Four weeks ago, in March, I received a request to deliver a few Ericofons and some additional equipment for an installation on an exhibition. As the exhibition still needs to take place, I cannot tell too many details right now so more news will follow next month.
The idea was to have Ericofons connected together in a 2-phone-intercom system. This is the whole shipment that was prepared.
Actually 2 landline phones can be easily connected to eachother with a battery and some electrical components to function as an intercom. No external telephone line is needed to provide a full speech path through both phones.
The challenge was to have both phones equiped with a decent ringer. Since the original ringer is functioning on AC and the voltage with batteries is DC, it cannot be used. Fancy electronic circuits are too vulnarable towards the input voltage so an interval piezo buzzer was the most stable solution. Sound wise it is somewhat annoying, but given the deadlines of this project it was not possible to develop something fancy custom made. As the piezos did not fit into the Ericofon shell I had to mount them on the outlet. The advantage is that the Ericofon is fully original and ready to be used for normal usage as well.
How it works: you pick up one phone and the other one is ringing. If the second phone is lifted the ringing stops and you can talk to eachother. And of course this works in both directions.
As the exhibition is abroad, I am in fact the remote viewer in this whole exercise. Unfortunately there is no way for me to visit the fair and to see the installation live. Not sure how all will look like. I’ll have to wait until someone sends me some pictures of the end result, which I hope I can share here.
A few activities are upcoming in the next weeks but I cannot share anything yet. Topsecret 😉 But it is related to design. Well, design and Ericofon is not that strange. More news when it becomes a bit more concrete.
In the meantime there are some pictures that I want to share instead that I found on the interet. Be carefull, this will hurt!
I do not know why people do this… Maybe because they could not get transparent paint for the earpiece.
Needless to tell that the clear model is still on my list.
As winter has its long dark evenings and there is not so much to do, I was spending my time on the internet. Nothing better to do I guess. Actually the same reason why you are here. 😉
I came across a few nice cartoons with the Ericofon playing the role of the phone in the story. Well casted!
Les Aventures de Jodelle by Guy Peellaert & Pierre Bartier (Paris 1966)
Les Panthères: L’ Homme qui refusait la vie by Édouard Aidans & Michel Greg (Brussels 1974)
These two examples are not really new but they reflect an older world, like 40-50 years ago. If you have any more recent examples, let me know and I will be happy to add them here.
As said before in a post or somewhere else, 2017 was an extremely successful year when it comes to collecting. Not about the quantity but all about quality.
Only 7 phones were added, but what kind of phones… Royal Dubonnet, Dusty Rose, Orange Metallic, Chartreuse, Green Metallic, Nordic Blue and Riviera.
Actually the Chartreuse, the last buy on December 29th, came with some nasty damage on the lower back. The rest of the shell was in very good to mint shape. Seen the price of the phone ($25) it was worth buying it anyway and take the chance. Didn’t have this color at all until now.
The result is quite okay and I am happy with it. Some additional microscopic work still can be done on the right side. Need to experiment on another shell first. On the left side the crack is hardly visible anymore.
An original press picture from 1956, used in a newspaper at that time. Bought this one recently and I think it fits very well with the collection. Besides the phones itself it is sometimes tempting to also collect some accessoires and other stuff. Where does it end…
I really like the atmosphere that the image reflects. The clean monochrome photography is really beautifully done. It has a certain charm.
The picture was published on Sunday November 11, 1956. I am not aware in which newspaper that was.
“The Ericofon, a new one piece telephone, was tested by Miss Claire Jensen, a secretary at a Chicago hotel. The model is about half the size of the conventional two piece phone. The Ericofon combines the dial, speaking and hearing apparatus into a single unit.”
The phone used is most likely an old case Taj Mahal. I guess the model they refer to in the text is not Miss Claire… 😉
Last year we had a warm autumn and on the edge of winter I was able to purchase my Old Case Dusty Rose. Still one of the most fabulous colors in the Ericofon range if you ask me. Are you? 😉 The warmth of the rose-pink color is just so intense.
Around one year later, we have a warm autumn again, and another Dusty Rose popped up. A New Case flat this time and I am actually expecting it to arrive this week.
On top of that, and on the same day I was getting things arranged for the Dusty Rose, I ran in on a New Case Nordic Blue… that is at least what I think it will be. Like with the post on the disclaimer I am not sure on the color for this one.
It is so hard to buy from the screen only. But as this was an opportunity that I had to act on quickly I took the chance. The price was okay for that. The seller was refering to it as ‘liteblue’ but also had an Aqua Mist for sale… So let’s hope that this surprise is a nice one but it can still be a Wedgwood or an Aqua Mist anyway. It is from the same seller as the Riviera on the ‘disclaimer’ post. Crappy pictures that turn out to be right…?
So maybe this autumn is a turning point in my collection with 2 rare New Case models in one week. Of course I will post some new and decent pictures once they are in the house. The ones above are from the sellers.
A real beauty next to her older sister (Hmm, I smell a touch of exaggeration here… I have kids so why am I saying this 😉 )
A real beauty next to his older brother (I am doing it again)… The expected phone is indeed a Nordic Blue. Great!! I am done for this year.
Both Nordic Blue models have a slightly different color tone. The Old Case is a bit more grayed overtime. I guess the Old Case suffered a bit more in the years it was exposed to sun and perhaps smoke. The New Case is more sparkling, which is relatively in this case since the blue is not that exuberant. The insides are similarly colored, the New Case has code 520542 inside.
Some weeks ago I was, coincidentally, in the Ericsson officebuilding in The Netherlands.
As you might know, Ericsson started with the production of telephone sets in 1879, when the first model was produced by Lars Magnus himself. This was 3 years after he founded Ericsson.
This continued until 2001, the moment in time the joint-venture with Sony was born. SonyEricsson lasted for 10 years and in 2011 the last model was produced under that flag. That was it, no more handsets for Ericsson after 132 years. They are now fully focussing on infrastructure.
In the corridors of the Ericsson building, a large amount of ‘nostalgia’ is displayed. Amongst other very interesting stuff there were also a few Ericofons shown. I caught a glimpse of them passing by.
We have the typical Dutch PTT Dark Brown on the left. It was obviously displayed as of 2016, with the 140th birthday of Ericsson as a company.
In the right picture there is the Mandarin Red (not the Dutch PTT Dark Red, maybe I could sell them a chassis and a gasket) , Taj Mahal (not the Dutch PTT White) and Wedgwood. Obviously all together representing the Dutch flag.
Visiting the Ericsson office in Belgium, I also ran into a displayed Ericofon. Here they have the White 700 displayed in the public lobby.
Since the Ericofon is such an icon in design, not only in Sweden, but also in the rest of the world, it can be found on many occasions and in many books and movies.
But that is not all.
In December 1999 the Swedish postal services issued a stamp with the Ericofon printed on it. It was part of a series of 10 stamps indicating the many Swedish landmarks in industry and society during the millennium that was going to end.
The series is called ‘vårt nittonhundratal’ meaning ‘our twentieth century’. This is the second series of 10 stamps.
So the Ericsson Ericofon is there, on one stamp called ‘inventions’ with the pyramid package from Tetrapak and the Volvo 3 point seatbelt. Good company, right?
By the way, the Ericsson T28 cell phone is on the series 3 stamp ‘technology and inventions’.
As updated in the last post, there was a metallic green on its way as well. Recently I received it by mail from the lovely country of Italy. Strangly I did never encounter these metallic in the past and now suddenly two in one month.
Here are both metallic phones in between their ‘pure’ equivalents. Howmany Nichco colors there are is not clear, and I also do not know the exact color of this green one. Is it dark green or light… or just in between… Confusing.
The green is a kind of mid-green. Not really dark green and for sure not light.
Let’s see if there are more out there that I can find over time. Actually they look pretty cool I must admit. Especially when there is some light on the paint.
In the late 1970’s, when the Ericofon became less popular, the company Nichco Inc, in Mansfield Ohio decided to spice up the Ericofon again. With remaining stock of the Ericofon they sort of launched a metallic series of Ericofons. The painting was done in a professional way. If you ask me it is more professionally done than the CEAC paintings. It is not certain how many different metallic colors were produced. Richard Rose has 12 different in his collection at this moment if I am not mistaken.
Nichco also produced phones themselves and here and there some of the phones pop up. But I know them mainly for the metallic line of Ericofons. A typical sticker of Nichco can be seen on all of their phones, including the Ericofon painted by them. By the way: it is only a 30 minutes drive from Galion (North Electric) to Mansfield (Nichco)…
Last week I was able to purchase this ‘metallic orange’ painted by Nichco. Starting to photograph the metallic surface, it is hard to grasp the actual color. When there is a lot of light the phone is closed to orange, when there is less direct light it tends to brown.
The inside of the phone is an unmarked K7 chassis with an Ericotone 3. The Sahara shell is from 1973, as is the microphone.
Here’s an indication of the color, compared to the BPO Orange and Mandarin Red. The first picture was made in direct light, the second a bit more in the shades.
As this is not really the ‘pure’ Ericofon I was doubting if I should go for the metallic series as well. But as it is part of the official history, this seems to be the only logical way forward. As pure as it can get.
Yesterday I purchased another Nichco metallic model in a beautiful dark green color. Can’t wait to see it in real life. 🙂