I have been looking for a phone just like the one my family had when we moved to Mississauga in 1971. I have no need for a Smartphone or even so much as a touchtone. I am going extreme retro in my telephonic needs. It is either that or a psychological regression to my childhood comfort zone of seeing and using the same kind of phone we had on our kitchen wall.
Thanks to Matt Jennings of Old Phone Works based in Kingston, Ontario, I was able to find a phone exactly like the one we used to have from the early seventies to the mid-eighties. In a series of E-mails where I told Matt what kind of phone I wanted, he was able to find one and refurbish it. I was specific: the handset had to be hardwired, not with a modular connection, and the hook had to be chrome, not Lucite. So many vendors I had contacted sell rotary phones, but only in “as-is” condition. They do not guarantee they will even work. Some have even told me that they sell their phones as props, not for functionality. And they are reluctant to test them out. Now I don’t mind the look of a well-used phone but the work Matt does on the ones he sells is the full deal: pristine restoration. I love this new phone, model 554 wallmount dark green. I had to be specific about the shade of green our phone used to be since moss green, a close relative, wasn’t an exact match:
In the early eighties I used to interview pop stars for the Toronto Star. Most of my interviews were in person, however some were conducted over the phone. Our household only had one phone back then, and I chatted with Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor on a phone like this.
The yellow rotary that belonged to my maternal grandmother which I used to have in my kitchen, as seen in this post is now in my bedroom.