Recently got a page of Time Magazine from 1961 containing this Ericsson / Ericofon advertisement. Lovely to see the historic context.
Last week I was able to buy a very (and I mean VERY) nice glass model of the Ericofon. The glass is very pure and clear and there is not a single disturbance visible. Looks like this phone belongs to an angel 🙂
Actually I was very curious about the story behind this perfect phone and I ended up with some details on how and when it was made. This I can share with you thanks to Bert Kindåker, the creator of this piece of art, who helped me a lot.
Reijmyre Glasbruk in Sweden, creating handmade glass objects since 1810, produced this glass model in 1990. At that time Bert was one of the designers in this rather famous Swedish glassworks factory. This is how the Reijmyre Glasbruk factory looks today – copyright Bert Kindåker
In the conversation we had, Bert also elaborated on the production of the glass Ericofon.
The customer Televerket in Sweden requested a glass model of the Ericofon to be given away as a present. As the first step in the process Bert sanded a model out of a crystal block. This model of course needed to be approved by representatives of Televerket. Once approval was given a mold in graphite could be created. The mold as being used in the production process – copyright Bert Kindåker
In the left part of the mold you see a hole and a channel around the actual shape. This hole/channel was used to suck up the liquid glass of approximately 1100 degrees Celcius under vacuum into the mold, phone after phone… 1000 times. Impressing!!
Once the glass figure was ready, it was carefully polished and engraved with the Televerket logo at the front. Beautiful!
Televerket was a Swedish state owned telecom company. It was founded in 1853 with a complex and long name and finally named Televerket in 1953. The name Televerket was used from 1953 to 1993 when it became Telia. Now it is part of Telia Company, a large multinational operator.
- Client: Televerket
- Year: 1990
- Designed by Bert Kindåker for Reijmyre Glasbruk
- Height: 14 cm
- Weight: 444 gr
- Edition: 1000
And if you think “Angels, phones….? What a crappy story!” You are wrong! Yes, angels make calls and have conversations as you can see here. On the St. Jan Cathedral in The Netherlands there is a statue of an angel with a phone you can actualy call. 🙂
This box of the Ericofon originally contained a Sahara phone as you can read. “Manufactured by North Electric Company, Galion Ohio” it says on the side of the box.
But what does the information mean on this side? It gives some more insight on the specifications of the phone created by North Electric.
6 70: This is a date indication. The phone dates back to the 6th week of 1960. Guess this was the date that the box was filled and left the factory. This type of indication you can find all over the place on the Ericofon. On shells, on chassis… Typical forms of appearance are 06 70, 0670, 7006 or 70 06 as well. So if anything looks like a date, it most likely is a date.
522726: this number indicates the whole Ericofon and can be used for ordering a specific type of Ericofon. Here’s a part of the documentation from 1962 describing the codes for the 8 specific colours that were available. Actually it makes the next two indicators obsolete as this number says it all.
Sahara: obvious what this means I would say. 😉
52L: This is indicating the type of phone that was in the box. Here’s the part of the documentation from 1962 explicitly describing the 4 types of Ericofons.
The information above is only referring to North Electric. On top of this the model 60A was introduced, meaning the Touch Tone model.
In other countries other labelling was done. In the United Kingdom the Ericofon was labelled as ‘600’. In sweden the Ericofon was called DBJ500. Of course we all know the ‘700’ type as well, only available in Europe.
For me this particular box came with an Old Case Candle Glow from 1957… not too bad either. But for sure not the original box.
There is not so much happening at the moment in Ericofonland. The lockdown is causing a dip here as well. Packages (specially to the USA and Australia) take a long time to be delivered. If being delivered at all… Tracking information is not updated already for weeks. So I am avoiding shipments outside Europe at the moment.
Instead, I decided to create an Insta account and search for information/pictures in that outskirt of the internet. Information is not so much to be found, but pictures more than enough! Even found some of my own pictures back. I am famous. 🙂 The two pictures below of people having the Ericofon tattooed on their arms I found worth sharing as well. Not my cup of tea… 🙂 But nice to share.
In these surreal times around the globe you will also get a sort of update from my side, although Ericofons are not the most important issue on earth nowadays… With the Covid-19 virus spreading rapidly in most countries, only a loud call for an S.O.S would be relevant from the Cobra.
Although snakes are not related in the virus development as far as we know it, the title implies exactly what it is about. A silent enemy that creeps closer without us noticing it, SOS! But how difficult times will be, we always have to stay positive and do our best to come out strong. As spring has started today with a blue sunny sky and nature awakes with blossom on trees and bushes this is hopefully more easy.
My message to all of you would be to please folow the local rules and regulations that apply to your country. You can spread it when you are not sick at all. Take care and most of all: stay healthy!!
In the years I keep track of my expericiences with Ericofons on this site, many visitors from many countries have visited this place. Some of them just visit and read, some have questions, others need parts. It is a nice way to learn and share information, also for me.
Sometimes I sell or trade Ericofons. With other collectors or with people who just want to own one. Because they like the design or their parents had one in the past when they were a kid. Actually the latter happens quite often. When I ship a phone I keep track of the country they are travelling to.
Where are you?
It was early January, just 2 weeks ago, when I stumbled upon someone selling 26 Ericofons in one sale. A guy from Denmark had this whole lot he wanted to get rid off. Well, you are the right address here, although I have never bought so many phones in one shot.
Just a few days later the whole lot arrived and the unpack party started. This is just a great experience. In total the lot contained 18 shells in various colors and states and 8 complete phones. There was also a small box with parts (e.g. gaskets, springs, screws, hardware sets etc).
Amongst the lot there was this one Ericofon I needed to have myself, a Touch Tone Sahara in complete and very good shape. Cool addition as number 78. A complete Crystal Mint flat model from the lot replaced my own Ericofon as it was in much better shape. On top there was a Taj Mahal NOS shell that ended up in my collection as a replacement of a partly yellowed one. Quite a catch!
The rest of the boxes will feed my stock of parts and phones to be sold.
A few weeks ago I ran into this advertisement in the magazine Interavia. In the 3rd edition of 1963 there was this advertisement of Ericsson, manifesting themselves in relation to military electronics.
I certainly do not hope that the electronics of the Saab 37 Viggen were of the same complexity as that of the Ericofon… 🙂 Designwise there should be a tighter connection I expect.
Quality for sure is recognizable as many Ericofons still work, even after more than 50 years.
Of course you must see this picture in the right historic perspective. This advertisement is already over 55 years old and published at the peak of the cold war. Luckily times have changed. Ericsson has abandonned military involvement already many years ago and focusses still today on what it can do best since 1876: telecommunications.
As we had some serious things changing in the house in the past few months, it was time for some new furniture as well. And luckily for me, we all agreed that the Ericofons still deserved a nice place in the living, but in a different setting.
So we went shopping for a nice cupboard but were not able to find one that we both liked and also served the goal: house all 77 phones. So in the end we decided to go for a custom made cupcoard here. One to fit the whole collection without having a too prominent attendance in the living room. The second part we did not succeed to manage… They are able to make one exactly how we wanted it to be. We decided to go for what is called a ‘pharmacy type’.
It is still a big piece of furniture (2m20 high and 1m10 wide), but with the white inside and glass on 3 sides, it looks a lot smaller and not that massive. We are very happy with this.
All 77 birds are now safely caged. Saves me a lot of dusting (I hope).
It is going to be a habit to post something on special new phones in autumn. So obviously this is not the time to be sad, despite the shortening, rainy and dark days we experience as of this week.
As this is the 100th *yeah* post on this site there is a reason for a double celebration: I have my 18 Old Cases series complete!! This week a Chartreuse changed owner and as I have been looking quite some time for this one, I am really happy to finally have it in my collection.
Buying a Chartreuse went wrong for a couple of times, but not this time! With the wrong light, some yellowing and a bad picture the online Crystal Mint easily transforms into a Chartreuse. I haven’t seen an Old Case with the color code inside the shell sofar. Which I could check on the Flat as it is marked with 520545. So that was a safe buy. But this time there was no way to actually check it beforehand. Chartreuse is one of my favorite colors in the Ericofon portfolio I must say.
I’ll post a picture of all 18 Old Cases together later. Cheers!