This model, the 51AL, is the second dial candlestick phone to be produced. It was introduced in the mid-1920s. The body is the same as the earlier 50AL model, but the inner workings were upgraded to make it more efficient to service. Oldtimephones.com refers to this style as “THE classic old-fashioned telephone”.
It’s important to remember that these types of phones were reproduced in the 1970s. One of the most obvious signs, while they have faked markings of an old Western Electric phone, is that they are made of unpainted brass. There are a number of other clues including the position of the finger stop being lower on the dial than the original and the use of Phillips head screws which didn’t exist in the 1920s when an original would have been made. Some of these are dated 1910 as well, which predates the manufacture of this type of phone. If you’re not sure if a phone you’re contemplating is old or new, it’s best to do further research before buying.
About the Phone Shown Here
The telephone depicted here is an authentic Western Electric 51AL Dial Candlestick painted brass model in very good to excellent condition. It sold for $150 at Morphy Auctions in June, 2012.
Other Types of Antique Telephones