Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Collector's Corner => Topic started by: Jester on August 30, 2009, 12:51:55 AM

Title: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on August 30, 2009, 12:51:55 AM
After nearly two weeks of work, I finally have SOME progress to report regarding the dark beige 500 I mentioned in this thread.
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1325.0 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1325.0)
There were apparently several who were confused by the color, and I could easily see why after I saw this phone in person.  It seems that years of UV exposure were less than kind to the plastics on this 500, and that rich but subtle dark pink glow was gone--hidden by an ashen hue caused by Sun exposure!  I had hoped to reverse this with the peroxide paste, but one 6 hour treatment yielded no results.  Not wanting to risk further damage, I moved on to Plan B-- Sand, Polish, repeat!  After 10 days of this routine, this is what the handset looks like.  The last two shots show it sitting on the cover for compare/contrast.  As you can see, I have a long way to go on the cover, then the lift cover, then the dial bezel!  Phew!!
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Brinybay on August 30, 2009, 01:02:30 AM
I had never heard of "dark beige" and wondered if it was really that or some other color.  So I googled it, and you're correct, dark beige:

http://tinyurl.com/nzj735 (http://tinyurl.com/nzj735)
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: McHeath on August 30, 2009, 01:19:44 AM
A lot of work eh, sanding and polishing.  My aqua 1500 was just so badly damaged that I gave up and bought a new cover and handset, but your dark beige looks like it's coming along well.  This is a really pleasant color, a hint of rose, some brown, very warm.  Should be a phone to be proud of.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dan/Panther on August 30, 2009, 01:29:29 PM
I commented in another thread that I have several different shades of white, Beige, Tan etc. Now You've added one I don't have. I also commented that when I get a different shade of a particular color, I hate to part with it because it is different, even though marked as the same color.
What would everyone else do, keep one, or keep all shades of the same color designation ? It really looks impressive to have all phones lined up from white through Brown, in order of color variation.
D/P
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 30, 2009, 01:34:45 PM
I'm sure that there are many variations of color due to different degrees of UV exposure.  Beige is one of those colors that tends to be effected by sunlight more than some others.  I kept searching for a soft plastic Light Beige until I finally found one that is near perfect.  Then my hunt for Light Beige stops.  I have a nice Dark Beige too so unless I run into a good deal on one I won't go for another.  You can tell the Dark Beige sets because the letters/numbers are white where they are black on Light Beige sets.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dan/Panther on August 30, 2009, 02:21:02 PM
Dennis;
Is this vintage dependent, as far as color designation on the dial ?
Look at the photo and tell me what is what. When it comes to beige, I get very confused. The phone on the left is newer vintage 74, the other is 58, the 58 says 60 on the dial plate, the 74 has no color designation.
To me they are both beige, one light and one dark. The handset on the right has been partially cleaned up, and matches the inside of the cap.

D/P
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: The Operator on August 30, 2009, 04:05:04 PM
This one's being called "Rose Beige":

http://tinyurl.com/mzu9q2

I agree there's seems to be more variations out there than WE has on it's color list. ~The Operator
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: jsowers on August 30, 2009, 05:43:46 PM
Is this vintage dependent, as far as color designation on the dial ?
Look at the photo and tell me what is what. When it comes to beige, I get very confused. The phone on the left is newer vintage 74, the other is 58, the 58 says 60 on the dial plate, the 74 has no color designation.
To me they are both beige, one light and one dark. The handset on the right has been partially cleaned up, and matches the inside of the cap.

D/P, I know you asked Dennis, but to my eyes the left 1974 one is ivory and the right 1958 one is light beige with a faded housing. The dial face is hard plastic since it dates to 1960 and the plastics have different rates of fading. I've seen phones that came out of the factory in 1959 with both kinds of plastic and they just fade differently. Normally the hard plastic fades a little more than the soft, but in your case, the hard plastic dial is exactly the right color.

Dark beige is a rosy color made only from 1953-1957 and it has white numbers on the dial face, as Dennis said. And as you've seen by Jester's pictures, it varies and sometimes turns ashen, which is lighter and more of a dead fleshtone color.

A lot of the variation you see is due to fading and inside the handset is usually the original color. Sometimes it's from cigarette smoke and sometimes from UV and sometimes from the oils in the skin of whoever held the handset. And the degree of exposure determines how dark it gets. Sometimes white can look ivory and in extreme cases, more like butterscotch pudding. Smoke can get in the cap holes and inside the housing, but usually the inside of the handset is protected. That's where I look to find the true color.

Also, I like your logo cards. That's what the phone company put in them oftentimes when they did a phone display, from what I've seen in magazines.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 30, 2009, 05:44:28 PM
Dan, the phone on the right side of your photo you indicate is from 1958 and has a color code (suffix) of -60.  That is the suffix for "Light Beige".  The phone to the left of that with the round feet looks Ivory to me.  I don't know how late they put color suffix codes on the back of the dials.  I believe I've seen them on #9 dials.

With regard to Rose Beige, W.E. shows the following names for the same color:

-55 Beige, Dark Beige, Rose Beige, Rosewood Beige. (MD 1957)  (MD=Model Discontinued).

The Color Chart can be found here for those that haven't seen this link:

http://www.paul-f.com/we500typ.htm#Colors
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: jsowers on August 30, 2009, 06:11:30 PM
Dan, the phone on the right side of your photo you indicate is from 1958 and has a color code (suffix) of -60.  That is the suffix for "Light Beige".  The phone to the left of that with the round feet looks Ivory to me.  I don't know how late they put color suffix codes on the back of the dials.  I believe I've seen them on #9 dials.

Ah, yes. Thanks, Dennis. That's the color code and not the year of manufacture. The year would be under it and if 1958, would mean soft and not hard plastic. The dial face just didn't fade. Sometimes I think the dial plastic is a different formulation from the rest of the phone, as evidenced by the ones you see that are full of hairline cracks or mold.

I think the color code on the back of the dial went on into the 1960s, but may have been phased out when the dials changed about 1965. I don't have a lot of phones from that era to prove that, though.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 30, 2009, 09:58:20 PM
Jonathan, I was literally typing that post while you were posting yours.  I went ahead and pushed the Post button even though I had not yet read what you had just posted.  I wasn't correcting you on the date, as I had not read your post yet, even though the software told me someone had made a posting since I started to create mine.  Whew! :)
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: jsowers on August 31, 2009, 03:59:27 PM
Dennis, some day before we're old and arthritic, we need to have a typing contest. You'd probably whup my butt, as the Southerners say. I can never remember the color code numbers, so thanks for figuring that part out. I guess they never thought we'd be looking under the dial 50 years later, so they never thought to put "color-60" or something that would make more sense than just a number.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on September 27, 2009, 12:43:30 AM
It's been almost another month since I posted any progress on this project, so here are the pictures of my "completed" dark beige 500.  Notice the 283B plug with the dark beige cover installed on the line cord!  I've had this for years & never paid any attention to the color until this phone arrived.  The last picture is an auction photo-- in case anyone forgot how I received it.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on September 27, 2009, 12:51:52 AM
Dennis,
Since I know you'll ask, The dial card reads:

Williamsport
2-0798

I couldn't find this exchange on TEN Project's site but, when I looked up the newer area code & prefix(717) 332-xxxx I came up with Airville, PA.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: McHeath on September 27, 2009, 01:25:06 AM
Wow nice.  A really nice phone, and that color is very subtly elegant.  Funny that you had that plug for years. 
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Brinybay on September 27, 2009, 05:01:08 AM
After nearly two weeks of work, I finally have SOME progress to report regarding the dark beige 500 I mentioned ...

It seems that years of UV exposure were less than kind to the plastics on this 500, ...

I moved on to Plan B-- Sand, Polish, repeat!  

What do you use for polish?
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on September 27, 2009, 08:53:00 AM
Stephen, beautiful Rose Beige 500!  Nice job.  The matching 283B is a nice touch, as the dial card.  Great phone!
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dan on September 27, 2009, 09:47:01 AM
Nice Rose beige, Rosewood beige, Dark Beige, Beige  ;D


http://tinyurl.com/ybsxoq6
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on September 27, 2009, 04:19:19 PM
What do you use for polish?
Brinybay,

Since joining this forum, I have become a firm believer in Novus 2 and have used it on every project I have posted on since June.  The only "extra" tools used on this one were sandpaper & No. 7 polishing compound.  I began with wet sanding the handset with 400 grit in order to get under the oxidized top layer of plastic & find the "true" color underneath.  When I saw evidence that the color was "warming", I then switched to 800, then 1000 & finally 1500 to smooth out the surface before using the Novus.  On the cover, I tried using Novus 3 after wet sanding with 400 & 800 in an attempt to smooth the sanding marks without still more sanding.  I found this was slow going, so I switched to the No. 7 & was very pleased with the results. 
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on November 17, 2009, 07:57:52 PM
Some of you will remember this one--Dan posted a question about it's color on the auctions page.  This one passed under the radar because of the missing mounting cord & light beige 9C dial, but the remaining original plastics are very nice examples of color code 55--dark beige.  It shows almost no change in color when compared to the inside shade of the plastic parts.  Just for display purposes, I have mounted a 7D-3 dial complete with black bezel & metal fingerwheel.  I also installed a light gray mounting cord, which is only slightly off color from the much faded handset cord.  I will hopefully find the right parts to swap these out later, but I just had to put this back together & show it off.  The last shot compares its rich color to the other phone I have in this color, which is decidedly more faded. http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1635.msg21844#new (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1635.msg21844#new)
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on November 17, 2009, 08:55:15 PM
Jester, it look very nice.  Much better than when it head the light beige dial ring on there.  I'll bet that straight handset cord would look nice on there as well.  Nice job.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on November 17, 2009, 09:07:44 PM
Thanks, Dennis.  I'm hoping Steve or Cliff will have a bezel, or maybe the whole dial.  I have seen Cliff offer a few mounting cords in this color on his ebay site under his auction name, celnout.  None of them were WE, but beggars can't be choosers.  And I meant to mention the dial card--it was the bonus I got with this phone.  I was kind of surprised to see it, since there was a newer card on top of it in the dial window.  I think I traced DRexel 9 to Jersey City?
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: McHeath on November 17, 2009, 10:16:22 PM
Great looking phone.  That black dial certainly helps a lot and was a good idea to replace that beigey one with. 
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: jsowers on November 18, 2009, 01:01:01 PM
Jester, it does look better. In the other thread on this phone, I posted something about the phones that came with black dials and I won't risk Dennis pulling out the "beating a dead horse" gif.  :) Just for history's sake, I'll mention it didn't come with a black dial originally except maybe in a two-tone that also had a black G1 handset and cords, though dark beige isn't pictured anywhere in the advertising for two-tones. With that said, I think the color combination is classy and it will do nicely until you find the real thing.

I agree with Dennis that your rare dark beige straight handset cord would look good on this phone. Your other dark beige on the right isn't bad looking either. That color has problems with fade, and parts fade differently to a sort of "dead flesh" color sometimes. A whitish version of the same color. So you're lucky to have a nice housing. It could increase your chances of finding a dial face that matches. Also I've noticed that dark beige is susceptible to skin oil staining on the handset. Where it touches the ear and hand is darker sometimes.

Your bonus DRexel card is great too and I like how you left the area code sticker on there too. That sticker dates back to the first years of area codes and I think New Jersey was in the forefront of DDD (dial-it-yourself long distance). For whatever reason, I like to leave the really old stickers on there. It's the new ones I take off, and especially on the plastics.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on December 01, 2009, 12:05:23 AM
Here are a couple shots of this phone with the 13' handset cord mounted to it.  Also notice the mounting cord is dark beige again, too! ;D
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 01, 2009, 12:09:05 AM
Stephen, the phone looks very nice.  That sure is one LOOONNNNGGGG handset cord!
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Jester on December 01, 2009, 12:18:34 AM
Dennis, it sure is, and I started to play with the word "long" the way you did above to point it out.  The showcase it's resting on is 2" short of 6 feet, and the phone is 4-5" from the closest end.  So, there is a 1' loop or 2' section of this cord hanging off the end of the case.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: jsowers on December 01, 2009, 09:37:50 AM
Jester, you'll have to use that one for all your Long Distance calls.  :D

Seriously, it still looks good, and I liked that stretched out picture where it takes up the entire top of your cabinet. There's an Elvis movie, I think it's Clambake (1967), where his rich oil baron father is sitting in a barber chair getting a shave and a manicure while the butler holds the handset of the phone so he can talk. It has a huge long straight line handset cord like yours, and I think it's ivory. I always thought it was nothing the Bell System would ever sanction, but now I'm not so sure.

I think I have that movie on DVD and if I can remember to post a screen shot, I will.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 01, 2009, 12:47:39 PM
Jonathan's right,  in the old days they would have charged you a toll call just to get the voice out of the house! :)
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: bingster on December 01, 2009, 05:31:08 PM
There's an Elvis movie, I think it's Clambake (1967), where his rich oil baron father is sitting in a barber chair getting a shave and a manicure while the butler holds the handset of the phone so he can talk. It has a huge long straight line handset cord like yours, and I think it's ivory. I always thought it was nothing the Bell System would ever sanction, but now I'm not so sure.

There's another movie with Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and Ethel Barrymore called "Young at Heart" that shows a similar cord, but in black.  They've got a 302 sitting on a hall table, and the handset can be taken into another room, the cord is so long.
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: jsowers on December 04, 2009, 04:26:15 PM
Here are some screen shots from Clambake (1967) with Elvis and James Gregory (who plays his father--some of you may remember him as Inspector Luger on Barney Miller).

The first picture is Elvis answering his aqua blue car phone. His father is calling.

The second and third pictures show his father's secretary with the handset. The phone is located next to these windows on a stand and she pulls the handset cord all the way to the middle of the room and gives it to Elvis' dad, who's having a haircut and a manicure at the same time. The handset looks ivory in these shots, and a little dirty on the end too. I don't see the usual WE strain relief on the handset, so it's probably something cobbled up by the prop people. If you look closely, you can see another phone in the background on the right. He was an oil baron. I guess he had several in each room. :)
Title: Re: Finding "Roses" in this Dark Beige 500!
Post by: bingster on December 04, 2009, 05:00:14 PM
They must have phones everywhere in that house.  There's another one on the right side of the last photo right next to the lamp.