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Hi. My name is Bob Estreich, and I collect, research and write about old telephones as a hobby.
I got into this hobby through working for Telecom Australia for many years, through the modernization which gave Australia a completely automatic system by the mid 1990s. During the twenty two years I worked for Telecom I saw many old phones being scrapped because they had outlived their usefulness. I began a collection, and I am grateful to the many technicians and linesmen who put phones and phone parts aside for me. Some of the old phones being destroyed had been in use for over sixty years and it was rather sad seeing them thrown out after such good service.
For some years now I have been writing the occasional article for the Newsletter of the Australasian Telephone Collectors Society, and researching these articles has given me a new interest in the collecting area. In this website I will try to pass on the information I have gathered over the years, and from time to time I will seek information on the areas I am researching. I will be grateful for any help, comments, pictures or whatever. As the information comes together, I will publish it on this website so it's all there for reference. There are many collectors who specialise in phones of a particular company or country, and where appropriate I will give you a link to their websites for further information.
The Technical Stuff
The website is optimised for Internet Explorer, 1024 X 678. I use broadband, but most of the pictures are fairly low-res for speed of download on a dialup connection. They are not great quality, since they mostly come from catalogs, but they should be useful to identify a phone. If you have one of the phones in your collection, and you have a good photo, feel free to send it to me and I will replace the photo on this site. As higher-speed internet spreads, higher-res pictures will be more practical.
If you use AVG Antivirus you will find it worth turning off the Link Checker (it's in the Tools - Advanced Settings). It checks links on each page before it opens the page and this adds to your download time and to my bandwidth quota. That's why towards the end of the month this site goes off the air with a "Bandwidth Exceeded" message. There are many links on each page and it takes time to check them all for phishing and spyware..
Your browser may give you a popup message about some content being blocked - that's OK, it's just the frame setup on each page. You can allow it to proceed while you are on this site, or you can leave it blocked - blocking it will just screw up some of the page layout a bit. Some older versions of browsers may be set to block frames - turn frames back on for best results. It's in the Advanced settings of Internet Explorer. I promise you there are no viruses or anything nasty on this site, if I can possibly help it. I am a computer tech and spend half my working life removing viruses and adware from clients' computers, so I'm not about to go spreading the stuff.
The page width should now have been sorted to display in a 1000-pixel-wide band, which should save the need to scroll from side to side. If you are using the older lower-resolution 800 X 600, you will still have to scroll across the screen. Sorry about that.
The Copyright Stuff:
This website and its contents are copyright to me except where noted. Permission is given to quote from or reprint from this site for collectors, and for non-commercial use, provided you acknowledge the source. The pictures come from many sources, and I have lost the references for some of them. If I have inadvertently used a picture that is copyrighted to you, please let me know and I will acknowledge it or remove it. Feel free to link to this site from your website if it is useful to you.
Where possible I try to get the information from primary sources such as catalogs, telephone company instructions, technical publications from the period, etc. The information contained herein is as accurate as I can get at the time of posting it, but it may contain errors that will show up with time and more research. I accept no liability for loss or damage due to errors, and you use this website subject to that condition.
I run this website as a hobby, and it is a low cost exercise so I do not need to accept advertising to support it. The only ads you should see are for useful telephone-collecting related items like books and Tony Falzon's restoration transfers.
Your browser may give you a popup message about some content being blocked - that's OK, it's just the frame setup on each page. You can allow it to proceed while you are on this site, or you can leave it blocked - blocking it will just screw up some of the page layout a bit. Some older versions of browsers may be set to block frames - turn them back on for best results. I promise you there are no viruses or anything nasty. I am a computer tech and spend half my working life removing viruses and adware from clients' computers, so I'm not about to spread the stuff.
Feel free to contact me. I live in a fairly out-of-the-way country town, and the Internet is my main contact with other collectors. I have met a lot of great people through the Internet, and I hope to meet a lot more.
the words of the 1902 Ericsson catalogue