I love… Things. Trinkets and gadgets, to be exact. My life is full of them– I have innumerable cameras and computers, with just as many radios and typewriters. I can’t help it. It’s the way I’ve always been. I don’t think it’s entirely my fault, however. My basement has always been full, literally full of old gizmos.
I went through a “deconstruction” phase in my pre-teen years where I destroyed many vintage electronics that were languishing in the basement, including several telephones and answering machines. I don’t know if my actions contributed to a greater knowledge of the way things work in general, but they certainly fostered a love for the sheer fact that they do work.
I recall a Christmas a few years ago which gave me one of my favorite presents of all time. My “big present” was something modern… Probably a Wii or something, but after all that was opened and enjoyed, I spied a beautiful but massive object hulking in the corner, with a bow somewhat awkwardly topping it. I hurried over, and discovered a four-foot-tall floor radio, its bakelite knobs gleaming from its first dusting in years.
The radio, unfortunately, didn’t work, but that didn’t stop me from loving the machine. In fact, it still sits at home, now host to the dining room telephone. Someday I plan to gut it and fix it, or do case-mod it into something crazy. Embedded in the center of the radio’s “forehead” is a special vacuum tube colloquially called a “magic eye,” an example of which is in the header photo of this post. It’s a signal tube, designed to do a number of things, in this case to indicate how closely a signal is tuned in. I know. You probably don’t care.
The point is, I love electronica. Especially if it’s defunct. Double that if it’s trash. Which brings me to the subject of this post in the first place: the treasure trove I happened upon this afternoon. Near the entrance to my apartment is a general area for recycling, and I found a couple of boxes full of… (drumroll)… Telephones! Not cool old rotary phones, but 70’s-era desk phones.
They’re now sitting on my living room floor, all thirteen of them. Ten are black, three are cream, and nine of them have handsets. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, but the ideas are endless. My favorite one, however, is this one (which is available as an instructable somewhere on the interwebs). That doesn’t mean I can’t do other things, though– in reality, these will probably end up as an art project somewhere.
Nick and I are throwing around ideas, trying to figure out the best way to install these phones around the city where they won’t immediately be taken down, but I’m curious to see what YOU all think I should do. Keep in mind that I have a wealth of other electro-trash at home, as well as a store that sells the most wonderful things, if this is to become some epic project.
I hope it does. Meanwhile, here’s the music.
This treasure has me in a fantastic mood, so this first track is a happy tune, so you all can feel the same.
This second track isn’t quite as high-energy, but is still fun.
Ending on a silly note is this final track.
Oh how I wish you could all see these phones… Lined up like the brave forgotten soldiers of a bygone era, ready for new life as something wonderful!