Author Topic: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity  (Read 1888 times)

Offline Dennis Markham

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Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« on: May 10, 2009, 02:19:28 PM »
It's fair to say that I've taken apart my fair share of Model 500's for cleaning/repair.  I did so today and found something that was different---something I've never seen before.  This also blows my theory of identifying the dial from photos of the opening for the finger stop.

This phone is a red 500.  The sticker on the bottom indicates it was refurbished in September of 1979---fairly late in the the Bell System's history.  I believe the phone started out as a black phone in September of 1954, twenty-five years before it was refurbished and turned into a red 500.

What makes it unusual is that the dial bezel is much later than what was normally used on a #7 dial.  This dial is a 7D dated 8-53.  There is no color code on the dial which makes me believe it may have been on a black phone originally.  But usually the color code would have been marked on a 7D dial.  Because the later dial bezel was used there is an adapter that holds the dial bezel (dial ring) into place.  (Note the screw holes visible on the 7D dial).  The opening is narrow, usually found with a later series dial.  This is the first one I have ever seen.

The dial was mounted via a 3 point mounting bracket, found on the much earlier phone.  The network and ringer bells are dated 9/1953.  The plastic is dated 1978 despite the sticker on the bottom that reads 9-1979.  Apparently two of the leather feet were still in good shape as only the two front feet were replaced.  I have seen other phones where only two of the foot pads had been replaced. 

This once again proves the Bell System would do what it could to use parts on hand to keep phones in service.  The modular plugs were added and thus the updated model designation of 500DM (Dial/Modular).

I thought you would be interested in seeing the adapter for the dial bezel.  Once again it also proves that anything goes with the Bell System phones.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 02:21:05 PM by Dennis Markham »

Offline Jester

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 03:23:55 PM »
Thank you for sharing that, Dennis.  I've seen many example of Bell System's ability to "make Ole Abe Squeal", but that's a new one to me.  Did you share that find with Bingster?  The example you found is even the same color he's hunting in the parts forum.  Maybe you could modify a face plate retainer off a #6 to work with the #7 bezel?
Stephen

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 03:26:30 PM »
That retainer clip does resemble one of those from a #6 dial as you mentioned.  I did post a reply to his search saying that I have a couple of red dial bezels that were made for even newer dials.  They're the kind with the two half-moon tabs on them.

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 04:38:52 PM »
In doing some more work on this dial I just noticed a couple of things I didn't notice before.  Again I thought I'd share them.  This shows that the phone company went to great lengths to reuse their parts.

Check out the finger stop support.  I didn't even notice when I posted the last photos that the stop had been filed down.  The reason the opening on the dial bezels are wider on the older phones is to allow the finger stop support to stick through as well as the finger stop.  Since this "newer" one has the narrow opening they had to file down the support.  Also just as a side note the repair person that worked on this phone used an improper screw to attach the stop.  The screw that is on this dial is actually one of the "shouldered" screws that is normally used to screw down the dial bezel.  Finger stop screws have a slightly less evident "shoulder" under the screw head to secure the finger stop. 

My photos show the support filed away, a shot of another 7C dial with the support still present for comparison, a shot of the notched finger stop (I've never seen another like this one) and the differences in the two screws.  The screws have the same thread size so they both work, but the proper finger stop screw is the one on the right.

I had posted some photos of different finger stops here:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=750.msg9046#msg9046

This one today would be a nice addition to that list.  It is definitely different than the other.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 04:43:25 PM by Dennis Markham »

Offline Dan

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 08:15:14 PM »
Wouldn't it have been easier just to make the dial bezel opening wider and not do all the metal filing? After all to me plastic is easier to modify than metal. Maybe I'm wrong here, since I don't know the intricacies of dials as well as you do.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 09:55:22 PM »
It almost seems like a back yard hack job the way the surface of the dial was left with rough edges.  I guess they figured the average Joe wasn't going to be touching it.  It seems like a lot of trouble to keep a dial in service.  But perhaps they did a bunch at one time.

Offline benhutcherson

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 12:27:15 AM »
I'm surprised that someone took the time to file it off, which seems like it would take a lot of work and time. It would have taken 2 minutes to cut the tab off with a Dremel tool, and probably would have looked nicer.

Anyway, that's an interesting conversion-it just goes to show that anything goes.

Offline Bill Cahill

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Re: Something Different - Model 500 Refurb Oddity
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2009, 03:06:42 PM »
Dennis, remember my one phone that also has the tripple mount bracket, and, matching dial?
The dial code date indicated it was later than the phone, but, the dial mechanism is heavier brass, and, the later ones tend to lean toward pot metal gears.
Bill Cahill

"My friends used to keep saying I had batts in my belfry. No. I'm just hearing bells....."