SOLD! Antique telephones ring up bids at auction

Bell and Watson prototype phone, accompanied by original 1881 patent paperwork and a tag with Watson’s hand-written name and the date August 2, 1881, $40,000.

Bell and Watson prototype phone, accompanied by original 1881 patent paperwork and a tag with Watson’s hand-written name and the date August 2, 1881, $40,000.

The Bruneau and Co. auction of antique telephones and historical telephone artifacts was held Aug. 4.

The auction presented an exciting and rare collection of historical telephones, photographs, maps, cables, prototypes, ephemera and more, ranging from the first phone/emergency call box ever installed in the Yukon in Canada to the telephone from President Dwight Eisenhower’s Newport, Rhode Island summer White House. In all, over 500 lots crossed the auction block.

An original model of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson’s very first telephone from 1881 rings up $40,000, while an early Bell Butter Stamp magneto phone fetched $27,500. All sales results courtesy of Bruneau & Co.

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