Online there are many possibilities to buy Ericofons. Normally sellers make pictures of the models they offer and describe their goods. I’m sometimes astonished by the quality of the pictures, the angles they were shot in, and the details shown. Colors are sometimes hard to recognize as exposure and light are not always optimal. But descriptions can be quite shocking as well. I found some examples of quotes that I personally would never use.
Now these examples are quite obvious and visible. Actually, I find them very funny and amusing in a way. If there are other nice and ‘innocent’ examples in the future, I will add them in the gallery here as well.
Other sellers deliberately hide the imperfections. Recently I bought an “in very good condition” Ericofon which appeared to be melted on one side after I received it. Of course, it was not mentioned and not shown on the pictures. The seller never answered…
Always be careful what you buy because conditions, colors and damage are only opinions.
Gösta Thames (1916 – 2006): was the highest technical manager in Ericsson. He took Lysell on board in 1939 and in the late 1940’s he was the leader of the design team for the Ericofon.
Ralph Lysell (1907 – 1987) is one of the true pioneers in Swedish industrial design. He was engaged in 1939 in the design process but left Ericsson in 1949. He was still involved after 1949 in the Ericofon design as he was a master in clay modelling.
Hugo Blomberg (1897 – 1994) was in charge of the Ericofons technical development as of 1949. Hired Lysell as a freelance designer for his extraordinary design skills.
Sometimes you buy a phone that is not as advertised. This phone had some heat damage on 1 side and there was no way to recover it. The seller was so ‘nice’ to misled met with perfect pictures avoiding the spot that could not be overlooked by him. For the rest it really looked perfect.
As it is still summer holiday I decided to create my own ‘intersected Ericofon’. It is nice to see how everything fits into the chassis. It is not really going to be part of the collection, but it is interesting to see this construction so close myself. I believe there is an ‘official’ version of this, professionally made, but I am not 100% sure about it.
After I created the menu item ‘Colors’ for color identification I thought it would be good to elaborate a bit on the color Candle Glow. As said there, it is difficult to make colors visible online but I’ll try to show the 2 different Candle Glows here.
Candle Glow 520553
North Electric NC
OC and LME NC
As already said, the New Case Candle Glow has two color variants. The North Electric (NE) is a bit more gray-brown. The Swedish (LME) Candle Glow is more ivory-yellow. The picture in the left shows the subtle difference.
In the second picture I tried to show the translucent/opaque aspect of those 2 colors. With the same light from the front of the phones, you can see that the LME type is for sure more translucent than its NE twin.
The difference is for New Case models only. Old Cases are always LME like.
To be clear, both phones used in this post, do not have any discoloring. Not all phones are identical. The same color produced in different factories might differ a bit. And of course, over time colors changes. Usually you can see the original tone of color on the inside of the shell, never exposed to direct sunlight and/or smoke.
There are a few special dial faces that I want to show this time. Those are specifically from the UK. Prior to 1980 the British General Post Office was state owned and the sole supplier of public fixed lines in the UK.
In the pictures above you can see 2 examples of typical Post Office Ericofon dial faces that I have in my collection. Both phones are marked as Post Office Property. In these years you could see this in a lot of countries. A monopolist providing rental equipment. It is not yours, and this is how they make that clear to you. Every time you use the phone…
After 1980 British Telecom was introduced as a organization, replacing the ‘good old’ GPO. In 1982 the monopoly of providing telecoms services was broken and multiple suppliers were allowed. Mercury Communications was the first one to compete with BT.
So as of 1982 the situation changed and a more customer focused approach was needed to be able to compete. The dial face above is not as fancy as in the old days but it for sure has a different tone. ‘Supplied by’ instead of ‘Owned by’. Actually the dial face is a standard one, no dedicated printing on the base anymore. I guess the days of infinite money supplies were over.
From my experience in the telecoms sector in The Netherlands, a similar process was taking place. A state owned company became private, competition came in and suddenly there was a more friendly approach to customers. Guess it happened in more countries in that period.
Last week I saw this picture of the Hannover Messe in 1969. On the Ericsson stand there was a transparent Ericofon next to the ‘Type 1892’. I identified the clear phone as a Touchtone model. As the TouchTone was introduced in 1967, there was a fair chance this was the case.
A few days later I was able to add a clear TouchTone Ericofon to my collection…
My previous statement that the clear Ericofon seemed to be used as a presentation model to executives and commercial relations, made at least some sense.
The phone arrived and it is in perfect shape and in working order. A great item!!
As you can see the dial face of this one is numbers only. All other Touch Tones I have, are equipped with the typical Northern Electric dial face with alphanumerical buttons.
As I already showed some time ago in an older post, there is a stamp that has the Ericofon on it. Recently I was able to get a first day cover of this stamp from 1999. It is a nice to have, and worth sharing here, but not something really special.
Something more special, and with a bit more history is the first day cover below. This one I like a lot.
This envelop, with the Ericofon as an image on the envelope itself, was send in December 1962 from Tunesia to Sweden. So the First Day Cover is in fact about the series of stamps on the envelope. But…
…the receiver of the envelope was the General Director of the Swedish Post Office between 1947 and 1964, Erik Swartling.
The sender must be Ericsson Tunesia. Actually I did not open the envelope, as it is sealed, but inside there is a note with some text that you can read if you keep it against the light. It says “Good Wishes For The Next Year” and “Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson”. It also shows the LM Ericsson logo on the note inside. Unfortunately I am not able to read more of the note…
I really have to control myself not opening it. But as Erik obviously never opened it, who am I to do so… ?
These are quite a bunch of very very rare Ericofons you see here. Unfortunately they are not mine. 🙁 I am not aware of the origin of these picture, but if it is your set of Ericofons, please contact me, as I found them on social media.
These are so called ‘swirl’ types. They were never officially produced. But they were obviously the result of moving from one color to another in the production process.
It seems that when they were producing red Ericofons for instance, and they wanted to start producing whites, the colors could mix in the machine. A few models would have these effects during that switch. Usually they were thrown away, but I am pretty sure that these phone were so cool that you just had to smuggle them out.
What I find strange, is that the cap also has the same effect. I always thought the caps would be produced separately. Or… they just produced both more or less in the same production line, at the same time. Or… they had to look for a cap somewhere… I don’t know.