Old, wall rotary phone

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Irene wrote:

the telephone company. Your bill would show this if it were so. It's been a long time since phone company customers could use their own phone and I believe options were to give the phone back to the company, buy it or continue rental. I had heard of someone continuing rental.
Frank
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For several years following the 1984 breakup of The Bell System, I occasionally encountered a residential customer that continued to rent their phone(s).
Then, some years ago, AT&T stopped billing for the relatively few residential, single-line phones upon which they were still collecting rent. They simply "walked away" from them - "abandoned (them) in place".
--
:)
JR

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As far as I know the phone companies universally abandoned all rental phones years ago.
A wall phone of your vintage probably has a modular connector. This makes things easy if it does. Hold the bottom of the phone and slide it up. If it slide up about an eighth of an inch the phone should pull straight off the wall. there will be a standard modular jack on the plate you can plug in the regular phone into.
If the phone is the older type, without the modular jack, the cover of the phone comes off (Some sort of catch on the bottom of the phone.) and you will see where a cable with 4 wires has two of these wires attached to screw terminals. (Usually a red and a green, the other two are not used.) There will be a mounting screw or two near the bottom that you remove and then the phone will slide up and off.
To install a modular jack to the old wire, hook the red and the green wire from your cable to the red and green wire in the jack and the new phone should work. If you have a dial tone but pushing the buttons on the phone does not make tones, reverse the connections and that should fix the problem.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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True.
IIRC, the OP said the house was built in 1972. If the phone is of that vintage, it will probably NOT be "modular".
If the coiled handset cord is "modular" (can be disconnected with the little, smaller-sized modular connectors), the phone is probably also modular. If the handset cord is "hard-wired" (no modular connectors), the phone is also hard-wired.
Given the phone has been mounted for so long, if it is modular, a good "thump", in an upwards direction, against the bottom of the set may be required to dislodge it. If it ISN'T modular, this modest effort shouldn't hurt anything: The phone won't budge.
If the phone is hard-wired, there will be a little, recessed "tab" on the bottom of the set. Using a flat-bladed screw driver, push this tap upwards slightly while, at the same time, pulling the bottom of the OUTER SHELL away from the wall.

Good advice.

If that occurs (polarity is reversed) they are using yet another antique: polarity-dependent Touchtone<r> phones haven't been made in decades.
--
:)
JR

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(Irene) says...

That phone was an antique in 1972. It's probably about 70 years old. Remove it carefully and sell it on eBay.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

???
They took a 1930's-vintage phone and hung it in a new kitchen in 1972? _Highly_ unlikely, I'd say...
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It depends on what it looks like. In 1972, it was still illegal for anyone to connect personal equipment to phone company lines. Ma Bell would have installed a wall mount phone with a plastic case. If it has a wood case, it's an antique.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

OP never said it had a wooden case. He said it was mounted on a board fastened to the wall. Not uncommon in older houses with plaster walls, but a little unusual in a 1972 house, unless installer couldn't find a stud, or wall was damaged when somebody knocked it off wall or something. Maybe the board is all that was left of a chalkboard/corkboard that the builder put the kitchen prewire in. (Until WWII, they used to put a niche in hallway wall for the phone, since each house only got one.)
Note to OP- if you can post some digital pics somewhere, and put a link back here, we can tell you exactly what you have and how it is mounted. Closeup front and side views, please.
aem sends...
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On Sun, 13 Jan 2008 23:49:27 +0000, aemeijers wrote:

OK- I'll take some pix. What's a good website where I can sign up to post pictures so you readers can view them?
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Obvious that some are confusing the old crank type phone with rotary dial phone.
Anyway, lots of rotary phones available on ebay and a few crank types too.
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Irene wrote:

Unless it isn't just a wall-mounted, plastic-cased, rotary _dial_ phone, it's not worth fooling with the pictures over.
It's what was in kitchen and basement here in '78 installation although they did use the AT&T mounting plate although it was mounted on a plywood backing in the basement. The folks were still paying the rental fee on those same old, worn-out phones (never even turned them in for new ones that actually would still dial) when we moved back in '99...
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If you google western electric phones there are several sites that have lots of pictures of W/E phones and handy info about them.
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On Sun, 13 Jan 08, Larry Caldwell wrote:

It has a plastic case. I'm sure it was installed and rented brand new, as a comtemorary phone, back in 1972. The phone was made by WE.
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???
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

pre-touch tone phone that had a rotary dial and not a really old phone with a magneto that you cranked to ring the operator.
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I doubt it.
If the dial is metal, the set probably has components dating back to the 1950s. If the dial is plastic, it was probably mostly new in 1972.
If the phone has a metal dial and is in "good" condition (including the handset cord) it is probably collectible and worth selling.
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JR

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