My bell sets really needed sorting out. No I do not collect them. I really don’t. Nevertheless I acquired 2 banana boxes full of them over the years. I had been meaning to give them a nice place on the wall. So I can look at them and it saves me much needed storage space.
I started on this project at least one year ago. Every now and then I would clean, repair and polish one and put them on my wall. Lately however this project has accelerated for some reason.
Most of them are extra ringers, extra bellen in Dutch. They were usually connected in series with the telephone ringer. Some are other types of ringers, such as one that switches between an outside and inside line and that loud horn that works on mains electricity.
The last couple of weeks I have been whizzing through my collection (that is not a collection!) of ringer boxes and assorted wall stuff and now all the bell sets are up.
A collection that is not a collection
Even though I tried to avoid it, I have now a couple of dozen of these ringer boxes. They accumulate for some reason. They sneak in with telephones, in boxes of parts, or just donations from people. That is how it started.
And then I needed one for a client. His French phone did not have an internal ringer. So I thought I’d better get some, just in case somebode comes along and needs another one. So I bought some.
And then there was this fellow collector that did away a whole box of them for not too much money. So I bought it. Great stuff. Some unusual models in it, in great condition.
And then I saw one of those metal Heemaf ringer boxes, just a little different from the other 3 I already had. Hmmmm.
I went to a flea market a found a model I did not know yet. So I bought that too. Oh and I found some with different coats of arms! Really beautifull. Rotterdam, the Hague and the Netherlands. Very rare too!
So now I have a couple of dozen ringer boxes.
I had a great time going through these ringers. Tested some of them out, compared them with each other and found out a lot more about how they work.
I found out that what I thought was the oldest of my Heemaf ringers, was not the oldest at all!
I also discoverd that my huge cast iron TEFAG ringer was far older than I thought.
It was lovely to play around with some of these and get them to work. I even made a video about that TEFAG ringer, that turns out the be from the early 30s at the latest, but was refurbed by PTT in the 50s or 60s.
It did not solve any riddles, though. I still have not found out who made these handfull of ringer sets that are completely unmarked.
These are strange days. Because of anti Corona measures I work from home instead of at the office. It saves me 2 hrs per day travel time and my work schedule is very different now.
That means I have more day light time for my phones.
This was a perfect project. Small separate jobs that make up one big job. It combines good with other projects. And it keeps me off the streets, of course.
So now all my ringers are on the walls of my telephone room. At least as far as I know. I sure hope that I have not missed one somewhere, hiding in one of my boxes in my storage area. Then I would have to rearrange everything.
Also I must not be tempted to buy more. Otherwise my non collection may turn into a proper collection. Or is it too late already?