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American Telephone

1380207370
Americantelephone_headshot
Trade:
Phone Fixers
Locale:
Petaluma, CA

“Our challenge is finding these pearls of history. I am always looking for classic bright colors as well as telephones made of metal, wood, and Bakelite. The classic black ‘Mad Men’ desk telephones are a staple of our business.”

It could be said that Janette and Joseph have spent a lifetime working, discovering, and tinkering together. That wouldn’t actually be a figurative statement because these two are a brother-sister business built around Joseph’s ability to restore old phones from just about any generation. Operating out of a garage and basement in their Victorian home, they scour thrift and flea markets, estate sales and vintage shops for these relics of communication in every shape and style. They’re quick to tell us that their phones are restored and not refurbished, as refurbishing them would change the integrity of the original phone. They prefer to keep the original patina of the phone, you know, to make sure it’s as authentic as possible. “My kids were born in the ‘80s,” Janette recalls, “and many of their friends could not understand how to use a rotary phone to dial someone. It’s amazing how much this technology has changed. I think people love buying our phones for nostalgic decoration as much as anything.”

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