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and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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Now the Story Can be Told - 1949 WECo 500 Set

Started by Dan/Panther, March 20, 2010, 11:08:11 PM

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No one knows it all, I've learned  if someone is talking about a subject, I feel I know a lot about, I still listen, maybe I missed something. Thanks it made a big difference in how the chassis looks.

I spent the afternoon and evening today, working on the new Fingerwheel. I finished after about 4 hours of hand work.
Here is the finished product, made out of ABS, and polished with Novus #2.
Let me know if it does the phone justice, if consensus is it doesn't look right, I will have a machinist make one. please don't spare my feelings, I want this phone to be as correct as I can get it.
I put the original broken one, and another W.E. fingerwheel to see how they compare.

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


"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


I mounted the Fingerwheel, and put a dial card in to see how it looks.
Isn't that a thing of beauty.

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


Kenny C

wow :o :o :o thats all i can say is just WOW :o
In memory of
  Marie B.


I forget to mention, I used the Harbor freight lathe to make the wheel.

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


Impressive - very impressive, you're a darned good machinist to boot.


Very impressive!  Looks like a million bucks!
- Tom

Dennis Markham

Very nice job, Dan.  There's no way I could have created that finger wheel.  Beautiful!


now that is real talent!!!!!!!!!! :o ;D :o ;D :o


First of all - fantastic job on the fingerwheel, it looks just as it should and I'm sure it operates and feels just as good. I think I speak for all of us by saying, the right person got this phone!

Another can of worms to open.....the Bell system number card also looks great and seems to be the way to go.  Question - are there any photos of 48's or 49's showing what Bell Labs put in for a card on trial sets ?


Quote from: Dan/Panther on April 02, 2010, 11:57:08 PM
I mounted the Fingerwheel, and put a dial card in to see how it looks.
Isn't that a thing of beauty.

When you display it, will the original fingerwheel be next to the phone?

If you need a numbercard made, I'll make one for you.

Are you an experienced lathe-er? I'd love to get one and learn. Is the Harbor Freight one decent?


To be perfectly honest with you, I wasn't sure I could make it either. I was prepared to seek a qualified machinist before I even attempted it. Since the material was $6.00 for Two 10" X 10" sheets, I decided to try. My Dad was machinist by trade, and I was a Millwright/Welder,  paying attention to my Dad when growing paid off. I never owned a lathe until after he passed away.
The Harbor freight Lathe is a very good hobby and small parts lathe.  I have turned rotors for a motorcycle, they were 10" diameter. It's all manual as far as the feeds are concerned, and you can't make thread, but that what taps and dies are for.
Below is the closest I can find to what I think the dial card looked like in my phone, the Dial Plate "Z" is what I'm going by, and the date is about correct.
I would appreciate a card like the one in the photo. Blank Of course. Let me know if you can make one.
Next is the rear cover for the dial, then mount it back on the chassis, Then the hard parts, Shell, handset, and cords

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



First, let me congratulate you on the excellent job of making that fingerwheel.  That is truly fabulous.

The handset should be pretty easy.  Any early bakelite G1 handset will be the one that is used here, with the T1 transmitter and the U1 receiver.  Early enough to have the notched cord stay built into the handle and not into the transmitter cup. 

The main problem with the handset, its elements or any remaining part to find would be the dates.  It just ain't gonna happen.  (Well all right maybe.  After all, you did find what you have).

From the readings, the handset cord should be straight, neoprene jacketed, and be of the early type.  When I say early, I mean a handset cord like the one on my 1951 500 that has the equalizer.  The ends on the inside of the phones only needed to go as far as the equalizer, and not all the way across the phone to the 425A network.  The lengths of the red, white, and white wires are very short as compared to the later cords, with the black being slightly longer.

Line neoprene  from an early phone.

Cover....probably any soft plastic black from the early 50's will have to do.

I would call Steve Hilsz and see if he has any of the parts.  However, I think it may take him a day or two to check his e-mails.  I believe he is out and about this week.
-Bill G

Jim Stettler

I think the Dial looks "right". You did a great job on the fingerwheel.

I agree with your choice of dial cards. I looked at a couple of early photos and that card appears  proper.

I didn't look thru the dial center libraries, but A Bell labs dial center might be nice (if any were made).
For a phone # I would use a Murray Hill #, Your own phone #, 555-2368 , or leave it blank.

I think a phone # in it would look good, and would be right for a field trial set (Using this concept, then your Phone # is the best choice).

Usually  the phone #555-2368 was used in advertisement photos, Back in the day, dialing  this # would connect you to information. The official information # was different.

You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.