The CollectionOn January 18, 2018, my life partner and husband passed away. I have now sold the house and disposed of most of my collection. I purchased a new 5th wheel travel trailer and have become an RV Full-Timer. I only kept a few favorite sets which have been installed in my trailer and are still used. Most of the collection was taken to Lancaster, PA where it was sold to other collectors and the precedes given to my telephone club.
This phone booth and 3 slot Automatic Electric pay phone came with our house

Cowboy Frank and Friend
This page was first posted on January 26, 2012, 3 days after I turned 60.

From early 1972 to about the middle of 1974, I worked for the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company (C&P), part of the famous Bell Telephone System. Specifically I worked inside the Western Electric manufacturing plant located at 1201 S. Hayes Street in Alexandria, Virginia, about 1/2 a mile south of the Pentagon. My job, along with about 9 other guys, was to sort phones and equipment that had been removed from service (taken out of homes and offices) and sent into this plant for cleaning and refurbishing. Primarily I worked a conveyor belt where we sorted an average of 14,000 telephone sets a day.

Ever since I was about 5 years old I had dreamed of being a telephone installer and serviceman. When I first began my job with C&P, they told me the position was intended to last about 6 months, after which they would move me out into other parts of the company. After almost 2 years, I was still there and starting to loose my mind. I have never been able to work repetitive task jobs for very long. If my mind isn't actively working on solving problems or learning new things, I get bored very quickly. I enjoy jobs that involve troubleshooting and helping other people, especially in the electrical and computer fields. I left the company in the summer of 1974, very broken-hearted.

During my time there, I acquired a couple of phones, as did most everyone else who worked for Ma Bell. I still have those 2 phones, but in the fall of 2011, my light blue, 12 button Princess phone, fell off a table and the case shattered into about 30 peices. Boy was I broken-hearted (there's that phrase again). Then I thought of checking Ebay and what a resource that has turned out to be. I collected phones like crazy for a while, much to the dismay of my partner. I have now throttled my collecting way down. I am now only buying items I can actually use, are very unusual, or parts to repair phones I already have that are broken.

In general, my collecting interest is in Western Electric phone equipment from the late 1960's through the end of the Bell System era in 1983.