Phone Company Freebies

Phone Company Freebies
In the mid-1960s, and maybe earlier and later, some Bell System operating companies offered a few freebies in addition to telephone directories. Actually, the directories were considered to be "phone company property," so maybe these were the only freebies.

(1) If you got a wall phone, you were entitled to have a free bracket to temporarily hang the handset from, next to the phone. It was useful if you had to answer the door, tend to a screaming child or go to the john during a call. The same type of bracket was used on switchboards to store the operator's headset or handset when not in use.

(2) If you paid for a color phone, you were entitled to a free matching handset and shoulder rest. The handset had a rubber cushion and was designed to swivel so it could be used on your right or left shoulder. The shoulder rest had two prongs, like snake fangs, that fit into sockets on the handset. If you changed from one color to another, you were entitled to a new matching shoulder rest. If you terminated service, there was a good chance that the phone guy would not want your used shoulder rest, but he would take the handset.