Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Auction Talk => Topic started by: jsowers on March 07, 2018, 03:19:32 PM

Title: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: jsowers on March 07, 2018, 03:19:32 PM
I haven't seen anyone report this auction, so I thought others would like to see this phone that appeared and then sold on Monday morning. It's quite a phone and it brought quite a price too.

It's a clear 500 set from 6-58, with F-53115 stamped on the bottom, with a clear G6 volume control handset and dark gray cord thrown in, and together they brought $3,200 as a Buy-it-now auction on Monday. Am I the only one who saw it? It appeared and maybe two hours later it was gone. Here's the auction link for posterity and two screen captures from the auction and some pictures.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/112851547003

The seller says something about this phone being made in Shreveport for Bell Labs. Does anyone else know about that? I thought all the 500 sets were made in Indianapolis during the 1950s, but I suppose not.

Wouldn't this have been a wonderful auction contest phone if it had been a straight auction? But then again, would it have brought that amount? I guess we'll never know.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: HarrySmith on March 07, 2018, 04:40:59 PM
WOW :o
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: WEBellSystemChristian on March 07, 2018, 06:36:52 PM
That was a very pristine phone...probably the nicest I've seen for a transparent one. $3200 isn't that unrealistic, considering the many gaps it could fill for the deep-pocket collectors out there!
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:17:14 PM
This phone came from a gentleman  that did work at W/E. I beleive there is a connection to this phone and the pictures i am posting. This is from my collection.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:23:31 PM
But the story gets a bit better it was not the only phone I bought.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:34:52 PM
more
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:37:04 PM
Trimline
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:39:06 PM
These came from a retired W/E collector that passed quite a few years ago.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:40:04 PM
All these were purchased at one time at a ATCA telephone show.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:41:29 PM
I highly suggest attend ing telephone shows.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 07, 2018, 07:43:39 PM
You should have seen what I passed on. There were more.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Dan/Panther on March 07, 2018, 07:45:05 PM
Both the OP posted auction phone, and Payphone installer have the same F number 53115 ?
D/P
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Partyline4 on March 07, 2018, 10:38:18 PM
How much did you fork over for those, Payphoneinstaller?
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 08, 2018, 07:22:46 AM
I think 1500.00 for all 3 been a while. There were probably 6 pr 7 for sale including a 302 all from the same place. Couple years ago. I passed years ago probably around 1989 on a clear 5302 it was the only one I have ever seen. Price was to high back then at 300.00 dollars. LOL
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Jim Stettler on March 08, 2018, 05:34:01 PM
Both the OP posted auction phone, and Payphone installer have the same F number 53115 ?
D/P

The clear 500's  marked F53115 are phone store display phones. These were the first of the production run of clear 500's for phone stores. They are soft plastic . The dial center is a Bell emblem and mine   has a red letter "G" stamped on it. I have seen other 1958 clear 500's with the same dial center and a red stamp.

These were used in a display for color 500 sets. The fingerwheel on mine has an earlier style number plate. 

Here is mine from the conference call
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=2534.msg34767#msg34767
Jim S.
I have some photos of some other cool clear sets on the same thread.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: jsowers on March 08, 2018, 08:39:36 PM
The clear 500's  marked F53115 are phone store display phones. These were the first of the production run of clear 500's for phone stores. They are soft plastic . The dial center is a Bell emblem and mine   has a red letter "G" stamped on it. I have seen other 1958 clear 500's with the same dial center and a red stamp.

These were used in a display for color 500 sets. The fingerwheel on mine has an earlier style number plate. 

I would love to see some pictures proving these clear phones were used in displays to sell customers on color phones. Do you have any proof?
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Payphone installer on March 09, 2018, 07:28:06 AM
That makes a lot of sense as the trimline and the princess I posted also smell to me and feel like soft plastic. Even the color on all 3 match. My sister worked in a phone center for years I will ask if she remembers that.
Title: Re: $3,200 Clear 500 Auction
Post by: Jim Stettler on March 09, 2018, 05:50:34 PM
I would love to see some pictures proving these clear phones were used in displays to sell customers on color phones. Do you have any proof?
I do not have proof. I have heard the story from several collectors, I felt it was most likely true.
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I bought my clear 1958 WE 500 thru Steve Hilsz. The seller said that was the reason the sets were made. When the display changed, he kept the set.
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I was told there is a mid/late 1950's  color magazine ad that shows a phone store display of color 500's along with a clear 500. I don't recall who told me this, but there is a very good chance it was Mark Scola. He used to provide me with lots of early clear/color 500 info.
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This was the early days of eBay (before categories). I searched a lot of early ads for color 500's and clear telephones. I never found that ad, but I did buy a lot of color and clear ads.
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I had heard that the" clear" colored 302's were used in phone store displays to promote the color sets. I have seen a bell system B/W photo of a color 302 display that had a clear color set. this was a go-with that was displayed next to a clear 302 at a show.
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In the 1970's I had seen clear 500's, 2500's, princess phones and trimlines at the retail phone center stores.
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Based on all this, I feel it is safe to "believe" that the 1958 clear 500 was made for phone store displays with color sets.
However I do not have "Proof".

Jim S.