Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Collector's Corner => Topic started by: Dan/Panther on December 13, 2009, 05:56:01 PM

Title: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Dan/Panther on December 13, 2009, 05:56:01 PM
I was taking my '59. W.E. 500 apart to clean it, when I noiticed the handset cord was white on the end. I assummed it was paint, and tried to wipe it off. Upon closer examination, it turns out the entire handset cord has been painted Black, and it will come off, but is very hard to remove. The handset cord is dated 69, Am I to assume that the cord has maintained the black paint for 30 years without showing wear ?
It does not appear to have been recently painted, as there are several layers of dirt in the inside of the handset coils. Anyone else run across this ?
D/P
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Phonesrfun on December 13, 2009, 06:09:29 PM
Dan:

It looks like the cord restraint was also painted at the same time.  I have a beige AE80 and the handset cord was also painted, beige over beige.  It is a slightly different color than the original.  I was also amazed that the paint had not significantly worn.  I noticed that some flaking occurred at the very end of the cord.

Perhaps these were done in refurbishing shops, but they must have used one heck of good paint, or process, or both.  What does seem equally amazing about yours is the apparent use of black paint over a white cord, without any signs of the white through the black color.

-Bill Geurts
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: McHeath on December 13, 2009, 11:15:26 PM
Weird eh?  I bet that the factory refurb shop did that, it's seems very Ma Bell like to reuse that cord that way.  And the quality of the paint is top notch, you really can't tell.
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: JorgeAmely on December 14, 2009, 12:07:12 AM
D/P:

I have one like that. It was part of an old handset I bought some time ago.

Whatever they used to paint them, I am sure it is illegal in CA now.

 
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Brinybay on December 14, 2009, 04:46:03 AM
I have a beige cord that was painted red:

Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Dan/Panther on December 14, 2009, 12:54:07 PM
The method I use to stain white cords pink, won't run, but for ther life of me how do they get a black, or Red coating that doesn't run ?
You are right Jorge, I bet that cord flouresces under ultraviolet light.
D/P
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: bingster on December 14, 2009, 01:58:41 PM
You can tell by the division between the new colors and old that they were dipped, so they were probably hung to cure and the excess probably just ran down the cord and dripped off the bottom.  The tenacity of that stuff, whatever it is, is just amazing.
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Dan/Panther on December 14, 2009, 02:33:31 PM
The cords I've seen posted here, and mine are dated 60's, and 70's. I bet the guy that invented the stuff was whacked and doesn't remember how he did it.
D/P
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: JorgeAmely on December 14, 2009, 03:17:24 PM
... and was not allowed to leave the country.
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: jsowers on December 14, 2009, 04:10:28 PM
He probably inhaled too many paint fumes and got dain bramage.  ;D (get it?)

I have a brown 500 with painted parts that's a total mystery. White 60s line cord painted brown, brown 60s coil cord with tapered strain relief, light beige 70 housing painted brown, real brown soft plastic handset and receiver element from 9-55, handset caps of brown 68 hard plastic, and base and ringer also from 9-55. The dial is 7C-54 from 8-55 with a hard plastic dial face. It's like someone replaced all the plastics except the handset to a mahogany brown. On the bottom is "Property of Illinois Bell" and a red refurb date of 1-71. And it has an ivory older 283B plug.

It actually still presents very well, but it's so bogus. I don't think I paid more than $20 for it, just to see what it was. I attached some pictures of it. It's funny, the previous owner got some wall paint on the painted cord. I'm afraid if I take one layer off, it will remove it all.
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: bingster on December 14, 2009, 04:23:45 PM
I wonder if, somewhere along the line, a subscriber insisted on a brown phone.  Being so long after WE had discontinued the color, maybe they cobbled one together?  I have heard a report that in the 1930s they would paint a phone any custom color you wanted (for a price), so maybe they continued that practice later.
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 14, 2009, 07:09:36 PM
Interesting Jonathan, is it a real "original" Mahogany dial bezel?? ;) :)
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Tonyrotary on December 15, 2009, 12:13:58 AM
I wonder what it really is that Ma Bell used to color those cords? I mean paint can't really be that flexible to endure a cord being repeated stretched without the paint peeling can it?
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: JorgeAmely on December 15, 2009, 12:52:19 AM
Tony:

I remember denting the family car in the 70's. The body shop repair person showed me a Dupont additive for paint to use it in flexible body parts. Back then, cars had those between the bumper and body parts.

Those don't flex as much as a cord, but I guess the "know how" has already been around for a while.

 
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: McHeath on December 15, 2009, 01:13:35 AM
That brown phone is quite attractive, they did a good job at the refurb shop making it presentable. 

I know very little about paints, perhaps there was something in the paint in the old days that allowed it to flex more.  Modern paints do seem pretty finicky, not at all like the paints I recall using as a kid.

Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: AtomicEraTom on December 15, 2009, 01:34:45 AM
Back then, cars had those between the bumper and body parts.
 

And I HATE them!!!!  They get brittle and fall apart.  That's what happened between the front bumper and header panel on my Caprice Wagon.  And now the signal wires are exposed to the elements!
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: jsowers on December 16, 2009, 04:40:46 PM
Interesting Jonathan, is it a real "original" Mahogany dial bezel?? ;) :)

It "taps" like hard plastic to me, but I haven't taken it loose from the dial to see if it has MPCo on it. I can tap the handset and it's dull. But tapping the dial bezel is sharp. I wonder if maybe it was a retirement gift to someone from Illinois Bell who liked Mahogany Brown? It's very lightly used, considering almost any action on the handset would have rubbed off the paint on the cradle. The paint is mostly still there.

I think it looks good too. It's in my office filling the Mahogany Brown spot, where putting a real Mahogany Brown would be risky. The shelf could fall or someone could get sticky fingers.
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Jim Stettler on December 17, 2009, 12:55:48 AM
I have seen phone company painted cords before. Hardwired handset Black on blue.
I have also seen painted mod cords. The ones I had were yellow painted yellow. The easy way to tell if a mod cord is painted is that they used a "smoky" tint plastic for the ends vs clear ends.

The yellow painted cords I had were packaged and some were marked bell system "B" stock and some had the Telephone Pioneers emblem.

These cords appeared to of been dipped in the same (polane) paint that they painted plastic phones with.

Jim S.


Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Tonyrotary on December 20, 2009, 05:22:55 PM
I never knew paint could be that flexible. But what about today? If your cord need to be repainted can you get that kind of paint?
Title: Re: Here's a new one on me.
Post by: Jim Stettler on December 20, 2009, 10:17:43 PM
The Polane paint is about $50.00 a gallon and should be used once it is opened. It is better to just clean your old cord if you can.

Sandman.com and phoneco both advertise cord cleaners.
 There used to be a place in AK that would paint a phone for you. The lady was a retired bell employee that used to paint phones. She charged by the piece, but wouldn't paint until she had 50 pieces of the same color.

A 500 set is 4 pieces, housing, handle and 2 caps.

Jim S.