David Findlay

Calling CYpress-5

Fun little project for after the kids went to bed tonight: we picked up an old Western Electric Model 500 rotary telephone from boldoldphones.com via eBay. We chose the cheaper one, so we had to clean it. That was no big deal, and it was fun unscrewing the handset couplings like spies used to do in the old movies ;-)

I researched our exchange and found at Telephone World that it used to be called CYpress-5, so I printed up a little label using the 1942 report font, since it seemed fitting (well the 500 was introduced in 1949, and the coiled cable version is newer, but let's not split hairs).

Then, I'm ashamed to say, I had to find instructions on getting the finger wheel off to replace the label. Luckily, I found just what I was looking for at porticus.org.

The phone looks great, and it sounds fantastic: the bell could wake the dead, and really brings me back to the beige British Telecom equivalent we had when I was growing up. Best of all was my daughter's reaction to it, and walking her through the use of the rotary dial.

CYpress-5 9007