James John Walrod unfortunately passed away on September 25th, 2017 at the age of 57. Way too young!!
He was called a design guru. Actually if you read the Wikipedia description it says: “A self-taught interior design consultant and collector of rare and unusual art, design and pop culture works, Walrod was also considered an expert in the field of mid century and Postmodern design.” Please take some time to read about this personality.
Part of his collection was auctioned earlier this year in 2018. When I browsed the auction catalogue many very nice and beautiful items passed by. Man, this guy had good taste, no doubt about that!!
I was triggered because there was one item that caught my attention in this auction. A Wedgwood Touch Tone Ericofon. Still lacking in my collection and quite hard to get…
So I decided to take part in the auction. As usual, auctions are kind of exciting when they start. That night most sales prices raised to exorbitant heights before it was the Ericofons turn. As I am not a design expert these prices might be around normal market value, I had no clue. But I was getting nervous and already disappointed, afraid that this Ericofon also would be sold for an unreasonable price, just because of the name of the owner…
Luckily it turned out differently and I was able to get this item for a fair price. A bit on the expensive side, but hey, …a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Very proud that this is now part of my collection.
In remembrance of Jim Walrod.
Copyright of these 2 beautiful pictures is at Wright.
In my hometown we have the ‘Textielmuseum‘ (Museum of Textiles) for many years already. It is there because the city has an history in the production of textiles and fabrics until the 1960-70’s. Production was, around that time, slowly moved to other, lower cost countries. And all that was left were empty factories which in the end became part of the cities industrial heritage.
And since 1958 the Textielmuseum. 🙂
From June 9th 2018 till November 11th 2018 there will be an exhibition called ‘Simply Scandinavian | Nordic Design 1945-2018‘.‘Does this information have anything to do with Ericofons?’ I can hear you say. Of course the main subject will be related to fabrics I expect. I was asked to deliver an Ericofon to match the exhibition. There will be other items shown as well as I understood.
It would be an honor to do so, no doubt about that. A shiny Mandarin red Telia Ericofon will appear somewhere in the exhibition. I am really excited.
Besides the Ericofon, I expect the exhibition to be very interesting as well. So please support the museum and go there!! They have lots of interesting stuff.
As said, the museum exists for a long time already and I can remember the first time I visited it, over 40 years ago. It must be back in 1975 or so… It was in the pre-GPS-era so we got lost on our bikes going there with some schoolfriends. But in the end we managed to find the museum.
It was there, it is still there and it will always be there.
Today we were invited to the opening of the exhibition. It was fantastic!! If you are interested in design I can for sure recommend it to you. Not only the Ericofon was there, which is a reason in itself…, but many other items that you might recognize from the early days.
The exhibition will be there until November 11th 2018. Worth mentioning that the Textielmuseum was ‘Museum of the year 2017’.
But in the end all I can say is that the museum is still there… and that you have to visit it!!
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.
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… 😉
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.
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. 😉
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.