In the past few months I received some phones from all kinds of sources here in The Netherlands. Ericofons that are circulating, so to say. They go from one person to another until they end up in my ‘workshop’. There they will be dismantled, cleaned, repaired and put together againm, or re-used in any other way.
Since I have a regular full time job, I do not have so much time to work on this as much as I would like to. But now and then I have the urge to create. On those moments I sit down and focus on the phones that I have gathered over time, after removing the dust. All tools and spare parts are spread on the table and then the fun begins.
There is no professional workshop, no garage full of shiny equipment. Although I have the right tools available. Most of the models that I get are not for myself, since those are already in my collection. I make sure they will get a second chance and will not end up in a place they should not be. Only if they are 100% okay they will be resold and find a new onwer. The latter will not be easy on the Mint Green that I received recently.
It will be a hard job to get this one in a good shape. The reason it was painted is because it is heavily yellowed over time. Since the blue paint was coming off and I do not like painted Ericofons at all. It equals Trappist beer with grenadine… a combination that is ‘not done’ as well in my humble opinion.
In my never ending search for new models I am exploring all the corners of vintage stores, second hand shops, flea markets and the internet. There I encounter many different Ericofons.
Some are in good shape, some are in bad shape. Sometimes you see surprises and nice to haves, and sometimes you run into very, very ugly Ericofons: painted.
If the color of your Ericofon might not be your favorite color (anymore), I can agree that you want to paint it. But then I would prefer a one color version and not a pattern. Patterns, hmm, I don’t know. See also the post on the other creative activity: ugly lights.
Besides the painting in a different color, you also find very creative utterings. Floral Ericofons are rather common, for some reason the Ericofon invites people to think about flowers. Below are 2 examples from the net of floral design that go far beyond painting only…
If both phones where decorated by the same person, I do not know. But there is a sort of resemblance. Coincidence or a natural way of putting flowers on the shape?
After showing these floral phone pictures to my daughers they were inspired and asked me for a shell as well to get rid of their creative energy. Since I had one left that could not be saved anymore I gave it to them. See the result below. Surprisingly a non floral design. Actually I like it, but I might be a bit prejudiced.
This is the only smart-Ericofon as far as I know. It runs the most recent ‘Safari’ version without problems. Apple should like it. 😉
About 2 years ago I posted ‘Blue’ when my first Old Case blue, which appeared to be a Wedgwood, was a fact. Received it during the X-Mas holidays in 2014, from Sweden. Now I have all three blue colors in the Old Case. Wedgwood, Aqua Mist and Nordic Blue. The Aqua Mist and the Nordic Blue are North Electric models.
On top of that my daughters surprised me, during the season holidays, with a very nice old Ericsson suitcase. In fact it is a toolcase which they found on a local fleamarket, and they could not resist it. Nice for dad’s phone tools 😉 Of course it is blue as well. The ‘old’ Ericsson blue, but blue.
These pictures were taken from the Ericsson archive.
The picture above shows a patent filed by Hugo Blomberg in 1968 and published in 1970. It is a so called wallbracket for standing telephones. More information can be found here. To my understanding this is the first patent for this kind of accessory. A rather strange looking phonestand I would say. Not sure if they were ever put into production.
Since 1968 a few more patents can be found. This is another one from Hugo Blomberg with more or less the same purpose, filed in 1976.
More information on this wall-stand for telephone sets of standing handset type patent can be found here. For some reason I do not have any connection with these kind of inventions. Nevertheless there was even a patent filed in 2013 for mobile phones…
The dutch word for wall is muur by the way.
Around the autumn equinox I was able to get this beautiful Dusty Rose old case. In perfect shape and from 1959. The warm September fits the warm dark pink color, a typical autumn shade.
This is the 15th old case that I could get. Still missing 3 to have that series complete. Chartreuse, Riviera and Royal Dubonnet. Plenty of time to find them somewhere…
In need of some earcaps or earpieces I was going through a box with all kinds of spare parts from shells. Things you gather over time and you never throw away. Luckily the volume is not that big so a small box more or less does not matter in my garage. And for some reason you will always end up with usefull destinations… hopefully ;-).
This is what I had in mind when I bought the 2 Gold Plate shells from the previous post. Going trough the box I selected some different caps and I realized there was some ‘inside information’ to be shared on this topic as well.
Flat – Sandalwood
Wedge – Candle Glow and Persian Gray
According to my knowledge there are 2 types of speakers available in the Ericofon that have been used over the years. The wedge cap is available in 2 flavours to fit both of them. For the flat cap, I do not know if it comes with both speakers at all.
According to what I experienced, the bigger speaker tends to break from the cap from time to time since it is only mounted with 2 metal clips on plastic ridges. Therefor some Ericofons produce a rattling sound if you shake them. This can be resolved by stuffing the top of the phone with some soft material. It is not really fixing the problem but keep the speaker in place and you will get rid of the annoying rattle. Sound quality will also improve a bit if you use the phone.
This week I received a picture from Peter Schröder who encountered an interesting modification on this flat earpiece.
We do not have a clue where the metal bar is used for. I can only think about extra possibilities in remounting the cap. But glue will also work without it.
If you do know, pleae tell me.
Today I received an extraordinary box in the mail, containing three DIY shells.
The Chrome Plated in the middle is in fact a complete shell, this one I will complete to a nice shining silver Ericofon. The other shells are Gold Plated, not to be confused with the Aztec types. Unfortunately both shells do not have the original gold plated earcap anymore so I had put in white ones for the picture. Let’s see if I can get them painted somewhere in the ‘cheapest-shinyest-chinese-plastic-toy-gold-color’ that exists. The shells are all NOS, but they have some wear from bad storage.
Both Gold Plated will become part of my collection, one with a wedge and the other with a flat earpiece.
Putting a phone together is not the biggest challenge anymore, but getting the earcaps in the right color will be. See it as a guide for beginners or maybe a guide for finishers.
This weekend I have completed the 2 Gold Plated phones. In the box with spare parts I had two complete sets of North Electric stuff. Including a flat and wedge earcap.
Earlier I have informed at several places, including professional painters, the best way to finish the earcaps. Or to have them professionally finished. The result was that all parties did not guarantee the exact color. Gold seems to be quite difficult. You can also see that both shells have a different gold color. The original surface is also very sensitive to e.g. (acid) fingerprints.
So in the end I bought some recommended paint and decided to go for it myself. First some experiments took place on a scrapped shell. Just to make sure the right combination of paint and distance. The result is actually not bad. It is not as shiny as the original but it comes very close.
In the process of getting the Aztec Gold in better shape there is no progress. It is very hard to get the color AND structure right. Not sure if I will succeed there.
A nice detail about the gold and chrome plated shells: they actually conduct electricity. While testing one of the phones a wire on the inside made contact to the shell. When I pickup the phone, I felt it ringing… It is approximately 60 Volts so nobody was hurt 😉
In the past few weeks I obtained 2 rather hard to get colors: an Old Case Nordic Blue and New Case (flat) Riviera.
With a ‘wrong eye’ you can sometimes not determine the exact color of the phones, especially when you buy phones online. Certain colors are hard to photograph: the light, the camera, the monitor, it is all influencing what you see in the end. Not 100% but pretty sure, I discovered some special phones a few weeks ago. Both phones did not have a color code inside, so they could not be checked upfront with the vendors. But I decided to buy them anyway and take the chance. And I did have a ‘good eye’ this time. Both were as expected.
For color reference I made a few pictures to see the difference between the Nordic and Riviera and the closest colors in their range.
From left to right and top to bottom: Petal Pink, Princess Pink, Riviera, Taj Mahal. The Riviera is a bonish pink, getting close to Taj Mahal.
From left to right and top to bottom: Persian Gray, Taj Mahal, Nordic Blue. Actually the Nordic Blue is not so very blue if you compare it with Wedgwood or Aqua Mist. It is more a light gray with a blue tinge.
Both colors I had never seen before other than on pictures. As I am not into pink that much, I do not really like the Riviera, however, the Nordic Blue is a very nice pale blue color, beautiful!
There is something with people, Ericofons and …… lights.
Over the years, searching for Ericofons and information on this phone, I came across a lot of modified Ericofons. I fairly do not know why people do this. It is ugly. There is no other word to it. Below you will see two pictures from the web to illustrate the general idea.
Actually in all lights you see the same setup. A lampshade on top of the phone. A hole drilled in the phone to mount it. *aaaarrgh*
And it hurts to think about the idea that these phones might still have been in working order.
Sofar I haven’t seen a creative mind think about another setup.
I hardly dare to mention it but I have to admit that I also own an Ericofon lamp, thanks to Peter who was so friendly to give it to me as a present. 😉 But this one is different… it is an Ericofon and a lamp, but still different.
A battery operated Ericofon torch. As you can see the neck is slightly bend forward to have the light shining on the table. Since I know the creator, I know that this shell was too bad to serve any other purpose. Very handy when I am working on my phones… 😉