HELLO: Dyane Bloore with the 1892 Ericsson phone.
HELLO: Dyane Bloore with the 1892 Ericsson phone. kate o'neill

Antiques fair calls on phone history

THEY cost 10 times more than today's smartphones and only the extremely rich could afford one.

At the time, they were at the forefront of technology, elegantly designed and ultra-modern, but making a call on one of the earliest telephones was a slow, clunky process that's hard to imagine in today's iPhone world.

To ring a friend for a chat on the 1892 Ericcson phone, says antique dealer Grant Bloore, you'd first have to wind up the handle on the side.

This would alert the operator at the exchange who you could then finally ask to connect you through.

The history of an 1892 phone was one of many stories told at the Alstonville Antiques and Collectables Fair at the weekend, where dealers from around NSW and interstate had their collections of old and beautiful objects from the past on display.

Hundreds of people attended the event, scouring through the vintage jewellery, books, toys, mirrors, clocks and war memorabilia. in the hope of finding their very own treasure. Among them, Christina Layer, of Alstonville, who was searching for jewellery.

"A lot of the modern jewellery is mass produced and you see the same things everywhere. With the old jewellery, the designs are unique and the quality is there too," she said.

As well as being sought after for beauty, antiques and collectables helped keep the past alive, said dealer Grant Bloore.

"It's not just about the objects, it's about history that we should not lose."

Organisers said they were thrilled with the interest in this year's fair.

"We had at least 50 people waiting at the door when we opened on Saturday morning said Alstonville Rotary Club's Geoff Alexander.

"This is our eighth fair and they seem to be getting better every year. "


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