Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => General Discussion => Topic started by: Come in Nighthawk on June 05, 2010, 06:04:15 PM

Title: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Come in Nighthawk on June 05, 2010, 06:04:15 PM
Another noob' question?  If I may?

I suspect just from my own proclivities that the "ideal" antique phone, the "jewel" in a collection, would have nearly if not completely identical parts.  A W.E. D-1/E-1 combo with constituent parts all made in 1934 for example. 

But almost any surviving phone will not come from the W.E. museum, or have been found hiding on a shelf in the W.E./Bell/ATT warehouse, IYGMD?  The phones we now collect "lived" out here, "in the wild..." with us.  Our grandparents, 'rents, and we, dropped them, sneezed and coughed on them, used them (especially the handsets) as hammers, and even threw them at our recalcitrant spouses (well, before domestic violence litigation became so de rigueur).

"How much" of all the disparity in phone components' dates is "no doubt" the result of haggard repairmen replacing defective/malfunctioning/defunct parts; do we know?  I.E., isn't it "most likely" that an original D-1 dated IV/34 had had a defective 557B replaced by one dated IV/37, and then later have a poor F-1 replaced by one dated 5/40?  Later still, however, a noobie collector may have acquired that D-1 and, to improve it for his/her collection, replaced the dial with a 6A dated 9/54.  But isn't it just as possible that ALL that work was done by Bell-system repairmen, during the "life" of the phone?  After all D-1s were still in service, so I read, as late as the early 1960s?

I'd like to know what others think about that scenario.  But I'd also like to ask, does anyone know how much non-W.E. part-swapping happened in "real life?"  Would a Leich handset ever replace an W.E. E-1 or F-1 handset on a W.E. D-1 mount?  How about an Automatic Electric handset?  Or, an A.E. dial?

Just asking!!!  ;D
 

   
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: HarrySmith on June 05, 2010, 06:38:40 PM
Of course the phones were used and abused by us and our kinfolk. Then they were repaired , refurbished and reused by the phone company. That is why us OCD types (read collectors) place so much emphasis on dates and think a phone with matching dates is so special. From waht I have seen during my short time in this hobby you will find anything is possible. As soon as someone says it did not exist or was never done it will show up! Take for example the 1948 500 just discovered and restored in another thread here, many belived one would never be found! Since you are new I will offer some advice that was given to me when I started: "don't do it" It is addicting and only gets worse with time! But it also a lot of fun and you will meet some really great people!

Welcome to the Asylum!

Harry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dan/Panther on June 05, 2010, 09:20:49 PM
CIN;
It took me awhile to translate your post, but I get the jest of it.
We've discussed several times before about the dates on phones. From what I've gleaned from discussions, collecting matching dates is a recent phenomenon. Like we've talked about, even a phone with all matching numbers, unless you happen to get it in a sealed box, may in all likelihood not be all matching numbers, as WE etc. did much refurbing over the years, as did collectors.
D/P
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Come in Nighthawk on June 05, 2010, 09:49:10 PM
CIN;
It took me awhile to translate your post, but I get the jest of it.

<snip>

...unless you happen to get it fin a sealed box, may in all likelihood not be all matching numbers as WE etc. did much refurbing over the years, as did collectors.
D/P

Only HALF in jest, honest-injun!!!  ;D 

Well, its what I figured.  Don't get too wrapped around the axle with the matching numbers "thing," and enjoy the little beauties for their own intrinsic worth.  There's a related tread or three here'bouts about watching old films and paying a LOT more attention to the phones if you've been collecting 'em.  I savvy.  I was just watching the five available films of "Michael Shayne" done by Lloyd Nolan ca. 1940-41.  It was hilarious when in one Shayne (Nolan) fakes talking to this dame on the blower when in fact he had already secured the cord from the mount to the subset in his free hand and stepped on the wire, effectively pulling it out of the subset and breaking the connection --- and the keystone kops in the room paying no notice!!!

Umm, howz 'bout the second half of my question.  Would parts from different manufacturers be used to make repairs "back in the old days," like Leich or A.E. parts be used on a W.E. phone, or was that "against company policy?"  Anybody have any skinny on that?

Thanks guys!  :)
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: paul-f on June 05, 2010, 11:15:05 PM
[<snip>
Umm, howz 'bout the second half of my question.  Would parts from different manufacturers be used to make repairs "back in the old days," like Leich or A.E. parts be used on a W.E. phone, or was that "against company policy?"  Anybody have any skinny on that?
I can't think of many cases where the Bell System voluntarily used any set parts made by anyone other than Western Electric, unless they went through a qualification process and were assigned a WE model number or KS number.  With the shortages following WWII, they did permit connection of selected Stromberg, Federal and North sets.  BSPs for them are found in the C32 series (available on-line in the TCI Library or Telephone Document Repository).

However, Graybar and others sold WE phones outside the Bell System.  Once in the hands of independents, anything could happen.  It's certainly possible to find phones with non-WE dials, handsets and ringers that were put there by phone companies or refurbishers and in service for many years.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dan on June 05, 2010, 11:44:13 PM
I'd say no, different companies didn't swap parts. I saw a yellow WE500, in soft plastic, with an AE dial on it a few months ago. I'd say this was a person swap and not a company one.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: McHeath on June 06, 2010, 10:37:54 AM
You bring up good points Nighthawk about how the phones were continually refurbed and repaired in service and how that makes an all matching date phone rather rare.  Being that said, the collectable value of an all matching date phone is much higher than one with parts from different times.  Also a plastic phone that is painted or re-painted will bring less than one in it's original condition, even if the paint job was done by Ma Bell.  Seems that the usual rules of collecting anything apply for high value phones, original condition of the finish, all original parts is going to be the most sought after and valuable.

That being said most of my phones are Frankenphones to some degree, some absurdly so with parts spanning decades.  I like them all.  Even my new in the box, and I know it was new because I bought it new in 86', Western Electric 500 in ivory is a Frankenphone.  The chassis is all dated 1984 while the handset is dated 1986.  It was not listed as a refurb, but new made, and yet it spans two years of production.  I'd get dinged for that in the market if I ever sold it, but that's the way it came from the factory.



Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Doug Rose on June 06, 2010, 11:58:27 AM
I was under the impression that a Frankenphone is a phone that does not have the correct parts on it. A 202 with an F1 and a #6 dial, I do not consider it to be a Frankenphone. It is a phone that was upgraded along the way by the Bell System with current WE stock. A 202 with a SC handset and an AE dial, now that's a parts phone or a Frankenphone. No one recycled their equipment better than the Bell System. Repairman outside the Bell System were using any parts in their parts box to make a phone work, those are the Frankenphones in my opinion.....Doug
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: paul-f on June 06, 2010, 01:03:39 PM
My definition and Doug's are quite similar.  If a phone has Bell System markings, I expect to find all WE parts, even if the dates are mismatched.  A "matching dates" phone is a plus.

Phones with no Bell System markings (W codes), should be expected to have WE networks, handsets and cases, but may have non-WE dials and ringers, as these could reasonably be expected to be sourced seperately by the installing independent phone company.  In fact, I specifically look for phones like the 591 with non-WE parts and keep them as found.

  http://www.paul-f.com/we591.htm
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: tjmack99 on November 27, 2010, 09:08:29 AM
Just curious if the term Frankenphone refers to any phone that is not 100% original dates, OR if it's reserved for phoes that have been modified in ways that are not original to the phone, like with a handset from a different model, etc. If an 1950's phone was missing parts and replaced with parts from the same period, or same year even, is it still a Frankenphone?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Russ Kirk on November 27, 2010, 10:37:39 AM
IMHO, the definition may be different from person to person. 

But for me, a Frankenphone is one containing parts from different manufacturers.  I see this quite often in wood phones; a Western Electric transmitter with a Kellogg receiver.

Since WE and other manufacturers rehabbed so many phones,  different dates are not a deal killer. It just shows the phone was repaired or rehabbed sometime in the past.

Russ....
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dennis Markham on November 27, 2010, 11:10:08 AM
Here's a good example that I stumbled upon today.  This Red "Western Electric" model 500 has an Automatic Electric chassis and housing, a Western Electric dial bezel and dial along with a G5 W.E. handset.  The ringer box is thrown in for fun.

http://goo.gl/99CrR

Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: HarrySmith on November 27, 2010, 11:54:12 AM
I agree, the definition rests with the beholder. To some purists any phone that is not as it came from the factory with matching or near matching dates it is a parts phone. To some as long as it is all one manufacturer it is fine, no matter when the parts were made. To the majority that I know of, including myself, as long as the parts are from the same manufacturer and from the same time period it is fine.
Again, you will probably get a thousand different answers to this question.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Adam on November 27, 2010, 01:58:53 PM
For me, the phone has to be obviously "cobbled together" by an outsider, not the originator the phone, the way Dr. Frankenstein did with his monster.  So, for me personally, a set with non-matching dates is not a frankenphone.

The AE80 with the WE dial above MAY be a frakenphone, but didn't AE offer a kit to allow WE dials to be installed in their phones?  I'd have to see the inside of this phone to determine whether it was truly a frankenphone, if it has the legitimate AE adapter parts, it's possible it originated that way by the phone company that installed it, and I would say it's not a frankenphone.

IMO, frankenphones are the result of secondary market refurbishers or other individuals.  You see tons of these on eBay, like phones that have Stromberg-Carlson shells and ITT handsets.  I personally own a few frankenphones, for example, I bought from eBay a red WE 510 that has a Stromberg-Carlson shell.  Dubious heritage aside, it's still one of my fave phones.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Adam on November 27, 2010, 02:09:44 PM
Here's a pic of a phone from eBay from a while back which I think is much more obviously a frankenphone.

Notice the AE-style dial, probably from one of those Japanese "french" phone rip-offs, forced into a WE or ITT (it's hard to tell from this photo) Princess phone.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dan/Panther on November 27, 2010, 02:27:26 PM
I would say, any phone that did not come from the factory in the condition found. that would include refurbished phones if they substituted parts where they were not original. That way you keep from getting a home refurb and a claim it was factory done.

D/P
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dennis Markham on November 27, 2010, 02:40:13 PM
Dave, I wasn't aware that there was a conversion kit produced by the phone company for the AE80's and W.E. parts.  Thanks for that information.  What do you think, Terry?  Do you have information on that?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on November 28, 2010, 02:09:20 AM
Here's a good example that I stumbled upon today.  This Red "Western Electric" model 500 has an Automatic Electric chassis and housing, a Western Electric dial bezel and dial along with a G5 W.E. handset.  The ringer box is thrown in for fun.

http://goo.gl/99CrR



Gee, $33 already too. I'll bet the bidder wants the red 33 ringer, not the phone! Too bad they put the two pieces together in this auction.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: bingster on November 28, 2010, 08:42:32 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case.  It's a really nice ringer.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Sargeguy on November 28, 2010, 08:59:41 AM
I would define it as any phone that has been assembled by someone other than the TELCO repairman.  For example a WECO 251 that features an AE handset and SC frequency ringer would not be a Frankenphone because that's the way they were put into service by the independent telephone company.  On the other hand when someone slips newer parts into an older phone, like a plastic 70s era #6 dial into a 202, that would be a Frankenphone in my book.  A phone with a bunch of replacement parts is not a Frankenphone if those parts all make sense and seem legit, although I sometimes call them that for lack of a better term.  I hope that clarifies it.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Doug Rose on November 28, 2010, 10:07:00 AM
Just curious if the term Frankenphone refers to any phone that is not 100% original dates, OR if it's reserved for phoes that have been modified in ways that are not original to the phone, like with a handset from a different model, etc. If an 1950's phone was missing parts and replaced with parts from the same period, or same year even, is it still a Frankenphone?
Phones through the years were repaired or upgraded by telephone repairman. Not factory, but legitimate just the same. A 202 came with an E1 handset. E1 handsets did not have the quality of an F1 and were damaged easily with a trip to the floor. Frankenphone? No way. Signal Corps "upgraded" WE 302s with an AE dial. Frankenphone, maybe? It was a legit upgrade, but it mixed companies and was intended by WE to be that way. I wouldn't want it in my collection. WE 302 with a SC handset, Frankenphone all the way. Many different interpretations from many collectors. i don't think there is a right or wrong...BUT! If a phone was repaired by a Bell Repairman using Bell System parts, IMHO its a legit phone. So if a 202 has a #6 dial, I do not think its a Frankenphone, I'd much rather it had a 4H dial, BUT.... its just my  opinion. ...Doug
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Tom B on November 28, 2010, 03:23:52 PM
For my tuppence worth - as long as the phone functions with legit parts then it's ok. We are talking living evolving history really. Purists have their place, and so do pragmatists - the balance lies, as always,somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Doug Rose on November 28, 2010, 04:28:47 PM
For my tuppence worth - as long as the phone functions with legit parts then it's ok. We are talking living evolving history really. Purists have their place, and so do pragmatists - the balance lies, as always,somewhere in the middle.
Tom...you lost me at tuppence worth, I have no idea on a tuppence's value or what one is for that matter. My wife has Tupperware, but I digress, I think. Pragmatists? 
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on November 28, 2010, 09:07:13 PM
Tuppence is slang for "two pence" or two one hundreths of one pound sterling, the British currency. Value about 3 cents US or Canadian.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on November 28, 2010, 11:56:12 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case.  It's a really nice ringer.

Auction for the red AE80/WECodial and handset is over...$104.49! Would it be possible that the red push to talk handset is hard to find as well? I'm surprised what this auction ended at and am wondering if it was the phone, the handset or the red 33 ringer.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: stub on November 29, 2010, 12:27:20 AM
Terry,
           I was after the 33 ringer for my red 183 and make a poor mans two-tone out of the AE 80. Kinda like Jorge's but not as nice as his!!
           Don't know anything about the handset.     stub
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Tom B on November 29, 2010, 04:12:06 AM
For my tuppence worth - as long as the phone functions with legit parts then it's ok. We are talking living evolving history really. Purists have their place, and so do pragmatists - the balance lies, as always,somewhere in the middle.
Tom...you lost me at tuppence worth, I have no idea on a tuppence's value or what one is for that matter. My wife has Tupperware, but I digress, I think. Pragmatists? 
Doug
Didn't mean to baffle - just proves the old saying :- US and Uk -  2 great countries separated by a common language :D
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Russ Kirk on November 29, 2010, 10:00:38 AM
Just curious if the term Frankenphone refers to any phone that is not 100% original dates, OR if it's reserved for phoes that have been modified in ways that are not original to the phone, like with a handset from a different model, etc. If an 1950's phone was missing parts and replaced with parts from the same period, or same year even, is it still a Frankenphone?
Phones through the years were repaired or upgraded by telephone repairman. Not factory, but legitimate just the same. A 202 came with an E1 handset. E1 handsets did not have the quality of an F1 and were damaged easily with a trip to the floor. Frankenphone? No way. Signal Corps "upgraded" WE 302s with an AE dial. Frankenphone, maybe? It was a legit upgrade, but it mixed companies and was intended by WE to be that way. I wouldn't want it in my collection. WE 302 with a SC handset, Frankenphone all the way. Many different interpretations from many collectors. i don't think there is a right or wrong...BUT! If a phone was repaired by a Bell Repairman using Bell System parts, IMHO its a legit phone. So if a 202 has a #6 dial, I do not think its a Frankenphone, I'd much rather it had a 4H dial, BUT.... its just my  opinion. ...Doug


This is great description of (in my opinion) the difference between a Frankenphone and refurbished phone.

Russ....
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Doug Rose on November 29, 2010, 10:39:27 AM
For my tuppence worth - as long as the phone functions with legit parts then it's ok. We are talking living evolving history really. Purists have their place, and so do pragmatists - the balance lies, as always,somewhere in the middle.
Tom...you lost me at tuppence worth, I have no idea on a tuppence's value or what one is for that matter. My wife has Tupperware, but I digress, I think. Pragmatists? 
Doug
Didn't mean to baffle - just proves the old saying :- US and Uk -  2 great countries separated by a common language :D
Word up....thanks...Doug
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: tjmack99 on November 29, 2010, 02:10:27 PM
Thanks everyone for weighing in. I picked up a 57 WE 544, missing the dial mechanism, transmitter, and with a broken handset hook. I'm replacing these with parts that are probably within a year or 2 of that original date. It sounds like "refurbished" is the best way to describe it, should I want to sell it one day.

Tim
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: HarrySmith on November 29, 2010, 02:38:40 PM
I would follow the lead of other sellers on the description for similar phones.
"Totally Restored" "Guaranteed to work when you get it" "Shiny" "Vintage" "Old" "Rare" etc
That is what I did when I started selling on eBay. Just do not say 100% original and you will be OK. Most buyers would not know the difference anyway!
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: tjmack99 on November 29, 2010, 03:19:04 PM
Hmmm, just thinking out loud here, if someone from the UK wants to buy it, will eBay convert from dollars to tuppence?  ;D
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Tom B on November 29, 2010, 03:53:14 PM
It certainly does  ;)
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on November 29, 2010, 04:36:41 PM
Here's a good example that I stumbled upon today.  This Red "Western Electric" model 500 has an Automatic Electric chassis and housing, a Western Electric dial bezel and dial along with a G5 W.E. handset.  The ringer box is thrown in for fun.

http://goo.gl/99CrR

When I read this post by Dennis, I took a look at the phone.  The auction had ended with a winning bid of $104.49.  This morning, I was snooping around on eBay and saw that it been relisted with a BIN of $70.48.  I don't know why the original auction was cancelled, but I bought it.  Heck, a nice red G5 handset and that red ringer box are probably worth more than that just by themselves.  When it arrives, I'll take it apart and let you know how they mounted a WE dial in an AE set.  I have previously seen one other AE80 with a WE dial, and I suspect that AE did make a provision for doing this when customers requested that ability.  If it was done with factory parts, not only is this NOT a Frankenphone, it is a really obscure and uncommon item.  Will keep you posted.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Adam on November 29, 2010, 05:32:35 PM
Excellent!  I too saw this relisted.  Glad you got it!  We're looking forward to a full report!  :)
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: stub on November 29, 2010, 06:19:42 PM
Dave ,
          I missed the relisting , but if you want to sell the 33 ringer box I would like to try to buy it for my AE 183, that is if you would like to sell it.    stub
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on November 29, 2010, 09:09:37 PM
Excellent!  I too saw this relisted.  Glad you got it!  We're looking forward to a full report!  :)
Well, I bought it, but I haven't got it yet.  In fact, I'm waiting for the seller's response to my "Careful Shipping" memo before I pay for it.  We'll see....
Dave ,
          I missed the relisting , but if you want to sell the 33 ringer box I would like to try to buy it for my AE 183, that is if you would like to sell it.    stub
Hi Stub,

For the moment, I would like to hang onto the red ringer, as red is one of my favorite colors to collect and it may be useful to have.

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: stub on November 29, 2010, 09:49:59 PM
Dave ,
          I don't blame you for keeping it. I had bid in the 1st listing but had to leave and saw what it went for . Anyway nice buy .
          Did you ever get that AE 890 Data phone going?   stub
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on November 29, 2010, 10:04:28 PM
Dave ,
          I don't blame you for keeping it. I had 70.00 bid in the 1st listing but had to leave and saw what it went for . Anyway nice buy .
          Did you ever get that AE 890 Data phone going?   stub
Stub,

Some of these red items are really tough to find.  I don't think I've ever seen a red 33 ringer come up for sale, and the red G5 handset is a gem.  I'll probably stick that on one of my red Card Dialers.  I'm really anxious to get a look inside that phone.  I hope the WE dial wasn't just Mickey Moused in.  On the bright side, a red Frankenphone is probably not so bad!

I haven't had even a minute to look at the AE 890.  Always seems to be some other project that rises to the top of the to-do list.  This week, I have to see why the washing machine is misbehaving -- probably needs another new timer.  Then I need to replace the garbage disposer which also conveniently decided to go belly-up.  If my wife catches me fiddling with a phone before I get those two things done, I'm gonna be in deep doodoo!

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: stub on November 29, 2010, 10:09:58 PM
I've seen 3 or 4 of the 33 ringers ,in red , over the years but this is the only one I've seen since I bought the red 183 Spacesaver.    stub
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on December 04, 2010, 01:36:08 PM
Here's a good example that I stumbled upon today.  This Red "Western Electric" model 500 has an Automatic Electric chassis and housing, a Western Electric dial bezel and dial along with a G5 W.E. handset.  The ringer box is thrown in for fun.

http://goo.gl/99CrR

When I read this post by Dennis, I took a look at the phone.  The auction had ended with a winning bid of $104.49.  This morning, I was snooping around on eBay and saw that it been relisted with a BIN of $70.48.  I don't know why the original auction was cancelled, but I bought it.  Heck, a nice red G5 handset and that red ringer box are probably worth more than that just by themselves.  When it arrives, I'll take it apart and let you know how they mounted a WE dial in an AE set.  I have previously seen one other AE80 with a WE dial, and I suspect that AE did make a provision for doing this when customers requested that ability.  If it was done with factory parts, not only is this NOT a Frankenphone, it is a really obscure and uncommon item.  Will keep you posted.
Here's an update on the relisted red AE/WE Frankenphone that I "won":

Before paying, I had sent the seller a memo about secure packing, and was waiting for a reply.  I have learned from experience that waiting for a reply to the packing memo before paying for an auction is a good way to make sure that the seller acknowledges receipt of the packing info, even though it doesn't insure that the instructions will ultimately be followed.  Anyway, after a couple of days, the seller contacted me and told me that the phone and red ringer box had been sitting on a shelf that collapsed, destroying the phone, ringer, and the G5 handset.  Whether or not that actually happened, I'll never really know.  What I do know is that I didn't have to pay for it, and obviously I won't receive it.  I guess that's all part of the on-line auction experience.  However, the seller did say that there had actually been two identical red sets, and that the second listing was for a different set and not a relisting of the first one.  For those who want to learn more about this Frankenphone, it appears that Steph Kerman was the winner of the first auction, and he has posted pictures of his win here:

http://www.telephonecollectors.org/pictures/?id=296029019

http://www.telephonecollectors.org/pictures/?id=296028518

Anyway, that's the story up to now.  I don't expect anything to change, but will let you know if something does.  Onward to other things....

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on December 04, 2010, 11:37:36 PM
Two different auctions, both with identical AE 80's in Garnet Red but a WECO dial and a WECo push to talk handset, then connect them both to a Garnet Red AE 33 ringer....Hey, it could happen, right?

I don't think that Steph won the first one, I'd hazard a guess at D Shtaida though. Steph was just wondering WTH out loud when he saw that combination of phone parts in that auction. He did have additional pictures that the seller emailed him.

There is little chance that the 33 ringer would be unrepairable if it fell from a shelf to the floor. The case might have cracked but enough people want a red 33 ringer to still offer him some $$ for it even if busted.

Something real fishy going on over there....

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on December 05, 2010, 01:09:16 PM
Two different auctions, both with identical AE 80's in Garnet Red but a WECO dial and a WECo push to talk handset, then connect them both to a Garnet Red AE 33 ringer....Hey, it could happen, right?

I don't think that Steph won the first one, I'd hazard a guess at D Shtaida though. Steph was just wondering WTH out loud when he saw that combination of phone parts in that auction. He did have additional pictures that the seller emailed him.

There is little chance that the 33 ringer would be unrepairable if it fell from a shelf to the floor. The case might have cracked but enough people want a red 33 ringer to still offer him some $$ for it even if busted.

Something real fishy going on over there....

Terry

Yes Terry, my wife and I had quite a discussion about the whole thing, and there is definitely something fishy going on with this/these auction(s).  It would have been fun to take that phone apart and see what's really what, but nobody ever guaranteed us that life would be fair.  Maybe more info will surface after some time has passed.

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on December 05, 2010, 01:23:01 PM
Yes Terry, my wife and I had quite a discussion about the whole thing, and there is definitely something fishy going on with this/these auction(s).  It would have been fun to take that phone apart and see what's really what, but nobody ever guaranteed us that life would be fair.  Maybe more info will surface after some time has passed.

Dave


There is still the possibility that the original winner will receive the item (no feedback left about it yet but it is still early) and he will tell us about it. I think Steve C has emailed him asking questions and I have as well.

The seller might have just totally screwed up when he relisted it and then realized his mistake but instead of telling you that he made up the shelf collapsed story. There is absolutely no logic to relisting a purported second "identical" item with a much lower BIN price of $70 something rather than offering it to the runner up and likely getting $101 for it.

I was looking to see who this seller is as he seems to have quite a few phone tiems. I hadn't heard of him before (look2selling) so thought it might have been a handle change from an existing known phone seller, but it isn't. He says he will be selling "a ton" of phones as his grandfather worked for "Ma Bell". It looks as though I need to get the info for the ebaY handles list.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on December 05, 2010, 01:31:45 PM
Quote from: ae_collector link=topic=3861.msg51517#msg51517


.....The seller might have just totally screwed up when he relisted it and then realized his mistake but instead of telling you that he made up the shelf collapsed story. There is absolutely no logic to relisting a purported second "identical" item with a much lower BIN price of $70 something rather than offering it to the runner up and likely getting $101 for it......

Terry

This is exactly the conclusion that Liz and I reached.  Great minds think alike!

Dave

PS: Any luck locating a chrome band for the ivory AE40?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Wallphone on December 05, 2010, 03:09:38 PM
That same story happened to me a few years ago. I won a real nice wooden wall phone for under $50 when all of a sudden and without warning it jumped out of the sellers arms and tumbled down the steps shattering into many pieces. When I asked the seller to provide some pictures of this "accident" because I might still take it, for some reason they got irate like I was calling them a liar or something. I reported it to eBay but they did nothing. I didn't leave negative feedback because I would have received the same in return. The rules on feedback have changed since then. Have you asked the seller for pictures yet stating that you might still have a need for it?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dave F on December 05, 2010, 07:29:07 PM
That same story happened to me a few years ago. I won a real nice wooden wall phone for under $50 when all of a sudden and without warning it jumped out of the sellers arms and tumbled down the steps shattering into many pieces. When I asked the seller to provide some pictures of this "accident" because I might still take it, for some reason they got irate like I was calling them a liar or something. I reported it to eBay but they did nothing. I didn't leave negative feedback because I would have received the same in return. The rules on feedback have changed since then. Have you asked the seller for pictures yet stating that you might still have a need for it?

No, it's only a phone, and there's more to life than dwelling on this one unfortunate incident.  I'm just gonna chalk it up to experience and think about the next eBay item I would like to win (and there is one coming up in a few days!!)

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: LM Ericsson on February 03, 2011, 12:37:21 AM
I saw a frankenphone at antique store once. It was a Trimline with a stromberg carlson base and a ITT handset
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: GG on February 18, 2011, 08:21:49 AM

The following pertains to 1950 and later.  The 302 era is a whole 'nother story...

The Bell System would never willingly have used non-WE parts.  If you find a phone with Bell markings and other manufacturers' parts in it, that was done by an indie refurb house at some later time. 

GT&E stuck almost exclusively with AE in the same manner. 

Indie telcos other than GT&E would of course mix & match freely, as they could have just about anything in their inventories. 

For anything from the 1950s or later where the dials had extended number rings: 

Dials: 

AE 80/90 and SC 1543/1553 were one cluster, all the 500 sets were another.  You may find AE dials on these SC phones.  You won't find SC dials on these AE phones.  You will never find WE-style dials on these AE or SC phones unless a collector did it to confuse his like-minded pals:-) 

Among the 500 sets, dials from any manufacturer could end up on any other manufacturer's phone.  ITT and SC swaps could be fairly common. 

There was a rare adaptor made that enabled putting AE or SC dials on a 500 set.  Not often seen.  I have one example of the adaptor. 

SC made a 500-like housing to "update" the looks of the 1543.  This is lower and wider at the very front than a "real" 500 housing.  If you see what looks like a 500 set with an SC 1543's dial in it, look carefully at the front of the housing.  Think of this as SC's version of a 5302:-)

You may find the late 70s AE dial fingerwheels on earlier AE dials.  These are the fingerwheels that are one-piece plastic but mounted to the dial spindle with one screw right in the center of the plastic disc (without the 4-lug "spider" that AE used in the 60s / 70s).  The number labels for those were self-adhesive.  The way to tell if looking at a picture, is to look very closely for the 4 lugs of the spider behind the ribbed circle inside the fingerholes: if you don't see the spider, it's the late 70s fingerwheel. 

Handsets:

Handsets could more readily be swapped across all manufacturers because they were pretty well compatible all'round.  However, once again, AE tends to stick with AE, and anything 500 (G1 and G3 handsets) may be found on anything 500.

Ringers:  Very rarely if ever.  Transmission networks:  Almost never.  Hookswitches: never, ever. 

Cords:  There were aftermarket manufacturers so you may find cords that differ slightly.  For handset cords, AE handsets will always have AE style cords, 1543 handsets will almost always have 1543 style cords, and G1/G3 handsets on 500s will always have the appropriate cords for those.  Rarely you'll find a G1/G3 cord on an SC 1543 handset, but never on an AE handset unless done by an end-user (the give-away is that the grommet does not fit the hole in the handset shell). 

And of course housings were interchangeable among all 500 sets so anything goes.

---

To my mind the only unacceptable thing is what I call "contrary repaints," where one color of plastic is overpainted with a different color paint.  When the paint wears off with use, you see the contrasting color of plastic underneath, which looks nasty to me. 

Proper factory repaints in the same color as the plastic are acceptable but less desirable than unpainted plastic, because the painted surface is more difficult to keep clean without scratching. 

Mixed dates are OK because these things were designed to be repaired and recycled indefinitely, so the mixed dates are almost like a statement against modern consumer obsolescence.  Ma Bell was the global high point of eco-industrial design, with maximum efficiency of embodied energy & materials, so a phone with a 1950s chassis and 1970s dial and 1980s handset components was an example of how to build something the right way to absolutely minimize waste. 

The term "Frankenphone" was new to me when I signed up for this forum. 

I'd suggest the term "mongrel" for phones with more than one manufacturer's parts, e.g. an ITT base with an SC handset.  This by way of resemblance to the fact that most Americans are "mongrels," with two or more (often four, sometimes more) nationalities/ ethnicities/ races in our ancestry.  That mongrelization helped make us stronger and more vibrant as a nationality and a culture, so you can think of it analogously for phones: the ability to mongrelize was one of the great strengths of the 500 set, and contributed to its longevity.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: rdelius on February 18, 2011, 12:45:54 PM
here is a real frankinphone
AE dial
WE trans
Federal handset
Oktivia rec
B1mount
Soviet cords and wired in series with no subset
Robby


Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Brinybay on February 19, 2011, 04:22:50 AM
here is a real frankinphone
AE dial
WE trans
Federal handset
Oktivia rec
B1mount
Soviet cords and wired in series with no subset
Robby

Yeah, what Robby said.  Different dates does not a Frankenphone make, but one with different parts from different manufacturers does.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Sargeguy on February 19, 2011, 01:49:23 PM
I use the term to describe phones that were re-constructed from parts from other phones after its "life" had ended and sold on eBay with the disclaimer "Estate Sale Find".  Western Electric candlesticks are especially prone to this life-after death phenomenon, with the likelihood diminishing with later and later sets.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: rp2813 on February 19, 2011, 08:58:40 PM
I'll throw in my $.02 on the subject of issue dates. 

Let's say you have a phone with an issue date on the bottom of 9/53, and that the phone's chassis and related components lack any additional dates anywhere that would indicate it had ever been back to WE for a refurb.   

Open up the phone and inside there is a network block dated 9/53, a dial dated 9/53, but the ringer is dated 8/53.

I have that phone.  It's an example of how a brand new phone set could roll off the line at WECo and not have matching dates.  I also have a similar phone with issue date of 2/53 and network dated 1/53.  Parts inventories were not always in perfect sync and refurbed phones are much more common than untouched ones, so a matching dates phone is a relatively rare find.

I am on the lookout for a particular matching dates phone but also intend to accumulate parts to piece one together in case an entire matching dates phone never surfaces.  I know that if I see that date on the bottom, even if the phone has never been back for refurbishing, it still may not have matching dates inside.

Handsets are another story.  I wouldn't expect handset and/or components to have dates that perfectly match chassis components, particularly transmitters.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: uuprof on March 04, 2011, 01:20:44 PM
As a very new phone collector, the "Frankenphone" discussion made a big impression on me.  As a collector of vintage bolt action rifles I understand "matching numbers" and "original equipment, " bolt to receiver to barrel.    But I also enjoy rescuing junk from the scrapheap and putting it back together with other "junk" and making something really nice out of it. 

I have a variety of old phones that are just about on life support and will require heroic measures to return them to life. Some transplants will certainly be necessary.  I thought independent phone companies did a fair bit of this, historically,  and that the nature of the components was fairly compatable. Is this considered bad form by some collectors?  I think I would enjoy this a lot more than searching for the perfect original, and since I know almost nothing about them, I have been  counting on the forum members for help.

The phone of my youth is the W.E. 302 and I have some that are begging for a refurb.  This was my first interest in "old" phones.  Actually, they don't seem all that old, to me.

But I also have some gutted old wood wall phones and was thinking about attempting to install rotary dials, etc.. in them.  Is this type of inter-species telephony considered an abomination?  Or would it be considered a way to rescue two old phones, neither of which had any prospect for ever living independently, again. The beautiful wall units produced by Phoneco caught my eye.

I'm just trying to get a handle on the boundaries of appropriate collecting.  Thanks for the forum.  It is a treasure of expertise.

Larry

Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: HarrySmith on March 04, 2011, 01:34:33 PM
Hi Larry :D Welcome ;D
As you probably noticed if you read the entire thread opinions vary about this topic. You are correct, refurbishers both independent and Bell would use whatever parts were on hand. In my opinion whatever it takes to keep a phone from the scrap heap is OK. I myself enjoy taking a non working phone, whatever it may be and getting back to useful however I can. If you have 302's they are fairly simple and I am sure we can
get them all back to healthy working phones.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: uuprof on March 04, 2011, 02:49:10 PM
Hi Harry,

Thanks for the welcome.  I thought the 302's would probably be a good place to start.  Somewhere (I think on the forum) I read about the "stare and compare" process and that is right where I am.  I did see the great diagrams for 302's, as well.

I am a tinkerer and I don't need to hit a home run every time to enjoy myself.  It is nice, though, when it works. I suppose I will eventually stop yelling, "Honey, I got a dial tone," with each little success.

Larry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: GG on March 26, 2011, 07:19:47 AM


Harry & Larry -  I'm with you guys:  do whatever it takes to repair & restore.  Preferably using the same manufacturer's parts, and preferably from the same era, but OK to substitute when necessary.  The main thing to avoid is any modification that can't be undone later e.g. drilling holes to mount add-on components such as mini-networks in WE B1s and D1s.  Also to be avoided, "contrary repaints" where a plastic component is repainted in a different color. 

Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: TelePlay on April 26, 2011, 10:03:51 PM
You bring up good points Nighthawk about how the phones were continually refurbed and repaired in service and how that makes an all matching date phone rather rare.  Being that said, the collectable value of an all matching date phone is much higher than one with parts from different times.  Also a plastic phone that is painted or re-painted will bring less than one in it's original condition, even if the paint job was done by Ma Bell.  Seems that the usual rules of collecting anything apply for high value phones, original condition of the finish, all original parts is going to be the most sought after and valuable.

That being said most of my phones are Frankenphones to some degree, some absurdly so with parts spanning decades.  I like them all.  Even my new in the box, and I know it was new because I bought it new in 86', Western Electric 500 in ivory is a Frankenphone.  The chassis is all dated 1984 while the handset is dated 1986.  It was not listed as a refurb, but new made, and yet it spans two years of production.  I'd get dinged for that in the market if I ever sold it, but that's the way it came from the factory.





Won a 302 on e-Bay a few days ago and it came today. I had a hunch about this phone and when I opened the case, was pleasantly surprised to discover a complete 1948 302 with all stamped parts dated 9/48. I put pictures up in "the Find of the Month". The e-bay auction is at this link:  http://tinyurl.com/3dtda8u

Nice to have a complete original, and a 302 on top of it.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: dsk on May 14, 2011, 02:42:55 PM
How "Frankenfone" is too much?
In my opinion a refurb phone is acceptable, it should be OK with normal maintenance, broken parts changed with new ("and better" ??) parts.
This should be OK as far as the telephone not changes style considerably.

Even from some collectors view, the development history and tear and wear should be collectible, it adds some kind of a history to the phone.

What may be too much is what I have done here:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v480/dsk/Telephone/American%20telephones/FF1.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v480/dsk/Telephone/American%20telephones/FF2.jpg)

I just have this 554, and have no handset, and cord.  I took what I have, and its working great, and not looking to bad. Now it is a working phone, (it works perfect, and the handsets feels better to hold than the WE handset) Still:
This telephone are not a collectors item, just a working phone.
I see no reason for hiding this.e.g. painting the handset, and using a black cord.
(Its not looking that bad.)

dsk


Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: GG on May 14, 2011, 11:10:11 PM


DSK, those photos will probably scare someone around here who has a spare G3 handset to offer as a replacement.

That said, some Ericsson (and Elektrisk Bureau's variant of Ericsson) & WE parts are compatible.  Back in the day, I used spare WE transmitters & receivers as repair parts for Ericsson Dialog PBX phones.  This because the original Ericsson transmitters occasionally went all scratchy, and the original Ericsson receivers (of that type: the ones that went in the Dialog handset) occasionally went dead.  That kind of stuff being standard practice among indie telcos & the interconnect industry at the time.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: TelePlay on May 31, 2011, 09:40:02 PM
You bring up good points Nighthawk about how the phones were continually refurbed and repaired in service and how that makes an all matching date phone rather rare.  

I can understand going forward with dates as phones are repaired with new stock. Did repair people ever use older parts to repair a phone in the field? I acquired an ivory (turned a bit yellow) 61 500 C/D with a 61 network, 61 ringer and a 62 receiver - all original I assume. It has a stamped repair date on the bottom of R168_ (can't make out the 5th marking, it may be a stamp smudge) so I assume it was repaired in 68 because it has a 68 7C dial. My question is how did the handset get a 56 transmitter? Did they keep them that long for field repair? Put a 12 year old transmitter in a phone being repaired?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: deedubya3800 on May 31, 2011, 10:55:19 PM
I recently acquired a 5302GW that contains a ringer dated 10-44, older than either the 5302 conversion (4-60) or the original 302 is was built on (9-51). Also, my 302GW, dated 1-54 has a handset with all its parts dated in 52. But do note that both of these were non-Bell sets.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: dsk on June 05, 2011, 07:47:54 AM
How much is to much?
My wife says the dial on the StarLite is hard to use without wearing glasses.
My solution is at picture, but is it to much.  at least I may keep the wife, and the phone fore some more time ;D

dsk
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on June 05, 2011, 01:11:45 PM
My wife says the dial on the StarLite is hard to use without wearing glasses.dsk

Unlike your wife, I can see the numbers just fine. It's the instructions on the writen in a circle on the finger wheel that are giving me trouble!  ???

How did you do that D_S_K? Is it a complete replacement dial or just the number plate?

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: dsk on June 05, 2011, 01:46:20 PM
Since my pneumonia this winter, I have had far too much time in front of the PC.
I made the number ring on some stiff paper. Drawing in dwg format with DraftSight. (free) Laminating it and cutting with Fiskars circle-cutter. Gluing the ring with some glue I know I may remove.

The center label was made in Word (97?) and  modified (negative) with irfan view.

The worst job is to center the circle. cutter :D

dsk
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Sargeguy on June 13, 2011, 12:59:57 AM

I don't think "Frankenphone" is pejorative-it's descriptive.  It's easier than saying "A phone that has been extensively modified from its original state by the extensive use of parts from different manufacturers or different eras"

To paraphrase Dr. Kevorkian "Frankenphone wasn't the monster; society was the monster.'
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: TelePlay on June 18, 2011, 10:09:34 AM
Along the line of this thread, eBay, has a new listing described by the seller as "believe it to be from the 1930's and this particular phone, in this condition is exceptionally rare" . . .

     http://tinyurl.com/3ppbfuh

Yes, not only rare but probably the only one in existence.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: rdelius on June 18, 2011, 02:55:56 PM
I have worked on these. The handset and dial are and possibly the cradle are older vintage but the brass base and bottom cover are new.
Robby
Parts are KTAS
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Adam on April 03, 2012, 11:18:26 AM
This set (as part of a lot of 2) is currently on eBay.  It appears to be an AE 80 with a Western Electric dial.

I am wondering, how was this done?  I didn't think the dial mountings on AE and WE dials were even remotely compatible.  Were there conversion kits/dial adapters?  Or is dial just "stuck" in there somehow in true frankenphone fashion?

I'm tempted to buy this just to see how it was done.  But, I have too much junk already.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Brinybay on April 14, 2012, 04:07:02 PM
... I have too much junk already.

And?  What's that got to do with it? 
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: dsk on October 10, 2012, 03:03:08 PM
I have just bought an AE40 so this is not for me, but since I got hooked on American telephones I have learned so much, still I have to ask
Is this an AE40 body, with WE dial, and WE cords, and Kellogg (1000) handset?

http://tinyurl.com/9oglsc7

dsk
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: LarryInMichigan on October 10, 2012, 03:22:51 PM
That is a bit strange.  The handset is a Leich.  The phone is not worth $60.

Larry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on October 14, 2012, 06:37:28 PM
Is this an AE40 body, with WE dial, and WE cords, and Kellogg (1000) handset?

Apparently it is. Quite often you see incorrect handsets on phones and occasionally incorrect dials too. Add them all together and this is what you get! I wonder what brand the ringer is?

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: TelePlay on October 14, 2012, 07:07:23 PM
I could use that chrome carry handle, plungers, the dial card holder and possibly the dial. But for $60 plus shipping? A bit high.

Terry, think that phone originally had a chrome banded handset and chrome AE dial changed out during a repair over time or did someone just assemble this as seen?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on October 14, 2012, 07:43:31 PM
There do seem to be a lot of otherwise black AE 40's out there but with chrome carry handle and/or plungers. Maybe I should amend what I said previously to include the possibility of otherwise black 40's coming from AE with the carry bar and plungers in chrome. Maybe the paint would wear off of the carry bar so or maybe there were no cost savings in painting that piece rather than finishing it in chrome.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: HowardPgh on October 15, 2012, 03:46:35 PM
I didn't think a W.E. dial would fit an AE40.  Seems to be too much stuff on the back of the W.E. dial.
Howard
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on October 15, 2012, 07:26:15 PM
I have never tried but an AE40 is fairly roomy at that point so I would think that it would fit.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on December 22, 2012, 11:39:35 PM
We don't have a "Kludge" Topic...do we?? How about this one? Now it may not be badly done but seeing a Dial Phone that also has a Magneto usually spells "Kludge" for me. I think we talked about a similar phone on ebaY a month or two ago.

Any other good Kludge's out there that need to be in the spotlight?

Terry

http://www.ebay.com/itm/290832306688

Vintage Automatic Electric Company Chicago Rotary Dial Wall Phone Telephone Wood

US $59.95
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: stub on December 23, 2012, 12:25:07 AM
Terry,
         I didn't know they made a AE 40 in wood. :o Prototype ???
         I guess he had to loose the bar magnets to make room for the dial and induction coil. ;D  stub
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on December 23, 2012, 12:28:41 AM
AE 40 in wood was what I was thinking as well! Then throw in some plastic insulate wire and all that is missing are some tie wraps!

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: stub on December 23, 2012, 12:39:22 AM

    "  Phone is very clean and no restoration has been done to decrease its value."
        Nice way to mount a dial!!!   stub
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: LarryInMichigan on December 23, 2012, 06:00:04 AM
All that it's missing is a light bulb socket and lamp shade on top.

Larry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: DavePEI on December 23, 2012, 07:18:58 AM
All that it's missing is a light bulb socket and lamp shade on top.

Larry
And the beads and toll painting.

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Brinybay on December 24, 2012, 01:20:18 AM
How about this one?  Really just a chopped wood wall phone:  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=7989.msg87689#msg87689 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=7989.msg87689#msg87689)
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: newskeeto on December 24, 2012, 02:22:10 AM
I own a pretty good one. 

Feast your eyes on this masterpiece: http://tinyurl.com/bwelpfd
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on December 24, 2012, 11:04:52 AM
That is one from October, November and December meeting the one a month frequency of this award. Now until I read newskeeto's post it hadn't occurred to me that Kludge and Frankenphone are likely one and the same.

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Dan/Panther on December 24, 2012, 01:43:38 PM
I think you guys miss the point of the device, it's actually a very rare prototype, that AE was developing. When there was no longer a  need for the Crank and Magneto, AE figured that people would start to develop rather large left hands from holding the much heavier Receiver/Transmitter combination. So AE decided to attach an adjustable spring to the crank, so you could exercise your right hand and arm to match your left arm. The main flaw to the system was, the coffee cup and doodle pad were making up the difference in arm strength so it never caught on.
Very few remain, and are very rare. The spring was adjustable for greater tension.
D/P
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on December 24, 2012, 05:22:33 PM
Well AE wasn't overly well versed in Magneto phones since they grew out of the Strowger Automatic Exchange Company. I guess they had to experiment with Magneto's even on their dial phones!

Terry
Title: Re: Scarce phones on eBay
Post by: zaphod01 on February 10, 2013, 11:50:12 AM
I'm new to collecting and occasionally something shows up on ebay that's baffling. Anyone know what this is? Listing number is 390540112317.

I didn't really think much of it until somebody with 2,400+ feedback bid on it.

Title: Re: Scarce phones on eBay
Post by: jsowers on February 10, 2013, 12:11:14 PM
It looks like a Frankenphone to me, so your first instinct was correct. It's a WE or ITT 500 with an AE SpaceMaker swivel dial grafted onto it. The handset cord is plugged into the jack for the mounting cord. It would be good for parts if you needed a SpaceMaker dial. Quite an odd looking phone.

In case you haven't heard the term, a Frankenphone is something that's assembled from various and sundry parts that weren't meant to be together. Like the doctor who built the monster of the same name.
Title: Re: Scarce phones on eBay
Post by: AE_Collector on February 10, 2013, 01:02:13 PM
Wow, that's a RIOT!

It is the top of an AE 183 Spacesaver mounted on a dial blank. Talk about "Quick, find me a dial for this phone, any dial will do"! They could have at least used an AE 80 to mount it on.

Frankenphone is right! This is the first phone that the person with a 2400 feedback has bid on!

Terry

Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: paul-f on February 10, 2013, 10:12:12 PM
That phone would certainly add visual interest to a collection!

The seller spent minutes on the description:

You are bidding on a Vintage Bell System Western Electric Black Rotary Telephone.  This phone is still in good condition.  This has been put away instorage for a while so it may be a little dusty and could sue a clenaing.  There are some nocks and scratches but nothing to major.  Buyer to pay shipping and handling charges
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on February 11, 2013, 02:54:18 PM
It's the "nocks" that cause us collectors the most problems....

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: LarryInMichigan on February 11, 2013, 03:04:54 PM
It's the "nocks" that cause us collectors the most problems....

Terry

For some bizarre reason, that reminded me of a posting that I saw for a car for sale on a local bulletin board a while back.  The description of the car stated that it had new "breaks".  I guess the seller was trying to save the buyer from having to add his/her own breaks.

Larry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: DavePEI on February 11, 2013, 03:16:06 PM
It's the "nocks" that cause us collectors the most problems....

Terry

For some bizarre reason, that reminded me of a posting that I saw for a car for sale on a local bulletin board a while back.  The description of the car stated that it had new "breaks".  I guess the seller was trying to save the buyer from having to add his/her own breaks.

Larry


We can all use a break every once in a while :)

Dave
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: zaphod01 on February 17, 2013, 12:27:07 PM
The AE 183 Spacesaver mounted on a dial blank on a Model 500 went for $77.00.

Somebody really wanted that dialer!  ::)

Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on February 17, 2013, 12:28:21 PM
I saw that! Someone got a real Gem!

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: WesternElectricBen on February 21, 2013, 08:07:38 PM
Yeap, Im the unproud owner of a franken phone. A AE body and a western electric F1 handset. All sugar coated in a orangey pink.

Ben
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: AE_Collector on February 11, 2018, 12:31:46 PM
Hey, we all forgot about the Kludge of the Month topic! The last phone submitted by Zaphod01 still breaks me up! It starts back a page with this post.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=2825.msg93891#msg93891

Good thing Zaphod posted a picture or it would be another “what are they talking about” pictureless discussion!

Terry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: markosjal on March 22, 2018, 02:52:52 AM
Here's a pic of a phone from eBay from a while back which I think is much more obviously a frankenphone.

Notice the AE-style dial, probably from one of those Japanese "french" phone rip-offs, forced into a WE or ITT (it's hard to tell from this photo) Princess phone.

That is neither a WE nor ITT princess as it lacks the front ridge  (front rectangle) that keeps it from slipping out of your hand whn you pick it up. Probably a Chinese clone all the way.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: markosjal on March 22, 2018, 02:54:12 AM
Here's a good example that I stumbled upon today.  This Red "Western Electric" model 500 has an Automatic Electric chassis and housing, a Western Electric dial bezel and dial along with a G5 W.E. handset.  The ringer box is thrown in for fun.

http://goo.gl/99CrR

The AE housing actually fits on the WE base?
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: andre_janew on July 22, 2019, 05:24:51 PM
I have a Stromberg-Carlson 1543 with an Automatic Electric dial.  I suppose that makes it a FrankenPhone.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: phonium on November 03, 2020, 08:05:35 PM
A D1 with 7C dial and Automatic Electric(?) handset
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Unique-Antique-Modified-Rotary-Phone-D1-Base-Bakelite-Handset-1960-Dial/284067385661   ( dead link 02-15-21 )
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: LarryInMichigan on November 03, 2020, 08:33:31 PM
A D1 with 7C dial and Automatic Electric(?) handset
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Unique-Antique-Modified-Rotary-Phone-D1-Base-Bakelite-Handset-1960-Dial/284067385661

That phone is sure a mess, but people will be bidding on it for the very rare brown AE handset.  I wouldn't be surprised if it ends over $100.

Larry
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Key2871 on November 03, 2020, 08:37:04 PM
Nice, for the sight impared, right!
Or, hey I've got this old phone thats missing a dial and handset, and I've got these other parts,. I'll just stick them on this and make one cool looking phone and put it on eBay!
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Doug Rose on November 03, 2020, 09:02:17 PM
That phone is sure a mess, but people will be bidding on it for the very rare brown AE handset.  I wouldn't be surprised if it ends over $100.

Larry
Larry agreed...the Mahogany AE looks brand new. I saw it come on and was sad there was no BIN....Doug
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Key2871 on November 03, 2020, 09:14:21 PM
Yes I saw that handset and thought it might be rare, I havent seen a brown one before.
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Doug Rose on November 10, 2020, 10:06:16 PM
That phone is sure a mess, but people will be bidding on it for the very rare brown AE handset.  I wouldn't be surprised if it ends over $100.

Larry
Really close Larry...went for $79, handset was a tough to find Mahogany Brown with gold trim. I wonder where the phone went? The handset and cord looked new....Doug
Title: Re: FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award
Post by: Jim Stettler on November 11, 2020, 06:15:53 PM
Really close Larry...went for $79, handset was a tough to find Mahogany Brown with gold trim.
Not a bad price for a HTF handset like that.  The buyer did good.