Category Archives: collection

Unnatural History II

Some time ago I saw an interesting item on an auction. It was a set of documents from the early history of the Ericofon. Still referred to as Erifon at that time. It contained drawings and a vision on the future of the Erifon.

The drawings date back to July 4th 1942 (which surprises me as normally all Swedes are off for 2 months during summer 😉 ). Unfortunately I could not get hold of these documents, but this sample gives a pretty good impression of the “Erifons” history. A future they could never have predicted upfront.

Another Brown World II

Brown Ericofons appear in all kind of flavors. Original North Electric, the Dutch PTT dark, the CEAC painted, and of course the 700. And since last week I also have a Metallic Nichco in dark brown color as well. Rick from Canada was so kind to offer it to me and it is in perfect condition. Thank you Rick!!

Nichco dark brown in full morning sun.

In full sunshine, it lights up. The metallic is so beautiful!! This brown Ericofon is much darker than the Metallic Nichco Orange that I have although the picture above seems to show something else.

Brown (yes it is the same phone) on the left and Orange on the right.

For a long time I was doubting if I should add these metallic series to my collection but I am glad I did it.

How many Nichco metallic colors there are is not really known but I have seen 12 different around. Randomly divided over the wedge and flat case rotaries but also in TouchTone makes at least 36 possible variations. At this moment I have 5.

Detailed metallic paint

Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)

Although the site is not yet up and running for 10 years, I have actually started my collection 10 years ago late February 2013 (Hurrah!).

When I started I focused on the Ericofons themselves, but later on I also started to get some related items. Most of them I have already shared here: historic pictures, promotional items, boxes, stamps, etc. It is actually fun!! Walking through the 1950s till the 1980s, 4 decades of history. So I will keep on collecting, I guess for the next 10 years as well. Not only the phones themselves, but also the historic surprises.

Last month I got some nice posters from the late 1970’s. These posters sized 35×25 cm (14×10 inches) were used in a store for promotional purposes. That is why there is some ‘sunwear’ on the colors. But that also has its charm.

Accident Insurance II

In December I gave some considerations on buying Ericofons online. With this post I want to focus on a specific topic in this area: painted Ericofons.

Sometimes you run into a specific color that you want (or need in my case 😉 ). Before you get carried away an click the ‘buy’ button there is a simple check you might be able to do because sometimes Ericofons are painted and do not show the original color. First thing of course is to ask the seller. But the seller might not respond to your question, might not know or just might say it is original…

The 2 colors brown are different, but the principle of the check is the same. On the left you see a different reflection on the phone around the holes of the microphone. This one is clearly painted, as paint, even if professionally applied tends to go around the sharp edged corners of the holes. The thicker the paint the higher the impact. Even with thin layered paint it can be visible. But of course it also depends the pictures you have.

The pictures above were ‘exaggerated’ to show the principles of this small check you can do yourself. Just to make sure there are no surprises. Although surprises are sometimes great as well.

Above another example of a painted Ericofon that I encountered in an online auction. The Accent Green (my heart skipped a beat because it was a wedge type) turned out to be painted after a few checks. Light reflections are your best friend. It would have been the first wedge Accent Green ever spotted.

Accident Insurance

Online there are many possibilities to buy Ericofons. Normally sellers make pictures of the models they offer and describe their goods. I’m sometimes astonished by the quality of the pictures, the angles they were shot in, and the details shown. Colors are sometimes hard to recognize as exposure and light are not always optimal. But descriptions can be quite shocking as well. I found some examples of quotes that I personally would never use.

Now these examples are quite obvious and visible. Actually, I find them very funny and amusing in a way. If there are other nice and ‘innocent’ examples in the future, I will add them in the gallery here as well.

Other sellers deliberately hide the imperfections. Recently I bought an “in very good condition” Ericofon which appeared to be melted on one side after I received it. Of course, it was not mentioned and not shown on the pictures. The seller never answered…

Always be careful what you buy because conditions, colors and damage are only opinions.

Colour…

After I created the menu item ‘Colors’ for color identification I thought it would be good to elaborate a bit on the color Candle Glow. As said there, it is difficult to make colors visible online but I’ll try to show the 2 different Candle Glows here.

Candle Glow 520553North Electric NC
Candle GlowOC and LME NC

As already said, the New Case Candle Glow has two color variants. The North Electric (NE) is a bit more gray-brown. The Swedish (LME) Candle Glow is more ivory-yellow. The picture in the left shows the subtle difference.

In the second picture I tried to show the translucent/opaque aspect of those 2 colors. With the same light from the front of the phones, you can see that the LME type is for sure more translucent than its NE twin.

The difference is for New Case models only. Old Cases are always LME like.

To be clear, both phones used in this post, do not have any discoloring. Not all phones are identical. The same color produced in different factories might differ a bit. And of course, over time colors changes. Usually you can see the original tone of color on the inside of the shell, never exposed to direct sunlight and/or smoke.

Lost Rivers Of London

There are a few special dial faces that I want to show this time. Those are specifically from the UK. Prior to 1980 the British General Post Office was state owned and the sole supplier of public fixed lines in the UK.

In the pictures above you can see 2 examples of typical Post Office Ericofon dial faces that I have in my collection. Both phones are marked as Post Office Property. In these years you could see this in a lot of countries. A monopolist providing rental equipment. It is not yours, and this is how they make that clear to you. Every time you use the phone…

After 1980 British Telecom was introduced as a organization, replacing the ‘good old’ GPO. In 1982 the monopoly of providing telecoms services was broken and multiple suppliers were allowed. Mercury Communications was the first one to compete with BT.

So as of 1982 the situation changed and a more customer focused approach was needed to be able to compete. The dial face above is not as fancy as in the old days but it for sure has a different tone. ‘Supplied by’ instead of ‘Owned by’. Actually the dial face is a standard one, no dedicated printing on the base anymore. I guess the days of infinite money supplies were over.

From my experience in the telecoms sector in The Netherlands, a similar process was taking place. A state owned company became private, competition came in and suddenly there was a more friendly approach to customers. Guess it happened in more countries in that period.

Transparent III

Does coincidence exist?

Last week I saw this picture of the Hannover Messe in 1969. On the Ericsson stand there was a transparent Ericofon next to the ‘Type 1892’. I identified the clear phone as a Touchtone model. As the TouchTone was introduced in 1967, there was a fair chance this was the case.

A few days later I was able to add a clear TouchTone Ericofon to my collection…

Hannover Messe 1969

My previous statement that the clear Ericofon seemed to be used as a presentation model to executives and commercial relations, made at least some sense.

The phone arrived and it is in perfect shape and in working order. A great item!!

My Transparent Touch Tone 1972…
…with LME dial face.

As you can see the dial face of this one is numbers only. All other Touch Tones I have, are equipped with the typical Northern Electric dial face with alphanumerical buttons.

Although the TT was more popular in North America, there is also a Swedish dial variant.

Time For Tea And Feed The Thing

I’ll start the year in full Swedish design!

Both Polestar and the Ericofon are fabulous pieces of Swedish design from 1954 to 2020. It took some time and tea before I had it all to work but in the end it is there! With the Vivaldi browser I could open this site…

Back Into The Woods

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 2021 (archives section) or the website of Ugo himself.