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Mahogany Brown 500 New in Box

Started by Stormcrash, September 05, 2022, 08:56:58 PM

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Recently came across a listing for a Western Electric 500 in Mahogany Brown that was still new in the box. It had a high list price but in the end I put in a bid and ended up getting it. The mounting cord is still bundled with the factory twine and the dial card inserts are still sealed in their wax paper packet. The phone is in excellent condition with just a little bit of scuffing from the box and a nearly undetectable bit of cord burn on the left side.

All cords and components dated to 1955 with most being 9/55 except the dial which is 7/55. Interestingly though the date stamp is missing on the inside of the housing, guess it didn't get applied at the factory

Objectively I paid too much for this phone, even for a Mahogany Brown set. But this seemed a once in a lifetime opportunity, with the chances of ever seeing another one new in this condition with it's box and with parts still in factory packaging being close to zero

Attached are some of the photos from the listing, I plan on taking a few more myself before I take the twine off the mounting cord and give it a little buffing. Right now I plan on leaving the dial card packet sealed and sourcing another retainer and lucite window to put in the dial


Few more pictures from the listing


Very nice!

Congratulations on a great and unusual find.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



Quote from: Stormcrash on September 05, 2022, 08:59:53 PMFew more pictures from the listing
Congratualations!  These are almost as rare as hen's teeth!



The discontinued colors are not very common, but New Old Stock is not likely to ever turn up again!  That phone is amazing.

Doug Rose

Beautiful phone that I was watching. Strange the shell is not marked....Doug


I wouldn't buff it at all. Better leave it as a time capsule. My 2 cents.


Quote from: JorgeAmely on September 06, 2022, 11:55:37 AMI wouldn't buff it at all. Better leave it as a time capsule. My 2 cents.

I certainly intend to do the minimal amount possible (easy since it's in such amazing condition) but I don't want to leave it as a sealed in amber box queen either. Perhaps buffing was too strong a word, just thinking of a touch of novus 2/1 to gloss up some very fine scuffs.

That said I did do one piece of preventative work on it. There was a small spot on the handset above the cord hole where the surface layer of Tenite had flaked off. To prevent it from flaking any worse I smoothed it with a little bit of alcohol followed by novus. Took a few treatments but now you can't even tell there was ever a flake there


That is a beauty!

I agree with leaving leaving the dial card packet sealed; that preserves the factory-fresh condition.  Also, save the twine the cord was wrapped in!

ITT and Stromberg-Carlson made a "Cocoa Brown" in the 1970s and 80s, which was slightly darker than this Mahogany Brown.  I prefer this Mahogany Brown.  It is a deeper, richer color.  It almost looks as if you could eat it!

Congratulations on obtaining this one!


Thanks! At this point the plan is to leave the dial packet sealed and will source a different dial center for when I want to display or use it. I will definitely keep the twine as well, though I probably will have to take it off the cord for display or use

Yeah I didn't get a picture due to moving but I had it side by side with an ITT Cocoa Brown 500 from the 80s and agree that the mahogany is much richer and nicer. I like the cocoa/chocolate color normally but next to the mahogany it looks dull washed out. I would say that mahogany looks darker though and agree when people say it can appear almost black under low light