Call Me!

This June my desk calendar’s picture is an old advertisement for a 1959 Princess Telephone.  The phone is that unique shade of turquoise that was so popular in the 1950s.  Tres chic!

I have no personal recollection of Princess Telephones [Model 702].  We didn’t have one in our home.  Instead, we had a basic white rotary dial Desk Telephone [Model 500] in the kitchen + a yellow Trimline Telephone [Model 220] in my upstairs bedroom.

Yes, we were early adopters with two phones in our small house.  Try not to be jealous.

Even though the following short TV commercial is from the 1950s, I can’t help feeling that I, too, was just as much of a princess as this girl.  I mean, I had a “personal extension phone” in my upstairs bedroom.

On the other hand, I didn’t have a dressing table adorned with bottles of nail polish and a French poodle figurine… nor was I ever inclined to wear bobby socks with a skirt… nor, after years of painful orthodontia, were my teeth as crooked as the girl’s teeth in this commercial…

But other than that, I was just like her.  Yakking on the phone.  Up in my bedroom.  In my own little teenage world.  😉

• • • 

So how about you?  

Did you have a Princess Telephone?  Or a Trimline Telephone?  

Or some other sort of phone entirely?

• • • 

[For photos and descriptions of models mentioned above please go here: Western Electric ~ A look at the evolution of the Dial Telephone.]

[FYI – Phone numbers used to be recited with words at the beginning.  Here’s a chart to help you remember, or understand, what those words meant: Ma Bell’s Officially Recommended Exchange Names.]

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted most days.

19 thoughts on “Call Me!”

  1. Oh my, how special were you?! No, I never had a personal extension or Princess phone. We were on a party line, though, “back in the day.” Remember those?

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    1. nance, I remember party lines. My grandpa and my best friend’s family had one. We had a private line because my dad was a doctor and patients/hospital needed to get through. But if it weren’t for that fact, knowing how frugal my parents were, I’m sure that we would of had one too!

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  2. We got a telephone when I was about 10 or so (1977, 1978) and it was one of those clunky old Bakelite cream coloured dial things. It sat in the hall and we had a bell in the kitchen because it couldn’t be heard from anywhere else if it rang. Stupid place to put it really! Like the bottom right hand one here, but in cream http://www.abdyantiques.co.uk/. It had a very British “ring, ring”, “ring, ring”. What I really wanted was a Trim Phone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx03gDhV6-8. All sounds so dated now. Hope my links don’t make me look like spam.

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    1. Polly, I think that your first phone has a very smooth shape to it. Most of the desk phones that I remember here in the US were more boxy.

      And that is a British equivalent of a trimline phone?!! I’ve never seen or heard anything like it. What a fun thing to know– that is, how the same word for an ordinary object can bring to mind two such different images. Thanks for sharing.

      [Links are always stopped by the WP moderation, but don’t necessarily go to spam if you are a regular commenter here. So you were good.]

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  3. We had the original big clunky black one that was at the bottom of our stairs. I dreamed of a princess phone but it was not to be! As for a phone in my room, well, we were on a party line until the company did away with them.

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    1. kate, when I was a little girl we lived in an apartment & we had one of those clunky black phones. But when my parents bought a house they upgraded to a white phone that sat on a table over against the wall in the kitchen.

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  4. I don’t remember the color of our phone, but it was in the “family room”, so anytime someone called there was absolutely no privacy! It was also a party line and I could always hear the other party pick up when I happened to be on the phone…and not hang up. I used to answer our phone exactly how Mom did, so that her friends always thought I was her:)

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    1. Beth, I remember calling you and thinking that you were your mother! The phone in our kitchen had no privacy, but the one upstairs was a whole different story.

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  5. “The phone is that unique shade of turquoise that was so popular in the 1950s.”

    That color is burned so deep in my brain I don’t even have to see a photo of one of the phones to remember what it looked like. We had the basic black model in our house. Color phones cost more and my mother said a black phone worked just a well as the color ones so that was all we needed. Can’t argue with logic like that. She did not get a color phone until they became standard and she waited until the touch tone pad because standard before switching to that. Ma Bell was a big conglomerate and there was no way she was giving them any more of her money that needed.

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    1. la p, it was a shade to remember, wasn’t it? My mother was of the same p.o.v. re: phone color. It was only because the white model was the same price as the black one that we got it. And as for the yellow trimline, for some reason [I was a good kid?], she decided to indulge me in my request for a color. It really was a pretty little phone.

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    2. “….she waited until the touch tone pad because standard before switching to that. ”
      Should read, “…she waited until the touch tone pad became standard before switching to that.”

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      1. I’m not sure that my mother ever had a touch tone phone. I can’t remember for sure, but I think that she died before they became standard. Another one of the details that just kind of fades away…

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  6. Gladstone 2-7623! We had a trimline (hard wired) on the kitchen wall and a model 500 rotary dial downstairs. Later, the folks got an extension in their bedroom, I think. I might be just putting the model 500-ish rotary/tone phone that is upstairs in their bedroom now into my memory of the house in Kansas City. It appears I never had a princess phone even when I moved out on my own – in favor of a see through trimline. Very cool that!

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    1. Zazzy, no one I know seems to remember the Princess Phone. I still think that a Trimline phone is pretty and useful. We have one in our guest bedroom just because I like it!

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  7. I wanted a personal extension but never got one! My parents phone number was Thornwall5…(also TH5 and now 845). My Seattle uncle’s number was Cherry2. 🙂 I remember!! It must mean I’m as old as dirt.

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    1. Margaret, Thornwall 5 and Cherry 2 are so garden-y. I like them better than our practical old DuPont 2. Now that I remember that we all said phone numbers using words with numbers, I want to start a movement to revive the practice. There was a coolness to saying phone numbers that way.

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