BoldOldPhones.com - History

Selling Rotary Dial Telephones since 2003

There are Bold Phones... and there are Old Phones... But there are very few Bold Old Phones!

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Bold Old Phones History:

This website is the main site for the Bold Old Phone Company which was started in 2003 with a stockpile of Model 500 telephones. We purchased them from a phone company that had taken them out of service and put them into storage in the 1980's as the touch-tone models began to replace them in people's homes. Twenty years later the phone company realized that they would not be putting them back in service so they sold them to us. We have refurbished and sold over 8000 of them since then to Internet customers around the world. Without the Internet's unique ability to match phone buyers with phone sellers like us, this business could not exist!

Original BoldOldPhones.com website photo when the business was started in our kitchen in 2003

 

Bold Old Phones is a family-run business. As seen in the photograph above... this business literally started at the kitchen table and grew from there. Although we also sell a variety of Replica Phones, we decided to focus on our niche of Model 500 rotary dial telephones because the earlier models have many technical problems in today's homes and the wall phones are too small of a market niche to serve. This website allows us to combine the best of the Mid-Century Modern phones that we restore with the features in the replicas that many people want in a phone.

 

Model 500 Rotary Dial Telephone History:

"Form Follows Function" is as true in Design as it is in Biology. In Post-WWII America, people were moving to the suburbs from the cities and wanted the same telephone service that they had in the city (rural America remained largely unwired into the 1950's). But the phones of the era had a signal too low to reach many of them easily. In addition, Ma Bell wanted to upgrade the phone system to encourage more Direct Dialing. The design problem was enormous... a telephone must be rugged and reliable, but also easy-to-use and (if possible) FUN!

Original BoldOldPhones.com Website Photo

To accomplish this, AT&T turned to the famed Henry Dreyfuss and his industrial design team to create a new phone. The result of their efforts was the Model 500 desk phone. Improvements over previous models included the Adjustable Ringer Volume Control, a 25% lighter handset, and a transmitter that could reach ten times further than before.

Of most lasting significance was the movement of the numbers from inside the dial to outside which prevented them from being rubbed off with repeated calling. Later tests showed a 50% reduction in misdialed numbers as a result of this improvement... laying the groundwork for direct long-distance calling, all-digit phone numbers, and today's various touch-tone telephones.

Introduced in 1949, the Model 500 Desk Telephone was produced until the 1980's in America. Over 80 million were produced worldwide by a variety of manufacturers licensed by Western Electric to produce the Model 500. Millions remain in service today.

 

 

RARE COLORS

Green
Orange
Blue
Pink
Yellow

Black Metal Dial

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