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Hello, new and seeking information on Kellogg red bar phones.

Started by RobertL, March 21, 2009, 09:18:42 PM

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Hi, my name is Rob and I just joined today.  I came across this forum while looking through the antique radio forum.  I don't have too many vintage phones, just four including one I got today at a flea market.  I have a WE 202 with a F1 handset, a model 34 AE monophone with brass accents, an old WE candle stick and my newest a Kellogg red bar.  It looks good with all original cords.  It has a metal body.  The down side is sometime in its past it was badly repainted black (runs) including the red bar.  I took the case off and all the guts seem to be unmolested and in good shape.  I don't know anything about these phones, don't know much about any phones for that matter.  I would appreciate any information about the Kellogg.  I bought it because I like its looks also I'm from Kellogg Id.  If any one out there has a spare red bar I might be interested in purchasing it if I can't clean the black paint off this one.  Thank you,  Rob.


Hello Rob and Welcome!  I'm a newbie myself.  Don't let my "hero member" status fool anyone. It just means I don't have a life and hang out here too much. ;)   A few of the other members have Kellogg Redbars and just from what I've read they are well made and easy to work on.  Their shape is rather unique also.  A standard desk Redbar is still on my list of phones to collect. 

Mostly I collect American phones from the late 1930s to the 1950s, just in classic black; like the WE302 and 500, The AE40, the NE Gallion etc..  I'm also interested in phones from other countries from the same era.

You have an AE34 with the brass accents?  I'm envious in a good way. I rarely see AE34s, let alone with the brass.  My closest to that is an AE40 desk with the chrome.

For removing paint from your Redbar, Dan/Panther (I still don't know what the "Panther" means, but he's a great guy) is the fellow to talk with.



Hi and welcome.  I may have hero status as well but really I've only been into old phones since last summer, so I don't actually know much.  D/P is the get paint off old phones man, and then we have several others who can set you right up with Redbar info, they are pretty cool looking phones. 


Hi Matt thanks for the welcome.  The AE34 is the phone that started it all and I didn't buy it, my wife did.  She's an Ebay sellers dream.  She takes mental ownership of an item and suddenly she's a Rockefeller or Vanderbilt.  She's been banned from Ebay (yeah right).  But is a nice phone :)  Rob.


Welcome Robert! Your AE34 is on my list, along with a redbar too!
Dan/Panther is the paint guy for sure, I'm Dan squared (to the second power).

I'm sure you will like it here. We all share a common passion to make the old ones pretty again.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


Hello and welcome. I'll tell you what I've learned in a short time. The "Redbar", or 1000 Masterphone, is unique among manufactures. Notice everything is modular, or plug in. The coil and condenser plug right into the network circuit block. The block is molded plastic, and prone to crack near either end of the hold down screws. This from what I can tell, is due to very slight unevenness in the chassis pan. The block stretches across the entire chassis, from one side to the other. So, any unevenness is going to have an effect over time.

Several things to note. The common battery (CB) network coil is marked 113A on it's top. Local battery (LB) is marked 114A. All of our telephones used today, are common battery. Meaning they're fed power right from the TelCo. Or if you have VoiP, right from the phone modem. Another item I should mention, ringers are designed to ring at 20/hz 90v AC.  20/hz ringers are also known as straight line (SL) ringers. Many ringers from yester-year, were on a party line system. Meaning they rang at a different frequency. This is especially true with independent manufactures such as Kellogg. Most of their early telephones were sold to Tel-Co's from rural exchanges. How do you tell? Well usually by the model numbers stamped on the bottom. Several of us can also tell by simply looking at the ringer assembly. I'll take pics of my Redbar sets later to show you.

The metal Redbar is actually not as common. Most were built with bakelite bodies. The model number should reflect a metal body. It should read "D1000", instead of "1000", indicating a metal body. Metal body sets were produced under special order. The Redbar was introduced around 1947, when metal body phones were going out of style fast! I believe the only other manufacture producing metal body phones was Stromberg-Carlson with their model 1243. North Electric also produced metal body "Galion" telephones under special order. W.E. had long given up the metal body in regular production. Most had gone over to bakelite and thermoplastic.

As far as painting, you should completely strip the body. This is very easy with the Redbar. Not much to remove. You can also obtain another used "Redbar" plunger if needed. Several sources sell them. I re-painted several of my phones over 10 years ago. I no longer remember the type of paint I used, other than it was enamel semi-gloss. Baked in the oven for durability. Properly prepared, you can make it look new as well as original.

So, I'm sure I've missed much. I'll try to get some pics on later for you. Last, join one or both of the antique phone collector clubs. Why? It's cheap, it supports a collective org of collectors like yourself. Plus, you'll learn invaluable information for resto repairing and general info of our telephones. You'll also have an access to parts, which other wise may have to be obtained at full cost from vendors or Ebay. Some members will only sell to current standing club members, or at a discount to current club members.

St Clair Shores, MI


      Wow, thank you so much for the welcome and for the good info on the Kellogg phone.

       BDM, on the bottom of my phone in white ink it is stamped 1000HC1.  I think the body is aluminum as it isn't ferrous.  I took the body off again today and it doesn't appear to have any cracks to the plastic connector block.  The ringer unit has 2000 stamped on top of the coils(?).  The red wire from the ringer goes to terminal R1 which is stamped CB so I'm guessing that this is a continuous battery set.

       I was able to get most of the black off the red bar but it is not the bright red that it is inside the phone.  I have a friend who is into modeling.  He claims that you can soak painted plastic in Red Devil drain cleaner and it will eat off the paint with out damaging the plastic.  Cautionary note: drain cleaner is highly toxic and caustic.  My friend says only do this out doors and wear chemical resistant gloves.  I've meant to try it on a bakelite radio cabinet but haven't yet.  Also bakelite is considerably more chemical resistant than styrene which is what I'm guessing the red bar is made of.  Of course most model cars are made of styrene also.  Have you ever heard of this procedure.  I'm leery of trying it until I have a source for a replacement part lined up.  I would hate to destroy this one and then find out it's made of unobtainium.

      As far as painting the phone I'm thinking of going with a powder coat. I work at an office furniture factory and some of the paint guys owe me a favor.  I know this isn't strictly original.  How do you and the other members feel about powder coating?
      I'll check out the clubs your referenced.  Thanks for the tip.  I didn't intend to start collecting phones. It just kinda happened, maybe it's a calling.  Rob.


Welcome to our wonderful world...

How do I clean paint off cases...
Depending on what the body  is made of and what it's painted with.
I've used lacquer thinner, and paint stripper. You need to test each item before proceding. Never soak a plastic body in anything other than soapy water or clean water. When I use lacquer thinner, I do it with rags, a section at a time. When I use paint stripper I usually coat as much as I can and wipe it off after the recommended time. I then procede with Brasso to polish, or wet sanding if I need too remove major blemishes.


The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson


The chassis was originally installed on a bakelite body. The chassis didn't leave the factory as a metal body without the "D", so I'm told. That doesn't mean it wasn't changed further down the line. My experience is most independents did little to note the change. Unlike W.E. which usually noted this with a change in markings.

I don't care for powder coating, as it looks and feels way to far from original. Most collectors frown on powder coating also. The 2000 on the ringer, means 2000 ohms.

Notice the difference in ringers. The one installed on the phone is a straight-line or SL (20.hz) ringer. The one next to it is a frequency ringer. Probably around 56/hz or so. The second pic shows the removable condenser and network coil.


St Clair Shores, MI


Hi guys and thanks for the pictures and paint info.  Looks like my phone is a common battery with straight line ringer so I should be good to go on hooking it up to a modern system.  You talked me out of powder coat.  I would like to keep it as original as possible.  The stamp on the bottom is really faded at the start of the 1000 to the point where the 1 is almost gone.  It conceivable that there was suppose to be a D there or as you say the chassis may have been swapped out at some time down the road.  The body is certainly metal.

Upon examination it is seems whoever painted this phone also painted the receiver.  Was the handle black bakelite originally?  I guess what I'm asking is what can I expect to find under that paint.  I'll try the paint thinner on a rag procedure to remove the paint before I try anything more drastic.

The finger wheel on mine is black but I've seen pictures of these phones with chrome.  Was that an option, were they all chrome or did someone just polish up theirs.  From what I've read it seems there were multiple dial configurations for this phone possibly it depended on which dial you got.

Thank you for sticking with me on all these newbie questions.  I really appreciate it.  Rob.


Yes, the handset is bakelite. Just clean it off as best as you can, then polish it. Most independents used AE dials, or derivatives of the AE dial. W.E. could be ordered on request from the buying customer. I don't know if SC & Kellogg truly used chrome finger wheels. I know AE did, and they're interchangeable with most Kellogg SC North Electric phones using the AE dial type.

St Clair Shores, MI


Boy redbars are getting more and more popular lately!  What's fair price on one?  There's one for sale at the local antique store for 50 bucks with no wall cord.  Pretty decent shape.  Yay or nay on that price?
- Tom


Hmmm, a nice one can easily bring that in the 'Bay. So, consider that, and minus the shipping. Consider also, you can shoot them an offer.

St Clair Shores, MI


- Tom