Author Topic: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set  (Read 10408 times)

unbeldi

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1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« on: September 28, 2013, 12:53:29 AM »
I received this beautiful brown key set this month, made in February 1958.

The model number would be 564HBR-54, I think, and perhaps then some letters for the key designations. It's a HPPPPP type, with pickup buttons for 5 lines, and one hold key.

Base: A/B 564H 2-58
 Feet: nice brown leather
Housing: brown Tenite, 1 24 58 2
Handset: G3, brown Tenite, 1-58
 RX: U1, 12-7-57, cap: 2-58, nch
 TX: T1, 1 27 58, cap: 1-58, nch
 Cord: H4BH II 57, brown thick coiled cord
Dial: 7C 54 1-58
 Face plate: w/gasket
 Finger wheel: Lucite, clear, open center
 Dial center: cellulose acetate window, Bell System logo
Network: 425B 1-58
Ringer: C4A 2-58
key assembly 589H

Being of that age, all plastics are of the very smelly, "soft" Tenite of the 1950s sets.

It was a special find not only because of the color's rarity, but also because I recognized this telephone from a previous encounter, when it was auctioned in Cleveland with the remains of the AT&T museum in May of this year. The bidding then quickly went beyond my scope of interest. Yet here it came again...

Upon examination, it occurred to me that this telephone was perhaps never in active service, never installed at a paying customer location.

It has a special sticker on the bottom that appears to indicate that the phone was "distributed" by the public relations department of the Ohio Bell Telephone Company in Cleveland. Why would the PR department release phones?  Well, for marketing and community purposes.  The sticker has two check boxes "Lec. Dem." and "Disp'l.". The latter one clearly is for "display" purposes, and the former one, I can only guess, means "Local Exchange Carrier Demonstration unit", but the term LEC was probably not known yet at the time.  The sticker has a serial number for tracking purpose, no doubt, as they expected these to be returned.

The set didn't come with the 30-conductor mounting cord, perhaps it's because it indeed was never installed and was only supposed to be a display item. Given that the unit came from Ohio Bell on Carnegie Street in Cleveland, and was found at the telephone museum in Cleveland, this telephone may very well have been given directly to the museum for display purposes.

It's nice when a telephone has a little story.


« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 04:25:23 PM by unbeldi »

Offline RotarDad

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 02:32:20 AM »
Very nice!   Hard to beat that M-brown in a key set.  Nice to get a museum piece also.  Where did you get your card insert for the buttons?  I have a black 565 that is also missing the card.
Paul

Offline TelePlay

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 03:18:15 AM »
Very nice, indeed, all-around! Round buttons and in great condition. Did it have the original line cord when you first saw it or was it missing then too? How much did you pay for the phone?

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 08:31:01 AM »
What a great phone. Is this more desirable than a 500 set version?.....Doug
Kidphone

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 11:03:22 AM »
Wow, that is amazing. I would kill (love..) for a soft plastic brown phone. And an oxford gray, to finish off my soft plastic color collection.

Ben
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 01:07:28 PM by WesternElectricBen »

Offline Dave F

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 12:20:44 PM »
Nice phone!  Yes, mahogany is a great color.  Too bad they didn't continue producing it.  Here's a picture of my mahogany 544 4-button keyset:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=3261.msg43316#msg43316

DF
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 12:30:19 PM by TelePlay »

unbeldi

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 12:30:35 PM »
Where did you get your card insert for the buttons?  I have a black 565 that is also missing the card.

The card is available on your trusty old printer...

For the record, these sets used Western Electric Designation Strip Form No. E-4227-G.

Please find a spreadsheet attached. The best results I had was directly printing from MS Excel, which produced the dimensions precisely.

unbeldi

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 12:49:50 PM »
Very nice, indeed, all-around! Round buttons and in great condition. Did it have the original line cord when you first saw it or was it missing then too? How much did you pay for the phone?

No, the set did not have the cord in Ohio either, so the story still holds....
My sticker shock was 319 on the modern Greenback scale, delivered.
Consolation is that these just don't come around very often, I have seen at least one selling for more in the last year or so. Prices for the rare 1950s 500-type sets have been rather stiff in the last couple months, I noticed.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 01:23:12 PM by unbeldi »

unbeldi

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 12:59:17 PM »
What a great phone. Is this more desirable than a 500 set version?.....Doug

Well, depends, I suppose... what you already have and what you like.  Color brown (WeCo dash number 54) was made only from 1954 through 1957 for the regular 500, and a little longer for the key sets.
But they probably produced a lot fewer key sets than standard desk sets, so how that figures into desirability has to be judged by each buyer.

unbeldi

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 01:01:48 PM »
I would kill for a soft plastic brown phone.

Ben
I think that is illegal. And they would not let you take your phones to where you'd be going.

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 01:03:51 PM »
I would kill for a soft plastic brown phone.

Ben
I think that is illegal. And they would not let you take your phones to where you'd be going.

Your right, I would die for one... but wait, then, I wouldn't get one. Maybe I should stop using figures of speech.

Ben

unbeldi

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 01:06:21 PM »
Nice phone!  Yes, mahogany is a great color.  Too bad they didn't continue producing it.  Here's a picture of my mahogany 544 4-button keyset:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=3261.msg43316#msg43316

DF
What is the manufacturing year of your 544?

Offline paul-f

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 03:34:42 PM »

<snip> ...I recognized this telephone from a previous encounter, when it was auctioned in Cleveland with the remains of the AT&T museum in May of this year. The bidding then quickly went beyond my scope of interest.

<snip>

It has a special sticker on the bottom that appears to indicate that the phone was "distributed" by the public relations department of the Ohio Bell Telephone Company in Cleveland. Why would the PR department release phones?  Well, for marketing and community purposes.  The sticker has two check boxes "Lec. Dem." and "Disp'l.". The latter one clearly is for "display" purposes, and the former one, I can only guess, means "Local Exchange Carrier Demonstration unit", but the term LEC was probably not known yet at the time.  The sticker has a serial number for tracking purpose, no doubt, as they expected these to be returned.

The set didn't come with the 30-conductor mounting cord, perhaps it's because it indeed was never installed and was only supposed to be a display item. Given that the unit came from Ohio Bell on Carnegie Street in Cleveland, and was found at the telephone museum in Cleveland, this telephone may very well have been given directly to the museum for display purposes.



It's great that you recognized the phone.  Look below for a "before" photo of the phone on the table at the May auction.

I also quietly watched the bidding on that item.

I was lucky enough to score a 592 set that went under the radar in a box lot.  It has the same label on the bottom (except serial number 12, not 103).  The mounting cord was cut at the back of the set for display.  :(

It was common within the Bell System for phones that were to be on display to be butchered so they were non-functional.  Some were displayed in lobbies or in the Business Offices.  Others were loaned by the PR department for use at trade shows, props in productions and color-coordinated displays with fashions and home furnishings at local stores, etc.

There was some discussion a while ago about several display sets with F- codes that were auctioned on ebay.  Most were "gutless" -- having been built with no networks or other internal components.  For display purposes, the Bell System wanted the phone to look normal, but be useless if it "walked off" while it was on loan.

We are fortunate that our sets from the Cleveland auction only had the mounting cords missing!

I believe Lec. Dem. stands for Lecture Demonstration.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 04:12:03 PM by paul-f »
Visit: paul-f.com         WE  500  Design_Line

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unbeldi

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 04:29:18 PM »

It was common within the Bell System for phones that were to be on display to be butchered so they were non-functional.  Some were displayed in lobbies or in the Business Offices.  Others were loaned by the PR department for use at trade shows, props in productions and color-coordinated displays with fashions and home furnishings at local stores, etc.

There was some discussion a while ago about several display sets with F- codes that were auctioned on ebay.  Most were "gutless" -- having been built with no networks or other internal components.  For display purposes, the Bell System wanted the phone to look normal, but be useless if it "walked off" while it was on loan.

We are fortunate that our sets from the Cleveland auction only had the mounting cords missing!
Amen!  I actually won some items at that auction too...   One was a set of three 302-type telephones, which I thought looked in decent shape if one looked underneath the dust.  Well, they were, the shells are in great shape, but they turned out to be display decoys, completely empty, and the bases were very nicely made wooden plates with proper leather feet attached.  Even the hook switch assembly was massacred, having only one spring to make the plungers work nicely. Dials were nice and complete, sans wires, and handsets were in nice shape too. Not what I expected, but the parts aren't bad.

I think they probably felt that cutting an expensive 30-conductor cord was too much a waste, so they removed it nicely, or were these cords ever installed at the factory? It seems it would make sense to install them based on the customer configuration requirements.

Quote
I believe Lec. Dem. stands for Lecture Demonstration.
I knew that there had to be a better explanation!

Thank you!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 04:47:42 PM by unbeldi »

Offline RotarDad

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Re: 1958 Mahogany Brown 564 Key Set
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 06:23:21 PM »
Thanks Unbeldi for the Excel file!!  I needed to tweak the size a bit for my printer, but it works great, and I can my own numbers/extensions to the other lines.  All I need now is some "aged" paper to match the light brown of my vintage dial card, but it looks very nice with some satin photo paper used to print.

Also I appreciate the wiring detail to make the lights work.  Is this the same 6-8v princess transformer??
Paul