I have always had a passion for telephones; not for collecting but for having one in my bedroom, connected to the outside world. That didn’t happen until I was in high school. My father was in the grocery business and one of his customers worked for our local independent telephone company and one day gifted me with an Ivory 302 that he had “liberated” as foreign equipment from a local resident. Soon after, my father bought an old building that had to be removed from the path of the new I5 freeway near the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was an old meat market and there were several greasy “key” sets on the sawdust floor. The best part of this is that the switching equipment (KSU) for the phones was safely tucked away in a closet in the basement. It was an original install of a W.E. 1A key unit. I liberated it along with a mile of cable, and used it for more than 65 years wherever I lived. I just removed it from the attic above my home office and reinstalled it in my garage area shop where I plan to hook it up again with two or three styles of keysets.
Somewhere around age 50, I learned how to refinish hardwood, and found about the same time a gutless extension ringer in an antique store. It did have bells, and when restored, made a great bookend, but what good is just one bookend? Need I say more?
My website, designed by my friend, Remco Enthoven, curator of the JKL Museum, is where I display some of my favorite acquisitions. My buying days are over, and I’m in the process of donating some of my extensive collection to my favorite telephone museum, the American Museum of Telephony, aka The JKL Museum in the Santa Cruz area of California.