Author Topic: BIN 1955 554 on Ebay  (Read 793 times)

Offline magicbrain

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BIN 1955 554 on Ebay
« on: March 22, 2018, 02:41:04 PM »
https://tinyurl.com/y7fbmz3b

Grabbed this early 554 on Ebay with $49.99 BIN - big satin hook, no top ribs and it appears there is no mouse hole, so 1955? - it also comes the original box minus the top flaps - can't wait to get it.



« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 07:49:32 PM by magicbrain »
Bruce
Atca# 4778

Offline oldguy

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 06:31:52 PM »
Nice find Bruce.
Gary

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2018, 06:53:59 PM »
Wow, great find!

It definitely appears to be all-original, plus NOS!
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline poplar1

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 08:08:13 PM »
Green label = Telephone Co. Property = C Stock = Remanufactured at the WE Repair Shops

Per B. B. Wingo, the remanufactured phones were better than the new ones, because they were more thoroughly tested.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline jsowers

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 11:39:48 PM »
no top ribs

No ribs? I see ribs on top just like every other 554. Even the ones with black switchhooks have ribs. The place for parking the handset when you have to leave the phone. There have been rumors the first 554s didn't have those ribs, but we've yet to see a posted example.
Jonathan

Offline magicbrain

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2018, 01:49:51 PM »
I was referring to the top inner ribs of the housing, guess I should have said back plate without the top notches.

Anyway, it will be interesting to find out exactly what the dates are - I did not know about the meaning of the green label.

Bruce
Atca# 4778

Offline jsowers

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2018, 03:30:20 PM »
I was referring to the top inner ribs of the housing, guess I should have said back plate without the top notches.

Anyway, it will be interesting to find out exactly what the dates are - I did not know about the meaning of the green label.

Ah, yes. Inside ribs. Thanks for the explanation. I think you're right about the year and it will be a fourth quarter of 1955 phone. Good luck!

I didn't know about the green label either and the C-stock phones being better than others. Which begs the question why C-stock phones were supposedly foisted onto poorly performing Bell areas. Another tale I'm not completely sure about. I guess the joke was on Western Electric and they gave better phones to the ones they wanted to penalize. Maybe we'll never know the full story about that.

Look inside the phone when it arrives and see if anything was replaced in 1956 since there's what looks like a 5-6-56 stamp on the back. It could have just needed an adjustment and may have been that way from the factory, considering the short lapse in time and the fact that it looks like it's unused. I'm sure it has a story to tell if we can decipher it.
Jonathan

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2018, 03:59:26 PM »
My way to gauge how much use a 554 has had is to look at the wear on the hook and on the front of the shell where the transmitter cap would rub against it.  This one looks like it has had very little, if any use.  It looks like a great find to me.


Larry

Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: BIN 1955? 554 on Ebay
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 05:38:55 PM »
There have been rumors the first 554s didn't have those ribs, but we've yet to see a posted example.
[/quote]

 Which begs the question why C-stock phones were supposedly foisted onto poorly performing Bell areas. Another tale I'm not completely sure about. I guess the joke was on Western Electric and they gave better phones to the ones they wanted to penalize. Maybe we'll never know the full story about that.

A former  higher up* at WE told me that the penalty  "C" stock was the really crappy stuff. These would be the phones that were painted a different color over the base color. Painted handset cords, painted handset cords that had to be reverse wound before use ect. Painted handset cords that were a different base color., mismatched feet ect.

He said the reason was to let the installers/repairmen ect know that their division was bleeding $$$ and everyone needed to tighten up.

The early "C" stock was basically recycled plastic used in handsets and housings. I don't think these had the "C" stock stigma
Later they started using color matching paint to keep the color consistent.
 Painted mod cords have either smoke tinted mod plugs  or clear plugs with matching paint on the cord edge of the mod. I think the smoke tint was earlier.

The above is based on hearsay.
Jim S.
BTW I have heard the C stock story from former installers as well as other collectors.
These would be  Mountain  Bell guys. My first 500 set was a mountain bell set painted green over aqua/blue this would of been around 1973. I have found a lot of crappy mountain bell sets from the early 1970's. These were as mentioned above.

* Jack Holtman Former Phone collector-Last WE project was the phone system for the 1984 LA Olympics.  . The 3' brass WE logo and WE name  that was @ JKL before the fire came from his collection.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline jsowers

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Re: BIN 1955 554 on Ebay
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 08:57:15 PM »
Jim, thanks for your definition of C-stock. This black 554 doesn't fit the definition. Maybe we could upgrade it to B-stock?  ;) I guess there were lots of ways a phone hit the refurb shop and this nice early black 554 looks like it left the factory with a problem, never got used and then got tuned up shortly thereafter, only to then sit in the box the rest of its life. All the better for Bruce (MagicBrain).

BTW, Bruce, I like that Forum Handle of yours. It reminds me of working on a 1938 RCA Victor radio my mom found in a garbage pile. I wasn't skilled enough to repair it, but I did turn it on (I didn't know any better at 16 years old) and I got to see the motorized station selector work, and that was a marvel of technology for the time. I still have it, but only the chassis and knobs and speaker. The console cabinet fell apart from being outside in the rain when it was in the garbage. I remember seeing the "Magic Brain" graphic on the side. It's a very cool logo.
Jonathan

Offline magicbrain

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Re: BIN 1955 554 on Ebay
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 09:15:21 PM »
It was sitting on the front porch when I got home today & all I can say is WOW - it is nearly pristine with only minor scuffs here & there without any sign of ever being installed.
All parts are dated 9-55, except the receiver cap dated 1-52 & the best part the housing is dated 4 25 55 3 !
Some quick pictures




Bruce
Atca# 4778

Offline RotarDad

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Re: BIN 1955 554 on Ebay
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 12:49:19 AM »
Wow Bruce - that is a beauty.   Jonathan, is this one the earliest dated shells???  I searched on the "who has the oldest 554" thread and I see you have a black 554 from June and I see Dennis M. has one from May, both with black hooks, right?   This April shell must be on of the first, but with a satin hook, as they had switched from the black by September?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 12:54:45 AM by RotarDad »
Paul

Offline jsowers

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Re: BIN 1955 554 on Ebay
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2018, 01:10:11 PM »
Wow Bruce - that is a beauty.   Jonathan, is this one the earliest dated shells???  I searched on the "who has the oldest 554" thread and I see you have a black 554 from June and I see Dennis M. has one from May, both with black hooks, right?   This April shell must be on of the first, but with a satin hook, as they had switched from the black by September?

Yes, that's a very early shell. There's another thread somewhere with the details on the ribs, mousehole, etc. where some other dates are mentioned. Here are three of them, if anyone's interested.

Oldest 554 thread: http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1161.0
Mo's 554 from 2013: http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=9871.0
Mousehole and inside ribs thread: http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=15868.0

Who knows if maybe the April shell got put on after it was made and came back for refurbishing, since the dates are so different, but we'll never know for sure. It's the earliest shell posted so far, I think. And still with the "outside ribs" to hang the handset on. Congratulations, Bruce, on your find. Thanks for posting the pictures too. You just never know what you'll find inside these phones.
Jonathan