Today’s phone comes to you from a Nordstrom Rack in Chicago. For some reason, the store has 2 of these behemoth Call Center/Attendant Call Center sets at their main checkouts, but their employees use annoying wireless headset radios instead of this set. They also have 6400 sets at each register, but again they are rarely used as they use walkie talkie headsets. Why buy such an elaborate system if you aren’t going to use it? Unlike their parent Nordstrom stores, which make overhead pages a trademark of Nordstrom, the folks at the Rack have decided to join the “anti-paging” movement and they don’t allow overhead paging anymore.
The Callmaster console has evolved throughout the years. It was originally developed as the Western Electric Call Director. It was a large set used for Secretaries and Executives, as seen below. The first model was rotary dial and eventually upgraded to push button. The phone has been seen on the White House Oval Office Desk until about the mid 1980’s when the phone was replaced with an ATT digital set.
In the mid 1980’s , the Call Master set was refined to have a more sleek appearance that matched the 7400 Digital Telephones for use on System75/85. Once again in the late 1990s the Callmaster was re-skinned to be more in line with the 6400 Digital Telephones on Definity G1/G2/G3 PBX platforms. This phone was mainly designed for Call Center/Central Answering Positions.
Here is the phone I saw at Nordstrom Rack, being sadly neglected by the store staff. I don’t even know if it was in service.