1901 - Russell-Tomlinson Electric Co.
potbelly desk set
This is a fantastic find. For several years I had the scan of the original 1902 ad (see pictures), promoting three beautiful potbelly designs from the Russell-Tomlinson Electric Company of Danbury, Connecticut. The first two telephones in the ad (54B & 54C) are so unique I never really thought I would ever come across one of them…until now. And it is a very special design.
Not sure what metal the ornate base and the switch-hook mechanism are made from, but they are not brass. Maybe some sort of pot metal. Regardless, the artistic, decorative design sets this telephone apart from all other candlestick designs.
Without the original ad from the June 21, 1902 issue of The Electrical World and Engineer, I may never have identified the telephone since it has no markings to identify it. But the ad introduces it as "an improved desk set", Model No. 54B. "We are right after the desk set trade and our prices can't be beat."
Truly remarkable telephone from 1901 - 1902, and the only one I have ever seen.