1920s Automatic Electric Type 21 — Antique Rotary Candlestick Telephone — Vintage, Dial, Phone, AE, Subset, Box, Ringer

Shipping to United States: Free

Sorry, this item has sold.

This near-mint condition rotary dial "candlestick" telephone was produced by the Automatic Electric company sometime in the 1920s. The Automatic Electric Type 21 telephone is a bit shorter than its Western Electric counterparts but is equally as stunning, and may even rival W.E. in appearance and quality. The phone would make a very nice display piece for the home or office, and it is still in 'working' order, so it may be used as a telephone if you have a landline provider.

The brown, cloth-covered cord has a modular jack plug-in at the end, and can thus be plugged straight into the landline (or wired into a subset/ringer box, if desired). As is, the telephone can be used to have landline conversations (and the sound quality is superb), but without a subset/ringer box, the phone will not ring-in. As with all candlestick telephones, a subset box would have originally been required in order for the phone to ring-in, as the metal housing was too small to include a built-in ringer at the time of manufacturing. This is still the case today. This phone may be bought from us either with or without an unattached subset box. Please note that these items will be sent separately and that they are *unattached* from one-another. Thus, some DIY wiring (not included) will be necessary on the part of the buyer if a subset is desired.

Rotary telephones operate on pulse technology (as compared to tone) when dialing-out. Most landline telephone providers today are backwards-compatible, ensuring that either type of dial may still be used on modern landlines. However, a few have moved away from allowing pulse dialing entirely (AT&T U-Verse, VoIP, some cable companies, or fiber service providers). Fortunately, this is a simple fix, as an array of pulse-to-tone converters are readily available, and a 'DialGizmo' pulse-to-tone converter may be bought from us as an add-on option when purchasing this phone. Keep in mind that the buyer is responsible for checking compatibility with you own landline provider, and incompatibility will not be considered an acceptable reason for return.

The telephone has been polished, and the rotary dial is in like-new condition; it was been oiled and lubricated, and spins and retracts smoothly. This phone also has what appears to be an older receiver and an original transmitter head. The mouthpiece spit cup is a replacement piece, and the base plate has been re-felted.

apx. 11" Tall x 5 3/4" W (base)

1. Base (Telephone only)
2. + Pulse Converter (Telephone + DialGizmo Pulse-to-Tone converter)
3. + Subset Box (ALL ITEMS INCLUDED: Telephone + DialGizmo + Subset)

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for visiting!

Shipping & Policies

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns and exchanges

Just contact me within: 5 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

I don't accept cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Legal imprint