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. 🙂
Late yesterday evening I encountered an Old Case Ericofon on the internet. Suspected color: Riviera.
Quick action was needed as it was already getting late here in the Netherlands and I definitly needed to get some sleep.
So I contacted the owner and asked him to open up the phone and identify the exact color. The answer came right away and I expected an email with 520540 in big letters… But what do you think? Right… no code inside.
So, the color is ‘a bit’ undefined here. As I am not sure what the exact color is the final price was negociable.
On all the laptops, phones and tablets in the house I checked the color with my own Riviera (new case flat). All screens show a totally different shade of the color. But this seems to be the color I am looking for. I hope it is not a Petal Pink or a Sahara.
So… now I will be waiting under the mailbox for a week or 2, I guess. With a disclaimer on the color until it arrives.
It will come from Fargo in the US. For those who have seen the movie, you can for sure imagine what I will do with the seller if this is not a Riviera… Seems to be local folklore.
The latter comes with a disclaimer too. 😉
Yes! This is a Riviera!!! 🙂 There is no color code inside this one, but the outside and the inside are exactly the same color. So I am very happy to announce that my second Riviera is a fact now.
The weather is getting better and summertime is coming. My garden is screaming for attention. Everything is growing rapidly so I have to give it once in a while.
There are some Ericofons that need attention too. In my ESD compliant warehouse you can see what I am still working on, in total 10 Ericofons.
Two NOS shells and two painted shells. All 4 to be completed to actual Ericofons. Not too much but some work is still to be done and I need some for this as well. Then there are 3 yellowed cases that need a rescue activity by color restoration. That is a load of work and in this case I do not like it. Two others are only to be checked and cleaned which is an easy job.
Work on Ericofons is getting less and less at the moment. My own collections grows slowly, in contrast to the garden, and the attractive deals stay out already for quite some time now.
To survive autumn and winter, maybe I should consider writing a book… 😉
Just yesterday I received 2 Sandalwood models with a special dial face. Actually I bought the 2 phones because of the dial faces.
Due to shortage of Ericofons in the US, North Electric imported phones from Sweden or other markets. Those were then adapted to the specific US market needs.
To rebrand this dial face from Swedish to US type, a sticker on the outer part of the dial face has been applied to have the typical letters available.
More information on rebranding can be found in a previous post on these circles of mania.
So far I have been posting articles every month but this month I have been extremely busy with my work and some holidays as well. Not too bad so I am not complaining. There was just no time to prepare a post at all.
There has been little to no activity in the Ericofon field. Nothing bought, nothing sold. Usually there is something happening, but not this time.
If you are curious on what happened to the activities and phones in the previous post… the answer is nothing at all… 😉
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 again, or re-used in any other way.
Since I have a 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 and no garage full of shiny equipment. Although I have all the right tools available. Most of the models that I get are not for myself anymore but I’ll 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 Crystal 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… another combination that is ‘not done’ 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. 😉