Author Topic: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46  (Read 2695 times)

Offline Doug Rose

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Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« on: December 26, 2013, 01:03:55 PM »
Finally....proof. Here is a Metal 302, clearly marked H1 in vermilion. I have never seen a dated metal shell unless it was a WE  refurb. 3/46 on base. Base is corroded in places, so this would only be good to be repainted. Coil I/46 Elements marked 3/46. So, WE did make metal phones in 3/46 !!!...Doug
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 01:16:15 PM by Doug Rose »
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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 01:59:24 PM »
But without an actual date on the metal cover itself, there is room for reasonable doubt.  All you know for sure is that there is a metal cover mated with a 1946 base, and no typical refurb markings.  Having said that, it still could be original.  Maybe it was assembled in the factory in 1946, but used a metal cover that was on the shelf, but which had been cast before the war. 

If Western Electric had totally retooled to make covers out of plastic during the war, and continued to mold them from plastic after the war, it does not seem likely to me that they would go back to making only a few out of metal.  I would also imagine the metal housings were more expensive for them to make than plastic.

Only my two cents, since I am no authority on this subject.
-Bill G

Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 02:53:03 PM »
Bill, would you be more inclined to believe if you found a metal 1946 with all matching dates, including cloth cords? Also, I don't recall seeing any metal housings with CCC marking other than on 1946 sets.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 03:06:38 PM »
Bill, would you be more inclined to believe if you found a metal 1946 with all matching dates, including cloth cords? Also, I don't recall seeing any metal housings with CCC marking other than on 1946 sets.

David:

What do you mean when you say CCC marking?

If the dial had a matching date, it would be a stronger case, but to my recollection, I have not seen a date on a 302 cover or the hook switch. 

I am open to being talked out of my doubts  :)
-Bill G

Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 04:33:44 PM »
No dates on the switch hook or housing. The Cs are concentric--like a small C surrounded by another C, which is surrounded by another C.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 04:53:02 PM »
Similar to these circles:
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 05:17:20 PM »
Also, I don't recall seeing any metal housings with CCC marking other than on 1946 sets.

Ok on the CCC concentric circles.  But now I am still confused, but willing to be unconfused.  Are you saying that there were metal 302 housings from 1946 that had the concentric circles?

Thanks
-Bill G

Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2013, 06:17:37 PM »
Yes, stamped or molded in the metal, inside near the switch hook. I've only seen that on some 1946 metal housings. Could be an outside supplier?
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2013, 08:24:49 PM »
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2013, 09:23:57 PM »
If Western Electric had totally retooled to make covers out of plastic during the war, and continued to mold them from plastic after the war, it does not seem likely to me that they would go back to making only a few out of metal.  I would also imagine the metal housings were more expensive for them to make than plastic.

A few points to consider:
Was thermoplastic actually cheaper to produce than metal at the time? 
If the molds had not worn out yet, it would be a shame to just scrap them, why not stamp out a few metal ones for old times sake?  Especially since Post-war demand for new telephones was very high after several years of Depression and WWII.  If WECO had available capacity to produce metal phones, it would make sense to continue to do so until they had the capacity to meet the demand with plastic only.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2013, 09:35:25 PM »
Sarge:

Maybe I am guilty of applying today's knowledge to my thinking about something of the past.  My assumption was that thermoplastics were cheaper to mix and mold than molten metal.  You may have a point in that this may not have been the case early on.  Plastic bodied phones would have been lighter and easier to handle than metal, so I probably jumped to the conclusion that the public would naturally want the plastic phone.  However, back then, anything plastic would have been looked at with distain as being cheap.  I remember my parents and grandparents talking about the plastic crap that was being turned out "back then".  Today, everything is plastic, and metal is heavy and expensive, so we are pretty well conditioned that plastic is better.

What do others think?
-Bill G

Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2013, 11:20:41 PM »
Myth: thermoplastic was introduced because of war shortages. Plastic 302s, at least in colors, were already included in January 1941 BSPs, almost a year before Pearl Harbor. (C30.001 Issue 4, 1-2-41).
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 12:28:18 AM »
I don't think plastic was easier or cheaper to produce initially, but probably had long term cost benefits and economies of scale.  I think plastic phones would have been a modern novelty for people at the time.  It had been 8 since the transparent plastic 302 has been showcased at the World's Fair. Pre-war plastics were a luxury item used in color sets as poplar1 points out, and those produced during the War probably were reserved for strategic purpose/War effort.  Many people had not seen a brand new phone in years.  There were still lots of candlesticks with black painted wooden subsets in service, not to mention D-1s and B-1s.  Remember the 151-AL came around this period and only had a new receiver and transmitter, with everything else being recycled.  I'm sure old-timers look disdainfully at plastic now but I'm sure it was the "cat's pajamas" when it first came out.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
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Offline Mr. Bones

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2013, 04:34:11 AM »
     You all bring some very valid, and familiar points to this discussion. My Dad was a WWII Vet, so I have heard some of this before. (re: plastic carp)

     Another thing to consider, perhaps? WE was contracted to produce x-gazillion telephones, and other devices, for the duration of the war. They were a highly efficient company, which always got things done.

     Would it not be possible, or at least worth consideration, to imagine that they might, very well, have had extra metal shells, etc left over, from these contract runs, when WWII ended? It did end rather suddenly, with little announcement.

     Pretty much all the other manufacturers had lots left over. That's why I can buy NOS Linkert carburetor kits, in Cosmoline, for my 45 Flathead. NOS tubes for some of my radios. Etc, ad nauseum.

     Being WE, would they have not utilized parts already produced,  being ever practical (and frugal)?

     I've never seen a WE 'Wartime' / Signal Corps 302 phone, in person. That being said, I don't know if the Guv' mint spec'd thermoplastic, or metal... anybody got a thermoplastic one?

     As I understand it, though, the reason for the Home Front shortages of previously commonly available materials in civilian production of goods, all the Scrap Drives, etc. was so the War Effort got the Good Stuff to beat The Axis powers.

     In my mind, that would mean they got metal 302s, though I certainly stand by to be re-educated / enlightened on the subject. It's always good to make new wrinkles in the brain, and I am still a most rabid WWII scholar for 50-ish years.

     Staying tuned to see what happens on this subject!

Best regards!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 04:38:43 AM by Mr. Bones »
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Metal 302 Stamped H1 in Vermilion 3/46
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 09:47:36 AM »
There aren't a lot of 302s 1942-1944. However, I think the 42-44 are mostly plastic, not metal. And WE wasn't making a lot of phones anyway, mostly other things needed for the war; Chrysler was making tanks instead of cars.

"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.