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.
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.
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.