SAN FRANCISCO? POTBELLY TELEPHONE AMERICAN BELL c1900

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  • Item Category: Tools
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: May 16,2007
  • Channel: Online Auction

I have no doubt many of you know much more about this telephone than Ido. I am no telephone expert . I simply purchased this from among estate items at a sale. I believe this is a San Francisco Potbelly candlestick telephone. I learned that during my research of the telephone. I have read these were made by Western Electric for American Bell Telephone Company. The backside of the transmitter is clearly stamped "Property of the American Bell Telephone Company" The black piece on the transmitter, which would display a telephone number (I imagine) is stamped Western Electric Made in USA 128-B. T is another plate on the front that reads *329* The part that holds the receiver is forked and not your typical (I think) loops. The spring is still functional after 100 years! The telephone is very heavy and feels solid. My scale (not digital) measures it at about 4 lbs 10 oz without the receiver. The receiver is obviously broken. I don't even know if that is original. The inside has a bronze tone and the exterior has a nickel toned finish. I do not know my metals well enough to say if it is actually nickel. This does not hold a magnet on the base or stem. I see some green and brown cloth covered wires inside, but I have no idea how this functions. I did not open the back of the transmitter to see inside. The neck appears to be telescoping. It moves slowly up and down and left to right. I did not want to force it. The metal plate that covers the bottom has an ink stamped mark that reads W. EAGER (the A is difficult to read). Most, if not all of this appears to be original to this fine telephone. However, if t is one thing that would be questionable it would be the base. The brass bar in the bottom only has 2 screw holes in it yet the felt covered base has 3 holes. The base measures 5 1/4" in diameter. Excluding the telescoping arm and transmitter this measures about 7 7/8" to the top of the black cap located over the stem. As this stands it measures about 12" to the top of the transmitter, but that is adjustable. I suspect this is a real treasure and many people would love to have this in their collection.

Please note, that I have 2 other old candlestick telephones (not potbelly) to auction this week that came from the same estate. The lady was an avid ham radio operator and I suspect she used these phones for her airwaves adventures. That is a guess. I only say that because I believe these we simply handed down in the family and she was not necessarily a collector of phones. I will do my best to answer questions. I do not have a buy it now price.

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