Author Topic: Soft Plastic WE Green 302  (Read 399 times)

Offline Doug Rose

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Soft Plastic WE Green 302
« on: June 14, 2016, 07:38:09 PM »
Soft Plastic 302s were made for a very short time in the mid 50s when WE was doing anything to make color phones. The is a Green soft plastic 302 with a Matching Painted handset. I no longer own this phone as I felt it was too similar to a thermoplastic set.

The only real different color in the soft plastic 302s was the ever elusive Red, the color of a 500 set. They tended to shrink the same way that there thermoplastic brothers did, notice the tiny crack on the right corner...Doug
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Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Soft Plastic WE Green 302
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 09:48:10 PM »
you know, I have several black 302's that have the same problem with cracking.... I have a 307 that was in prestine condition and then one day I noticed a huge crack from the bottom right corner to almost the switch hook...  I have to replace the whole shell.... so... was this a common problem for all these phones??
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Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Soft Plastic WE Green 302
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 10:26:26 PM »
you know, I have several black 302's that have the same problem with cracking.... I have a 307 that was in prestine condition and then one day I noticed a huge crack from the bottom right corner to almost the switch hook...  I have to replace the whole shell.... so... was this a common problem for all these phones??
Yes, it was, and it goes for both color and Black 302s. This was from the housings shrinking after sitting for a long time in a damp environment. Some 302s shrink very badly yet don't crack, so the pressure isn't relieved and the housing remains incredibly snug on the base.
Christian Petterson

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unbeldi

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Re: Soft Plastic WE Green 302
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 10:43:05 PM »
you know, I have several black 302's that have the same problem with cracking.... I have a 307 that was in prestine condition and then one day I noticed a huge crack from the bottom right corner to almost the switch hook...  I have to replace the whole shell.... so... was this a common problem for all these phones??

It is pretty common.  Even such long cracks are common, more common on the colored sets though where they often run from the front corner up to the dial and almost to the cradle ear. See picture.  These shells develop enormous internal stress from shrinkage, when cellulose acetate simply evaporates as  water vapor and carbon dioxide.

However, I don't believe that the shells that Doug is talking about, show much shrinkage, they are cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) just like the 500-type sets until 1958, and those just don't seem to shrink either.  Although my 1955 CAB 302GR-50 (ivory) also has a corner crack, I do not believe it is from shrinkage, but other physical harm.

However, I concede that the sharp corners of the 302 probably have less resistance to cracking, release of stress, than the more rounded shapes of the 500-sets, so that the minute amount of shrinkage that probably does exists, like with all plastics, is more evenly distributed on the shell.


302G-20 shell with long crack from corner to dial before repair.

Here is a little background info on the sets issued in 1955 (about a year after 302 manufacture was stopped) that were made with the same plastic as the 500 sets that had just been introduced in 1954.  It is interesting to note that the 307 telephone was still available in the same colored plastic until at least 1957, when they were still mentioned in a BSP.  Has anyone ever found one?  Even black 307 probably were pretty rare by then, as they already had the amplified 500-type sets for that purpose.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 11:00:23 PM by unbeldi »