Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Auction Talk => Topic started by: baldopeacock on May 19, 2010, 06:26:31 PM

Title: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: baldopeacock on May 19, 2010, 06:26:31 PM
Is this for real?  I'm a rookie, haven't heard of one of these, so I'm asking.

Here on eBay:

http://tinyurl.com/22sebhu

The seller says:

I recently picked this up and thought that it was an ivory 302 that had darkened with age. Upon closer inspection of the insides I found that it is really beige soft plastic. These colored 302's were produced briefly in 1954 and 1955, in the 500 set colors of ivory, beige, moss green, and red. They all had matching painted F-1 handsets.
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 19, 2010, 06:45:52 PM
Its real. It was made in the mid 50s and is SOFT PLASTIC, not the thermoplastic of the black 302s, but the soft plastic of the 500s. Made for a short time with the demands of color phones at a peak, softplastic cases with matching painted F1 handsets. I had a Green that I later sold. I still have my red one which is the color of a red soft plastic 500, not a Pekin red 302. These are very desirable sets. Pictured is my former green set and my red sets from 1955 including the soft plastic red. ....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: baldopeacock on May 19, 2010, 08:40:55 PM
Makes me wonder how many might have slid through on eBay without being identified as soft plastic sets.   Dirty old green telephone, best offer.
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Jim Stettler on May 19, 2010, 09:56:51 PM

They made black 302's in soft plastic as well as some early princess phones.
Jim
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dennis Markham on May 19, 2010, 10:06:46 PM
I have a contradictory theory about the plastic.  I think "thermoplastic" is all plastic, by definition.


ther·mo·plas·tic 
–adjective
1.
soft and pliable when heated, as some plastics, without any change of the inherent properties.
capable  of  softening  or  fusing  when  heated  and  of  hardening  again  when  cooled  

I think (and I'm probably wrong) that all of the 302's (except the metal ones) were made with Tenite (soft plastic)--- black and the colored sets.

Does anyone know for sure?  Documentation or history of the composition of the plastic used in the 302's??

Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 19, 2010, 11:27:22 PM
Dennis;
I've heard Tenite, but never seen it documented.
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Jim Stettler on May 19, 2010, 11:40:44 PM
The black 302's that I am calling soft plastic are definently softer (flimsier feeling) than the "hard Plastic" 302 sets.

Back in the day, I considered the hard ones bakelite, and the soft ones plastic.
Later I decided they were both plastic and that the soft sets were probably newer since they were thinner and flimiser. I never gave it anymore thought until  kidphone posted his red 302 awhile back and said it was soft plastic.

 The statement started me thinking about some of the "soft" 302's I had seen over the years. I have seen a beige and a green, and at least 6-8 black sets. The intial indicator on the color sets is that the color isn't quite right. squeezing them up you can "feel" the difference in the flex of the housing.

I had a couple of soft plastic housings that I bought cheap at a show. They had shrunk to the point that they would not fit a base plate in either dimension.


There were also "pre-war" (BSP Terminology) colored plastic 302's that were different than the post war sets.

I think I listed the differences in the other thread.

Jim
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 20, 2010, 09:19:02 AM
Jim....you are correct on the shrinkage on the color sets. My green one had shrunk and had a small pressure crack on the front right corner. I wouldn't open it as I was afraid I could get it back on. I have had later Black sets that the cases had shrunk and I could not get back on without damage. Then again, I have an AA1 that was used to replace candlesticks with no guts inside. I found it open and I cannot come close to getting it back on the base. Off by almost a 1/4 of an inch.....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: baldopeacock on May 20, 2010, 12:38:42 PM
Five days to go, five bids, $102.50 with reserve not met.   Maybe this one's going to get a little crazy.
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: JorgeAmely on May 20, 2010, 02:33:24 PM
Dennis;
I've heard Tenite, but never seen it documented.
D/P

http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Trees-Into-Plastic.htm
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Phonesrfun on May 20, 2010, 02:44:03 PM
Five days to go, five bids, $102.50 with reserve not met.   Maybe this one's going to get a little crazy.

I took it to $20 with a maximum of $100.  I got quickly outbid to $102.50  Since I am going on vacation in a few weeks, I see this is not going to be in my ballpark, (and I did not expect it to be) so I am bowing out of it.  So, I will see how this auction goes.

cheers
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 21, 2010, 09:35:38 AM
I've been looking at the phone and I do not feel it is the original handset. The color is too far off. The handsets on the soft plastic sets were painted and always a bit different in color if you were very close to them, from three feet away they looked fine. This is the case with my red soft plastic 302. See the below picture before the base was really poished. There is a definite difference. The handset in the auction is in really good condition, considering its age with minor use and the color to me is off and does not match. It looks more to me like a handset painted to "try" and match the phone. If anyone in the forum is the owner of this auction, I am not trying to undermine your phone; it is a phone I would gladly have for my collection. I  know the owner is in the TCI, but I do not know who it is. This is just my opinion and is no way meant to be the final say on this. Just my two cents.....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Jester on May 22, 2010, 06:03:43 PM
According to the seller, these 1954/55 sets were offered in ivory, green, beige & red, and all had painted handsets.  That made me wonder--is this run of 302's considered a"reissue" with updated colors?  The dark red & beige are obviously new colors, but ivory & green were original colors for the 302 in the earlier run.  I'm guessing the molds for the plastic handset were gone by this time, or the run was so limited that painting bakelite stock made more sense. Or, as I think someone stated before on the forum, it seemed an excellent way of using old stock.  The other detail I find puzzling is this light beige color.  All the other colors were current offerings for the 500, but "beige" for the 500 was rose beige in '54/55.  Where did this color choice come from?
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 22, 2010, 07:29:20 PM
Stephen...I don't think its beige, I think its Ivory with a beige painted handset. Check out the chip on front of handset, but the paint is perfect. I think it was painted after it was chipped. Would Bell Systems do this?  Still, the base is a fairy tough find and it more than worth trying to get it.  These soft plastic sets with the painted F1s were only made a for very short time. Its still a really nice phone....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 26, 2010, 09:06:35 AM
It went for $300, well out of my bidding range. Any one get this?.....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Phonesrfun on May 26, 2010, 10:34:15 AM
Out of my range too.  It went from about $135 to $300 in the last 15 seconds of the auction *poof* all of a sudden it more than doubled in price.

Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 26, 2010, 11:10:49 AM
Bill....looks like his reserve was $300. Lot of snipes in the end. Real nice piece of history. Seller is in the TCI, but I don't know his name. He has had a lot of quality phones lately. Congrats on your election in the TCI...Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 26, 2010, 12:38:45 PM
After looking at the photos again, the painted dial housing looks beige, and the inside around the dial has darkened from the rubber washers bleeding but the rest of the inside looks beige.
My question, if the seller was looking for an Ivory 302, but found out it was a beige much rarer set, why sell it for the fairly low price of $300.00 ?
Wouldn't the average seller consider it a lucky find.
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Phonesrfun on May 26, 2010, 01:20:21 PM
After looking at the photos again, the painted dial housing looks beige, and the inside around the dial has darkened from the rubber washers bleeding but the rest of the inside looks beige.
My question, if the seller was looking for an Ivory 302, but found out it was a beige much rarer set, why sell it for the fairly low price of $300.00 ?
Wouldn't the average seller consider it a lucky find.
D/P

One would think so.

Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 26, 2010, 02:27:27 PM
If you look at my Red soft plastic 302, it is the blood red color of a 500 set, not the Pekin red of a 302. This was Western's short lived soft plastic Ivory set and had a beige painted handset to try and match. I do not think the handset was original to the set or it was painted after signs of use. As far as I know, Western only made the soft plastic 302s in Red, Green, Ivory and rumored, but never seen by me;  blue. I have never seen any documentation of a beige set. Just my opinion and not backed by anything but my dwindling memory .....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Phonesrfun on May 26, 2010, 02:30:57 PM
Congrats on your election in the TCI...Doug

Thank you!

:)

Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 26, 2010, 02:32:11 PM
Maybe made by Ray. However the guy does seem to have his figures all in order ?
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 26, 2010, 02:49:16 PM
If this was made by Kotke, it would be perfect. It would not have a painted handset with a chip in it, it would match and the color would be accurate. He makes a a Blue Thermoplastic 302 phone that you cannot tell from the original in a side by side test. He is that good. The handset was painted after it was chipped, another real issue with it....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 26, 2010, 04:33:19 PM
Doug;
Isn't the issue whether the case is original Beige, which I think It is. The handset could have been repainted for whatever reason later on, to make the entire phone look nicer. However I do think the phone is original beige, and original W.E.
The handset is another story.
JMHO
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 26, 2010, 07:01:00 PM
Dan...the issue is, I do not think it is beige. I think it is Ivory, a deeper color in soft plastic like my blood red is a deeper color. Forget the handset. There is no evidence of beige being made in soft plastic. Just my opinion,....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 26, 2010, 07:25:23 PM
Doug;
I don't know if they made one or not, but that guy seems to know dates and everything about when they were made. Does anyone else have anything written about them. I would really like to know if they made any ?
Remember up until very recently, we had no physical evidence to speak of, for the existence of a 49-500, except for a couple random parts dated 49. and no proof of a set possibly made in 1948, but now we do. Every day we seem to find examples of things we did not previously know about.
Maybe we could contact Ray, and ask if he made any beige 302 bodies. Maybe he experimented, and didn't care for the color, so he stopped,  maybe this one was nabbed some how ?
D/P

Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Jim Stettler on May 26, 2010, 11:08:50 PM
I beleive it is a factory "soft" plastic 302. The seller is pursueing thermo-plastic colors at the moment, and will kick himself later.


If you chase colored 302's you will find that they came in hard color plastics, metal colored sets, soft plastic sets and pre-war variations. You don't appreciatte the variations until you sell them.
JMO,
JIm
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: AE_Collector on May 27, 2010, 12:55:57 AM
So is the consensus that this was listed as a "Beige" 302 when it is most likely an "Ivory" 302?

Of course we all know that people call many different colors "Beige" and we as collectors take the word "Beige" to mean WECo Beige etc.

Terry
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 27, 2010, 01:10:57 AM
terry;
It appears 2 say Beige, 2 lean towards Ivory, and one not decided. So you can break the tie, and the undecided can either confirm or set it back to a tie.
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: AE_Collector on May 27, 2010, 01:23:58 AM
I am probably "not qualified" to comment being primarily an AE person. However, I do have what I call an "Ivory" 302 but mine is a factory painted metal 302.

To me the pictures of this phone look just like my Ivory 302. And the ebaY 302 looks to me to be a bit darker on the outside than the pictures of the inside which is typical of ivory plastic. But of course that could just be the camera flash etc.

If I saw that ebay listing without all the discussion that has been here on the forum....I would consider that to be an Ivory 302.

Terry
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 27, 2010, 01:37:02 AM
Terry;
I think many would also agree. I just look at the underside of the phone and see not a single spot that is less beige than the rest of the phone, Ivory to me will show  a more yellow color, and not so much the beige,  sort of  a cream color rather than a tan. I just don't think it would darken than evenly throughout, nor would ivory turn that tan.
Here is a photo of the handset from my uncleaned Ivory 302 dated 1953, I know it's hard to tell color on a computer, but this phone being a very close same vintage as the 302 in question, you can clearly see my handset has turned more yellow than it has beige or tan. An inside shot shows much the same. In the next photo you see the auction phone is very tan appearing, and really nothing like my housing.

D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 27, 2010, 02:14:39 AM
I've just noticed something in the comparison of the two cases. The auction photo IS a Ray housing. Notice the round molded switch hole, is not present in the auction photo, but is present in my housing, Ray says he left that out on purpose so fakes would not show up later.
Also wouldn't they have used the later version dial, like in mine, instead of the earlier one, dated 1949..Also no inside case markings.
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Doug Rose on May 27, 2010, 08:43:25 AM
Dan...

!.  That is a giant leap to say Ray Kotke made this because the is no switch hole. I do not think Ray made this. I feel strongly on this. If he did, it would not have the stain from the gasket as it would be way too new. He would also have made a matching headset.

2. Thermoplastic Ivory does fade to yellow, you are making the same theory that soft plastic does. It is lighter on the inside than the outside

3. There is no documentation of  Beige being made  in soft plastic for a WE 302. Beige was basically introduced with the 500 set colors

again just my opinion.....Doug
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 27, 2010, 01:32:13 PM
Doug;
I made that statement, because as far as I know, No one else makes the cases, and as far as I know the 302 did have the plugged hole, which Ray has made it clear, he left that portion out intentionally.
I wonder what Ray would think, knowing his sure fire cure for no one making fake relic would be now, that it seems not to make a difference whether it's there or not. I highly doubt someone went to the trouble to make one case, and I know of no other manufacturer that is making them.

I'm not stating that the inside is lighter than the outside, quite the contrary, I say they match.

If there is no documentation for beige sets, and without the plugged hole, (unless later models did not have the plugged hole.) And you say Ray did not make it. Then where did it come from ?

I will say the discoloration around the dial is convincing of an older case than Ray makes. But why no Switch hole ? Did models of the 302 come without the switch hole being present ?

Regardless of where the set comes from, I do not think it is aged Ivory. It's just too tan.



D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 27, 2010, 02:04:57 PM
I've just opened about a half dozen 302's. Mostly late 40's to early 50's. I've found that they also do not have the switch hole section molded into the case.
I've come to the conclusion that MAYBE Ray was referring strictly to the 1939 Worlds Fair clear 302 case. The left out switch hole is very common in later examples of the 302.
I stand corrected on that point.
One other item. I have what is obviously a factory painted 302 in Beige. I was told that they did not make a beige painted 302, HOWEVER I have found out that Northern Electric DID make one.
Maybe what we have here is a Canadian made phone.
The Northern Electric company did do thing s slightly different from Western Electric.

D/P
 
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: AE_Collector on May 27, 2010, 02:26:04 PM
I have what is obviously a factiry painted 302 in Beige.
D/P
 

Is it a metal phone or plastic? My painted "Ivory" 302 that I mentioned yesterday is a metal bodied phone and it is more than likely a NECo. I consider it to be Ivory but it could be beige.

Terry
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: Dan/Panther on May 27, 2010, 02:37:26 PM
It's plastic.
D/P
Title: Re: Soft plastic beige 302??
Post by: unbeldi on December 13, 2016, 12:52:39 PM
Just to update this old topic, with a link to another topic that discusses these ivory 302 housings in more detail:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=14045.0

The thread explains the color and plastic used.