Candlestick Telephones Candlestick Telephones This is a very special deskstand manufactured in New York for a California firm known as the Direct Line Telephone Company, who provided some level of phone service to San Francisco businesses between 1900 and 1910. There are very few of these sets in existence and this one is in especially fine condition. This is a display of Western Electric Model 20B and later type candlesticks. Each of these is different in one way or other. Two are early models and have seven digit faceplates. Seven have pony receivers and four have attachments. All are in mint, original condition. The W.E. #10 candlestick on the left is not in itself an unusual set, but the telephone index roll attached to the phone and described in the framed advertisement behind the phone, is very rare, and was made especially for this telephone. The other very unusual attachment is the green mouthpiece, and oversized unit with a plunger in the center for cutting off the transmitter to improve the hearing. Only four or five of these large mouthpieces are known to exist. The W.E. #10 on the right is a more difficult to find black stick. It has a standard glass mouthpiece and a marked W.E. pony receiver. Just behind the stick is a framed original blotter picturing a lady using a black #10. This is one of my favorite model 20-B candlesticks. It’s a favorite because it has a seven digit faceplate (rare item), an early brown bakelite mouthpiece, a nickel plated phone number holder above the mouthpiece, and a very old and uniquely colored W.E. pony receiver. Even the light colored leather on the bottom is original. The brown tones are very beautiful with the nickel plated stick. This is an interesting old candlestick. It is commonly called the “Hershey Kiss” style because of the shape of the neck or “perch.” This particular phone was refurbished by the factory and modernized to a later model stick as the original code number (22?) has been struck out and a new number, 20-AL stamped on the backside. Just above the strike out, there are the words, “Patent Applied For.” This stick also has a later model transmitter and faceplate. Someday I hope to find one that is in original condition. Here are three of my favorite “sticks.” The one on the left is a San Francisco Potbelly; the middle one is a Holtzer Cabot, Ness American “dial” stick; and the right one is your old Strowger 11 digit standby. All the above are in mint condition. The Holtzer has an original Red Cross MP and the one on the right has an original porcelain mp with advertising. This is a very unusual candlestick intercom telephone. It may have been manufactured by an independent company known as the Electric Equipment Mfg. Co., or by the DeVeau company who mfg’d many intercom telephones. Like many others like it, it has parts that may have been mfg’d by Western Electric, but the switching mechanism was probably a DeVeau product or invention. To make it work, one lifts the receiver and presses a station button. That action no doubt rang the desired location. When the receiver was returned to the switchhook, the mechanism released the station button. This phone was originally nickel but in such poor condition when acquired that renickeling was appropriate. This is another example of a candlestick intercom. This one was made by the Electric Goods Mfg Co. of Canton, MA. It too has parts that appear to have been mfg’d by Western Electric, and the switching mechanism, though different from the stick pictured just above, was likely mfg’d by DeVeau as well. This stick is also unique in that there is a round celluloid tab behind each button where the station number should appear (worn off on this set), and there are two full length clamping devices at each side of the upright that hold a card in place where the identity of each station is posted. I know of the existence of at least three of these sets. This set was no doubt nickel plated initially, but has been beautifully “brassed-out” and coated to prevent discoloration. The original mouthpiece on this phone has inside threads like that of an American Electric or North. This is an eight station Western Electric interphone candlestick. They were also made with four stations. Most of these interphones as they were called were used on “inside” systems with no connection to the outside world. There were also wood and metal wall sets and button units when the number of stations exceeded eight. The white spaces below the buttons were for station names. One often sees stations such as kitchen, bedroom, garage, and front door, written in the spaces. This unit is complete with orginal cords and appears to have had little or no use. This is a Couch AutoPhone candlestick and subset. Everything you see is original to this phone with the exception of the bottom cover. The cords are original and in perfect condition, and connect to the subset which also contains a talking coil. The dialing mechanism is automatic. When the longer lever is turned to the extension or station desired, the smaller lever is rotated to the left and when released, dials that extension. There is also a pushbutton for ringing the selected station. These two W.E. candlesticks are made of steel and have a special finish known as Bower-Barff, a tough grey color unlike the original black japanning found on most sticks. This finish was used during the war when steel was used instead of brass. Both of these examples are in near mint condition with the exception of the surface of the faceplate on the stick on the right. Note the very unusual writing desk or pad. This mounts to the stick with a heavy, spring-loaded clamp that holds it securely in place. The paper comes from a continuous roll. This is a standard Stromberg Carlson candlestick on the left and what was probably a salesman’s sample on the right. The miniature is engraved with the company name around the outside edge of the backcup, just behind the faceplate. Both of these sets are in mint condition.