The Classic Telephone
Vintage phones are popular for their nostalgic value and design. They’re the stuff of black-and-white movies and dime store sodas.
The cellular phone is one of the great inventions of our time because it has given us the freedom to communicate at will and keeps us mobile. Many of us remember waiting at home or at the office for an important communiqué. Now, it’s as if that were eons ago. Times have certainly changed, wherein now we can communicate with whomever, whenever; and even use our personal computers almost anywhere at anytime to tap into whatever kind of information we fancy.
With telephone technology at hyper speed – a cellphone without a camera and internet function seems grossly out of date, not to mention one without a color screen! – it is no surprise that old fashioned telephones have become quite collectible.
While antique telephones from as early as 1876 are novel collectibles, some of the most popular collectibles are from the 1960’s and 70’s. Because phones were more often rented before the break up of the AT&T monopoly in 1983, there’s a significant scarcity in vintage telephones. A Western Electric pay phone dating from the 1940’s recently sold for $13,000. Other popular collectibles are silver-dollar payphones and phones that date from the 19th century. A wooden “coffin” phone mounted on the wall of an historic farmhouse can compliment the decor quite nicely. People who restore their older homes often look for vintage phones to complete the interior.
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