Re: Widow Leases Phones for 42 Years

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 the black rotary dinosaurs have been replaced by push-button phones.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 hassle.

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

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Paul W. Schleck
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