Friday, July 29

1909 Gray Pay Station Telephone

 A very rare Gray Pay Station model 23 in working condition with Rattlesnake cord. This model was made for use in hotel rooms, not for general public use. This has kept many of the parts in pristine condition. You may never find one in this condition again. Coins slide perfectly though slots and make the proper sounds. “plink” for nickels, “ding, ding” for dimes, and “gong” for quarters. They also fall into the coin drawer as they should. The coin drawer has the original tan felt on the bottom (felt is to reduce noise from the coins hitting the bottom of the drawer and confusing the operator). The original wiring and connection block are present. A cloth line cord with a modular plug has been added so the telephone can work on today’s modern telephone network. Just plug it in and you are ready to receive calls. There was no dial on these very early pay phones, but outgoing calls can be made with a portable tone dialer. (There is an i-Phone app that will work believe it or not !!) The receiver shines like new with no chips or cracks and has a very RARE red and blue Rattlesnake cord (made with NOS on an original rattlesnake cord machine). The transmitter has been cleaned and tested, so calls are LOUD and clear. The transmitter mouthpiece has the STAR in the center and is also in beautiful condition. The transmitter has a very rare number card holder mounted behind the mouthpiece (I assume this was so the caller would know what room to tell the operator they were calling from). Both locks are present and turn smoothly. Rare top crab lock has one tooth chipped (still locks perfectly), see photo. Cash drawer lock has two keys (1 spare). The original glass is in the instruction card frame. The paper instruction card may be a reproduction (not sure). It is in very good condition. This beautiful Pay Station has been cleaned and polished to a shine but I have to assume it has been repainted at some point. It is over 100 years old and the finish is absolutely beautiful. None of the screws, pins, locks, wires, or Bakelite parts have any paint on them, so if it ever was repainted, it was a professional job. The finish only has very light wear by the coin slots and where the cash drawer goes in and out. The removable back plate has a couple of paint chips on the corners (pictured). I also noticed there are a couple of weld marks on the back mounting plate. There is one on the side near the bottom and one behind the cash drawer (not visible unless you remove the drawer and look inside. I assume this is from an early attempt to steal the telephone. There is NO damage to the chassis of the Pay Station, just the removable mounting plate.

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