Every summer there is an art exhibition in the woods close by. It is a great initiative that is free to visit for everyone, but it would be great if you donate something so this project can continue.
In the woods there is a French pond with 2 small piers, one on each side. This year the piers were covered in silver and gold, which inspired me to make some pictures with my silver and gold Ericofons. So early this sunny Sunday morning I went back into the woods with my camera and some phones in a bag. Here’s a small impression.
The artwork is called ‘The sun and the moon’ and was created by Ugo Rondinone. You can also check out the site of the ‘Lustwarande‘ exhibition.
Nichco Inc… the company that wanted to spice up the Ericofon again in the late 1970’s (after CEAC did the same some years before). Some more history in a previous post here. I was still doubting if I should continue collecting the Nichco series. But I was tempted again this week when I got the opportunity to buy a Metallic Grey model. the metallic is so cool! So it looks like collecting now I guess. In the end it is still a semi-official series.
At this moment I know that 12 different colors in this metallic paint exist. Most likely they appear all 12 in new case flat and wedge but we only know when we see them popping up somewhere.
The drawback of painted Ericofons is that it is hard or even impossible to repair any damage to the paint. That is really a pity since paint damage is quite common after 40+ years. But the metallic paint is so beautiful in the sun…
Besides the Nichco metallic phones, CEAC also did some painting in the past. I do have some brown CEAC models, but I do not have any information on other colors they used. The painting by CEAC was done in a less subtle way as I concluded from the cases that I have seen.
The only original painted, or plated, Ericofons are the Gold, Aztec gold and Chrome model. This was done by North Electric. This paint contains metal and conducts like hell as I found out 🙂 .
This is a crazy year… or should I say crazy month? Two Ericofons that I thought were not possible to get myself, showed up in a couple of weeks time. Both models we never available in the shops.
After the clear model of last month, I was able to buy the famous Centenary Golden 700 model. It came without the original box, which is a pity, but in perfect shape. Not a scratch. For sure it was never used as the gold is quite vulnerable. Of course both phones did not came for free but as I am Dutch you can expect I am always in for a bargain 😉
Ericsson’s 100th anniversary took place in 1976 and was celebrated on a grand scale throughout the entire year. The official anniversary date was May 5, which was Lars Magnus Ericsson’s 130th birthday. In Stockholm, the high point of the celebration was the first week in May, when nearly 300 prominent foreign guests were invited to Sweden. These included ministers of telecommunications and general directors from telecom authorities throughout the world.
To commemorate the occasion, a new version of the highly successful Cobra telephone that included a key pad was produced and given the name Ericofon 700. All invited guests received a gold-plated Ericofon 700, each of which had been adapted technically to the guest’s home country.
So it seems that this phone was given to the guests at the special event. Approximately 300 of these models do exist which makes it hard to find. My particular model seems to be unused. The rubber gasket is intact (but a bit hardened), the cord is original and came with a Swedish plug. Normally I do remove the cords but with this one I do not want to break the rubber.
This special edition has a tag at the front and a black earpiece but I have also seen a gold plated 700 without the tag and fully in gold. There is also a hybrid version: on the picture in the post from 2 months ago you can see this model without the tag. It was taken from the Annual Report of ’75. I guess the tags were added for the festivities.
Sooo, finally… Finally I was able to add a transparent model to my collection. It was not easy but sometimes you are just lucky.
There was a chance to purchase a clear model for me earlier this month. It is in very good shape, with only small damage on the back and dial face. But for the rest the shell is very well preserved. It has a flat earpiece and dates from 1963 (microphone date). The chassis is a K7 from 1961. As you can see, there are totally no secrets here, it is also equipped with an Ericotone 2 in the neck. And fully functioning!
When it arrived it was dusty and smudgy. Luckily the earpiece was not attached so I good give the shell a good cleansing on the inside and outside. The inside tends to yellow a bit overtime as I noticed but I was surprised that a bit of soapy water could do miracles here. I looove the dial face as well. A pity about the small crack (people will never learn…), but it is really cool.
The clear Ericofon seemed to be used as a presentation model to executives and commercial relations. Meaning it was actually never for sale. How many were produced is unknown. They seem to be available in both new case and 700 case types. As the old case is put together by gluing 2 halves together this case might not be available.
Last week I was able to get an old case from 1954. This means a model that was only available for companies and pre-mass production. This old case was equipped with a quite rare dial face, and that is why it catched my attention.
Unfortunately the dial faces on the pictures are not 100% as I would like them to be, but they are not commonly seen so worth showing here. From both dial faces I have only one.
Left is ‘the first dial face that was available outside Sweden‘ (on a 1954 Mandarin Red). There was some moist in between the dial face and the chassis so there is some corrosion visible. It is a pity because it doesn’t have any cracks. Right is ‘the second dial face that was available outside Sweden‘ (on a 1959 Princess Pink). Damaged by brute force to apply the base to the shell or it suffered from a hard smack…
In total there are 23 different dial faces for the rotary type as far as I know of. I am still missing 4 of them: the ‘First Australian’, the ‘Swedish pre-Telia’, the ‘Chinese’ and the ‘Clear’ for the Ericofon nerds amongst us.
The second wave arrived today, nicely marked with 520539 on the inside. It is really great that I was able to buy this one in this good condition. Would like to buy the seller a beer… yeah, but you know… we also have to stay safe in the second wave.
In March, when this whole covid-19 started off in The Netherlands I posted this picture of the Royal Dubonnet Old Case with a ‘corona’ around it. I hoped that everyone would stay safe and healthy.
Now we are nearly 6 months later and as days are shortening again, summer period is almost over. But we miss the ‘normal’ things that are obviously not so normal anymore. Going for diner, cinema, theatre, even colleagues at work… It was all on a very low level. We were at least able to enjoy some summer feelings in August in France, which was good. But now, we are waiting for a possible second wave…
Talking about Royal Dubonnet and a second wave… there is a new case model on its way to me. Yes, there is some good news as well!! Besides the Old Case that was in the picture, I have added a new case, with flat earpiece of course, to my collection.
The new case I haven’t seen so much around and I am very happy to have one in a short while. Once I have it, I will share some more proud pictures.
In fact the past few weeks there was quite some activity ongoing. Besides the Royal Dubonnet I also got a Princess Pink with a wedge earpiece. This is an LME type. It is somewhat discoloured but still good enough. Colour restoration does not seem to be possible on Princess Pink unfortunately. Here are both of them, arriving in the same week. Still I have a nice shipment coming in tomorrow with a few Ericofons, possibly an improvement of models I already have.
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.
Designed by Bert Kindåker for Reijmyre Glasbruk
Height: 14 cm
Weight: 444 gr
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.