A Vintage Rotary Phone

I’m going to show my age here a little but I’m old enough that when I was little, rotary phones were still pretty popular.  In particular, the only phone my great-grandmother had was a black rotary phone that was mounted on the wall surrounded by a cabinet such that I remember it being like a pay phone. 

Her phone was in a central area of the house where a door to the kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms, bathroom and cellar all met.  Rarely did anyone stand in this area to talk.  The cord was at least 20 feet and was more often than not stretched into one of the bedrooms while someone had a conversation.  When I was little and was visiting at her house for summer or Christmas, I would always call my cousin and the town was so small you’d only have to dial 4 numbers.  For whatever reason, that phone feels like a link to my childhood.  I wish it was still around and I’d mount it in my house.

I was at my aunt’s house over the holidays and noticed she had a rotary phone in her granddaughter’s play area.  It was donut shaped, brown and reeked of the 70s.  It reminded me of my great-grandmother’s rotary phone simply because it was a rotary phone and the brown matches my very brown house.  Also, I had a hunch that vintage phone would be worth something. 

When I got home I immediately did some searches on eBay and etsy and found they were going anywhere from $25-75 so I emailed my aunt to tell her.  She replied that my uncle, who had been at her house when I noticed the phone, mentioned to her that I had commented on it.  She said if I wanted it, she’d save it for me.  It turns out she was given the phone back ‘85 when she didn’t have a phone at home and a coworker at McDonald’s gave it to her.

Lo and behold, the phone showed up in my mail today.


The great fun in all this is when I plugged it up, it worked!  And then Lexi decided she wanted to call their Daddy. But she had no idea what to do.  I was quick enough to grab my current phone, which by the way, records video too. And has apps, And….well, you know. Nothing that phone did.


That’s going to be my new line when I can’t figure something out.  “This is boring!”

Also? I’m very tempted to make this my first listing on etsy to fulfill a wish from yesterday but we all know how I handle letting go of things with a story.


  1. LOL! Don’t you dare get rid of that phone unless you are bringing it to me!

  2. LOL That is great! The rotary phones make me miss my grandparents that have passed on.

  3. For all those concerned (yes, there were more than one!) about Scott’s cell phone number being out, Scott OK’d the video being posted.

  4. Lol! “this is boring!” Too funny! I also like “all it’s doing is beeping”. lol

  5. Cannot. Stop. Laughing. And holy cow do I feel old! My Nana had a rotary phone. My fave part: “This is boring!” hahaha