______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ __ __ ______ ______ /\ ___\ /\ __ \ /\ == \ /\ == \ /\ ___\ /\ == \ /\ ___\ /\ \ /\ \ /\ ___\ /\ ___\ \ \ \____ \ \ \/\ \ \ \ _-/ \ \ _-/ \ \ __\ \ \ __< \ \ __\ \ \ \ \ \ \____ \ \ __\ \ \___ \ \ \_____\ \ \_____\ \ \_\ \ \_\ \ \_____\ \ \_\ \_\ \ \_\ \ \_\ \ \_____\ \ \_____\ \/\_____\ \/_____/ \/_____/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_____/ \/_/ /_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_____/ \/_____/ \/_____/
Welcome to the Art of Telephony!
Telephone Collection Pictures
For pictures of my telephone collection, click here.
You can find videos of my collection below, such as this one demoing dialing and ringing all the telephones in my collection.
Telephony videos were originally uploaded to "Wireless Action" but are now exclusively uploaded to "InterLinked".
- Bell System Legacy — mostly AT&T Archives videos and historical telephone videos
- Bell System Commercials — all that I've come across; if you find another one let me know
- Electromechanical & Manual Switching Systems — features various electromechanical phone systems
- Electronic Switching Systems — features various electronic phone systems
- Telephone How-To — insightful short videos from Phil McCarter
- Telephones & Telephones — general telephone videos, i.e. collector videos, etc.
- KZSU — playlist of just the KZSU videos
- NPSTN — playlist of the NPSTN Videos
- Phreaking — HOPE conference talks, Exploding the Phone lectures, phreaking seminars, etc.
- AT&T Archives
- Telephones and Telephony - Jeff Quitney
- Bell System
- Bell System/Telecom
- Telephones - Jordan U
Telephony Blog Posts
|2016-03-18||Yes, you still need a landline!||3,114|
|2016-04-13||When Technology Does More Harm Than Good||3,132|
|2016-05-19||A Couple Videos Guaranteed to Get You Laughing…||132|
|2016-07-07||A Cool "Telephone Trick" That Will Impress Your Friends||84|
|2016-07-12||What The Colored Coded Tape Means On Store Columns||223|
|2017-06-26||A Professional Perspective: Kari’s Law||2,117|
|2017-08-05||Smartphones: The Undoing Of Humanity?||3,003|
|2017-12-17||Monopoly Isn't Always A Bad Thing||2,588|
|2017-12-19||The Biggest Drug Crisis The World Has Ever Faced||1,464|
|2017-12-20||The term "cell phone" is a misnomer||1,293|
|2018-07-01||The Telephone Songs||487|
|2018-08-07||Adopt A Payphone||931|
|2018-08-13||Why I Favor Splits Over Overlays||4,596|
|2018-08-30||The Truth About Fiber Optics||6,653|
The History of Telephony (for me)
What got you into telephones?
From my experience, there are a few types of people who get involved in this wonderful and unique hobby:
- Former telephone men (and women), i.e. ex-Bell System employees
- People who like collecting and repairing novelty items
- Landline loyalists (those who prefer corded landlines and are disgusted with cellular technology)
- VoIP enthusiasts
What is your collection like?
Currently, I have 11 telephones. My first telephone was a modular beige Western Electric 500 set (1982) with G6 (adjustable volume) handset. This one has a long stretchy cord that is about a foot long when not stretched out. Besides that, I have a modular white Western Electric 500 (1978), a modular black ITT 500 with semi-broken line jack, and my favorite, a non-modular green Western Electric 500 (1957) with a 30' long matching green cord (which is extra strong). This one I had to put spade lugs on so I could connected a line cord to it to connect it to my PBX.
The only telephone I have older than this one is a (non-modular, obviously) 1938 Western Electric 302. This one, like the 1957 phone, arrived with a cut cord. At the time, I did not have spade lugs or a crimper, so I took an unused phone jack out of the wall, cut the cord, and then made a makeshift connection block by stripping the wires and taping the green, red, and yellow wires from the phone to the corresponding wires in the cord connected to the phone jack. I then plugged a line cord into the phone jack to connect the phone to my PBX. I wouldn't do it again, but it worked.
My only vintage touchtone phone is a Western Electric 2510. The handset is from 1983 but the base dates from 1986 and was manufactured in Taiwan. This does work like a standard Western Electric touchtone telephone though. The earpiece has a large crack in it, but it's otherwise in good shape. I have another pushbutton phone manufactured by "Conairphone". It has a pulse-tone toggle, and only the pulse setting works. If on tone mode, nothing happens when the buttons are pressed, but on the pulse setting it dial pulses fine. There's a lot of hum on the line when this phone is used as well, and it's plastered with stickers advertising the 10-10-811 "FIVE-LINE" dial-around service.
I have several non-vintage phones as well. I have a black Panasonic KXT7030BR 12 line speaker telephone. This is a proprietary Panasonic telephone that can be used to program a Panasonic PBX (and I've used it to change intercom ringing from double to single ring, setup pulse-to-tone conversion, and to change which extensions ring on incoming calls). The ringer can be turned to "OFF" so that it is just barely audible, and this is the setting I use since non-bell/electronic ringers sound just awful. Otherwise though, this telephone is by far the most frustrating of mine. It only works with the line cord that came with it. The phone stays dead when used with any other modular cord. Furthermore, the phone must be plugged into a Panasonic PBX. It can't be plugged into an ATA, or anything else, I would assume. Proprietary indeed! What's more, this phone always suffers from static and occasionally the phone will go dead and I need to wiggle to the cord back in a certain way (even though the plug is still securely in the jack). The static will randomly occur whether using the handset or speaker but progressively gets worse. On a positive note, since it has a dedicated button for each trunk, I can easily see what CO trunks are in use by glancing at the buttons (at least, if it hasn't died on me and I have to fiddle with it again).
Next, I have a white AT&T CL2909 telephone. I got this so I could have a speakerphone available without the aggrivations of the Panasonic phone. Batteries are needed for the LED lights and display to be fully functional, but after discovering the phone itself works without them, I took the batteries out and never put them back in, since a red light would flash continously whenever my phone system was turned off. I also have a Cortelco 2500 reproduction telephone. The ringer is pretty shrill and there's a substantial echo; you also can't press 2 buttons at a time like on a "real" traditional touchtone phone. The handset does have an adjustable volume control.
I also have a beige AT&T 100 telephone. The star key does not have the word "TONE" on it like an almost identical beige AT&T 100 that I repaired for someone else. It has a pulse-tone toggle and redial button. It has a ringer volume control switch, and I keep it to the OFF setting so you don't hear anything if rings unless your ear is within a foot of the phone. It has a mute button, but it has to be held down as long as you want muting, so I'm not sure how useful that is.
Update: I gave the Western Electric 302 away to a former English teacher of mine who's wanted a rotary phone for some time now (actually, I traded with him for a modem). The black ITT 500 is due to go the same way as well, soon.
PBX Extension Listing
|102||Western Electric 2510|
|103||Green Western Electric 500|
|104||Black ITT 500|
|106||White Western Electric 500|
|107||Beige Western Electric 5000|
|108||Conairphone Pushbutton Phone|
|Line 1||AT&T 100|
|Line 2||AT&T CL2909|
What kind of phone equipment do you have?
My first PBX was the Panasonic KX-TA824R (Advanced Hybrid), which supports 8 analog lines and 3 trunks. You can dial 0 to reach the operator (jack 101) and the PBX does pulse to tone conversion (and can do the opposite as well) on outgoing calls. My first PBX was actually the digital version of the Panasonic 824 PBX, which I had to return as you couldn't plug any standard telephones into it! A while later, I got a Panasonic 308 PBX, which is functionally similar to the 824 PBX. It's a bit larger and can't be extended like the 824 can. There's also no PBX operator setting (dialing 0 doesn't work). I used to have the two PBXs tied together so you could dial 9 to get to the other PBX, but I disconnected the 308 after a while. Currently the 824 is serving my phones and the 308 has been idle and collecting dust for over a year. One day it will be put back to use.
I also have a Linksys PAP2 ATA so I can make NPSTN and C*NET calls. Usually my phone equipment is turned off most of the time to save energy (and prevent excess heat). I have trunks 2 (82) and 1 (81) connected to Line 1 on my ATA and trunk 3 (83) connected to Line 2. The 824 PBX automatically seizes 83, 82, then 81 if "9" is dialed instead of a specific trunk. I used to have all 8 extensions off the PBX ring on incoming calls but I have it setup currently to just ring extensions 101 and 103. However, I recently disconnected the Panasonic phone to save space (though it can be plugged back into 101 when needed). In practice, this now means that if I'm already using the phone on 103 and another call comes in on a line terminating on the other port of my ATA, I will just hear the PBX's relays (faintly) clicking on another incoming call, since the ringers are turned off on the phones directly connected to the ATA. Usually the relays are loud enough to be noticeable but if not, keep that in mind.
As is listed in the table above, my AT&T 100 is connected directly to Line 1 on my ATA, and my AT&T CL2909 is connected to Line 2. This way, I can still make calls even when my PBX is off. I have a splitter connected to each jack on the ATA. Connected to the Line 2 splitter is the AT&T CL2909 and CO trunk jack 2. Connected to the Line 1 splitter is the AT&T 100 and another splitter connected to CO trunk jacks 3 and 1.
I currently own the 231 office code on both NPSTN and C*NET. The 231 block of numbers on both networks is DID to my BEechwood1 "#1XB" exchange so all the numbers on both networks are identically. From NPSTN, you can dial my numbers as just 7 digits; from C*NET, you will need to include the country code (1) first.
A general contact number for me is BEechwood1-2121. For a complete listing of numbers on the BEechwood1 exchange, please see my directory.
Although there are hundreds (perhaps thousands by now) of numbers in the BEechwood1 exchange, only a few of them actually terminate to my ATA, which is connected to all of my phone equipment. As there are only 2 ports on my ATA, only a select few numbers in the BEechwood1 exchange route to my ATA. If you need to reach my personally, you can dial BEechwood1-2121; this number will forward calls to my ATA during "convenient hours".
Even a call gets sent to my ATA, I may not be around to answer. If you hear reorder or "fast busy", this means my ATA lines are not currently in service, most likely because my ATA is turned off. If you need to leave a voicemail for me, there are voicemail numbers listed in the directory as well.
Email Address: Click the link below and go to the Contact page.