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Earth Day – Birthday

It is not unusual for telephone collectors to have a “birthday” phone. A phone that was manufactured on or close to the collector’s birthday. I happen to be lucky enough to have one of those phones. Mine is a very nice Western Electric Model C/D 500. Not only was it made the same day I was born, but at the same time of day on that Friday in April of 1955. You’ll note in the accompanying photo the date is displayed as 4 22 55 3. The “3” indicating the third shift.

This is actually the second “birthday” phone that I managed to find. However on the first one I owned only the case (cover) was dated 4-22-55. That one is also a black model 500. Then one day while browsing through the phones on eBay a seller highlighted the dates of this phone as all being from the same day. I had to buy it. I have it on an end table and it is used every day. I’ve had it over a year now and haven’t touched it as far as detailing the phone. It’s in the condition it was when I got it, which is pretty good. I really like the straight handset cord that is also from 1955. I’m pretty confident this phone will be around much longer than I will be.

I remember the first “Earth Day” on this date in 1970—when this model 500 and I both turned fifteen years old. I guess I’m doing my part by trying to keep as many of these old phone out of the landfill as possible.
Anyone else out there have a birthday phone? Take a moment and tell us about it!

6 responses to “Earth Day – Birthday”


My phone call to you yesterday was supposed to end witha “Happy Birthday” wish, but by the time the call came to an end we were both rushing off to one appointment or another and I forgot to wish you the best on your birthday.

My apologies, and Happy Birthday to you – albeit belated!

Dennis, what an interesting phone to have matching dates on everything, and how nice that it happens to be your exact birthdate! I do like the straight handset cord look as it’s an excellent indicator of your phone’s vintage. That phone was clearly meant for you and it was destiny that you found it!

Thank you again for all the help you have provided with getting my 1950 500 set performing its best. I intend to use it for a long time! Sincere wishes for a great year of being 53 and continued satisfaction refurbishing examples of one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) industrial designs of the 20th century!

Happy birthday to you and your beautiful phone too!


Gosh Dennis, I didn’t know they made phones back then! (heh-heh) I’ll have to find a birthday phone myself. Hmm, I’ll have to start paying more attention to the dates. We could have a D-Day phone or a JFK Assassination phone… this could be a whole new field of collecting!

You make a good point, Mark. Phones that are from a particular date in history might very well be a great collector piece, but might also command far higher value for sale, too!

Hi Dennis,

Although I’m a little late, I do, in fact, have a birthday phone story.

It was the day after Christmas in 2007 and everything was pretty quiet as that day tends to be. Then, I heard a rare sound: the doorbell! Who should be there but the UPS delivery person bringing me a surprise birthday phone! Everybody can guess who the generous gift giver was: my brother Dennis!

How I love the bright yellow wall phone to match my bright yellow study where I spend way too much time working! I have to admit I forget all the details about the phone, but the phone is colorful, fun, and works great.

I think I recall a very similar phone in the hall of our home when I was a teenager.
Could that be true, brother phone guru?

Maybe you have a photo of my birthday phone you could share with your bloggers. It’s a beauty.

Thanks for your part in keeping the phones out of the landfill. You contribute much to the preservation of not only phones, but the culture!

Give me a ring sometime.


Thank you Jackie for commenting on YOUR birthday phone. I’m glad that many months later you are still enjoying its presence in your study. 1959 Yellow Western Electric Model 554 This phone, a model 554 wall phone manufactured in September of 1959. 1959 554 BellsAs with all the phones of the day, this one has the heavy thick chrome hook switch, an open center finger wheel and a long, heavy coiled handset cord. As 1959 was a transitional year for the type of plastic used to manufacture these phones, I believe yours to be soft plastic—still being manufactured into mid to late 1959.

As requested, here are a couple photos of your Vintage Rotary Phone!

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