Author Topic: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!  (Read 1577 times)

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« on: September 06, 2016, 08:55:09 PM »
I am 14, and adding to my phone interests and small collection, my grandpa found a Bell sign at a garage sale this week. I think it is new old stock since it had dried up glue or tape residue on it, and I had to use car polish and WD-40 to clean it off. It looks nice now! What do you think? I am getting my room painted so that's why I haven't mounted it to a wall yet. You can see it in in the background of this photo I took of my vacuum tube tester.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 10:06:20 PM by Holtzer-Cabot »
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline jsowers

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 09:37:04 PM »
That's a real sign of the times, so to speak. From the days long before cell phones, when pay phones dotted the landscape. Since you're 14, you probably don't remember a time when there were no cell phones, but you have an appreciation of history, and that's great to see. It's great that your grandpa is on the lookout for stuff for you.

I have a tube tester very similar to yours, in a wooden case. Mine is an Eico with a bunch of lever switches you have to put into position according to a paper roll listing all the tubes. I haven't used mine in many years and the last time I tried to use it, it had an acrid smell. It may have a selenium rectifier going bad. I haven't opened it up to see.
Jonathan

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 10:04:04 PM »
That's a real sign of the times, so to speak. From the days long before cell phones, when pay phones dotted the landscape. Since you're 14, you probably don't remember a time when there were no cell phones, but you have an appreciation of history, and that's great to see. It's great that your grandpa is on the lookout for stuff for you.

I have a tube tester very similar to yours, in a wooden case. Mine is an Eico with a bunch of lever switches you have to put into position according to a paper roll listing all the tubes. I haven't used mine in many years and the last time I tried to use it, it had an acrid smell. It may have a selenium rectifier going bad. I haven't opened it up to see.
I am probably the only 14 year old who had never owned a cell phone, or a smartphone! All the phones I have ever used are Western Electric 500s, and I have a 1959 black 500 that I am using as my main phone right now. I have 3 500s total. I also have a W.E. 302 and a 1903 Stromberg-Carlson candlestick desk set with hand crank magneto subscriber set! 

Wow that's cool! Is it a model 666 or 667? This one is a Superior Instruments Co. model TV-11 emissions tester. Mine also has lever switches and a roll chart. And mine also has a strong smell to it, I have tracked it down to a waterproofing coating on the wiring. It works great electrically! I also have another tester, a Precision Apparatus Co. model T-60. I use my tube tester when repairing tube radios and test equipment. I also have 3 boxes full of tubes! I have already repaired a 1940 Sears Silvertone model 6327 All American Five tube radio, and a Zenith bakelite table radio. Right now I am working on a Stromberg-Carlson console. You could open yours up and check to see if yours has a tube rectifier or a selenium. You can test the selenium with an ohmmeter to see if it's shorted, and you can check to see the voltage output to see it it is strong or weak. Do you remember the drug store type self-service tube testers? A popular one was the U-Test-M.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 10:43:52 PM by Holtzer-Cabot »
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline Jim S.

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 11:05:47 PM »
That is a nice sign.  I like the "phone from" signs. I have different variations of "Phone from Car" including illuminated signs.
Here is a thread with some of the other "Phone From" signs: They are an attachment. There is also an article about them

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=16255.msg168468#msg168468

All of my phone from signs are Southwestern Bell.

Jim S.
I am looking for a handicapped phone sign that says "Phone from Wheelchair". I don't know if any were ever made. That is about the only other "phone from" sign.

PS I like the old tube tester and it is pretty cool you are repairing tube equitiment.
You live, You learn,
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Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2016, 11:11:12 PM »
That is a nice sign.  I like the "phone from" signs. I have different variations of "Phone from Car" including illuminated signs.
Here is a thread with some of the other "Phone From" signs: They are an attachment. There is also an article about them

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=16255.msg168468#msg168468

All of my phone from signs are Southwestern Bell.

Jim S.
I am looking for a handicapped phone sign that says "Phone from Wheelchair". I don't know if any were ever made. That is about the only other "phone from" sign.

PS I like the old tube tester and it is pretty cool you are repairing tube equitiment.
Thank you! I just got done reading that post about 10 minutes ago. Is my sign more rare since it's not Southwestern Bell?
And I wonder if they made any of them too! I find it fun to work on tube equipment and that tube tester is pretty cool! I love the look of vintage test equipment. Here is the Silvertone model 6327 AA5 tube radio before I fixed it up. I do have the cabinet, and now it is working perfectly!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 11:27:08 PM by Holtzer-Cabot »
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline Jim S.

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 11:27:35 PM »
I think all of the baby Bell had "Phone from car" signs.
My signs are all Southwestern Bell because I bought them from a Southwestern Bell payphone installer. It was the only "Phone from" sign that really made much sense for widespread use.. Southwestern was just experimenting with the Horse, Bike, Boat, and Golfcart signs.

I think The 2 hi-viz signs, "Phone from Car" and "Phone Here" were samples. In don't know if any were ever hung.  The "Phone Here" sign makes me think of ET.

JMO,
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 11:35:30 PM »
I think all of the baby Bell had "Phone from car" signs.
My signs are all Southwestern Bell because I bought them from a Southwestern Bell payphone installer. It was the only "Phone from" sign that really made much sense for widespread use.. Southwestern was just experimenting with the Horse, Bike, Boat, and Golfcart signs.

I think The 2 hi-viz signs, "Phone from Car" and "Phone Here" were samples. In don't know if any were ever hung.  The "Phone Here" sign makes me think of ET.

JMO,
Jim S.
Okay, I didn't know that every Baby Bell had their own version! And yeah I don't know how popular the horse, bike, boat etc. signs were. My main phone is a Western Electric 500 from 1961. Have you ever used a tube tester?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 11:39:27 PM by Holtzer-Cabot »
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline Jim S.

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 11:45:32 PM »
Just in the store. When I was around 11 years old  I bought a non working short wave receiver at a yard sale. I took the tubes in and tested them, bought a replacement tube and then I  had a working short wave receiver.  That was in 1972, tube testers were starting to get scarce.

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

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 11:52:19 PM »
Just in the store. When I was around 11 years old  I bought a non working short wave receiver at a yard sale. I took the tubes in and tested them, bought a replacement tube and then I  had a working short wave receiver.  That was in 1972, tube testers were starting to get scarce.

Jim S.
Wow that is cool that all it needed was a new tube! And yes, the store testers started to die out in the 70's as everything went solid-state. Testers like mine, the 'suitcase' types, were more common and were used by repairmen doing house calls to fix a radio or television set. Here is a common store tester, a U-TEST-M.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 11:59:07 PM by Holtzer-Cabot »
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline jsowers

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2016, 01:30:47 AM »
I remember seeing a tube tester in Radio Shack many years ago. Their tubes were guaranteed for life. I remember buying two audio output tubes for a Bell & Howell 16mm projector there once and they were microphonic. The vibration of the projector made them very noisy, so they didn't work. I returned them and got two more and they were OK, but the lady there gave me a hard time. I had to keep insisting they didn't work. I think that was after they lost the tube tester and they would probably test good with no vibrations.

Your tube tester does look a lot like mine. Mine is somewhere in my basement. I got it about 35 years ago at a Goodwill surplus sale. They actually sold all kinds of unusual things and I scarfed up a lot of neat stuff. Tubes, a Carousel slide projector, two copper chassis Harmon-Kardon tuners and two HH Scott receivers, among other things. I was 23 and just getting into electronics. I guess they don't teach electronic servicing at community college these days like they did then. You would really like those classes. But everything is made to just throw away these days. Which is why the older things are so great. Old things were made to be fixed.

Silvertone radios are usually easy to work on. I have several and my first one I got at age 12 and it worked when I got it home. Cost a whole $5 at the local antique shop. I had a lot of fun DXing at night with that radio. It would get WOR, WSB, WWL and KYW. I live in NC and it was amazing to hear clear channel stations that far away.
Jonathan

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2016, 10:35:04 AM »
I remember seeing a tube tester in Radio Shack many years ago. Their tubes were guaranteed for life. I remember buying two audio output tubes for a Bell & Howell 16mm projector there once and they were microphonic. The vibration of the projector made them very noisy, so they didn't work. I returned them and got two more and they were OK, but the lady there gave me a hard time. I had to keep insisting they didn't work. I think that was after they lost the tube tester and they would probably test good with no vibrations.

Your tube tester does look a lot like mine. Mine is somewhere in my basement. I got it about 35 years ago at a Goodwill surplus sale. They actually sold all kinds of unusual things and I scarfed up a lot of neat stuff. Tubes, a Carousel slide projector, two copper chassis Harmon-Kardon tuners and two HH Scott receivers, among other things. I was 23 and just getting into electronics. I guess they don't teach electronic servicing at community college these days like they did then. You would really like those classes. But everything is made to just throw away these days. Which is why the older things are so great. Old things were made to be fixed.

Silvertone radios are usually easy to work on. I have several and my first one I got at age 12 and it worked when I got it home. Cost a whole $5 at the local antique shop. I had a lot of fun DXing at night with that radio. It would get WOR, WSB, WWL and KYW. I live in NC and it was amazing to hear clear channel stations that far away.
Wow! And yes their tubes were called the Realistic Lifetime Tubes. I wonder if they would still give you a replacement today!  ;D I never knew the 16mm projectors had tubes, but since they had a amplifier in them it makes sense.

And that is great! Goodwill did have a lot of cool stuff! You should dig yours out sometime and see it it will fire up! If you have any questions about your tester, I can help you with them! Another forum you would like is the Antique Radio Forums. Those HH Scott and Harmon-Kardon tuners and amps were very good! And I wish my school still had classes like that..I wish things were still built to last and were built to be repaired! The Silvertone sets are easy to work on! Pretty simple AA5 design. I still love going to antique shops to find phones and radios and stuff!
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline 19and41

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2016, 02:32:34 PM »
I have a Knight 600 tester I use in my other hobby of restoring radios.  Many people write off tube equipment as noisy and tempramental.  When they are brought back to their original performance, they do as well as solid state equipment.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2016, 06:41:26 PM »
I have a Knight 600 tester I use in my other hobby of restoring radios.  Many people write off tube equipment as noisy and tempramental.  When they are brought back to their original performance, they do as well as solid state equipment.
Wow that's cool! The 600 is a good tester! I'm glad you are also in the hobby of restoring/repairing radios! You will like the Antique Radio Forums. Go to antiqueradios.com And I think they do too! I like tube radios better than solid state! What phones do you have? My main one is a Western Electric 500.
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!

Offline 19and41

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2016, 07:54:13 PM »
Here is my collection thread.  Working with tube equipment is satisfying when you can get a mass of parts to function as a fine tuned instrument.  You have started on some nice hobbies.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=13685.0
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Holtzer-Cabot

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Re: NOS Illinois Bell 'Phone from Car' sign!
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2016, 08:39:13 PM »
Here is my collection thread.  Working with tube equipment is satisfying when you can get a mass of parts to function as a fine tuned instrument.  You have started on some nice hobbies.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=13685.0
Awesome phones! I like those magneto field sets! And yes it is! I wish more people my age were into these things.
Western Electric - A unit of the Bell System and main supplier of AT&T since 1882! -15 year old phone collector!