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Kellogg D/K 500 – The “Banjo Phone” – In Color Too!

Recently I was able to add a very nice Kellogg Model D/K 500 to my collection.  The model D/K 500 in classic black are seen from time to time on eBay.  Although they are not “rare” (an over used word on many eBay auctions) they are not as plentiful as the Westrn Electric Model 500.

1956 Kellogg "Banjo Phone"

It takes a trained eye to notice the difference between a black Western Electric Model 500 and a Model D/K 500,  made by The Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Co. of Chicago, Illinois.

Production of these Western Electric look-alikes began in 1954.  This model of Kellogg telephone replaced the earlier 1000 series Kellogg, often referred to as the Red Bar.  Made with Tenite (soft plastic) the D/K500 had a black metal finger wheel.  Leather foot pads were on the bottom corners of the phone and the Bakelite “Gumdrop” handset first appeared with a straight black handset cord.  I wrote an article about a “banjo phone” that I refurbished  back in 2008. In 1956,  to meet the demand for color sets, Kellogg released several colors.  those were Red, Yellow, Gray, Ivory, Brown, Beige, Blue and Green.  These sets in color are now extremely rare.  One rarely sees one for sale and when they are listed they sell for a rather handsome sum of money.

Looking at the phone from the front you notice a circular design around the dial bezel.  This is where the so-called “banjo phone” got it’s name.  It resembles the round shape of the banjo.  With it’s open center finger wheel and slightly rounded matching plastic handset, this phone is  a very stylish soft plastic telephone.

Kellogg Model D/K 500's

I am very happy to have this phone in my collection.  Shown here with both the earlier Black set and also pictured along side the Western Electric counter part.

Soft Plastic Yellow Kellogg "Banjo Phone" & Western Electric Model 500

2 responses to “Kellogg D/K 500 – The “Banjo Phone” – In Color Too!”

Dennis-what a beautiful phone. Kellogg’s are real cool and hard to find. I have an Ivory one like it and several of the later 500 style in the rarer colors such as Rose Beige,Dark Blue and what I call 57 Chevy Turquoise (I admit I don’t know the real name,shame on me) W E never used this color but they should have. Also I have a 2 tone Dark Gray Housing and black dial and handset and also a Yellow & Black they are still refered to as DK-500 but that should be reserved for the “Banjo” style. Nice Phone. Thanks for posting it.

Thanks, Mark. It would be nice to see your Ivory Banjo phone. If you would like I’d be glad to post it here. Just e-mail a photo to me when you get time. The other 500 type Kelloggs that you have sound great too. I really like the look of those early Kellogg plastic sets. You don’t run across them very often. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

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