As telephone technology progressed, the public, especially business
clients wanted a telephone
that could be used with only one hand,
 thus allowing the user to write down information with
the other hand.
 Early models of the cradle phone were in fact, cut down candlesticks
with a cradle attached for the one-piece handset
 (transmitter and receiver combined).

 The telephone manufacturers of the day came up with what
is referred to as
the ‘Cradle type’ desk telephone.


Pictured here is grouping of Western Electric cradle sets. Starting
at the top is the W.E. model AA1. This phone was first introduced
 in 1926
and is equipped with a seamless E1 handset and a 2HB dial.
particular model was manufactured for only one year. The next
 phone to the left is the dial version of the B1 mount commonly
referred to as the W.E. model 102.
At the bottom left is the version
 of the B1 mount circa 1928. On the bottom
right is the manual
version of the D1 mount commonly referred to as the W.E. model
 202 circa 1930, and in the upper right, is the dial version
of the D1 mount.

All the sets in this grouping were manufactured by Automatic
 Electric Co. At the top is the AE Monophone with the
 induction coil and condenser mounted in the base, circa 1928,
 to the left is the 1928 AE Monophone referred to as the
 ‘High Boy’ model with nickel accents. At the lower left is the
 AE model 1A dial Monophone circa 1928.  The model
at the lower right is another AE Monophone 1A
 that is a non-dial version. And finally, at the top right
 is the manual/or dial version of the 1928 AE ‘HighBoy’.

At the upper left, is the FederalTel. & Tel. Co. ‘Grab-a-phone circa
1915.  On the upper right is the Kellogg Switchboard & Supply dial
cradle set, with a North Electric dial, circa 1930. You can plainly
 see with these two phones the ‘cut off’ candlestick influence as
 the bases and half stems are exactly like the full size candlestick
upright desk telephones that these phones replaced. On the bottom
 right is the 1930 Kellogg Switchboard & Supply masterphone,
 and on the lower left is the Stromberg-Carlson ‘Fat-Boy’ model
circa 1932.

Early cradle set telephones followed the path set by Henry Ford….
you can have any color Ford automobile, as long as it was black.
 When the cradle telephones went from being made of nickel plated
 brass, to a new type of plastic of the time called Bakelite, color
 eventually made its appearance in telephone design. Here are four
examples of Automatic Electric desk telephones in color. At the top
is an A.E. model 40 in ivory, with nickel accents. Next to the right
 is the same phone in blue, on the left is a ‘Chinese Red’ model,
 and at last at the bottom is Henry Ford’s favorite………Black.