Author Topic: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones  (Read 344 times)

Offline zenithchromacolor

  • *
  • Posts: 54
1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« on: November 23, 2021, 05:59:49 PM »
The right time of year to find Christmas colored phones. These two were at a local estate sale, still installed and connected, one in the attic and one in the basement, maybe in the same house since they were new. The green phone is dated 2-56 and the red 3-56, both have matching dates except the green phone has a newer cord (which is a dirty stretched mess). Both have satin hooks. The red phone included a gray 172B back board.
Both have a fair amount of dirt and scratches, and the housings have some warping, but nothing looks broken. Somebody wanted to silence the green phone in the past and chose to cut one of the ringer wires instead of disconnecting it.
I paid $60 for both, which is more than I typically want to pay for estate sale phones, but I don't see many early colored 554s.

Offline poplar1

  • ***
  • Posts: 6612
  • 1051-AL
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2021, 07:20:23 PM »
However illogical it might seem, the following list shows in fact green and red 554s were installed with gray backboards, according to C32.560 issue 2 (11/55) and issue 3 (12/56):

172B backboard             554 Set

172B-3                           Black  [-3]
172B-50 [ivory]              Ivory  [-50]
172B-52 [gray]              Green [-51] or Red [-53]
172B-53                         Beige  [-55]

So the red backboard (172B-53) was originally used only for the dark beige wall set!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

C37.201 Issue 8, Sept. 1956 lists the following backboards:

Code No.        Finish

172B-3            Black
172B-50          Ivory
172B-51          Green
172B-52          Gray
172B-53          Red
172B-54          Brown
172B-55          Beige
172B-56          Yellow
172B-57          Blue         
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline RB

  • **
  • Posts: 1859
  • Love old phones
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2021, 07:56:25 PM »
Nice find!
Contenders for find of the month

Offline Scott

  • *
  • Posts: 303
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2021, 07:58:50 PM »
Just my opinion, but you scored big time. Congrats!

Scott K.

Offline LarryInMichigan

  • ***
  • Posts: 5337
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2021, 09:52:53 PM »
$60 for the pair is quite a deal.  Those early 554s are not so easy to find.  I am still looking for a green one, and I probably paid $60 or more for my red one.

Larry

Offline MMikeJBenN27

  • *
  • Posts: 437
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2021, 10:50:39 PM »
Congratulations on a great find!

Mike

Offline Jim Stettler

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5317
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 02:16:10 PM »
Since the phones appear to be a longtime pair,
They can be listed as a pair in FOTM.
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline SUnset2

  • *
  • Posts: 228
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 04:58:59 PM »
Judging by the strain relief, the long green cord is probably a replacement.  It might have had a dark gray cord originally.

Offline 19and41

  • **
  • Posts: 2734
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2021, 05:22:00 PM »
The red, the green and the bells!  Nice group!
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke

Offline allnumbedup

  • *
  • Posts: 121
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 09:32:52 AM »
Great find and you must have done some slick talking getting them off the wall at an estate sale. I cannot find the thread for this but one thing I notice from your pictures is that both of them are missing the upper notches on the side of the back plate up near the 554 and date stamps.  I think older 554 from 1955 are missing these and have the straight ringer volume lever.  I wonder if your soft plastic cases are also missing the upper pair of ribs.  I have found several of these straight sided back plates on phones with replaced cases.  The upper side ribs on the cases cause the upper part of the housing to bow out becuase these notches are missing. I wonder when the upper ribs and notches were adopted on 554's
Analog Phones for a Digital World

Offline zenithchromacolor

  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: 1956 Red and Green Soft Plastic 554 Phones
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2021, 02:43:19 PM »
I took a photo of the 1956 housing (on the left) with a 1977 housing to show the changes in the ribs.