Of Typewriters and Telephones.
Things have been a little chaotic here at Filthy HQ, and in a lot of ways it has been living up to that very name. Work has been consuming my time of late, and I’ve been keeping contact with friends and family – and much of the typosphere, with intermittent Facebook posts and emails. It feels like I have an allotment of roughly 30 minutes at a time to be able to perform any particular task – so I have to measure my hobby time and organise it the same way that I do with my work and responsibility time.
Again, bigger decisions are coming our way again, and the talk of packing and moving means that I feel I again have another Damocles sword dangling above my head. And again, I look at the boxes in my shed and think about how much effort it took to pack this all by myself last time.
So, I have decided that it is time to thin down my collections. Maybe…. a bit. God knows I’m unlikely to stem the flow of typewriters that are coming into my house, but hey…. maybe it is time to shift some of the quality ones that I don’t so much for, and let a much more appreciative user have it. After all, some of these machines that I have sitting in my shelves are incredible first-rate machines that I’ve restored to 100% operation, only to leave aside unloved and unused when I shift from quality machine to quality machine.
But it is my telephones that I think it is time to move on. Talk about unloved. They’ve remained in their boxes well after I finished moving, and I’ve really just not got the space and time to display them or appreciate them. So I have decided to clear my collection, except for maybe one or two.
As I was taking photos to start selling them, it occurred to me that these telephones would look better along side other items on my collection – say, typewriters! So I started modelling them along side machines that matched them in era, and if possible design (at least from a colour point of view. As you can see in the example above, a 50’s Ericofon matches quite beautifully the 50’s curvy Hermes 3000.
Iv’e been meaning to show off a bit of my phone collection for a while, so here’s a bit of a peek at my phones, alongside of some of my typewriters as well. Enjoy!
Ericofon – 1950’s
The iconic and beautiful Ericofon – often referred to as ‘the Cobra phone’.
HEEMAF Model 55 (1955 version). One of the greatest Art Deco telephones ever made.
Beautiful dutch designed telephone made by the German Heemaf corporation that was the last of the great bakelite telephones.
Bakelite PMG 420 1930’s to 1950’s.
Australian ‘Post Master General’ bakelite telephone that was quite standard across Australia.
On a side note, I had this phone hooked up to the phone system at the Royal Children’s Hospital for a while when I had my own office there for two years – just for the looks I got.
Ivory Ericofon – 1950’s
Bakelite Ivory coloured 400 series P (P for portable) 1930’s to 1950’s.
The metal handle across the top of the base slides out, and allows you to carry the phone around the room easily in one hand.
Bell RTT56 Copper and Brass telephone.
Made in Belgium, the copper telephone is incredibly beautiful to look at. It also had a Brass handle that lifts up that also makes it ‘portable’. Usually found in France or the UK.
20 thoughts on “Of Typewriters and Telephones.”
Oooooooohh phooones!! I have forbidden myself to get into phones too, luckily we have A LOT of them in Hack42, including some of yours. Are yours still operating?
Yeah. Mostly. The copper one has a broken spring in its dial, but I have a second one (one I’m keeping) that works fine. I’ve loved that Heemaf, but it is time to give it up,
What you guys got out at Hack42? I really should plan a trip over there sometime.
That would be fun, of course you are very welcome!! Maybe I’ll do a blog post about it again. I have no idea what what is but they are very cool, and those operating are actually still being used (one in every room we have and we have many).
One of the few temptations I’ve been able to resist is collecting old telephones.
I remember those old Ericphones. I think GTE or another phone company that did not have service any place where I lived would advertise those.
I wonder how many young people would even know what the dial phones are. They are quite attractive and are a bit different than and I’ve seen in the USA.
Weirdly, the Ericofon was banned from use here in Australia by the then PMG – which had the monopoly on the phone lines. But people kept bringing them in from overseas and re-writing them for Australian lines, and eventually they had to allow Ericsson to produce products for the local market.
As for the dial phones. I had a co-worker over my place for dinner one night, and he saw the telephone table that we had in the hallway. He asked ‘ What kind of weird chair is that’. When I told him it was for a telephone, he couldn’t see figure it out. And he was only 6 years younger than me.
Ah! A related area for sure (admission; have been scanning local classifieds for a nice 30ies model to come up. When one pops up, I’ll want the one to also hook-up and be able to use.)
Nice collection – the PMG looks great, that model P especially grand!
(A T55 from the German factory of Dutch Heemaf corporation that would be, I guess? 🙂
The T55 is quite large, big footprint. Very common type round here. One of the types installed widely after the ’51 normalization.)
That would be a correct guess indeed! They’re not very common here in AU, and while they’re not rare they are very fondly spoken of by collectors for their ‘designer’ heritage. And it sure does have a big base. Definitely wider than the 400 series PMG.
Wonderfully posed – wonderful pictures – so tempting. Must. Look. Away. I can’t cultivate another collecting enthusiasm.
Ha ha ha. Oh… don’t do it! You’ll end up with a house full of crap just like me.
Very beautiful phones! You know there’s devices that allow you to hook them suckers up to your cell service?
Possibly unsurprisingly, I do have a great USB adaptor to connect one of these phones to my computer, for use with SKYPE
Those really are striking designs!
I know. Hence how I ended up with so many.
I kind of really want one of those copper ones now
Certainly quite beautiful.
That ivory 400 is exquisite! I can’t wait to hook up my Ericofon or 420 in the next house. Although, I’m sure I’ll jump out of my chair the first time the 420’s bell rings. Been decades since I heard an old-fashioned bellring.
That copper and brass Bell RTT56 is pretty sweet too, Scott.
The Ericofon bell isn’t as bad as the PMG. That’s got one heck of a ring.
very beautiful photos, and great idea to match the phones and tws. thanks.
Bakelite PMG. That phone deserves an 8th day, coz it would have taken God that long to construct such perfection. Great photos.
HEEMAF is not a German company but real Dutch; have a look here: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heemaf.
In the sixties HEEMAF sold their telephone departement to Philips and therefore there also exist models with the Philips sign on the bottom.
In my museum there is a lot more information about this particular set (in dutch …) http://telefoonmuseum.eu/index.php/1960-tot-1980/toestellen-tot-1980/item/134-model-1955