C. 1970s Richly Resonant Rotary Phone in Rasta Colors

Regular price $200.00

So that the kids or grandkids know what an old fashioned plug-into-the wall rotary phone looked like, and because dialing on it feels so satisfying (I had actually forgotten the pleasures of rotary dialing, and of holding a real handset to one's ear, but what joy). But especially because this one, with red, yellow and green painted decoration animating every inch, feels as if it lived a radical, exuberant, engaged sort of life.

I've been thinking a lot about this phone--as singular object and symbol--since I found it a couple of weeks ago at a show in New Hampshire, and have come to regard it as quite a resonant thing, more and more so the more time I spend with it. The wear to its dial attests to its having placed thousands of calls, likely from one specific location where it lived for many years and where it would  have held a central place of importance. The paint animating every inch deepens that sense of centrality, and endurance, and specificity--whether the central phone at a a reggae bar or radio station or social justice organization, I'm not sure, but sure feels like an embodiment of community and identity to me. A hub in many senses, which prompts reflection upon the profound social and cultural shifts that have taken place since the time phones tethered to specific places were replaced by mobile ones, and the shifts in the nature of connectivity and communication associated with those shifts.  And so I find myself becoming very attached to this phone for the specific sense of time and place it embodies, surely with a certain nostalgia for the pre-digital age, but also because it teems with an the aura and patina of a thing that that was important to a place, and to the people who used it, and which made things happen in the world. Anyway, it definitely holds stories and perhaps holding the receiver to one's ear one might start to hear some of them!  I believe the paint likely dates to the 1970s, but think the phone, very heavy, with a cloth covered cord (cut) may be a bit older than that. 

Approx 8” headset; phone 8 7/8 x 5 1/8 x 4 3/4 t. Heavy and substantial in a very satisying way! Plenty of dings and wear all over, all to the good. Plug in cord was at some point cut; receiver cord connected and in good shape.