TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Widow Leases Phones for 42 Years

Re: Widow Leases Phones for 42 Years

Paul W. Schleck (
18 Sep 2006 10:46:01 -0500

In <> writes:

> Mr Joseph Singer <> said on that big USENET thingie:

>> the black rotary dinosaurs have been replaced by push-button phones.
>> And that makes Strogen sad. "I'd like to have my rotary back," she
>> said. "I like that better."

> They should be able to find her one I would think.

> Steve


Back in the Telecom Digest archives is a 1991 article from me (Message
ID <>) where I noted that there were several
suppliers of refurbished Western-Electric phones. The prices were very
modest (about $20 apiece). Today, many such phones sell for similar
prices on eBay. Even fully-restored Princess phones in obscure colors
can be gotten for less than $100.

Circa-1995, I was staying at the house of a elderly friend of the
family, since deceased, who was still leasing her phones. This was the
same person who had a party line at her vacation cabin in New Hampshire,
as I noted in another article in the Digest (Message ID
<>). At least one model was an old Bakelite
version like the one in the Bunker house in the TV show "All in the
Family." I suggested that she could either:

- Buy out her equipment from the phone company, including the lovely
antique, for a modest price and not have to pay leasing fees again.


- Let me obtain, at no cost to her, several refurbished Western Electric
phones like she had, with modular jacks. I could leave her a "hot
spare" she could switch out immediately if any of them ever failed, no

She declined both options, stating that she liked the peace of mind of
being able to call the phone company and have "a man" come over and fix
it. I'm not sure if the relatively recent development of charging
significant fees for home repair visits would have changed her mind.

Paul W. Schleck
Finger for PGP Public Key

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