Monday, March 24, 2014

Rotary Telephones and Bunting

I used rotary phones all through my teen and young adult years. I still occasionally have those dream/nightmares about mis-dialing or not dialing fast enough to get through before whatever dreaded dream monster showed up. Dialing was tough on the finger to move that circle around, each number made a click and speed dialing was not all that fast with these black beauties. 


(the bunting is at the end of this post)


I remember using pencil eraser for dialing. I looked up a bit of history about Automatic Electric telephones



from: CollectorsWeekly "Electric was founded as Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange Co. by Kansas City resident Almon Strowger, who invented the first automatic (dial) telephone switch in 1889. For decades AE was a leading supplier of telephone equipment to independent (non-Bell) telephone companies across the U.S. Many vintage Automatic Electric telephone models have a small sticker on the bottom which reads 'Monophone'."




I remember using this type of black rotary phone in the 1960's. In the early 50's our phone was an original oak crank phone (couldn't find a picture to add, but it resides with my brother so it is still 'in the family').


The back has a hand grip area (hollow space) for convenience of lifting/moving.

The next Automatic Electric I found (below) is the Wall Phone.


This one is circa 1950/1960's. It has its own wall display board and was being used as a wall decoration when I found it. We had one like this in the kitchen of the parental home and we had added the 15 foot curly cord so a small amount of privacy (moving away from the kitchen) could be had.






My latest rotary (added this month) appears to have had a turquoise receiver that was painted? black. It was tempting to scrape away the black but I left the receiver as I found it. The phone works.



Always interesting to see what memories are retrieved when searching for collectibles.

and now the bunting...

In one of DH's recent thrifting buys I found (in the trunk) a pile of velvet. I had recently read a post from Sally Ann on making bunting. She wrote a very clear and easy to follow tutorial (and her blog is filled with sewing wonders). Could not resist, tried, did my best and learned.


I made 9 double sided purple/pink velvet triangles (that was all the pink I found) and a purple velvet 'rope' to attach them, spaced each triangle 8 inches from the next, alternating purple and pink. Next time I am going to use cotton fabric and wide bias tape.

Thanks for visiting. 
Will be posting again March 27th, at 7:00 am

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25 comments:

  1. Great score on that phone!

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  2. That is a wonderful old phone! It just doesn't seem that long ago that we were using those! And now I've got a Smart phone. Crazy, isn't it!

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  3. Hi Joy, Love this post about the old rotary dial phones of our youths. Do you remember how "cool" the princess phone was when it first came out? Oh, how I wanted a pink one for my room! I recently wrote a post bemoaning the constant presence of smart phones and, in a way, wishing we were still using the old phones that couldn't follow us around everywhere:-) Great post! Cheryl

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  4. There's a YouTube video of someone showing a group of young kids a rotary phone and asking them if they knew how to use it.Their responses are so funny-they had no idea that they had to actually turn it for each number.

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  5. I picked up one of these phones at an auction this past weekend. The best part was asking our 11 year old how to use it! LOL!

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  6. We still have three of our rotary dial princess phones from the '70's. I love that sound they make. Love the velvet bunting idea.

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  7. I ALWAYS wanted a Pink Princess Phone !! :)

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  8. I have a rotary dial phone stored on a shelf in the garage, one day my granddaughter pointed to it and say 'What is that?' 'That's the kind of phone I used when I was a little girl', I replied. 'No really what is it?' How times and phones have changed.

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  9. About 30 years ago, my husband bought me a restored pay phone that we used in our kitchen. It was funny to watch peoples' reactions when they asked to use the phone or heard it ring. I honestly don't know what we did with that phone.

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  10. I just bought an old phone at Salvation Army for 9 bucks, got it home and it doesn't work, and SA doesn't give refunds, so I have a cute phone that doesn't work. Do you know if you can fix them? I like the bunting, but thing velvet would be heavy. I too have wanted a pink princess phone.

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  11. Thanks for the memories. I have a red rotary desk phone my mother found in a trash pile after the people behind her in the alley moved away. She used it for years.

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  12. I remember those phones, too...and how you had to stay right by them when you talked...

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  13. I was in a friend's secondhand store a few years ago when a little boy came in with his grandmother. He saw the rotary dial phone sitting on a shelf and said: "Mamaw! Where are the buttons?"

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  14. Those old rotary phones are great. I have two that I use (one bright orange and one green) ... yes, we actually use them. Know why ? One is in the garage and the other in our work shop and they have a loud ring and can be heard while we are in the yard or over machinery that is running. They still work when the electricity goes off. Wonderful collectors items too.
    Thanks for sharing your memories.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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  15. My Mother still has a red rotary telephone! ♥ Hugs

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    1. Thank you for sharing your lovely blog at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop xo

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  16. I love the sound of a rotary phone!
    And your new Banner is F A B U L O U S !...going to the booth a few times this week maybe I will run into you!

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  17. I remember party lines on the phone, ha ha! Great finds Joy! -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

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  18. Wish I had one of those old rotary phones to use as my landline. The current pushbutton phones sound "airy" and lose the connection easily.
    Velvet is SO hard to sew with!! The cut pile lays down and moves the top fabric over nearly 1/4", so handsewing is best with velvet. I came over from Coloradolady.

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  19. Great job on covering the history of the vintage phones. I still have one, I worked for the telephone company 40 years.

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  20. I still have rotary!!! Love the old crank phones and the black beauties of the 30-40's

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  21. I still tell people to dial a number...shows my age!! Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!

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  22. our house is from 1935 and we really want an old phone to use but we'll probably go with a reproduction so it will withstand out heavy usage

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Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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