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Thread: Crank Wall Phone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,427

    Crank Wall Phone

    Was doing some browsing at one of the local donation stores. I came across an old crank telephone. It appears to be white oak, has box joint corners, but is missing most of the internal components. Someone had built an extension for the back, not sure what the purpose was though. I removed it and replaced it with the original back, which was with it.

    Anyone know if there are conversion kits for these to use with a modern phone system?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG00245.jpg   IMG00244.jpg   IMG00246.jpg   IMG00250.jpg  
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Can't answer your question. Although I do recall seeing some with dials installed. Yours may be a semi-antique, I can't tell from the picture. It differs from the ones my father made. See a thread I started some time back. Enjoy.
    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=7355

  3. #3
    You don't have an old one there that's for sure. I would say someone has taken out some of the parts and cobbled it together, but it doesn't look anything like the phones we used to use.

    Now hold on you are probably saying, you are only 34 years old and even in Maine the dial phone replaced the hand crank prior to 1974.

    Well that may be, but my Dad. my Grandmother and my Uncle had their own private phone line running between the houses. Its called Johnson Hill because we all live right here so it was only a phone system ˝ mile long, but we would crank the phone and my Grandmother would answer into the 1990's. Or we would ring up my Uncle.

    It was always a special treat, no matter the year to hear that old bell clang away, and as we got older it happened less frequently, but all the more special. It finally stopped because my Uncle moved to a new house, and the batteries got hard to get. Big 6 volt dry cell reverse polarity batteries aren't easy to find you know? We were probably the last family to use the old cranks, but did not even know it.

    You guys are probably thinking...my goodness what's the next thing Travis is going to tell us, he had an outhouse too? Well sort of...but I'll save that for a discussion in the Construction Sub-Forum on bathroom remodels someday.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
    MY Gawd, I'm Old! We had one of those and by goylly my M-I-L still does (although not in use) and you can plug it in an use it to answer.

    did a quick Google for you and Be prepared to climb off that wallet as the mothpiece you are missing is a buck and a quarter ($125.00) but check it out...http://www.oldphoneman.com/PartsWoodWallPhones.htm
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 10-14-2008 at 11:08 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,427
    Well thanks for the feedback guys. Bill that page you gave had some info I was looking for, looks like I can get a reproduction mouthpiece for $9.95, just wasn't sure of the size.

    I figured it would be too much to try and restore the thing, that's why I was looking for a conversion kit. I think this thing will probably just be a wall decoration for me or someone on ebay though.

    Thanks again,
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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