Where do you get the telephones?
The Internet, antique stores, estate sales, collectors… wherever we can find beautiful design.
Aren’t you damaging antique phones?
We specifically look for nonfunctional telephones in poor shape to revive, and even then a lot of the effort goes into keeping as much of the original phone as possible intact. Our goal is to preserve the appearance, internal mechanical components, and electrical components, in that order. What you see, touch, and hear is as authentic as we can keep or recreate it.
What is involved in the reviving process?
Days of work. The telephones are inspected for mechanical and material problems then disassembled to address those issues. Re-forming, polishing, and rebuilding are approached with painstaking care and consideration to avoid damaging what may be fragile parts and surfaces. We even make the cords by hand to suit the requirements of each handset. Connecting the modern electronics to the old components takes a little reverse engineering and a great deal of creative engineering to fit into the limited spaces without modifying the mechanical components. Each telephone presents unique challenges, and each is essentially solving the problems anew.
Can It still hear me when the phone is hung up?
No. Each of the microphones is physically disconnected, so it’s not possible for the device to hear you. When you pick up the handset, that connects a single microphone. You can test it for yourself: say your watchword (usually “Alexa”) with the handset on the receiver and give a command. The LEDs won’t light up, and nothing will happen. We test this repeatedly on each phone.
Does the dialer do something?
We take care to preserve the dialers on the telephones, so that the original tactility is preserved. It does not dial phone numbers, and it is not hooked up to the electronics, but it’s incredibly satisfying to play with.
How do I set it up?
Plug it in and set it up with the Alexa app on your phone, just like you would an Echo. Phones may also come with specific setup and usage details, if they have hidden features.
Are you associated with Amazon in any way?
In no way whatsoever. These are pieces of independent art, and we have no affiliation with Amazon or Alexa.