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Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?

Started by HobieSport, November 26, 2008, 09:53:35 PM

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What's your oldest mostly original 500?

I have a '49, but don't tell anyone.
1 (0.9%)
1950
11 (9.8%)
1951
19 (17%)
1952
25 (22.3%)
1953-1957
68 (60.7%)

Total Members Voted: 112

Dan/Panther

Great find. I hope for $7.95 shipping he packed it well.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

zaphod01

It was obvious he doesn't sell phones for a living. That's the least I've ever paid for shipping on an ebay purchase so I have my fingers crossed!

I check ebay several times a day and always check newly listed first. I was astounded to see that phone had a 'buy it now price' on it. I just got lucky on this one. 

Occasionally even a blind squirrel finds an acorn.  ;D
"Things are never so bad they can't be made worse." - Humphrey Bogart

zaphod01

Just bought a 6/51 off ebay ($59.00)

That's my second 1951 this weekend. They look vastly different. Now I have to figure out what's 'correct' and what's not. I assume the dialer has been replaced on this one as it has a plastic fingerwheel.  ???

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221180276196
"Things are never so bad they can't be made worse." - Humphrey Bogart

paul-f

With the fingerwheel, the clear plungers suggest the housing was replaced as well.

When you see a phone that's marked Conv. you know it was converted.  It's usually fairly easy to guess what it was converted from by looking at the rivets and empty holes on the bottom of the set.  I'm sure it's been discussed in other threads.

You should be able to predict the original model code after looking here:
  http://www.paul-f.com/we500typ.htm#Date

Of course, the phone has been in the field long enough that the markings may be meaningless.  It will be interesting to see what you actually find.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE  500  Design_Line

.

Dennis Markham

Quote from: unbeldi on January 28, 2013, 01:20:38 PM
I don't believe this handset is original either. It has seven holes in the RX cap.  

Looks like the later G3 handset.  No groove along the handle edge like the original G1, Bakelite handset.

zaphod01

The 11/51 arrived and it's rough but all dates match (either 10/51 of 11/51). I know I paid too much for the 6/51 but I really wanted it. I'm considering making one legitimate 1951 phone from the two. Any thoughts?
"Things are never so bad they can't be made worse." - Humphrey Bogart

Tom B

#216
I would refurbish the 11/51 as all the dates are original and then when the 6/51 arrives I'd check which parts are original and which aren't - you have a number of options after that. But don't forget - we wants pictures ;)
Tom

Dan/Panther

Whichever one you chose to update, make sure the network has the date you desire.
Network and base seem to be the accepted date of origin.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

unbeldi

#218
In the mail today came a vintage 1950  WE 500B set that was once connected to the LOmbard telephone exchange in San Fransisco. The phone came from an estate in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and was personally removed from the wall by the lady I bought it from. She was smart enough to remove the entire line cord of 25 feet of original vintage Western Electric line cord, the thick rubber cord, labeled 25-0 D3AY II-50 on the strain relief. Was the phone ever moved since 1950?  I have only been able to locate the Lombard telephone exchange in another part of S.F., West Portal.

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, all I really knew the phone had a manufacturing code of A/B 500, no date on the bottom of the phone.  Indeed it is was a 500B set with 311A equalizer and 425A network, both dated in 1950.

However, around that the phone was upgraded a few times with a new ringer, a new dial, and ...juk...a new 1965 housing with clear plastic plungers.

But the original vintage is clearly established. The earliest date is the network of 3-50. There was no date on the bottom.

Note the 3-post dial bracket mount of the early 500 sets.

It has the very cool dial number insert reading   "LOmbard 6-6413".
No the residence wasn't on Lombard Street, and the exchange wasn't either, it appears, not a good place for an exchange probably anyhow.

Getting closer to 1949.... 





unbeldi

#219
WE-500B dial mount:

WesternElectricBen

I have  a 1957 mediteranian blue and a 1955 WE black 500.

Ben

unbeldi

#221
Quote from: unbeldi on February 14, 2013, 09:39:17 PM

But the original vintage is clearly established. The earliest date is the network of 3-50. There was no date on the bottom.


I have been trying to educate myself on the aspects of the very early model 500 sets. The thread on the finding of the '49 base is lively and interesting, and so is the discussion about finding a `49 500 in the Seattle museum.  Collectors sure know how to bring history back alive.

From my readings in the past elsewhere, I have always had serious doubts that there were any routine subscriber installations of 500 sets in 1949 and perhaps not even in the first half of 1950.

The network in my 500 set is dated 3-50, only 4 month younger than the network in the 49 set and mine has the same terminal layout, including the M terminal that was pointed out in the other thread. My equalizer however, is dated Dec 1950.

Given that the mounting cord of my set is from the second quarter 1950, it puts the installation date either in the second half or after 12/50. Could the equalizer been replaced already?

I just acquired a nice hard copy of the 1950 edition of the Western Electric catalog of telephone apparatus (catalog no. 11).  There is no mentioning of anything related to the 500 series telephones. If 500 sets were in production already in 1949 or even early 1950, I would think that a 1950 catalog would contain some spare parts at least.

Just how many sets from 1950 are known to exist by this forum? Are any pictures available?

Dennis Markham

#222

There are some photos in the beginning pages of this thread.

southernphoneman

maybe someone can answer this question. i purchased a 1958 black 500 from ebay that the seller claims that was a set prop on the andy griffith show. with the phone came a certificate of authenticity. is there a way to find out if this in fact authentic? the coa has the ellis prop company on it.

unbeldi

Quote from: southernphoneman on February 26, 2013, 05:08:35 PM
maybe someone can answer this question. i purchased a 1958 black 500 from ebay that the seller claims that was a set prop on the andy griffith show. with the phone came a certificate of authenticity. is there a way to find out if this in fact authentic? the coa has the ellis prop company on it.

What kind of authenticity it this certificate proclaiming?  That it's an all original 1958 phone, or that it was used in the show.
The former should be fairly easy to ascertain, just take pics and read all discoverable markings inside and out and post here. For the latter you have to trust the provider, but perhaps this company is still around to contact and verify the claim.