It began some years ago. I bought a red 2500 "Desk" TouchTone telephone via eBay. Essentially, it was an impulse buy. I needed a phone for the computer desk and having a red phone by the computer seemed like a good idea at the time. Plus, it was really cheap.
Over the years, this phone has been augmented with a new AUTOVON keypad upgrade, a Western Electric amplified handset and noise cancelling mouthpiece, Western Electric 12 number Touch-A-Matic autodialer, 4A Speakerphone, and a "beehive" neon ring indicator lamp, all in matching red, all via eBay.
Yeah. I DID go more than a little overboard on this. On the other hand, the "retro-technology/geek" factor IS off the scale.
UPDATE! March 24 2008. Thanks to Brent in Marblehead, I obtained an AT&T shoulder rest in red. A 'new old stock' item that had been purchased way back when, and yet never used.
I was particularly happy to get this, as I have developed either bursitis or osteoarthritis in my right shoulder, making it rather painful to hold the handset between shoulder and my head. This new shoulder rest works wonderfully well! There is no pain or discomfort.
In July of 2005, I had Verizon DSL installed. DSL requires that one install inline filters on all the phones on that line, to prevent problems with the digital and analog sides of the phone line. My apartment only has two phone jacks in it. (Yes, it IS a terrible hardship.) One jack is a wall phone jack between the "kitchen" and "livingroom". The other is in the bedroom.
So, I wound up with an ugly assembly of a DSL filter and splitters and cables hanging off the wall jack.
Ugly as Original Sin.
This would not do.
I decided that the optimum esthetic solution would be to install a DSL filter inside a wall phone in such a way that the wall phone would be DSL filtered, as well as providing both a DSL filtered line for the phone by the computer, the answering machine and the phone by my recliner, and an unfiltered DSL line to the DSL modem/router, by hanging a dual jack module off the phone. Off to eBay to find the cheapest wall phone I could find, as well as the needed dual jack module.
I found the ideal phone, a "new old stock" 2554 TouchTone wall phone. Coincidentally, it's red, AND has an amplifed handset!
And of course, eBay being eBay, I also found the needed dual jack module as well. Yes, the DSL filter hack works perfectly. So much so, that I am absurdly pleased with how well it turned out.
The Western Electric red backpanel serves no useful purpose, save for esthetic. Plus, it was REALLY cheap via eBay!
A month or so later, I decided to replace the ancient green non-modular Trimline phone in my bathroom with a "newer" Trimline. The original phone's volume wasn't loud enough for my bad hearing and there was almost no sidetone. (Sidetone is what lets you hear your own voice in the earpiece.)
Off to eBay again! I found a really nice Trimline at a really good price. Oh, and it's red. I decided to get that one instead of the white one I was intending to get. It adds a bit of bright color to the bathroom, and turned out to be only a dollar or so more.
It had became apparent that I now needed a red TouchTone Princess telephone to complete this unintended collection of the primary AT&T/Western Electric pre-Breakup consumer TouchTone telephones offered in red.
Oh, eBay, you know what I need! And you came through for me yet again.
My "new" red Western Electric TouchTone Princess telephone has arrived, and is now the bedside telephone.
I have already dug out the transformer needed to power the lighted keypad from the junk box. I was able to wire things up properly and use the one transformer to light both the Princess and Trimline keypads.
But now I'm thinking. I really should get a red TouchTone LED illuminated wall model Trimline if I want to have a complete collection.
I wonder what's on eBay right now...