Gray 50G

Published: August 2012

Mike’s Vintage Payphone by Mike Davis In this month’s feature we are looking at a Gray 50G. It is a prepay model that wasn't made for the Bell System. This particular phone was made to be sold to an independent company. It is similar to the ones made for the Bell System. It is marked "The Gray Telephone Paystation Company on the front. I have several models that were made for the Bell System that will be looked at in future articles, those have similar markings on the front but also mention Western Electric Makers. This is a later model with a stamped steel upper housing and backboard, the cast coin gauge (slots) was still used. This is much stronger and lighter weight version than the older cast iron ones. The upper housing lock is a 29S and vault lock is a 10L. These phones were supplied without receivers or transmitters, the purchasing company would install whatever brand they used. This paystation has Western Electric components installed. This is an automatic model, no operator was needed to complete a call. A coin dropped in the proper chute would trip contacts in the relay signaling the central office equipment which would supply dial tone to the phone. Then a local number could be called. The coin dropped would be held in the hopper until the call was either completed or not. At that time it would be collected or returned to the user. The paystation a side tone model and does not have a ringer or talk circuit, a subset would be connected nearby. A few months ago we launched a new website, if you haven't seen it yet take a look. Most of my telephones & payphones can be seen there.