Stromberg Carlson Fatboy Phone
Stromberg Carlson “Fatboy” Model SC 1212, post-1936.
Purchased in Ellsworth, Maine, January 2024
Stromberg Carlson started producing this black Bakelite phone around 1936. While its official model name is the SC 1212, it is known as the “Fatboy” due to its shape. According to the Ronebergcains.com website, this phone was the first desk phone to incorporate a ringer into the base. This model was not in production long as the headset rest tended to break off.
Formed by Alfred Stromberg and Androve Carlson in 1894 after Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent expiration, Stromberg Carlson produced telecommunications equipment out of the Chicago area. Home Telephone Company purchased Stromberg in 1904, keeping the name but relocating the company to Rochester, New York. The company eventually expanded into radio and television set production. General Dynamics bought them out in 1955 and kept the division until it was sold to Comdial (a Siemens company) in 1982. Comdial went out of business in 2005.
My phone features a slightly different handset from the original model with a beveled rim. It should have included a “spit cup” in the updated design, which is missing from my phone. The model number is 1212WADBZ. The phone was rewired at some point, as it has a cord that you could plug into a standard phone jack. While I’ll never use it, I think these phones are essential in designing a period-appropriate room.