Rotary Telephone

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Do they make rotary dial phones that work with touch tone?

Yes, I understand that they use pulse dialing. But I remember seeing them in a science museum gift shop stating how they work with touch tone. Though in actuality, I don't remember what it really said.

But just to make sure, I want to check here. Do they make phones with a rotary dial but uses touch tone?

Best Answer...


To my knowledge, there is no one anymore who makes real rotary dial phones in any way, shape, or form. The last hold-out, ITT-Cortelco, quit sometime in 2007.

You can get touch-tone phones which have the buttons arranged in a circular pattern like a rotary dial.

If you want a real rotary dial telephone which will work completely for any modern telephone line, there is one really good option out there. There is a device available called the Rotatone. What the Rotatone does is internally connect to the pulsing contacts on the rotary dial, and generate DTMF tones based on the pulses. Best of all, the Rotatone even allows you to dial * and #, as well as redial and speed dialing.

You can put the Rotatone in any rotary telephone made, whether it's a candlestick from 1919, or a brand new ITT model 500 from 2007.

Another option is a pulse-to-tone converter, which goes between your rotary phone and the wall. It takes the pulses in the line, and repeats them as DTMF digits. I use a pulse-to-tone converter, because I have so many rotary telephones that it wouldn't be economical to convert every one to the Rotatone. It's not as good of a solution, however, because if you find yourself on a system that recognizes both, a pulse-to-tone converter will make digit be dialed twice.