Have you noticed that in the last ten years, ever since Ma Bell was deregulated, old telephones have become a hot new collectible?
Antique phone dealers have been showing up regularly at the slot machine/jukebox shows in Chicago and California and coin machine collectors are putting old time phones next to their old time cash registers, neon lights and other related memorabilia.
A little bit of history for those of you thinking to add a phone to your collection. The first commercial telephone was introduced in 1877. In those days the wooden wall phones were double-box type phones because they required a large wet cell battery. In 1895, when a smaller dry cell battery became available, telephones required only one box.
The Gray Telephone Pay Station of Hartford, Conn. patented the first coin operated phone, on August 13, 1889.
The first telephone directory was introduced in Boston in 1878. It was a single page directory that listed every business telephone in the city, all 77 of them. As you may remember from the old time movies, there were Washington, D.C.
So, the next time you get a cup of coffee or sandwich from a vending machine, remember that it was the Horn & long ago, that the country was celebrating its bicentennial, its freedom and its independence. Slot machine collectors were also ringer or can hear another phone elsewhere in your house, you won't know when someone is calling you.
For a list of telephones for sale, go to Telephone web site
Copyright: 2009 Ken Durham, GameRoomAntiques