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Have you ever spun the dial on an old rotary phone like this one? Well, before 1963 there were no push-button telephones, and still, for many years afterward, phones just like the one pictured were in regular use all over the place. This telephone is a Model 302 produced by the Northern Electric Telephone Company (in Canada, Western Electric in the U.S.). Introduced in the 1930s, they were produced widely until well after the 500 type telephone was released in 1949. This phone is unique from later models (those more commonly found in secondhand and antique shops) in that the dial is made of die cast metal, and the numbers are located inside of the finger holes. The numbers on the Model 500 for example are located around the perimeter of the rotating dial. The most recent patent date on this one of mine is from 1944! The Model 302 came in various colours, though the added paint cost extra, so you are more likely to find them in black if you do come across one. To be honest though, I love the practical, basic look the black model provides, and I always feel like mine is right out of the set of a WW2 film.

These old phones are super cool, and with an adaptor ($20 on Amazon) they can still be used today! They ring true, and sound really amazing both when you are dialling up a number or when someone calls your place. Listening to these old rotary dials go back and forth really can take you back to another time. Have you got a vintage telephone? A reproduction phone? Let me know in the comments, and as always, send in photos of your vintage finds to!


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