Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Candlestick Phones => Topic started by: Pourme on February 24, 2016, 09:28:36 AM

Title: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 24, 2016, 09:28:36 AM


Thank you Dennis for adding me as a member. My meager collection don't deserve to be called a collection by the standards on this site. I want to add my first candlestick. This was at a local antique mall last week and I walked away. I suspect the dialer was added.  In general how bad does this hurt the value of any non dialer phone? The handset is cracked, glued and deteriorating & has the wrong sending unit & cord. No main cord. The base doesn't have the felt. I don't even know if it has any internal parts. I have seen this model go for a lot of money in much better shape. Still I am drawn to this piece. $200.00 seemed high to me. What is your opinion? Should I return and buy it before someone else does?Thank you in advance!
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: unbeldi on February 24, 2016, 10:06:30 AM
Welcome!

Merriam-Webster says:
Collection:
  something collected; especially :  an accumulation of objects gathered for study, comparison, or exhibition or as a hobby

So, you shouldn't let anything else change your mind about your collection.

I think the question you posed can only be answered by you, yourself.  Telephones sell for amazing prices sometimes, amazingly high and amazingly low. It only depends on how bad someone wants it and whether two such people collide in an auction.
I think going into collecting with money on one's mind is a great way to destroy the fun and enjoyment of it. If you enjoy the process of restoring an antique piece of communication history, then the real price usually is not what you pay for it, but what you put in, in terms of time and effort. In the end it seems one is getting prison wages, too often.

In terms of that instrument, I'd say spending a couple hundred is perhaps not out of line, we certainly have seen instruments that old to sell for more, I think.  There are several old candlestick experts on this forum.

Seems to me this may be a Stromberg-Carlson ca. 110 years old. [oops, sorry, you already stated that in your title]. And yes, the dial is a later addition.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 24, 2016, 10:15:39 AM
Thanks unbeldi, it's not entirely about the money...at the same time I need to maximize the gain for what I have to spend. Thank you for your input!
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 24, 2016, 10:35:23 AM
Depending how the dial is mounted I would say could significantly lower the value.  The base of an Oilcan is how it got the name.  If someone drilled holes or otherwise damaged the base to mount the dial then in my opinion the phone is good for parts.  Finding another base to replace it would probably mean buying a second phone.   

It may be possible to salvage the base by brazing any holes or damage but this would take someone who skilled in brazing brass and the associated costs to go with it.  The S-C Oilcan had two bases.  Early versions were cast brass and the later versions were spun brass.  Either type would be difficult to braze and would take an experienced person to do it right.

I have seen several of these receivers listed on ebay so a replacement would not be that difficult.  Replica handles and ear pieces are also available.

I am not familiar with the dial or its value.  Possible it could be sold to fund the work required on the phone.

Dennis Hallworth   
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Fabius on February 24, 2016, 11:49:52 AM
Welcome! Though there may be $200 worth of parts I would pass. As already mentioned the mounting of the dial may have damaged the base which would be the biggest concern to me. It appears the dial is European? Also the phone has been stripped of its nickel and it has the later transmitter and mount.

You should check out that TV that can be seen in the background. Is it a Philco Predicta?
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 24, 2016, 12:23:12 PM
The "embossed" transmitter face plate was used on the 1900-1905 oilcan per
http://www.phonemandave.net/stromberg.htm
I can not tell if the inside of the transmitter is original.  If it is like the receiver I would suspect it may not have original internal parts.

The internal parts of the receiver are not original as can be seen in the picture with the broken ear piece.  The original receiver had a diaphragm that was activated by two coils that were driven by magnets.

Dennis Hallworth     
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: rdelius on February 24, 2016, 12:49:09 PM
That dial is off a KTAS set.I think the set is still worth it.Those faceplates have been reproduced but that one appears origional
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Sargeguy on February 24, 2016, 08:56:56 PM
I agree.  Even as a parts phone I'd take a chance on this one.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 24, 2016, 09:06:35 PM
I offered $125, & I now own my first candlestick phone. I took time to peek at the transmitter and it isn't original as suspected. I am excited about owning it and look forward to what may become of the phone! Thanks for the response, I'm sure I will follow up.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: HarrySmith on February 24, 2016, 09:14:33 PM
Nice! Great price! It will have to be re-nickled anyway so if the base it damaged you can have it repaired. I have seen a lot of those receivers on eBay. Most of the time the seller does not know what it is. Keep your search broad and you will probably find one for cheap.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Jim Stettler on February 24, 2016, 10:38:07 PM
Steve Brink wrote an article About re-nickling an oilcan with a texas platers kit. I think it was published by ATCA. I think you did well with this purchase.
JMO,
Jim S.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: AE_Collector on February 24, 2016, 11:40:32 PM
Quote from: Fabius on February 24, 2016, 11:49:52 AM
You should check out that TV that can be seen in the background. Is it a Philco Predicta?

That is what I was thinking! It doesn't look identical to the picture of the Predicta that you posted but very similar. I would think they may be worth quite a few $$$. Would be nice to know what they are asking for it.

And for the phone, first thing everyone wants to know is how the dial is attached. I woud definitely pay $125 to add it to my collection even if it is in rough shape.

Terry
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: WEBellSystemChristian on February 25, 2016, 09:40:29 AM
Nice phone!

I think you will want to send it to Dennis Halworth; he does very excellent nickel plating. He could easily fill those holes and you would never know they were there! ;)
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: andre_janew on February 25, 2016, 12:14:30 PM
The TV in the background could be for sale.  According to the tag on it, it is a Jetsons TV made from 1959 to 1961.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Fabius on February 25, 2016, 02:38:02 PM
Quote from: andre_janew on February 25, 2016, 12:14:30 PM
The TV in the background could be for sale.  According to the tag on it, it is a Jetsons TV made from 1959 to 1961.

Jensons is not a manufacturer or model name. It is a reference to the TV cartoon show that was set in the future. Called so because of the TV's futuristic look.


Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 25, 2016, 03:40:28 PM
Because you asked, I went back & looked at the television. It is a 1960 Predicta, the asking price is $325.00. I don't know if it works. It appears to be intact. Lots of tubes!
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Fabius on February 25, 2016, 04:02:05 PM
As with most vintage TVs the value greatly depends on the CRT (cathode ray tube, aka picture tube). Some CRTs are nearly impossible to find working. It's a good price if working. Keep in mind most antique malls/shops will give at least 10% discount off the tag price. You can even ask them to call the item owner and make an offer to the owner.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: AE_Collector on February 25, 2016, 05:07:17 PM
This particular antique store gave 35% off on the Stromberg Carlson Oilcan candlestick that used to be sitting in front of the 17" 1960 "Jetson" TV!

Terry
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Fabius on February 25, 2016, 08:09:10 PM
Quote from: AE_Collector on February 25, 2016, 05:07:17 PM
This particular antique store gave 35% off on the Stromberg Carlson Oilcan candlestick that used to be sitting in front of the 17" 1960 "Jetson" TV!

Terry

So you got it? Being the mathematical wizard that I am it went for about $130?
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 25, 2016, 08:16:05 PM
I did get it!...My first candlestick. I really didn't think he would accept my offer. I was expecting a counter offer. I paid $125.00. I intend to restore it.
I'm sure I could get the TV for less. I looked inside the TV...it was very dusty.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: AE_Collector on February 25, 2016, 10:05:19 PM
Dont feel down about your math skills Tom. I happened to notice on the tag that they were really asking $195 not $200 and I rounded a little bit in my 35% reduction estimate.

Terry
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Phonesrfun on February 26, 2016, 12:19:02 AM
Maybe we could get a picture or two for posterity so that when the link expires, we have something to refer to.  :)
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 07:38:30 AM
I will take some fresh pictures and post shortly...Thanks for your interest!
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 09:33:31 AM
Here are new pics. Should the base be felt? Why do the holes on the base have no screws in them, that can't be good? There is no inscription on the back side of the transmitter or base, normal? The receiver has been busted and glued, that is a relative easy fix, not my biggest concern. One of the things I like the most about this piece is the embossing on the front of the transmitter. Wondering why anyone would remove the nickle plating from a phone? It's too evenly gone to be simply wear, if it was indeed nickle plated when new.  I will post pics as I do some dis assembly.  Thank everyone for the information and input so far. I read  look, learn from your links.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 10:10:41 AM
Here is what I found inside. I wonder if this is the correct bottom plate. The holes don't match the fastener points in the base. The diagram doesn't look like the phone. Both sending and receiver units are non original, of course. You can see where they attached the dialer. Any thought you have would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 10:30:04 AM
This appears to be my exact same phone...in perfect condition...on Ebay Overpriced at $2199.00? I don't see Ebayers falling all over themselves buying it! :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/201483282088?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82


Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 26, 2016, 11:14:29 AM
The correct bottom plate for an Oilcan was made from wood and covered with felt.  It is held on by three screws that attach to three of the threaded post in the base.  Two of the other posts hold a terminal block used to connect the wires and the third is for a bracket strap that holds the coil in the base.

The Oilcan has six wires that go from the terminal block up the stem with four going to the switch and two going to the transmitter.

I have attached a sketch of one way to connect the wires in the base.  The Oilcan was wired several different ways as described in Old-Time Telephones.

Dennis Hallworth     
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 26, 2016, 12:16:22 PM
Here is an Oilcan with the wrong receiver that recently sold on ebay for $600 plus $17.70 shipping.

http://tinyurl.com/gn9esbg

It does have an earlier transmitter and ball type transmitter mount.
I copied pictures of the base cover and wiring inside the base from this listing.

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 26, 2016, 03:21:47 PM
Here is a link to a web page that shows the changes in the Oilcan from 1898 - 1905.

http://phonemandave.net/stromberg.htm

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 03:21:49 PM
Thanks for the pics & info, Dennis. This one being a later version has a good many differences. The base is attached using a ring that you have to pry out of the grove. I had assumes it also held the felt. (see pic) Could it be the rubber feet are proper to this phone?
Today I did a exploratory partial dis assemble & clean up. I removed the dialer to inspect the holes that were drilled  >:(.
I have several thoughts as a result. I can save the original hand held receiver by sanding and repainting (flat, semigloss or high gloss?) I would like to restore the original dual coil type receiver inside. Would that not be the thing to do?

The phone as is does work. I got a dial tone, transmitter works, it appeared to dial properly but my VOIP line wouldn't co operate.

I found indisputable evidence of the original nickle plating. Sorry i showed doubt earlier.

I would like to have the holes filled (see pics) and the entire piece nickle plated.   

WEBellSystemChristian mentioned that Dennis Hallworth does excellent work. We should have a talk about this, Dennis.

Thanks everyone!

Edit: I forgot to mention that someone has sprayed a light coat of clear coat on most pieces, Do I need to remove that before sending it to be plated? I could do that.



Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 03:35:01 PM
Is this what I need?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/201529079604?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2661&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT  ( dead link 11/10/17 )

Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: rdelius on February 26, 2016, 05:30:16 PM
That one might work .there 2 sizes of receivers and the handles will not interchange.The older ones will have Stromberg & Carlson instead of Stromberg-Carlson
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 06:32:02 PM
Thanks...That is interesting...
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Doug Rose on February 26, 2016, 06:51:00 PM
I have been a customer of Dennis and would strongly recommend you send you stick to Dennis and let him do his magic. You will not be disappointed. Dennis re-nickeled my receiver for the same stick you have, matched it perfectly.  It doesn't get any better than Dennis' work. Nice phone....you got a steal!....Doug
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on February 26, 2016, 07:55:43 PM
Thanks Doug...I am thrilled with my 1st stick! Sounds like I'm in need of Dennis's skills!
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 26, 2016, 08:57:14 PM
Thanks for the kind words from all but a few (more than a few) words about this phone.

If you are looking to restore this to original condition there are several internal obstacles:

1.  Receiver has been modified to use a newer (1954) element.  Compared to the old receiver style, the newer element will give clearer reception.  If an old style is wanted they show up from time to time on ebay but I would look for one that is intact and has the ear piece and handle.  From experience adjusting the old style can be a real challenge.
2.  Terminal block in the base has been removed.  It is possible to replicate this from insulating board.  You would need to "borrow" one from someone to make a pattern but it would only involve cutting to shape and drilling holes.
3.  No coil - this is a show stopper.  Extremely difficult if not impossible to replicate and even harder to find.
4.  Transmitter - newer element replaced old solid back element.  These transmitters show up from time to time on ebay but like the receiver the newer element will produce an improved signal.
5.  Optional - switch should be checked out.  It obviously works for on/off hook but the switch should have four blades that should be aligned.  This may not be an issue but there was no picture of the inside of the switch.  For info to look at the switch take the screw out of the screw cover and carefully slide it up high enough to see the blades.  There is a sheet of insulator under the cover that also needs to be carefully slid up or it breaks very easily.  You only need to lift the cover high enough to see the four blades (two on each side).  The switch gives a very brief time delay between the receiver and transmitter circuits closing so the receiver circuit uses a different blade than the transmitting circuit.  This is how S-C avoided the popping sound when the receiver was taken off hook.   

If you are only concerned about cosmetic parts, most parts look in reasonable condition.  The exceptions are:

1.  Holes and dents in the base.  The base is made from "spun" brass.  This process was to put a tube or disc in a lathe and spin it.  A wooden model in the shape of the part was pushed into it or the disc is pushed against it to form the part.  Here is a youtube video of a person making a "spun" brass lamp shade from a brass disc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poOuENoLG-E

That process puts unusual stress on the metal and it can react in strange ways when heated.  You will find most "spun" brass bases have small cracks along the edge of the base that were caused by the base stress relieving over the years.  The safest way to do this would be to find a metalsmith who works with brass.  One approach to filling the holes would be copper phosphorus brazing which means that area of the base would need to be heated to about 1400 degrees F (glows cherry red - brass melts at about 1700 degrees F). I have no idea what 100 year old "spun" brass will do at that temperature.  Dents would need to be hammered out then the base would need to be ground, filed and sanded back to shape.

Two issue - first is to find a metalsmith (there are not many left).  Maybe someone who makes brass sculptures.  My experience with jewelers is they have small torches and can not generate enough heat for an object this size.  Second issue may be the cost.  When brazing I use MAPP gas as a heat source (propane does not create enough heat) but I have never brazed "spun" brass that I can remember.  I have soldered (under 840 degrees F) "spun" brass but that was for small cracks and would not be strong enough to fill the holes.   

2.  Base plate - the base plate is not from an Oilcan.  I am not sure where it was found but I suspect someone found a base plate cover that fit.  A woodworker should be able to make a replica.  It is just a circle with holes drilled to line up with threaded legs on the inside.  This should not be difficult for someone who works with wood.

You never mentioned if the phone rings.  The Oilcan used a separate ringer  Is there some type of buzzer in the base?

Sorry for the length of this.

Dennis Hallworth   
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 26, 2016, 09:50:11 PM
I believe the base on your phone was originally from a Kellogg Grabaphone.

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: rdelius on February 26, 2016, 10:06:06 PM
That is not a Kellogg base on the SC
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 26, 2016, 11:04:19 PM
Quote from: rdelius on February 26, 2016, 10:06:06 PM
That is not a Kellogg base on the SC
I will not argue.  It was just a guess based on the wiring diagram.

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Jack Ryan on February 28, 2016, 08:42:59 PM
The circuit on the base looks like BTMC. The dial is from Denmark.

An interesting mix.

Jack
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: dencins on February 29, 2016, 07:31:17 PM
Thanks Jack.  I knew the base plate was not from the Oilcan but would never have figured where it actually came off.  Same for the dial.

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on March 03, 2016, 05:19:07 PM
Quote from: AE_Collector on February 24, 2016, 11:40:32 PM
Quote from: Fabius on February 24, 2016, 11:49:52 AM
You should check out that TV that can be seen in the background. Is it a Philco Predicta?

That is what I was thinking! It doesn't look identical to the picture of the Predicta that you posted but very similar. I would think they may be worth quite a few $$$. Would be nice to know what they are asking for it.

And for the phone, first thing everyone wants to know is how the dial is attached. I woud definitely pay $125 to add it to my collection even if it is in rough shape.

Terry

Just a few short miles from the first one, I found another Predicta. This one a good bit cheaper than the first one.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: FABphones on January 15, 2022, 11:12:47 PM
Came across this interesting thread from 2016.
Any update or new photos Benny?
:)
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on January 17, 2022, 08:35:54 AM
~

Thanks for asking.

My first stick is still my favorite stick. However, the holes drilled into the base, used to facilitate the added dial, stopped me from pressing on with Nickle platting it. I could find no way to fill the holes prior to platting, or to find a replacement piece at a reasonable cost was impossible.

In the end, sometime it is best to appreciate a phone and accept all the "scars" it has from a long life of service, not so much different from me, myself!

Although the addition of the dial no doubt added years of service to the phone, I choose to display the phone without the dial.

Below pic of phone as found with dial & display.

~


Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: FABphones on January 17, 2022, 08:57:27 AM
Looks much better without that dial, and displays nicely as it is. It has a story behind it and without the dial addition it may not have made it this far.

It has a good home now. Great addition to the collection.

I still have my first candlestick (I have been collecting quite the while). Nothing as special as your Oilcan, mine a GPO 150 which I found in a cupboard of a place I moved into. All original and still residing in it's first residence complete with old dialcard. It initially didn't fare too well under my guardianship thanks to a couple of 'dodgy dealers' who between them robbed out the old small center #10 dial and innards. But that is another story which one day I will start a thread about.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: countryman on January 17, 2022, 09:12:48 AM
A person familiar with working on non ferrous metals might be able to close the holes in a next to invisible way. A goldsmith maybe?
But I agree, it's best to preserve "as is".
(I have no problem with contemporary add-on dials but this one looked inappropriate.)
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on January 17, 2022, 09:22:18 AM
~

Earlier in the thread it was explained the heat needed to make the repair to be too hot for the thin shell to survive. Sounds logical. When the add on was done, someone was able to hand this phone a second life. That's a good story, I agree with leaving it  "as is" while I am in custody. I enjoy seeing it every day.
Title: Re: Stromberg Carlson oilcan Is it worth it?
Post by: Pourme on January 17, 2022, 09:31:43 AM
Quote from: FABphones on January 17, 2022, 08:57:27 AM


I still have my first candlestick (I have been collecting quite the while). Nothing as special as your Oilcan, mine a GPO 150 which I found in a cupboard of a place I moved into. All original and still residing in it's first residence complete with old dialcard. It initially didn't fare too well under my guardianship thanks to a couple of 'dodgy dealers' who between them robbed out the old small center #10 dial and innards. But that is another story which one day I will start a thread about.

Sounds like an interesting story about your first stick...

Wonder if there are enough "first or favorite candlestick" stories out there to start a thread?

I'll be interested to hear yours's.

~