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Northern Electric Model 717 - White

Northern Electric Model 717 - White

Regular price $249.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $249.00 USD
Sale Sold out

Northern Electric 717 magneto wall phone with unified handset. Circa 1950s.


Wood Wall phones were among the first phones that were made available to the public by the early telephone companies of the late 1900s. Most of these phones had self contained batteries to provide transmission power, and a magneto to generate the electricity required to ring the bells of the party being called. This strategy enabled telephone users to communicate with each other without the requirement for a centralised power supply. An added benefit was derived from the fact that the local batteries provided a stronger more consistent power source compared to common battery power that suffered from line attenuation in the extended line runs common in rural settings. The manufacture of local battery phones with magneto ringing was essentially discontinued in the US during the 1940s. The rural nature of Canada, however, created an ongoing need for these phones. As a result, Northern Electric continued to manufacture local battery magneto phones until the early 1960s, and many of these phones were still in service into the 1970s. One of the late model local battery magneto phones manufactured by Northern Electric was the Model 517 that was made in the mid 1940s. The 517 retains the large size of it's predecessors from the early 1900s, but it's transmitter and receiver were been replaced by an F-1 handset commonly found on desksets of the 40s and 50s.

This telephone is wired to work on modern telephone systems.

The Restoration Process

Dial – Dial has been fully disassembled, cleaned, lubed and timed to ensure years of trouble free service. The outer edge of the dial has been stripped and repainted with a gloss white. Unless the dial is removed, this is something you will rarely ever even see, but this is how it would have come from the factory. The finger wheel and dial card ring have been buffed back to a beautiful brass finish. A brand new die cut dial card and acetate cover has been added as well.

Cords – The phone has been outfitted with brand new cloth covered white cords that are made in house on the same type of equipment originally used by the phone companies. They look amazing. The line cord has a modular connection to facilitate a modern connection to your wall jack.

Wood – The wood has been painstakingly put through a multi-step restoration process which includes sanding with 400, 800, 1000, 2000 grit. This ensures that there are no scratches. The shell is then professionally painted in a high gloss white. This is a very durable and scratch resistant paint that will hold up for years.

Handset – Handset has been ultrasonically cleaned to get all embedded debris out and painted with Polane. We then trim the handset with brass handset rings to complete the look.

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Shipping

We ship Monday to Friday. Parts orders received before 9am will generally go out the same day.

Learn More