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Letter from


Another Telephone Collectors Show has come and gone and with it came Jerry. If only Jerry was once a year. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the management and almost certainly not based on reality. But, I guess you all know that by now.

By the way, it is the 1996 Show Jerry is referring to here!

The Editor

Telephone Collectors Show Report

by Jerry Bilt

It could have been billed as "The Greatest Show on Earth" but it wasn't. Probably because of the real risk of copyright infringement and the strong chance of legal action from the estate of the late Mr. P.T. Barnam. However, what a show it was.

I am, of course, speaking of the 6th annual Australasian Telephone Collectors Society Inc. Show. Despite what you may have already read elsewhere, I feel compelled (he was threatened - Editor) to offer my own unique opinion on the events of the weekend.

What a variety of instruments were on display. Telephones from every era. In fact there were so many wonderful telephones on display, that with the sensory overload I suffered in trying to take it all in, it virtually went in one era and out the other. There were black ones, ones that were not black, big ones and ones that weren't, I even saw a white one! But I don't wish to get too technical.

I am reminded that it was Spike Milligan who observed that the invention of the telephone in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, was, for all intents and purposes, a fairly useless invention. That is, up to the point when he decided to invent a second one. If Bell had been able to see the multitude of telephones on display at the Show, I am sure he would have been amazed, at the very least, by the white one.

The highlight of the Show for me was being asked to adjudicate for the various awards that were on offer to participants. Being the elder statesman of telephone collecting that I am, I was able to assist my good friends Shirley and Henry Shields in the judging. I was, of course, able to offer advice on subjects that I am sure they were far to polite to ask. I know for certain that Shirley was amazed at the expertise I exhibited whilst judging. She just stood there mouth agape as I took a paint scraper to a three box Blake to examine it's finish.

On the issue of awards, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners of the various categories. However, next year I would like to see the categories broardened a little. They could say include "Best Telephone Display that Incorporates Seafood" for example. Or, as Henry Shields would say "Cundlestuck with fesh 'nd chups". (Please accept our sincere apologies to all readers in New Zealand - Editor). Or "The award for the most Ericofon" (don't ask - Editor).

This has been Jerry Bilt, your roving reporter for the 6th Annual Telephone Collectors Show. (I think that should have read "raving reporter" - Editor).


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