Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Collector's Corner => Topic started by: Brinybay on January 14, 2011, 06:18:49 AM

Title: Imperial?
Post by: Brinybay on January 14, 2011, 06:18:49 AM
Is this an Imperial?  The base is round.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 14, 2011, 09:00:57 AM
Does it have B1 on the back on the neck? Otherwise its a reproduction. I have one, do a stare and compare with your real B1. The cradle is also a bit different if it does not have the B1 and a tad taller The AE dial is a definite cause for concern. Does it have a new network inside. From the far away one shot, I vote reproduction until come conclusive evidence comes forward...Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: LarryInMichigan on January 14, 2011, 09:57:38 AM
It looks like a repro from here.  The base and cradle look like B1, but I have seen repros of B1s. The dial is wrong.  There appears to be a 4-prong plug attached to phone, so I do not know what the subset is supposed to be doing.

Larry
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Brinybay on January 14, 2011, 04:08:54 PM
Does it have B1 on the back on the neck? Otherwise its a reproduction.

Dunno, that's the only pic available, it's listed on CL.  But I can ask.


I have one, do a stare and compare with your real B1. The cradle is also a bit different if it does not have the B1 and a tad taller The AE dial is a definite cause for concern. Does it have a new network inside. From the far away one shot, I vote reproduction until come conclusive evidence comes forward...Doug

I'm impressed you can tell it's an AE dial just from that shot, clue me in.  I haven't joined the B1 club yet, just a couple of D1s, but they do clearly say D1 on the back.

Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Brinybay on January 14, 2011, 04:09:41 PM
It looks like a repro from here.  The base and cradle look like B1, but I have seen repros of B1s. The dial is wrong.  There appears to be a 4-prong plug attached to phone, so I do not know what the subset is supposed to be doing.

Larry

There's one attached to the subset too, that puzzles me. 
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: bingster on January 14, 2011, 04:27:53 PM
I'm impressed you can tell it's an AE dial just from that shot, clue me in.  I haven't joined the B1 club yet, just a couple of D1s, but they do clearly say D1 on the back.

It's the position of the fingerstop.  The AE fingerstop is down toward the 5:30 position with the "0" at dead 6:00, while a WE fingerstop is around the 4:00 position. 
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 14, 2011, 04:53:08 PM
The dials are huge factor in determining the value of WE phone. The #2 dials, with the fingerstop screwed into the side of the dial are most desirable. With that great clickety clack sound. These sat on the phone, not inside and only fit on a B1 102,  a candlestick and a WE 553 Wall phone. Next in line is the #4 dial, great clickety clack sound, most are upgraded #2 dials, but not all. A brass 5H made in January and February of 1949 is also a nice dial. The #5s and the #6 end the run. As Darrin said, the  zero placement is the key with distinguishing dials. Zero at 6PM its an AE type dial, 4PM its a Western. A good #2 with a notchless plate will set you back $100 +. Educate yourself on the dials, almost as much phone as the phones themselves....Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Brinybay on January 14, 2011, 04:53:56 PM
So the B1s were also made into Imperials?  The only Imperials I've seen have been D1s.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 14, 2011, 05:15:42 PM
I've never seen a B1 Imperial but that doesn't mean they don't exist...I've just never seen one.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 14, 2011, 06:26:59 PM
Dennis...Here is my WE B1 102 Imperial. Great #2AA dial. I haven't seen another before, but I am sure they are out there. Came with a matching 684 sub set. This is a working set that I had off the shelf replacing the line cord to the subset. Only a little missing paint on the handset. Love the handset cord. This is one of my favorite phones. I heard Old Chicago might have made some of these, Robbie? This did not have the awful tell tale flat Old Chicago repro cords, but they could have been replaced. Leather cover is exactly like the D1 202 Imperials. Love this guy...Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Dan on January 14, 2011, 07:14:58 PM
That cord is gorgeous :o
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Brinybay on January 15, 2011, 05:31:27 AM
I talked to the seller, there is no B1 marking on the back of the neck.  I tried to explain it's not a genuine antique, he argued that it was because it was brass and the handset was bakelite, but it was more because he was uninformed.  He was only asking $25 for it, I wonder if that subset is also a replica?
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 15, 2011, 08:49:05 AM
$25 for the phone and the subset, if its close I'd take a shot at it. You can make this into a real nice looking phone, maybe not the real deal; but real nice looking. Put a E1 and a WE dial on it and it will look great. I have seen repro boxes from Gerry Billard in the past, picture is too far away to tell. go for it!
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 15, 2011, 12:04:10 PM
Doug, your phone is beautiful.  Thanks for sharing that.  I had no idea B1's were also used for Imperial phones.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Jester on January 15, 2011, 01:54:07 PM
I don't think Doug's B1 was a standard offering.  I have heard from other collectors that Bell refurb. shops would custom make "anniversary phones" for a fee.  Many of these were made & presented to employees & their family members for wedding anniversaries, service milestones, etc.  A standard customer could also order one of these from what I've been told.  Typical examples of these special phones include several models of deskstands & most of the common handset mounts.  Considering how short a run the B1 had, I doubt that it was a standard offering as a colored phone ala "The Imperial".
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 15, 2011, 02:01:09 PM
thanks Dennis, I appreciate it. It is one of my favorite phones in my collection. About 10 years ago, Mark Scola found an Imperial 302 on eBay. I never knew WE made a 302 Imperial, but if they did an Imperial Princess, anything is possible. His did show wear from not being put on a pedestal as it should have been, but still an impressive phone. I  made a copy of his.  So an Imperial 102, 202 and 302. I am Imperialed out....Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 15, 2011, 02:06:49 PM
I don't think Doug's B1 was a standard offering.  I have heard from other collectors that Bell refurb. shops would custom make "anniversary phones" for a fee.  Many of these were made & presented to employees & their family members for wedding anniversaries, service milestones, etc.  A standard customer could also order one of these from what I've been told.  Typical examples of these special phones include several models of deskstands & most of the common handset mounts.  Considering how short a run the B1 had, I doubt that it was a standard offering as a colored phone ala "The Imperial".
Stephen....remember that the Inperials were done for Western Electric's 75 anniversary in 1955 as were the color continentals 202s. This was WE turning over their old stock. Notice the E1 is grooved and not a grooveless model that came with the original B1s. I hear what you are saying and you are probably correct that it is not a standard issue, but I doubt this was made in 1928, it looks darn good for being made in 1955. I wish I looked half as good, but I am a '53.....Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Jester on January 15, 2011, 02:29:51 PM
Doug,
I really think your B1 & 302 are far more "special" than the Imperial & not as easily found.  These are legitimate Bell System products, and were probably an extention of the same "use up what's left" scheme as the Imperials & continental--but on a more selective scale.  There was probably a higher price for these than the more common D1's, and I doubt these are as easily found as the D mounts.  They are both great looking phones & you are very fortunate to have found them.  You inspired me to search for a dark red 300 until I found one, but I don't think there is much chance I'll ever own examples like the two shown above.  I wouldn't mind, though.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 15, 2011, 02:50:49 PM
Those are special, indeed. 

Doug, I'm a little confused about Mark finding the phone.  Is this the one he found or one like it?
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 15, 2011, 03:38:30 PM
Those are special, indeed. 

Doug, I'm a little confused about Mark finding the phone.  Is this the one he found or one like it?
Dennis ....Mark found one on eBay, but it was in really used shape.It inspired me to make one. This is one I made with a brass plated 302 I had. I added the Ivory handset and the Ivory plungers with a matching dial card that Dave Johnson of Wistful Telephones painted for me.This was before Brother Kotke was making clear plungers. Now that I can get clear plungers, I'm happy with the ivory...Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: AtomicEraTom on January 15, 2011, 03:39:35 PM
Negaunee? Is that phone originally from the UP?
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 15, 2011, 03:42:58 PM
Doug,
I really think your B1 & 302 are far more "special" than the Imperial & not as easily found.  These are legitimate Bell System products, and were probably an extention of the same "use up what's left" scheme as the Imperials & continental--but on a more selective scale.  There was probably a higher price for these than the more common D1's, and I doubt these are as easily found as the D mounts.  They are both great looking phones & you are very fortunate to have found them.  You inspired me to search for a dark red 300 until I found one, but I don't think there is much chance I'll ever own examples like the two shown above.  I wouldn't mind, though.
Stephen...I didn't know you found a Blood Red 302! Mark Scola (him again) is the only other collector I know who has one. Mark got me the matching painted handset, mine came with a brown bakelite F1. IMHO they are the rarest of all the 302 colors. Lets see some pics! Did it come with a brown cloth or a matching red cloth cord. This is exciting news! I am very happy for you....Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: rdelius on January 16, 2011, 01:43:35 PM
Kidphone- COT did make some of those but with #4or #5 dials. #2 dials were saved for dial sticks.We switched  to gold plating. It was not that more than brass and looked nicer longer.Never liked the looks of the cloth modular cords but we had to guarantee the sets and could not do that with old cords. We needed more wires for modern networks inside subsets.Mr Marsh is still on ebay selling telephones under another name.
Robby
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 16, 2011, 02:44:31 PM
thanks Robbie....Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Brinybay on January 17, 2011, 04:50:04 AM
$25 for the phone and the subset, if its close I'd take a shot at it. You can make this into a real nice looking phone, maybe not the real deal; but real nice looking. Put a E1 and a WE dial on it and it will look great. I have seen repro boxes from Gerry Billard in the past, picture is too far away to tell. go for it!

Not into replicas.  The subset and very shiny bells look to "new", probably a replica also.  What do Gerry's boxes look like, that is, did he put a marking on them of some sort?  It's only semi-close, on the east side, not really worth the drive.  If the only thing amiss was the dial, I would go for it.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: bingster on January 18, 2011, 12:00:51 AM
The stick I bought from Billard's around 25 years ago came with a 500 base with an oak cover as a subset. The oak cover had two repro "gongs" screwed directly to the end of the box to imitate real ringer gongs.
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Doug Rose on January 18, 2011, 12:48:33 PM
The stick I bought from Billard's around 25 years ago came with a 500 base with an oak cover as a subset. The oak cover had two repro "gongs" screwed directly to the end of the box to imitate real ringer gongs.
I had the same experience. I was relatively new to collecting and asked Gerry to please refrain from any reproduction parts, I wanted a real phone. "no problem." I think 90% of it was reproduction. None of my phone calls were returned. I learned a valuable lesson....Doug
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: guitar1580 on January 31, 2011, 04:39:35 AM
Wow, that 102 Imperial with the E handset and braided cord is beautiful.  I did not know they existed.  That's a catch to be proud of for sure.  Thx for the pics.

Josh P
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: LarryInMichigan on January 31, 2011, 11:13:35 AM
Doug,

The phone is beautiful, but the number card shows "Negaunee", which is in Michigan.  Please send it back to where it belongs :)

Larry
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Jim Stettler on January 31, 2011, 04:15:12 PM
Dennis...Here is my WE B1 102 Imperial. Great #2AA dial. I haven't seen another before, but I am sure they are out there. Came with a matching 684 sub set. This is a working set that I had off the shelf replacing the line cord to the subset. Only a little missing paint on the handset. Love the handset cord. This is one of my favorite phones. I heard Old Chicago might have made some of these, Robbie? This did not have the awful tell tale flat Old Chicago repro cords, but they could have been replaced. Leather cover is exactly like the D1 202 Imperials. Love this guy...Doug


Old Chicago used to make imperials. He would also make gold plated imperials.
Jim
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: Jim Stettler on January 31, 2011, 04:18:00 PM
Those are special, indeed. 

Doug, I'm a little confused about Mark finding the phone.  Is this the one he found or one like it?
Dennis ....Mark found one on eBay, but it was in really used shape.It inspired me to make one. This is one I made with a brass plated 302 I had. I added the Ivory handset and the Ivory plungers with a matching dial card that Dave Johnson of Wistful Telephones painted for me.This was before Brother Kotke was making clear plungers. Now that I can get clear plungers, I'm happy with the ivory...Doug

Dial guy Steve H. had brass 302 housing made in korea decades ago.

These sometimes show up and Would make a good 302 imperial body.
JMO,
Jim
Title: Re: Imperial?
Post by: rdelius on January 31, 2011, 05:13:16 PM
Paul Vaverchak had some plastic 302 shells and the bakelite handsets with a brass-gold finish. The handsets still looked good but the plating on the plastic shells crazed.
Robby