Gray 50K

Published: Oct 2012

Mike’s Vintage Payphone by Mike Davis This month’s feature is a Gray 50K paystation. It is a post-pay model. Like the 50G I wrote about last time wasn't made for the Bell System. This 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. This is a later model with a stamped steel upper housing and backboard, it has the early type cast coin gauge (slots). The upper housing lock is a E-10 which uses a flat key and the 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 a Western Electric receiver and transmitter installed. This is a manual or non dial model, the operator was needed to complete a call. The caller would lift the receiver and be connected to the operator who would connect the call. Once the call is built she would ask the caller to deposit the proper amount coins. She would listen to the coin sounds and know when they were deposited. A coin dropped in the proper chute would create a sound that would be picked up by the transmitter. Once the coins were deposited they dropped through the hopper into the coin vault, there was no way to have coins returned once deposited. The paystation a side tone model and does not have a ringer or talk circuit, a subset would be connected nearby. Visit my website at