Phone of the Day:  ESI 48-Key Feature Phone @ University Bookstore Purdue University West Lafayette, IN

I snapped this picture of an ESI set at the University Bookstore at Purdue (independently run, not by Purdue University) yesterday at their main checkout.  

This is a newer system since the days I attended Purdue back from 1995-1999.  While I attended Purdue I can distinctly remember this bookstore had NEC Early DTerm 1 or 2 digital sets.  I am surprised they didn’t stay with NEC and instead upgraded to this lesser known brand.  

Also, since this was GTE territory which used to exclusively sell Nortel key systems to local businesses, it’s interesting Nortel never made it into any of the local bookstores on campus.  Folletts, the other local leader in books, used ATT Partner telephones. Back in the early 1980s you couldn’t use a phone other than a GTE Automatic Electric product on the public network in the greater Lafayette Area.  An NEC system would be off limits until deregulation in 1984.
I don’t know much about ESI other than it looks like a basic telephone.  Nothing to get excited about, very plain Jane.  This particular phone reminds me of a 1980s key system phone with a display added.  This phone cannot stand up to the design of an Avaya or Nortel digital telephone, not even the old school Avaya 7400 series.  There are too many buttons.  I prefer the simplicity of the Nortel Norstar key series sets or the phone I last posted, the Nortel M2008 set.