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I have written in the past about how I got started selling on eBay; selling vintage telephones and old antique radios. I would comb through the estate sales, yard sales and flea markets in search of a good bargain that I could then resell to someone else; someone who would love the old radio or telephone as much as I did; someone who would get pleasure out of restoring or cleaning it up. For the most part, the vintage telephones that I sold online were rotary dial telephones.
Many of you youngsters out there reading this and who have grown up with primarily a push button phone may ask, what is a rotary dial telephone? The answer is a telephone that had wheel with numbers stamped or papered on the inside. Most people stuck their fingers in the hole and rotated the wheel (dial) to a metal stopper, take the finger out and the spring loaded dial would rotate back to its original position. The person would then stick their finger in the next number in the dial and follow the same procedure until the entire telephone number was dialed.
However, there were some people who did not, for one reason or another, want to stick their fingers in the dial. Women did not want to break their nails; people with mysophobia were afraid to stick their fingers in and get sick; and then there were those people who just thought it would be “cooler” to use something else to dial. Originally, most of these folks used the eraser end of a pencil to dial the telephone. That is, until some genius came up with the idea to make and sell phone dialers.
One of the first things that I ever sold on eBay was a vintage radio that had been sitting around the house for a long time. I had picked it up at an auction in Buffalo and although I was not a newbie to buying and selling antique and vintage items, it was the first time that I had sold anything to anyone outside of the old neighborhood. For a few years after that, I went into a frenzy; scouring flea markets, estate sales, yard and garage sales in search of more vintage radios and then rotary phones that I could sell on eBay.