Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Collector's Corner => Topic started by: LarryInMichigan on July 29, 2017, 11:21:27 PM

Title: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: LarryInMichigan on July 29, 2017, 11:21:27 PM
I have been looking for one of these for cheap for a while, and I finally found one for $85 plus $25 shipping.  The shipping charge was unreasonable, but I think that I got a deal on the phone.  The metal has quite a bit of corrosion in places, but the phone otherwise appears to have had little or no use.  The plunger shows very little wear, and the felt on the bottom looks almost new.  The cords are in excellent shape, except for the last 2 feet of so of the mounting cord.

The shaft is stamped "D76869" on the back.  Inside the base is a capacitor.  I do not know what its purpose is.  The E1 handset is in great condition and has a bullet type transmitter.  The receiver has a "229" date stamp.

Larry
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: LarryInMichigan on July 29, 2017, 11:22:57 PM
Here is a picture of the capacitor.

Larry
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: mariepr on July 30, 2017, 12:55:21 AM
At a total of $110 for an A1 delivered you got the bargain of the year.

However, what was it about the way it was packed and shipped that made $25 seem to be too much?  USPS for example charges $18.85 postage for a Large Flat Rate box.  If the seller used a different box to protect the cradle then it's no longer flat rate but based on A-B distance. 
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 30, 2017, 01:17:28 AM
Inside the base is a capacitor.  I do not know what its purpose is. 
Larry
Read this current thread for a discussion of the capacitor.  I believe it's connected across the transmitter leads of the handset cord and serves the same purpose:
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=18564.new#new
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: LarryInMichigan on July 30, 2017, 06:49:03 AM
The phone was packed in a small cardboard box with brown paper padding.  The seller paid the retail Priority Mail rate of $11.95.

I have to decide whether or not to add a dial.  I think that I have a spare #2 dial somewhere.


Larry
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Doug Rose on July 30, 2017, 07:00:27 AM
Larry......is is a beauty! I am still looking for one for my collection. I would leave it as is, but that is just me. Is the handset an E1 or does it have a Dxxxxxx instead. Super find!!!.....Doug
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: LarryInMichigan on July 30, 2017, 07:07:11 AM
I would like to try to repaint the phone to make it look good.

The handset is an E-1.  I am posting a picture of the information on it.

Larry

Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: HarrySmith on July 30, 2017, 07:23:44 AM
Congrats! Great find! I am jealous!
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Tim Mc on July 30, 2017, 08:57:08 AM
Ditto!  Congrats!  I'm with Doug and would leave it as-is, but it would still be awesome if restored.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: poplar1 on July 30, 2017, 09:22:44 AM
The handset is an E-1.  I am posting a picture of the information on it.

Is it an E1A or E1B?

The E1A does not have a 129-type capacitor on the back of the transmitter. Some E1As are marked "D80370" on the handle, but they are otherwise equivalent.

The E1B handset has a 129-type capacitor inside.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: LarryInMichigan on July 30, 2017, 10:12:46 AM
The transmitter has a 129A capacitor on it.

Larry
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Jim Stettler on July 30, 2017, 10:14:16 AM
Haed to find and cheap. Looks like a find of the month to me.
JMO,
Jim S.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Vern P on August 01, 2017, 09:02:24 PM
Congrats on your find !!  Like I say "you have to kiss a lot of frogs, to find that prince".
Vern
PS: I know,  evade I have been kissing them for over 30 years.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: WEBellSystemChristian on August 01, 2017, 09:05:30 PM
Holy cow...

WHAT A FIND!!!

Great one Larry! My hand would be shaking to push the button after seeing the listing for that price! ;)
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: LarryInMichigan on August 07, 2017, 08:45:22 AM
I painted the base and shaft/cradle and reassembled the phone.  My painting skills are fair at best, but the phone looks much better now.  I also gave the handset a cleaning and polishing.  The phone works, but the sound quality from the bullet transmitter is poor, as is typical.

A collector told me yesterday that he had heard that these phones were only used in the New York area and that the "Dxxx" number indicates that this was an experimental phone.  Is there any truth to these stories?  My phone did come from a seller on Long Island


Larry
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: HarrySmith on August 07, 2017, 09:06:16 AM
WOW! Looks great, now I am even more jealous ;D
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: unbeldi on August 07, 2017, 10:22:24 AM
I painted the base and shaft/cradle and reassembled the phone.  My painting skills are fair at best, but the phone looks much better now.  I also gave the handset a cleaning and polishing.  The phone works, but the sound quality from the bullet transmitter is poor, as is typical.

A collector told me yesterday that he had heard that these phones were only used in the New York area and that the "Dxxx" number indicates that this was an experimental phone.  Is there any truth to these stories?  My phone did come from a seller on Long Island


Larry

The D-numbers were used for equipment that was produced in low volume, for special orders, when it was not practical to assign a permanent apparatus code.  Field trials were also examples of these.

The early handset mountings before the A-series were field tested with the various early handset types in the NY/NJ area with AT&T staff. 'A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System' reports that for example, 490 sets with Type A handsets were tested with employees at the NYC AT&T and WECo facilities in Sept. 1924.  Sept. 1924 was also the month the design received a patent, apparently not in time for the trials.  But later, formal A-type sets bear that patent date.


The comment (AA1) in the title of this thread should be removed.  The AA1 was a 302-type hand telephone mounting.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Doug Rose on August 07, 2017, 10:38:41 AM
Larry....Home Run!!   That looks fantastic. You done good....real good. I am envious.....super find...Doug
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Alex G. Bell on August 07, 2017, 01:49:37 PM
The comment (AA1) in the title of this thread should be removed.  The AA1 was a 302-type hand telephone mounting.
The best way to see to such changes is by reporting to moderator, which I will now do.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: TelePlay on August 07, 2017, 02:00:05 PM
The best way to see to such changes is by reporting to moderator, which I will now do.

Missed that post by unbeldi but the change has been made now. Just so many posts and so much to read in each one of them that I miss such requests.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: Alex G. Bell on August 07, 2017, 02:01:28 PM
The early handset mountings before the A-series were field tested with the various early handset types in the NY/NJ area with AT&T staff. 'A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System' reports that for example, 490 sets with Type A handsets were tested with employees at the NYC AT&T and WECo facilities in Sept. 1924. 
OTOH this one is not equipped with an A-type handset, it has an E. 

The fact that they were field tested as stated in "A History..." does not necessarily mean they were not deployed more generally elsewhere later with E handsets.  A phone company employee friend turned one up sitting in the basement of a NYC apartment building. 

The vast majority of reports I've see were for the D-# version but someone else I know turned up an A3 (party line version) in N. CA's Sonoma or Napa County.  Of course there is no way to know how it got there.  But suffice to say that they probably did not field test party line versions at AT&T and WECo NYC facilities but deployed these sets more generally or there would not have been any A3s produced.
Title: Re: Western Electric A1 with E1 Handset
Post by: unbeldi on August 07, 2017, 02:36:23 PM
OTOH this one is not equipped with an A-type handset, it has an E. 
Of course.  A, B, C, D handsets were never distributed.
I gave an example for the reason that the D-numbered base existed in the first place.


Quote
The fact that they were field tested as stated in "A History..." does not necessarily mean they were not deployed more generally elsewhere later with E handsets.  A phone company employee friend turned one up sitting in the basement of a NYC apartment building. 

The vast majority of reports I've see were for the D-# version but someone else I know turned up an A3 (party line version) in N. CA's Sonoma or Napa County.  Of course there is no way to know how it got there.  But suffice to say that they probably did not field test party line versions at AT&T and WECo NYC facilities but deployed these sets more generally or there would not have been any A3s produced.

The "A" handset mountings ('A' marked) were regular catalog items with an apparatus code, so I doubt they were only regionally used.  A 1928 telephone directory of Southern Bell T&T for Atlanta, GA, shows advertisements with A1A telsets.  They were made in A1, A2, and A3 versions.

The A3 was not the party line version.  It was used in PBX systems and in the No.1 Residence System. It later became the 104 telephone with the B3 base (and others later).
The party line version was the A2, for two-party message rate service, like the later 103 telephone with a B2 base (and others).