Gary See started collecting telephones at the age of 10 when his grandfather gave him a Western Electric Candlestick. It was in remarkably good condition considering this phone was the one they used for many years. Gary always liked anything with wires and this was the beginning of his life-long love for and collection of telephones and telephone equipment.
Gary then throughout school and college kept looking for old phones mostly at antique stores in those days. Most of his antique store finds were of the 202-300-500 variety but occasionally he’d find an older intercom phone or something similar. At 17, Gary met another telephone collector through his work and started trading a few phones (and getting his first payphone). Then they learned about the formation of the ATCA and both joined with Gary becoming #38.
Eventually Gary also got some 1A2 key equipment and pay telephones from other collectors. This then got Gary to begin hooking them up and getting them working. Being the 60s and 70s, Gary also got into “experimenting” with telephone hacking but luckily never did much and realized early on that this was not the right thing to do.
As the years went by, Gary didn’t do much more with phones as he started a family and a career. Luckily he kept all his phones and equipment— it all went into storage. And then decades later, nearing retirement, and moving to a new house, he got interested in phones again and began getting a small step-by-step demonstration switch and a 1A2 key telephone system working. He now has these working (mostly) and connected to the internet via the C*Net project. His latest project is to get his multiple payphones and “charge-a-call” phones working on C*Net in a way reminiscent of how they worked back in the olden days.