Author Topic: So, I've got my first phone......  (Read 3119 times)

Offline Buzby

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So, I've got my first phone......
« on: December 01, 2015, 01:28:16 PM »
Hi Guys,

My first telephone arrived today. It's a Northern Electric Number 1 Uniphone. I bought it for 30 Bucks on ebay, as I thought after looking at the pictures that it may be one of the burled walnut phones. I think the handset has been painted at some point as the high black gloss at either end of the handset looks artificial.

The good news is that after plugging it into the four hole socket in the basement I got a dial tone, and calling made it ring, and audibly it seems fine.

The bad news is that the dial is rather sluggish, and the BPO dial adapter is half missing, so it's not secure in the telephone.

There are a few other niggles with it, such as one of the cradle fingers has been broken off and glued back on, but I'm sure I can sort them out.

I'm also not really sure of the colour. When I unboxed it, I thought "Yes, it's brown!", then putting it on the table it looked black. I've given one side a quick polish, and taken a photo of the colour. I can't tell what it is? Does it look like a regular black Uniphone?

Thanks!

Offline Buzby

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 01:43:21 PM »
Here's another photo of the case with flash applied.

Judging by the fingerstop, the BPO dial seems to have been made be Siemens Brothers.

Offline paul-f

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 01:58:27 PM »
It's so appropriate that your first phone is a Model 1.  That will be easy to remember as you add dozens more to your collection.
 
If the phone is painted, you should be able to quickly find the original color on the inside of the housing or by unscrewing the handset caps and looking inside. 
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Offline Buzby

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 04:16:39 PM »
It's so appropriate that your first phone is a Model 1.  That will be easy to remember as you add dozens more to your collection.

I never thought about it like that! Hopefully my first dozen should be here by the end of the week.  ;D

I've checked the phone. The handset has been repainted at some stage (refurb?), and it's black inside, and also the exposed bakelite seems to be black.

The case of the phone is black on the inside too, so I'm guessing it is indeed just a regular black one, even though in some light it looks brown and burled.


Offline paul-f

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 04:40:11 PM »
The textured look could be due to past refinishing that exposed some of the filler in the bakelite.  Search the forum for topics on Bakelite refinishing and you'll find discussions on the composition of Bakelite and several methods for restoring the surface color - including using stains or black shoe polish.  It will be good to also see the "after" photos!
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Offline Buzby

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 09:50:39 AM »
I'll certainly be posting after photos.

I've started work repairing, buffing and polishing the case, and I'm removing the remnants of paint and crud from the handset. Meanwhile, I'll need to send the dial to Steve Hilsz for repair, and order some cloth cords.

Time to start work on phone number 2!

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 10:41:00 AM »
Nice 1st phone!

When you're done buffing the plastics, you might want to try using black shoe polish on them. heavily worn Bakelite doesn't look very black, even after it's polished. The black shoe polish makes it look very deep black!
Christian Petterson

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Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 12:30:37 PM »
I'll need to send the dial to Steve Hilsz for repair...

Aren't you worried about damaging the phone case operating a dial that is not securely mounted?
Cliff

Offline Buzby

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 12:48:14 PM »
I'll need to send the dial to Steve Hilsz for repair...

Aren't you worried about damaging the phone case operating a dial that is not securely mounted?

I forgot to mention that I decided to rummage through the box and found almost the rest of the dial adaptor. It fitted together perfectly, and once the metal anchor dimples were aligned, I glued it back together. Just needs a touch of epoxying, and it will be good to go.

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 07:32:16 PM »
Great first phone! Good start to restoring it, you have a lot to digest already. I have not seen a NE with a GPO dial before, interesting. Where are you located? US or UK?
By the way, you mentioned phone number 2, a sure sign of Phoneitis, you are getting infected. This is a progressive, incurable disease, soon you will be spending all your spare time, and money, on more phones or signs or tool or paper goods, maybe a payphone!
Welcome to the asylum ;D
Harry Smith
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there is only
do or do not"

Offline Buzby

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2015, 11:08:01 AM »
Thanks, Harry!

I've been reading a lot of information contained in this excellent forum, and I hope to come out with a good looking first phone.

I also think that this phoneitis thing is spreading. My wife is now looking at phones and would like for us to get an AE40 for the bedroom, and she wants the AE50 to be in the kitchen. She even suggested his 'n' hers AE40's.

I just know she will be suggesting signs and telephone ephemera next.


P.S. I see you got your answer to my location.  ;)

Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2015, 12:20:17 PM »
I have not seen a NE with a GPO dial before, interesting.

Must be common enough to have a circuit diagram published (originally posted here by DavePEI).

Cliff

Offline Brinybay

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2015, 01:40:35 PM »
It's so appropriate that your first phone is a Model 1.  That will be easy to remember as you add dozens more to your collection.

Yes, "phoneitis" is incurable!  Welcome to the madness! 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 01:43:50 PM by Brinybay »
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Offline Buzby

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 12:28:22 PM »
With the dial back from Steve Hilsz, I've put the phone back together. Steve kindly threw in the dial card and retainer. My repairs to the dial adapter are holding strong, so no falling out dial.

All the paint has been removed, and she's been thoroughly cleaned and the cords replaced with brown cloth covered ones. Plugged her into a dialgizmo, and she's off and running. I called my wife on it, and got her to call me back. That sweet sound of the bells rang through the house.

Happy to have m first phone fully operational and looking much better than the sad phone I received.

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: So, I've got my first phone......
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 12:39:32 PM »
Beautiful! You should be very proud. Dial looks great on it. Cleaned up great!...Doug
Kidphone