Rotary land line

It's a rotary phone that dials pulse, and has a 12-hole rotor that includes * and #. I haven't had a land line in years and I'm still fighting hard to resist the acquisitive impulse here.

Of course there's the older SparkFun rotary cellphone, which wins due to wirelessness, but the fact that this one has the custom rotor really... turns my crank, if you know what I mean.

I used to have the ThinkGeek retro handset (wired version) but it was teh fail because of Treo wiring vagueries (speaker worked, microphone didn't). I also tried the bluetooth version, but that was teh fail because fail is that of which bluetooth is entirely composed.


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20 Responses:

  1. gwynjudd says:

    We used to have a pushbutton phone that dialed pulse. Worst of both worlds really

  2. quercus says:

    It might be a rotary dial phone, but it will have its own converter in there to dial DTMF if it uses * and #.

    Baseplate looks new, but that case, handset and centre dial label are old British Telephone 746 parts.

    • pmcray says:

      I don't think it's a 746 - the shape of the case doesn't look right to me - the 1960s (G)PO phones were chunkier

      I'm pretty sure we had 706 as that would likely have been the model installed in 1961-2 when my parents moved into their house. Our phone was certainly red like this one:

      The case of the phone might be based on 1950s design - it has that look to it, although there is nothing obvious on the site at a quick glance - or a non-GPO phone, for instance, a Cable & Wireless phone used in Hong Kong.

      • quercus says:

        You're right - it's all brand new with a freshly moulded case. Design is lifted from a few places - the rear looks more Bell-like, on closer inspection. We just get so used to seeing recycled 746s round here.

    • badc0ffee says:

      I think you're right.

      In the mid-90s my friend had a pulse-only line ($2 cheaper) but also call waiting for some reason. When using the modem, instead of prefixing the number with *70 so call waiting wouldn't interrupt the call, we used 1170 (ATDP1170W)

      (yes I had to google that AT command)

  3. ciphergoth says:

    And, I note, with a British centre label - 999 is now our emergency number (though we're now encourage to used the Europe-wide number 112).

    • And it costs about as much as a genuine old British rotary phone in a posh Notting Hill vintage shop.

    • thargol says:

      That's a pointless exercise. 999 is so ingrained in the national consciousness that it's doubtful that anything short of a massively expensive advertising blitz could change it. Of course, 999, 911 and 112 all work over here, anyway.

      Plus, a real British rotary phone only has 10 holes, not 12. But interestingly, from memory, the letter to number mapping looks mostly correct. I'd have thought they'd have gone for the mapping found on modern day mobile phones instead.

      • kehoea says:

        "That's a pointless exercise."

        No, so many people spend so much time outside but in the EU that it's not. In practical terms, though, we should just make 911 universal in the EU, and capitalise on the marketing skills of Ã

  4. gnat23 says:

    I bought something like this in a fit of retro design once, so I gotta warn you: it's really really weird dialing numbers. One, because we tend to memorize them now based on the pattern it makes on the keypad, not the numbers themselves. Then two, because nobody actually knows anyone's phone number at all anymore - just speed dial lists.

    And three, to say I told you so, it takes forever for a zero to get back around so you can dial the next digit. Expect your "efficiency" gene to go nuts until you get used to it again.

  5. dossy says:

    That phone seriously needs to speak SIP. A rotary IP phone ... *pant pant pant squirt*

  6. bramcohen says:

    You can get a real retro phone for cheaper on ebay.

  7. pyrop says:

    I always thought that Apple should make an iPhone Nano with a click wheel and make it an option to dial rotary.

  8. cryllius says:

    Why in the world is "operator" spelled "ROTAREPO"?

    At first I thought they had horizontally flipped their product shot, but it's the only thing that is reversed... and it's not a mirror image, it's just legitimately spelled backwards. Bizarre.

  9. You can buy nicer ones at Art Deco meetups.For example: explosion proof WE phone: