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Analyzing Auction Photos

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How to tell an old case from a new case.

The first thing to do is look at the ear piece. If it is the wedge shape (see the page on case design), then you automatically have a new case phone. After that, it gets a bit trickier.

Profile Pictures: Top photo. Ask yourself "is the angle of the ear piece closer to 90 or closer to 45". An old case will look closer to 90 and a new case will look closer to 45 on the face. Also, the back of the new case has a rounder look to it. The old case almost seems to stand up straight.

Front Facing Pictures: For me, this is where it gets easy for identification. The bottom left picture is an old case ear piece and the bottom right a new case. You can clearly see the differences. The old case is more "eggy" in shape, the new case is more triangular in shape. The top corners on the old case almost "pinch in" and are the same distance apart as the middle of the ear piece as compared to the new case, which has more pointed top corners and sides that taper in all the way down.

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Analyzing the face plate

There are a huge number of dial faces used in various parts of the world at different eras in time. The three faces in these examples help to determine what is inside the phone, regardless of the country of origin. I am taking for granted that the phones contain original parts.

Top Photo: Large number card holder, and no #9. This is an indication of a very early Ericofon. It most likely will be on an old case phone. These were used worldwide, including the USA in the beginning. I estimate that about 10% of these will have a ringer (buzzer or Ericotone) inside.

Middle Photo: This is by far the most commonly used face world wide, but never in the USA. These phones will never have an Ericotone (tweeter) ringer, and about 80% have a buzzer for a ringer.

Bottom Photo: This is the face used by North Electric. You will only find these on phones sold in the USA. About 90% will have an Ericotone ringer (provided it's on a new case).

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Spotting Problems in Pictures

Picture 1

Can you see what's wrong with this Ericofon? No base gasket. There should be a distinct 1/4" of rubber showing around the base. This goes for bottom photos also.

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Spotting Problems in Pictures

Picture 2

Wow! A rare color matched line cord on this Ericofon! NOT. It's nothing more than a red handset cord from a cradle phone. Almost all auctions boasting a color matched cord are just handset cords.

Ericofon did make colored cords, but they are extremely rare. Be sure to look for the classic "half straight, half curled" look of a true Ericofon cord.

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Spotting Problems in Pictures

Picture 3

Come here Igor, I need you! Here's a Frankenstein for you. The dial face is a Swedish made (as you can see by the number card holder under the #9). But then, there's another number card holder in the center of the stand switch indicating a North Electric made fingerwheel and stand switch. Who knows what else may be thrown in there to make a "complete" Ericofon.

If you see no number card holders, or two number card holders, beware, this is most likely a mish mash of parts.




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