Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dennis Markham on January 21, 2009, 03:06:54 PM

Title: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 21, 2009, 03:06:54 PM
There was some discussion about the differences between aqua and turquoise in another posting:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=102.45

I was asked to remove the cover of the turquoise model 500 to show the difference between outside and inside.  There is some yellowing from UV exposure.  As a result of sunlight exposure Aqua Blue phones take on the appearance of the Turquoise phones.   I guess that makes some sense...blue and yellow make green.

I am going to re-post the photos from that posting here along with a few examples of Turquoise.  Also, I dug out a couple of "Starlites"--- the Automatic Electric Company's answer to the Western Electric Princess phone to show the differences in their two colors as well as the differences in color between W.E.'s Aqua Blue and A.E.'s Aqua Blue as well as Turquoise next to A.E. "Seafoam Green".  The Seafoam Green is a deeper green than the Turquoise color of Western Electric.

Finally, I will show examples of Turquoise on a Model 500, A Princess, Trimline and Model 554.  The 554 came to me in very yellowed condition.  I began a sanding project on that phone more than a year ago and set it aside.  One of these days I'll get back to it and try and make it look nice.  I have seen very few Turquoise 554's.  This one is dated 1966.  In the photo you will note that I did finish the dial ring which now displays a  nice Turquoise Color.

In the one photo of the Princess I show what I call "fade rings" on the Princess.  If you are searching for a Princess on ebay, or elsewhere, try and get a photo of the deck of the phone with the handset lifted.  It is here that the color shift is most noticeable as the handset protects the plastic when it is in place.  This particular Turquoise was the most yellowed of the two Turquoise that I own.  The other has no sign of fading.

On the photo of the Model 500 housing, it is difficult to photograph both the inside and outside of the phone at the same time.  A good place for a split screen image.  Instead I tried to kill two birds with one stone---one shot.  The exterior is slightly more green than the inside.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on January 21, 2009, 04:32:40 PM
Dennis, I like those turquoise phones. Here is one I saw on eBay a while back. I bought it because it had a really cheap "buy it now" price. It has a faded/discolored body (it looks worse in person than in the photo), but the bigger problem is that the handset caps and cords were replaced with aqua ones. I suppose I might try restoring it if I ever happen upon the appropriate caps and cord.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 21, 2009, 04:40:49 PM
Perry, is the color consistent under the handset?  What dates are on the plastic housing and handset?  Is there a color code on the back of the dial?  I looked at just one of my Princess phones for a color code.  The 8A dial had none.  I only checked one of them however. 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on January 21, 2009, 05:42:27 PM
The housing, base, and dated internal parts are dated 71, although for some reason the date on the base is covered by a marker of some sort. I don't see any date in the plastic handset, although it does have a "64" molded in on the inside of the receiver housing. I assumed that was the color code. Oddly, the receiver element itself is dated 4-22-57. I only see a date on the dial, but no obvious color code.

The inside of the handset is brighter in color (looks turquoise to me). The area of the case where the handset rests is a little brighter than the rest of the case, too.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 21, 2009, 06:43:47 PM
Thanks for the updated information Perry.  That receiver element was made on my 2nd birthday!  I remember it well.....we had cake for dessert. :)
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Steve on January 21, 2009, 07:50:32 PM

 You guys have some nice looking turquoise phones. we had a turquoise 554 when I was growing up and I was able to find a decent one last year. it too has the yellowing problem. is it more common on this color? I see a lot of aqua phones that don't seem to suffer as badly.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Steve on January 21, 2009, 07:58:22 PM

 has anyone tried products that claim to remove yellowing? here is a cleaner I have been considering using to see if it helps.



http://www.bikedepot.net/3mplcl.html
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: McHeath on January 22, 2009, 12:17:39 AM
Here's my turquoise 500, from 1966.  It's yellowed a bit, sadly, but not to bad and has a long thick matching line cord to boot!  Thanks for the pictures Dennis, it's helpful to see the what the color has turned too over the decades.  The turquoise is, to me, a classic color from the 60' and 70's. 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 22, 2009, 08:57:09 AM
That is a very nice Turquoise phone Heath.  Unless they spent their entire life in a box somewhere I think they all have some degree of color change----some more than others.  It is a great color from the 1960's.  I remember my mother having our kitchen painted that color in about 1965 with appliances and a clock to match.

Speaking of yellowing, Steve I have not seen that product and I'd like to give it a try.  A friend likes to apply a coat of Turtle Wax polish with UV protection on his phones after he refurbishes them.  I have put it on a few of mine.  It is one of those things I plan to do to them all but never seem to get to it.  It will help protect them from future yellowing.  It comes in a pump spray bottle.  It goes on a little greasy at first but with buffing it will have a nice shine---and keep out the UV light too.  A view of the 10oz bottle is attached.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: bingster on January 22, 2009, 11:42:28 AM
This brings up a question I meant to ask a while back, but forgot to.

We've mentioned before that several auctions have come up which featured 500s in an incredibly intense blue.  Dennis, you posted an interesting photo a while back showing a phone that you were in the process of sanding, and the back half was the common aqua color that we all know, which is a bit lifeless and yellowed, but the front half is that same vibrant blue from the auctions.  Have we become so conditioned to seeing the yellowed aqua that we don't realize how blue they really were when they were new?
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: BDM on January 22, 2009, 12:22:23 PM
Sun tan lotion for phones ;D
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 22, 2009, 12:44:02 PM
Bingster the Aqua Blue phone that appears at the top of this Post is the nicest example of this color that I have seen (in person).  The photo appears pretty accurate to the actual color.  I took the photo under tungsten lighting with the camera set for tungsten.  I get the best "natural" results that way.  I know natural sunlight is very good but often bright light may make the camera "stop down" and thus making the color darker.

The only other blue I know of would be the dark Mediterranean Blue, released again much later as "Teal Blue".  I think there was one of those posted recently.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: bingster on January 22, 2009, 07:01:25 PM
I probably didn't put that right...

What I was talking about was the ebay auctions that we've commented on which showed aqua phones that were so vibrant in color that we thought the color had been modified in photoshop or something.  Then not long ago, you posted a photo of a phone you had been working on, the front half of which was sanded and the back half was not.  It seemed to me that the front half exhibited the same bright, vibrant color we had commented on.  So I was wondering if we're so used to seeing the way aqua 500s look now, that we don't realize how incredibly blue they originally were when new.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 22, 2009, 07:12:01 PM
Bingster, I understand now what you were saying.  I still think that one particular blue phone was enhanced either by the camera or by a photo program afterward, but I think you're right.  We see so many that are yellowed, even slightly that they don't look quite so blue.  On that particular phone I was working on I THOUGHT it was in very good blue condition before I pulled it out and looked at the plastic on the inside.  So sitting alone with nothing to compare it against, it's a nice blue phone.  But once one sees a nice blue one or until the yellow is removed the difference is obvious. 

Since our discussion about this I have been looking at phones on eBay.  It's nearly impossible on some of them to tell if the phone is a yellowed Aqua or turquoise.  The best clue I guess is looking at the inside of the plastic.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: HobieSport on January 22, 2009, 08:01:09 PM
What do you all think of this one?:

http://tinyurl.com/ceu6qx

I guess it's a pretty new phone.  "New" as in early 1970s?  I never touch the stuff.

I gave up on trying to describe light blue colors and accurate color photography in general.  I used to work in that field and it became too frustrating because people do see color differently. Now I just call the light blue colors   "Sparrows Egg" and "Various Sky Hues", and it helps if they have a few white paint household splatters for special effect.

Faded colored phones personally look a bit sad to me, so I'm still staying with black for now. A shiny black telephone reflects other colors and lighting and even the expressions of various people in the room.  Just my opinion for what it's worth.  -Matt






Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: bingster on January 22, 2009, 08:06:51 PM
It's not a bad phone.  It's modular, so it's not my taste, though.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 22, 2009, 08:56:50 PM
I agree with Bingster on this one.  Too new.  It looks like the handset is darker than the rest of the body.  Maybe a replacement.  The foot pads don't seem to have rust.  That base has been around a while.  Looks like a few coats of black paint hiding all the original numbers.  Another clue that the phone is modular (if you can't see the plugs in the seller's photo) is the little "M" on the dial card.  Also the sticker on the bottom reads DM indicating "dial" and "modular".  It's still a nice old phone that probably works great with a loud ring.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan on January 23, 2009, 11:22:51 AM
http://tinyurl.com/bmuvn3


Is this a light blue described as turquoise? The date on the back predates turquoise, doesn't it?
I'm thinking light blue. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on January 23, 2009, 11:29:28 AM
It looks turquoise to me. Note the sticker near the bottom of the phone dated 71. Maybe it was refurbished then?

That handset cord doesn't look salvageable. 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 23, 2009, 01:27:47 PM
It does look like Turquoise.  The Turquoise 500's didn't come out until 1964. I'm sure the 554's would have been the same time.

With that lighting it is difficult to determine.  The inside of the caps almost look aqua.  But with the handset removed there doesn't seem to be any obvious color shift.  The starting price is a bit high.  But if it's a true Turquoise and in good shape and a person NEEDED one to complete the color spectrum it may be worth it.  Good luck finding a replacement cord.

It does have the later dial as evidenced by the narrow opening for the finger stop.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Kittybell on January 23, 2009, 03:31:13 PM
author=HobieSport link=topic=530.msg5687#msg5687 date=1232672469]
What do you all think of this one?:

http://tinyurl.com/ceu6qx

I guess it's a pretty new phone.  "New" as in early 1970s?  I never touch the stuff.

I gave up on trying to describe light blue colors and accurate color photography in general.  I used to work in that field and it became too frustrating because people do see color differently. Now I just call the light blue colors   "Sparrows Egg" and "Various Sky Hues", and it helps if they have a few white paint household splatters for special effect.



I agree with you, Hobie. The receiver and cord are Robin's Egg Blue, and the body is more of an aqua.
Faded colored phones personally look a bit sad to me, so I'm still staying with black for now. A shiny black telephone reflects other colors and lighting and even the expressions of various people in the room.  Just my opinion for what it's worth.  -Matt







[/quote]
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Kittybell on January 23, 2009, 03:34:05 PM
http://tinyurl.com/bmuvn3


Is this a light blue described as turquoise? The date on the back predates turquoise, doesn't it?
I'm thinking light blue. What do you guys think?

I think there's too much green in that to be light blue. I'd have to go with aqua.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: HobieSport on January 23, 2009, 05:06:21 PM
Finally a Womans' eyes for color on the forum.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on January 23, 2009, 06:00:59 PM
Yes, but if you look at Dennis' post, what WE called aqua was really light blue, and the turquoise phones were the ones with the greenish blue.

This series of posts has made me really paranoid about my turquoise and aqua phones fading. They look unfaded to me at this point (except for the one I showed earlier in this thread). I always assumed the discoloration was caused by smoking (which I don't do). I think I'll find some protectant this weekend. Is the Turtle Wax product better than the more common Armor All for this?
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan on January 23, 2009, 06:35:14 PM
I'm going to buy a light blue (aqua) and take it over to my brother's house for a little smokers patina, then I'll have a valuable turquoise phone :P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 23, 2009, 08:45:04 PM
Perry, I don't know which product is better.  But probably anything is better than nothing.  I keep my phones in a mushroom environment.  If there is no direct light coming in I open the blinds.  Late in the afternoon on a sunny day I shut them.  But I'll bet UV light can effect them even if the sun isn't shining directly on them.

I like the term mentioned earlier---sun tan lotion for phones.

I think it's good to polish them first to protect the plastic, and then apply the UV polish afterward.  I have heard that Armor All will dry out plastic, but I don't know that to be factual.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on January 23, 2009, 09:31:07 PM
I keep all my phones (even the black ones) out of the direct sunlight, but I'll add some protectant anyway. I'll also see if I can find some of that plastic cleaner that Steve mentioned earlier in this thread. My two-tone phone should provide a good test for it.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Kittybell on January 23, 2009, 09:39:16 PM
I believe that Armour-all does dry out plastic, because my front dash cracked where I used it.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: McHeath on January 23, 2009, 10:54:11 PM
Quote
I have heard that Armor All will dry out plastic, but I don't know that to be factual.

Quote
I believe that Armour-all does dry out plastic, because my front dash cracked where I used it

This has been my experience as well with Armor-All, and I used to be  religious user of the product on all my cars.  I discounted as hooey the cracked dash stories till it happened to me.   :-\

I don't know, or think, it would be able to cause much trouble with our phones however as they are pretty thick and we are not leaving them in the Wal-Mart parking lot when it's 103 outside.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on January 29, 2009, 10:32:19 PM
I got a bottle of the 3M plastic cleaner that Steve mentioned earlier in this thread. I thought my faded/discolored turquoise phone would be a good test for it. I'm sorry to report that it had no detectable effect on the color. It seems to be a fine polish (despite the ad copy in Steve's link saying it isn't), maybe something like Novus #2. Anyway, as has been pointed out earlier, the typical discoloration on these phones is too deep to polish out with a fine polish.

I also picked up some "303 Aerospace Protectant," which seems to get better reviews than Armor All. I'll let you know how well it prevents fading and discoloration. It might take 10 years or so to reach a conclusion, though.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on February 18, 2009, 11:32:40 AM
There is currently a seller on eBay who has sold several aqua and turquoise "color change kits" for 554 phones:
http://tinyurl.com/turquoise-554-shell (http://tinyurl.com/turquoise-554-shell)

I bought one myself, as I couldn't resist an NOS shell in turquoise. It arrived yesterday, and consists of a body shell, handset shell, cord, and dial plate. It's everything I need to turn a shabby 554 into a shiny new-looking turquoise 554. All I need now is a shabby 554. Actually, I have never had a wall phone of any kind. I guess I will also need to figure out a place to mount it...maybe I should avoid perusing the phone section of eBay.

The shell is labeled "Northern Electric" rather than WE. Oddly, the receiver cap has 6 holes. Otherwise, it is similar in style to my 1971 turquoise 500, non-modular, and with a matte finish on the dial plate, unlike the smooth, shiny finish on the dial plate of my other 500s.

The same seller still has at least a couple more of these for about $20. I wish there were some for 500s...
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 18, 2009, 11:52:57 AM
Perry, I had seen those kits from that seller.  They look nice.  That dial ring supports one of the later dials, maybe the #9 dial.  A #8 has just two half-moon tabs on the inside circumference of the hole and attaches with a little three-prong clip.  I believe Northern Electric of Canada made the caps with 6 holes much later into the years than Western Electric. 

Maybe if you e-mail the seller he has some 500 kits too.

Since the handset and cord shown is hardwired, is the cover also hardwired, or is it notched for a modular connection?

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Perry on February 18, 2009, 12:27:07 PM
The body shell isn't notched for a modular plug. I guess I could ask about 500 shells. In fact, he is selling a yellow 500 shell. I think the only solution to restore my 2-tone phone from earlier in this thread would be something like that. I don't have lot of motivation to do it, because I already have a nice turquoise 500, so I'm not sure what I would do with another one.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 18, 2009, 02:00:14 PM
My 1958 500 is Turquoise, but in photos it looks more like Aqua, how can you be sure on ebay etc. without buying a dozen phones to get a real Turquoise phone.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 18, 2009, 02:58:09 PM
I used to use Armoural, but I found if you stop the damagereturns quickly, "Son Of A Gun" seems to be a better product, made by STP I believe.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 18, 2009, 06:53:06 PM
Dan, Turquoise wasn't introduced until 1964 (thru 1978) with Aqua Blue coming out in 1957.  Perhaps your Turquoise has later dated plastic built on a 1958 chassis?

According to Paul Fassbender's Site.......
http://www.paul-f.com/we500typ.htm#Colors
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 18, 2009, 07:22:13 PM
Dennis;
Here is another shot of the same phone under different light.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 18, 2009, 07:36:23 PM
Dan in your posting from 2:00PM you asked how to tell the color from eBay phones without buying a bunch of phones.  SOMETIMES the color code on the back of the dial will let you know--IF it has the original dial.  Your phone does look Turquoise but my point was that if it's from 1958 it can't be Turquoise because they didn't make it until 6 years later.  So if it is Turquoise, there's probably a date equal to or later than 1964 on the plastic.  If the plastic is dated before 1964, it's Aqua Blue.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 18, 2009, 08:21:28 PM
Dennis;
Something doesn't add up here.

The attached photo is of my recent purchase of an all matching number Princess phone dated 6-60, you can see plainly the it's either Aqua, or Turquoise whichever you prefer, YET, on Paul's site, it states that Aqua, and Turquoise were not introduced in the "Princess", line until 1962, and 1964 respectively. Inside of the caps, marked  6-60, inside the handset, Marked 59, the strain reliefs are marked 59, and 60 respectively, The body has no markings I can see ??
So I'm very confused, not completely convinced the color charts are 100 accurate.
Once again I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just the stated facts, do not reflect what I see in the real world. According to the color chart listed, my Princess phone was not made until between two and four years after it's dated.

D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 18, 2009, 08:40:51 PM
Dan I know you're not trying to be difficult, nor am I.  As I read this I was thinking about what I posted on the other topic about the cordless/rotary phone.  Our premise is that the color chart is accurate.  I will e-mail Paul and see what he says about that.  Your photo of the Princess didn't come thorough, or I'm not seeing it.  Did you attach the photo?  There is no mold stamping on the inside of the Pricness shell?  Paul usually responds right away, so I'll report back.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 18, 2009, 08:58:10 PM
When I look here:  http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#Princess

The color code page for the Princess phones, it appears to me that beginning 1959 two of the colors produced were Aqua Blue and Turquoise.  The color chart for the model 500's indicate the date of 1964 for Turquoise.  So it appears as though Princess phones were made in these colors as early as their inception in 1959.  Aqua Blue was made for the model 500 in 1957 so it did appear two years before the Princess but the Princess phone in Turquoise appeared five years ahead of the model 500.  Screen Shot of the above page attached.

Unless you saw something different about those two colors, I couldn't find where it said they weren't produced in those colors in the Princess line until 1962 and 1964 respectively.  Maybe you can furnish me with that link.  If there is a conflict I'll contact Paul.  He does have a disclaimer saying it's possible that he is inaccurate but I think he strives for accuracy and is respected for same.  So he would like to know about discrepancies in his information.

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 18, 2009, 09:53:11 PM
Dennis;
 In my haste to post, I guess I forgot to put the picture up.
Here it is.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 18, 2009, 10:03:40 PM
Dennis;
My bad so they say, I was looking at those numbers as dates.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 18, 2009, 10:07:45 PM
Dan, that's a nice looking Princess.  Looks Aqua on this end.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: McHeath on February 19, 2009, 12:09:06 AM
I bought a new in the box aqua Western Electric G handset the other day, still in the wrapper.  It's a nice blue, and gives me a good view of what aqua means, it's kind of baby bluish really. 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 19, 2009, 09:40:41 PM

 A friend likes to apply a coat of Turtle Wax polish with UV protection on his phones after he refurbishes them.  I have put it on a few of mine.  It is one of those things I plan to do to them all but never seem to get to it.  It will help protect them from future yellowing.  It comes in a pump spray bottle.  It goes on a little greasy at first but with buffing it will have a nice shine---and keep out the UV light too.  A view of the 10oz bottle is attached.

Dennis;
I bought a bottle of Turtle Wax F-21, applied it to my Princess Phone, I used a paper towel to apply it, When I checked the towel it had a blue tint to it. It actually removed some of the color.  Maybe I rubbed too hard ?

D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 19, 2009, 10:01:25 PM
Dan, I don't know what to say about that.  I've never experienced paint loss on a phone I've coated with the product.  Is it possible that your phone was a factory re-paint?  They used a paint I have heard called Polene??

I can't imagine color coming off the plastic unless one used acetone or something like that.  I don't know. 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: McHeath on February 19, 2009, 10:08:20 PM
And take my word for it, if you use 100% acetone it will come off!

My car rubbing compound, TR-3, will take some color off the non-painted plastic phones.  It will take color off a car even.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 19, 2009, 10:11:50 PM
Dennis;
It appears that the mouthpiece has been painted Aqua, over Turquoise.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 19, 2009, 10:34:26 PM
Heath, that must be why all the phone guys say not to use Rubbing Compound but instead use POLISHING compound.  Dan, I thought perhaps it had been painted.  I have had a couple pink phones that were painted---factory repaints---same color atop the old color.  It makes them nice and shiny but if you start to polish away the outer coating you're doomed.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan/Panther on February 19, 2009, 10:57:20 PM
Dennis;
This is just the earpiece that's painted aqua over turquoise, very obvious, the rest of the phone is original color.
D/P
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on February 19, 2009, 11:01:54 PM
Did that Turtle Wax effect the other plastic?  Maybe try it on the inside of the housing.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua?
Post by: HobieSport on April 03, 2009, 05:33:47 PM
I did not mean to imply that Toms' grandpas' house be painted aqua or pink at the same time.  Give it a couple of years difference, eh?

-Hobie.

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: AtomicEraTom on April 03, 2009, 10:18:46 PM
It was pink in the late fifties and early sixties and was more of an aqua in the seventies.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: jsowers on August 03, 2009, 09:28:29 AM
I've been reading this thread and looking at all the interesting phones. It's sure a problem trying to determine if a phone in an auction is aqua blue or turquoise. One thing I don't think that was mentioned thusfar is some digital cameras tend to make turquoise look like aqua blue. Dennis touched on the lighting being important early on in the thread, and as we know, most sellers just use whatever they have at the moment.

Last week I went through some pictures and came up with some composite shots of what aqua blue and turquoise are supposed to look like, so a seller can look for themselves and compare it to the phone. I had a friend who was interested in a phone in an auction that turned out to be turquoise, but it showed aqua blue in the pictures.

Some of the phones are mine and some belong to a friend. I tried to pick phones that were true to color and not faded.

I posted the pictures on my web space, so they're free for whoever wants to use them and you can send the link to a seller for them to see as well. Maybe Dennis can put the pictures on the forum somewhere and it would be a better web server? Here are the links, and please try again if they don't come up the first time.

http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_01.JPG (http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_01.JPG)

http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_02.jpg (http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_02.jpg)

http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_03.jpg (http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_03.jpg)

http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/turquoise-aqua_blue_04.jpg (http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/turquoise-aqua_blue_04.jpg)

http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_05.jpg (http://web.lexcominc.net/~josowers/aqua_blue-turquoise_05.jpg)
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 03, 2009, 09:44:11 AM
Thanks Jonathan, they worked just fine for me.  I really like the two 10-button sets--even though they're touch-tone! :)
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: jsowers on August 03, 2009, 11:44:24 AM
Thanks Jonathan, they worked just fine for me.  I really like the two 10-button sets--even though they're touch-tone! :)

Yeah, I snuck that one in there. The turquoise one is mine and came from a seller in South Carolina very cheaply about six years ago. The faceplates on those phones are unique, sort of a translucent ribbed matte plastic, and you can see that the aqua blue faceplate is totally different than the turquoise one. I take pictures in natural light, usually indirect light, and I'm lucky my Sony camera seems to be able to capture turquoise.

Something I also meant to mention is I've had pretty good results bleaching turquoise back to the original color with one part bleach to two parts water, in the sun for a day or two. But I think it depends on whether it's darkening from smoke or sun and the sun fade is harder to get out. I haven't tried the latest hydrogen peroxide treatment on them yet.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan on August 03, 2009, 11:55:25 PM
I wouldn't try peroxide on a turquoise. I'd polish it with Novus like Dennis does.

Here's one I had my eye on. The seller wouldn't look under the dial for me to get me the # 62 (aqua) or 64 (turq). I passed on it because I have 3 blues, one of which I swore was turquoise. Do you think this is blue or turqouise?

http://tinyurl.com/nbs375
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dennis Markham on August 04, 2009, 12:02:50 AM
Dan, I was trying to talk myself into buying that one too.  That is a good price for it.  I believe it is Turquoise.  I have one from 1964 which was the first year it was produced.  I like that one because it has the #7 dial and a soft center finger wheel.  Because the one in this listing had the newer dial (I was basing that on the narrow opening for the finger stop) I decided against buying it.  I think someone got a nice deal on a nice looking Turquoise 500.

In looking at the photos again another reason I stayed away was that I wasn't sure about the Manufacturer.  I see now that it says "Western Electric" under the Brand category.  But looking at that network it looks very late.  I think the date on the ringer looks like the end of the 70's.  Of course that doesn't mean it's not a nice phone....
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Dan on August 04, 2009, 12:29:16 AM
It's a great price, that's for sure. It looks like it says bell systems under the plungers. If you look @ the picture of the ringer, it looks like '70' possibly 1970? You have the ultimate turquoise from 1964, the FIRST year and the ONLY year with the soft centered finger wheel. I am convinced the hardest phones left for me will be a soft yellow and a soft centered turquoise.

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: jsowers on August 04, 2009, 09:27:28 AM
It looks turquoise to me too, and it looks like an NE inside instead of a WE. But it's been a while since I've seen an NE inside. I do recall their ringers and networks having a different look. Also, the strain relief on the handset cord looks slightly tapered to me, like an NE. But the word "Operator" is there, and I thought that was omitted from NEs, so I may be all wrong about this one. Certainly a puzzler. Do any of you Canadians have anything to offer?

And Dan, thanks for the advice on not using peroxide on turquoise.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Jester on August 04, 2009, 03:51:19 PM
Jonanthan,

I'm a Texan, but I believe you are correct about this being a NE phone.  I blew up the auction photo of the back of this phone to show the name stamp behind the lift.  It's really blurry, but it looks like it says something other than "Bell System" to me.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: jsowers on August 04, 2009, 04:23:57 PM
The NE 500s had those three copyright dates in that logo space and it does look like that's all in there. Thanks for blowing that shot up, Jester. Sellers have been known to use those dates, which date back to the soft plastic days, to claim the phone is circa 1959. Never mind that it has two other dates a lot more recent on it. Like they would put dates in the future on a phone.  :)  Copyright only refers to when it was designed.

I've bought several NEs from Canada over the years, but after being stiffed on an NE 554 one time, which was only $20 including the shipping, I've been very leery of buying across the border. The shipping takes a long time too and it's more expensive.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Jester on August 04, 2009, 05:19:18 PM
I've bought several phone items from Canada recently, including this little doodad, which I'm still waiting on (but it's only been 8 days since auction's end).  http://tinyurl.com/mmz96x (http://tinyurl.com/mmz96x)  I haven't been stiffed yet, but I agree that the shipping tends to be both expensive & slow.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Slal on October 10, 2014, 01:03:15 PM
Good topic.  Finding it very difficult to tell them apart. 

Phone on left:
Advertised "Aqua Turquoise Sea Foam Green Phone."  No returns.   (Sellers seem to cover all the bases for "Not as Described" or are just as confused as I am.)  Dial reads, "7C - 64 / 11 - 64."  No refurb dates on bottom.  All dates match except for HS cord restraint which is "62" so it can't be turquoise! 

Phone on right:
Advertised "Western Electric Aqua Green Phone"  Made offer figuring "dash" code on dial would clear up any mystery.  Should've known better.  Back of dial is marked "7C - 59 / 9 -59"  Any refurb date(s) on bottom look to have been blotted out with paint remover.  Plastic parts are from 1962 except HS cord which is "64"

So thinking of swapping cords (one of right is 'greener' probably due to UV damage.) Both housings had stickers on them & were treated with H2O2 gel.  Cords cleaned with dish soap.

So what say the experts?  Legit turquoise or two Aqua phones-- one simply had more UV damage? 

thx

--Bruce
_________
Addendum: Phone on left also has 'later' type 7C dial?  Doesn't need any work, but for future reference.  Later ones still have adjustment screw?

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: poplar1 on October 10, 2014, 01:14:37 PM
It's best to look at the color inside the handset and housing to see the real color. Only part that is labeled with color code is the dial. (A few have color stamped on the baseplate, but not many.) "62" on the cord is the year.

Since all the dates match on the left phone, the 7C-64 stamp on the dial probably indicates a turquoise phone. 7C-59 on the other dial indicates that it was originally on a pink phone.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: unbeldi on October 10, 2014, 01:35:29 PM
Good topic.  Finding it very difficult to tell them apart. 

In daylight in front of me, I find them easy to distinguish, having seen both previously.
In pictures it is very difficult because the ambient lighting influences what your camera records. That 50% gray patch seems added on your computer and can only be used to calibrate anything later, not the original colors. For example, I detect a color bias in that patch.
Take pictures in daylight, out of the direct sun, but without clouds and with a neutral gray in view of the camera.
Or open a handset and show the inside right next to the housing. Using the inside of the housing is useful too, but you can't show both inside and out at the same time.

A date-matched set with a 64 color code on the dial is probably the real deal. Look at the date dial impressions molded into the housing and the handset for year of manufacture.
 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Slal on October 11, 2014, 04:40:19 PM
Thanks for replies.  Compared handsets by swapping them.  'Aqua' on 'turquoise' looked too light.  'Turquoise' on 'aqua' looked discolored 'greenish' tint.  Comparing inside of caps seemed to confirm... Or was I seeing what I *wanted* to see?

Thought I'd get some second opinions here.  Thank you both for looking. 

--Bruce

Aside if permitted:
Unbeldi, thanks for info. on color bias.  How does gamma look in attached photos?  Photoshop 10.01 is fairly good with 'auto color / levels ' but with so many different viewing devices out there, algorithm is probably an average.  Also dealing with limitations of little JVC pocket camera's sensor.  Still saving up for a full frame 35MM digital SLR.  Might be a while. ; )

 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: poplar1 on October 11, 2014, 06:23:29 PM

Addendum: Phone on left also has 'later' type 7C dial?  Doesn't need any work, but for future reference.  Later ones still have adjustment screw?



Nov. 1964 is rather late for 7C dial. I haven't seen one made later than that.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Slal on October 13, 2014, 12:21:25 PM
Nov. 1964 is rather late for 7C dial. I haven't seen one made later than that.

That's interesting.  GTE doc has 9 series dial "introduced in 1968."1  Maybe my timeline needs revising.

Timeline at "frillfreephones" (author cautions some info needs documentation) = 1965 ; GTE doc (as noted) has 1968.

Agreed upon date here? 

Also, my 1961 dates might need revision.  Have that year as going from full circle top to straight edge where springs are.  1961 also when WE began stamping gear frame assembly instead of using nuts.

However 'pink' dial from 1959 has its gear assembly stamped.  Pencil in 1959?

thx

--Bruce   

1.) GTE 473-820-100 Issue 3, 1973. page 2
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: unbeldi on October 13, 2014, 01:00:30 PM
The no. 9 dial brought the conversion of the open-center finger wheel to solid number card windows, among other features such as the removal of the mounting screws for the face plate. Our observations have this happening around 1965, perhaps late 1964.

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: unbeldi on October 13, 2014, 01:22:22 PM
The turquoise 500 desk sets are relatively rare because this color was not a promoted color for this telephone model and was only installed upon special customer request.  However, on the Princess sets for which it was available from inception of the model in 1959, it was always a promoted color.

Other non-promoted colors in 1965 for desk sets were yellow and light-gray, again contributing to their relative rarity.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: poplar1 on October 13, 2014, 01:48:41 PM
We have just added 500s to the Date Range tables, but so far, the information is sketchy. The hypothesis is that 9C dials replaced 7Ds in black 500s in late 1964, but that for color 500s, 9Cs replaced 7Cs in early 1965.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=11422.msg132909#msg132909
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: jsowers on October 13, 2014, 02:11:08 PM
The turquoise 500 desk sets are relatively rare because this color was not a promoted color for this telephone model and was only installed upon special customer request.  However, on the Princess sets for which it was available from inception of the model in 1959, it was always a promoted color.

Other non-promoted colors in 1965 for desk sets were yellow and light-gray, again contributing to their relative rarity.

Here are scans from a Pacific Northwest Bell color chip brochure from 12-66 showing turquoise available in 500s and 554s. Special customer request isn't mentioned. Different Bells had different color choices sometimes in the 1960s. I've been looking through brochures and booklets I've scanned and this is the only mention I've found so far of turquoise in 500s. It's absent in my 1965 salesman's booklet except for Princesses. Yellow is included in the 1965 booklet, but they show a 554.
 
I'm sorry the scan is so bad. I had to reduce the size so it wouldn't take so long to post it.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: poplar1 on October 13, 2014, 02:55:57 PM

 
Here are scans from a Pacific Northwest Bell color chip brochure from 12-66

Notice that neither red nor ivory are listed.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Fabius on October 13, 2014, 03:40:25 PM
Some More.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: jsowers on October 13, 2014, 04:53:32 PM
Turquoise in the middle flanked by aqua blue on each side.
 
I've noticed red and ivory missing from other color chip brochures from the 1960s. That's what led me to assuming different Bells offered different colors at different times. As popular as red was in the 1950s, it's puzzling to see it downplayed in the 1960s--the era of the Bat Phone.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: unbeldi on October 13, 2014, 05:02:52 PM
Notice that neither red nor ivory are listed.

That is correct.  BSP 500-120-100 Issue 5 65-10  does not show ivory and red as an available color.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Slal on October 14, 2014, 02:52:01 PM
Thanks for link to dials.  Bookmarked & appears GTE doc. in error.  Just goes to show, maybe doc's aren't always the last word. ; )

Photo with Turquoise in middle will be helpful.  Really stands out with aqua on both sides.

Thanks for posting scan of ad.  Phones only part of hobby for me.  Documents just as interesting.

So at risk of going off topic a little-- what to make of 500-120-100 Issue 5 April 1965 AT&TCo?  Also perhaps not definitive? (Thanks for citing it btw.)

Assume ivory & red *were* in production by WECo.  Experienced collectors have (or have seen) phones from time period in question?
 
thx

--Bruce 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: unbeldi on October 14, 2014, 03:25:16 PM
Thanks for link to dials.  Bookmarked & appears GTE doc. in error.  Just goes to show, maybe doc's aren't always the last word. ; )

Photo with Turquoise in middle will be helpful.  Really stands out with aqua on both sides.

Thanks for posting scan of ad.  Phones only part of hobby for me.  Documents just as interesting.

So at risk of going off topic a little-- what to make of 500-120-100 Issue 5 April 1965 AT&TCo?  Also perhaps not definitive? (Thanks for citing it btw.)

Assume ivory & red *were* in production by WECo.  Experienced collectors have (or have seen) phones from time period in question?
 
thx

--Bruce
I would not take a non-Bell publication as definitive for what was manufactured at WECo. That dial section got several dates wrong.

The BSP sections are more reliable about WECo practices, but IMHO, nobody should take anything printed centrally in NY or NJ as 100% definitive for what an operating company did somewhere else. Many companies issues their own addenda to the BSPs, changing operating procedures.  As for the promoted colors, there was nothing in the way for an operating company to promote these color locally, after all they were available for order from WECo.

The ultimate reference is not a BSP, but the WECo Card Catalog that contained all parts made.
BSP do contain errors, no doubt.

As far as ivory and red sets is concerned, this was a short lived exception. We have indication from collector sampling that certain years appear missing for certain products. Unfortunately, the collector clubs have been rather negligent in promoting documentation and cataloging, until perhaps recently, and this forum contains one of the best references for dating WECo parts.
 
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: Slal on October 15, 2014, 10:49:26 AM
The ultimate reference is not a BSP, but the WECo Card Catalog that contained all parts made.
BSP do contain errors, no doubt.

Haven't heard of WECo Card Catalog before.  Several questions but won't post off topic too many times.  (Try to find on own.)   

Thanks everyone, for being patient with this little digression.

Back to regular 'turquoise / aqua' programming.  ; )

--Bruce


Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: compubit on March 09, 2015, 11:55:05 PM
After a short break, just received a turquoise Princess phone today in the mail and can now see the distinctive difference between Aqua Blue and Turquoise. (and the picture doesn't do the vibrancy of the colors justice...)

Jim
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: WEBellSystemChristian on March 10, 2015, 12:13:12 AM
Wow, I've never seen a turquoise or an aqua quite as vibrant as those two!
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: unbeldi on March 10, 2015, 09:28:11 AM
After a short break, just received a turquoise Princess phone today in the mail and can now see the distinctive difference between Aqua Blue and Turquoise. (and the picture doesn't do the vibrancy of the colors justice...)

Jim
Indeed when you have seen the two together without discoloration you'll be able to identify them always.
Your picture has a bit of a red color bias in it, making it somewhat dull.  Here is a correction:

PS:  uploading the image to the forum appears to introduce a contrast enhancement. Not sure what's up with that.  Probably something about the image resizer used in SMF.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: WEBellSystemChristian on March 10, 2015, 09:52:21 AM
I've strayed away from finding a WE turquoise phone, because there's such a high chance of getting a faded aqua.
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: compubit on March 10, 2015, 08:18:46 PM
After a short break, just received a turquoise Princess phone today in the mail and can now see the distinctive difference between Aqua Blue and Turquoise. (and the picture doesn't do the vibrancy of the colors justice...)

Jim
Indeed when you have seen the two together without discoloration you'll be able to identify them always.
Your picture has a bit of a red color bias in it, making it somewhat dull.  Here is a correction:

PS:  uploading the image to the forum appears to introduce a contrast enhancement. Not sure what's up with that.  Probably something about the image resizer used in SMF.

Thanks for the correction - close to what I see with my eyes (though the Aqua blue is not quite as dark as the picture). I took it with the iPad to get it uploaded to the site.  I guess I need to dust off the Nikon for my pics!  Also the lighting has some impact - the halogen light adds a bit of yellow to the Aqua Blue, but in normal lighting, it's much more distinct.

The Aqua Blue is Oct 66 (Birthday Phone) and the Turquoise is a 68 base with 69 handset.

Jim
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: dlvh on December 16, 2017, 01:42:52 PM
Another old thread being revived here,

I just wanted to know, is this Dial Plate called "Seafoam" in an Ebay add, really 'Turquoise', just called the wrong name/color by the seller? I'm presuming so, but just wanted another experts opinion.

Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: paul-f on December 16, 2017, 03:59:45 PM
Another old thread being revived here,

I just wanted to know, is this Dial Plate called "Seafoam" in an Ebay add, really 'Turquoise', just called the wrong name/color by the seller? I'm presuming so, but just wanted another experts opinion.

Most of this topic has focused on the two Western Electric colors -- aqua and turquoise.

Other makers also had 500-style sets in color, most notably Kellogg and Stromberg Carlson.  Kellogg had a color called "Sea Green," which is greener than WE's turquoise.

    http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#Kellogg (http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#Kellogg)

Of course, ebay descriptions do not always use the color codes and descriptions we would like. As has been noted, colors fade and lighting on photographs can distort the color we see on-line.

Finding a true WE turquoise set continues to be an interesting challenge!
Title: Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
Post by: dlvh on December 16, 2017, 04:35:57 PM
Most of this topic has focused on the two Western Electric colors -- aqua and turquoise.

Other makers also had 500-style sets in color, most notably Kellogg and Stromberg Carlson.  Kellogg had a color called "Sea Green," which is greener than WE's turquoise.

    http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#Kellogg (http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#Kellogg)

Of course, ebay descriptions do not always use the color codes and descriptions we would like. As has been noted, colors fade and lighting on photographs can distort the color we see on-line.

Finding a true WE turquoise set continues to be an interesting challenge!

Thanks Paul,

I don't even own a phone in either of these colors yet...still looking for a good Aqua, or Turquoise, I just happen to notice the auction stated "Seafoam" and didn't recall a color with that name, seeings I'm pretty new to Phone Collecting, so it was kind of intriguing to see a WE 500 Dial Plate with that name attached.

Here is a picture of the back of the Dial Plate. It looks like what you'd find on a WE 500 model.