30 (611 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Bell Telephone Sytem 1956

ultramatic's profile picture




Bell Telephone System 1956


Post# 1016773 , Reply# 94   12/4/2018 at 10:22 (610 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Smug Verizon kingpin

has support of guess who also. Another Mew Yorker.

Post# 1016777 , Reply# 95   12/4/2018 at 12:56 (610 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I recently called Verizon and the rep tried mightily to make me switch from copper to fiber. Basically telling me  it was going to happen soon anyway. I said we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. What infuriates me is that we'll loose service in a black-out. And they'll only provide a battery for one hour back-up not talk time. Last black-out we had lasted 23 hours. Talk about taking a huge step backward.

Post# 1016778 , Reply# 96   12/4/2018 at 13:22 (610 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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The telecom lobby is so huge in D.C. that there's not a chance in hell that we can save the copper network.  Particularly as long as the fox Pai is guarding the FCC hen house.

Post# 1016780 , Reply# 97   12/4/2018 at 13:28 (610 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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AT&T did the same thing to me over 3 years ago, insisting that it was going to happen anyway. So, said OK, I’d convert to their wireless. They said there would be no cost to me for the installation. Then 2 days later, in the mail comes a bill for over $300.00 for this “free”installation for something I didn’t really want anyway! So I immediately called them and told them to cancel the wireless installation.

Then I went to the Comcast office and picked up the equipment for a self install of their voice and wi-fi internet. I ported my number that we’ve had since 1987, and the modem for the voice has a backup battery, the has worked just fine whenever we’ve had a power outage. I just keep a couple of corded phones plugged in upstairs. I disconnected the AT&T land line connections from the service box on the outside of the house, and backfed the voice signal into the phone jack nearest the modem and all the phone jacks have a voice signal in the house. The service is way better that the AT&T service ever was, and I only wish that I had cut the connection with them years earlier. And the wi-fi is hella fast, so much better that AT&T’s crap DSL.

I had AT&T service for 43 years,and was always a loyal customer. But for the last 10 years they treated me like crap. I finally had it with them. And they owed me $40.00 from the payment I had made for the service before I discontinued their service. I had to call the office of the vice president to ultimately get my money refunded, total BS!!

So, my advice, it to look into your cable TV provider for service and cut the cord on Verizon, you won’t be sorry that you did.


Post# 1016798 , Reply# 98   12/4/2018 at 16:57 (610 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I'd have no issue switching over from copper, except for the loss of service in a black-out. When tropical storm Sandy roared in I lost cell phone service, (although strangely, internet service via the cell provider remained unaffected) but I never lost the landline. It worked flawlessly. It's sad that there is no incentive to remedy this. And with things as they are in Washington, I doubt there ever will be. We really are at their mercy.

Post# 1016804 , Reply# 99   12/4/2018 at 17:54 (610 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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Ours has a battery backup that has worked fine when the power was out, provided the cable service doesn’t go out too. You just need to use a corded phone either plugged into the modem, or since I backfed the voice signal into our jacks, just have a corded phone plugged into one of the jacks.

Now, I don’t know exactly how long the battery will last, but we’ve never had a power outage that lasted longer than 8 hrs, and we were able to receive calls and dial out with no problem. I suppose you could keep an extra battery on hand that was charged, if you anticipate a several day outage. But then, you could always receive the calls on the VOIP number, then call them back on your cell, provided you still had a way to keep that charged.

No matter what, yes, copper land lines do provide better assurance of phone service during a long power outage. But I also agree with Ralph, the phone companies are going to do away with copper landlines where ever they are allowed to to do so. They just don’t want to maintain them anymore. It’s sad that a system that has worked so well for well over a 100 years is being ditched. But at least we didn’t suffer for the change to VOIP.

AT&T was constantly jacking us around, increasing the bill almost every 6 mo.or less. Then I would be calling customer service to try and cut another deal with them, a total PITA. And the DSL internet was terrible, and unreliable. I’ve never regretted the switch to VOIP. And I don’t really like change, but this was a positive change.


This post was last edited 12/04/2018 at 18:09
Post# 1017165 , Reply# 100   12/7/2018 at 07:17 (607 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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It's not that Eddie. Verizon only offers a 1 hour stand-by battery if you loose power. Use the phone and the battery dies even faster. During Sandy, we lost internet service and voice cell service. The lights were flickering, but we never lost power. Verizon should provide at least a battery that will last 48 hours of continuous use. Yeah I know, fat chance.

Post# 1017168 , Reply# 101   12/7/2018 at 07:37 (607 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Post# 1017359 , Reply# 102   12/8/2018 at 16:23 (606 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Fiber optics power

According to Cincinnati Bell, their FiOptics service has a battery backup that provides up to 8 hours of standby time.

Louie, does your building not have emergency power for such things as the communications systems, hall lighting and elevators? If so, the fiber optics equipment should be connected to it.


Post# 1017362 , Reply# 103   12/8/2018 at 17:27 (606 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I remember years back, we had emergency generators to power the water pumps, elevator and hall lights. Last black-out, they failed and never repaired. The management company and the president of the COOP board were found guilty for corruption and are now serving prison sentences. It's my hope that now that these crooks are out, the generators will be repaired. I have no idea whether Verizon would permit, or the COOP allow, phone equipment to be connected with the emergency power supply.

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