Due to my interest in “communications equipment” (clock systems and PA systems) and modern industrial-design, I also “collect” telephone sets, specifically of the Western Electric 500 type.
However, these are most common here in the USA, so there is plenty of information on these available on other (much better) sites—for example, the Old Telephones as Entertainment site, WE 500-series page has everything you ever wanted to know about 500-series model numbers.
In any event, I am considering making “from the inside” pages featuring a couple select sets, sometime in the future.
In the picture above is my personal favorite telephone set—a numbers-matching February 1967 Western Electric 500D-03 desk set, otherwise the most common telephone set in the country. The 13’0” D3BU line cord is terminated with the 505A round four-prong plug connected to a bakelite-brown 548A flush-mount jack (shown at right). The stainless plate isn’t original, but you can only tell the hole is a bit too big when nothing is plugged in.
I rather dislike modular connectors and cords, so you could say that I “collect” four-prong jacks (I want more 548A in black/brown) and plugs, along with telephone sets that have the original hardwire cords. The cords make an absolute difference in the feel of a telephone set, in my opinion. (I’m also the type of person who likes to pick up the phone base and walk around with it while talking, which isn’t something you can do with newer designs.) I also dislike the idea of including the dial in the handset, but that’s an entirely different topic.
Other than American Western Electric components, don’t be surprised if I come up with a Japanese NTT 600 set (the typical newest design of plain black rotary desk set in that country)—and there will certainly be a page about it when I do. (Is it just me, or do these look rather more like the Automatic Electric model 80 than the WE counterpart. The AE design always pops in my mind when I see the handset on a Japanese payphone, too…)