An unusual chrome plated candlestick desk telephone believed to have come from Mexico. It has a charming antique hardwood ringer box with nostalgic and melodic bells. The set is fully operational and can be used with or without the bell set.
This telephone has been recently upgraded by a qualified telecoms engineer and fully tested on specialist equipment. Good performance is assured on any exchange supporting pulse dialling. For the few exchanges that do not support rotary dials, an in-line converter may be obtained.
The telephone retains most of its original parts including the receiver and internal cloth cords. The dial was apparently fitted at a later date when automatic systems were introduced. Prior to that, calls would have been connected via a manual operator.
The American candlestick telephones were not as heavy as the British model. They can be seen in early black & white movies held by hand. The base has a beige coloured felt mat to avoid scratching furniture. This is in surprisingly good condition.
The internal microphone or “transmitter” has been replaced with modern unit for higher quality speech transmission so that the telephone doesn’t suffer from the crackly & thin sound of a vintage telephone. The ringer has been upgraded to comply with modern telephony practice.
Research shows that the telephone was made by Western Electric USA, type 50AL which is embossed on the perch. On the base rim the markings are: pat in USA aug 16.04 sept 13.04 jan 26.15 jan 1.18 Suggesting that the ‘phone was made after Jan 1st 1918. A plate on the mouthpiece states: “Property of American Tel & Tel Co”.
The overall condition could be described as very good considering its age and the materials used. The chromed plate shows little signs of erosion though there is evidence of age and use where the chrome has worn thin. This is minimal.
The main line cords to both the pedestal and bell set have been replaced with new authentic cloth cords obtained from the USA. Each is just under 3 metres long. This allows a maximum separation just under 6 metres in any direction between the pedestal & bell, if so required.
The original dial label is still fitted. Written in Spanish it says: long distance – dial 00.