Author Topic: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.  (Read 2257 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« on: February 03, 2014, 02:24:54 PM »
I came across a white 500 MUSHROOM PHONE today on eBay for $30 BiN, no cracks, no fading, and all dates matching. Problem? When I discovered it, I was in Study Hall at school. Normally when I run into a situation like this, I'm at home where I can ask one of my parents if I can buy whatever treasure I find online, and they give me an immediate response. This time I tried to shoot my mom a really quick text, including the eBay item number, asking her if I could get this beauty. Another problem, I sent her the wrong number. By the time we had everything figured out via text, the eBay phone was gone. I know I will be kicking myself for the next few years about this day. :'(

http://m.ebay.com/itm?itemId=321314208651
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 03:15:52 PM »
Gee.  I hate when that happens.  i just missed a WE A mount once for $25.

Larry

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 04:21:41 PM »
I wonder who it went to, possibly someone on the forum?
Christian Petterson

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Offline JimH

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 04:56:33 PM »
My condolences.  It had the cap and everything.  :-[

Jim
Jim H.

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 05:21:45 PM »
Ah, gosh, that sucks! I was really lucky when I got mine for 22 dollars, though it missed the cap.

Maybe they would understand if you quickly buy it, I mean, it is an uncommon phone.. I've had the same thing happen to me, and it makes you feel terrible!!

Ben

Offline DavePEI

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 04:40:59 AM »
I guess we all know the frustration of one which nearly or did get away.

I am sure I have lots that got away, but the one which sticks in my mind is one which "nearly" got away, my 1889 Bell Canada Long pole 3 Box Blake transmitter phone. This was made at the Bell Canada Montreal workshops long before it became Northern Electric (5-6 years later).

Interestingly, I was told the story of the change-over to Northern Electric. When people went home from work the day before, they worked for the Bell Canada Workshops - when they came back in the morning, they found they were then working for Northern Electric, and most of them knew nothing of the impending change. But that change made Canadian telephone history, and opened up a very interesting time in history.

I am sure you all know how rare these are, and how much they bring on eBay the rare time they appear. My story began one rainy Saturday when I decided out of boredom to go to a few yard sales, hoping to find the odd 500 set or 302.

There was one sale in the paper between here and Montague so I headed up that way. I nearly missed the sale - in fact I drove past it, then caught it out of the corner of my eye. I turned around in the next driveway, one car getting through before I could pull in.

The fellow from the other car went around quickly and appeared to be speaking for the best pieces. Later I found he was an antique dealer, who had a reputation for doing that.

The first thing I saw was the Bell Canada three box phone, and I immediately asked how much it was. $5 came the answer, but the fellow who just went through bought it! Argggh! Missed out by seconds!

Determined to get it, I spoke to the buyer, described what I was trying to do with the museum, and asked him if he would sell it. He hemmed and hawed, and said he would think about it later in the weekend.

Monday, I still hadn't heard back from him, so I decided I would call him, give him the best offer I could - at least then, I would have tried my hardest!

I called him, and offered him $350.00 for it, more than I had ever offered for a phone before. He finally agreed, so I quickly went down and bought it from him.

Not knowing the true value of the phone myself, I hoped I hadn't paid too much for it. The person I feel badly about is the seller - had I got to him first, he would have gotten much more for the phone  instead the antique dealer who had bought it from him made $345 on it without doing any work on it!

And, work it needed. The cord was gone, and as it had been stored for years in a damp basement, the backboard had been dry-rotted. I eventually got a cabinetmaker friend to make a new backboard from identical wood and using the identical edges, and replaced the rotted back board, keeping the old one as proof it was an original phone. A new cord in the correct length was custom ordered from OPW, and the entire phone was refinished. A crack in the long-pole toll earpiece was repaired, and it became the center piece of my collection, the oldest and nicest of the lot.

Within a few days when I had posted my find on a mailing list, I got the first of a series of HUGE offers for it, but resisted all of them no matter how large they got! And still do to this day!

It was definitely "The Greatest One Which Almost Got Away!

Dave
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:03:52 PM by DavePEI »
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Online Sargeguy

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 11:24:34 AM »
The moral of the story is you should not be surfing eBay while at school!
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
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Offline Brinybay

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 12:15:15 PM »
Darn, that's got to be really frustrating!  I'm wondering who got it also. 

Your link wasn't working right, probably because you were on the mobile version of ebay.  Here's the direct link:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/321314208651.  Goes to show you that there are hidden treasures on ebay, and like most other treasure finds, you need to be in the right place at the right time.  Patience and persistence will eventually pay off.  Of the most valuable finds I have in my collection, I probably wouldn't have any of them if I hadn't invested in the hunt (which is half the fun) and jumped on them as soon as I found them.

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Offline Brinybay

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 12:34:21 PM »
The moral of the story is you should not be surfing eBay while at school!

Researching historical artifacts related to the history of telecommunications is a worthy endeavor during study hall, IMHO.  ;)
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
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Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 05:40:50 PM »
The moral of the story is you should not be surfing eBay while at school!

Researching historical artifacts related to the history of telecommunications is a worthy endeavor during study hall, IMHO.  ;)
I'll remember those exact words if one of my SH teachers tells me that I shouldn't be on eBay or "That social networking site" (CRPF):).
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 05:43:58 PM »
Christian,

You just have to be more sneaky! lol

Ben

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 05:55:26 PM »
Christian,

You just have to be more sneaky! lol

Ben
People have gotten in trouble in the past for having cell phones out, although my Kindle squeaked by because I can play music on it without texting or calling anyone. I think they let me use it because the CRPF looks a bit like my schools website that my school uses to hold class documents and homework.
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 05:57:25 PM »
Christian,

You just have to be more sneaky! lol

Ben
People have gotten in trouble in the past for having cell phones out, although my Kindle squeaked by because I can play music on it without texting or calling anyone. I think they let me use it because the CRPF looks a bit like my schools website that my school uses to hold class documents and homework.

For some reason, my school does not really care..

Ben

Offline Matilo Telephones

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2014, 06:09:16 PM »
I'll remember those exact words if one of my SH teachers tells me that I shouldn't be on eBay or "That social networking site" (CRPF):).

You could be on worse sites than these.
Groeten,

Arwin

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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: My Greatest "The One that Got Away" Story.
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2014, 07:12:50 PM »
I wish the internet was around when I was in school!  That was a great bargain for someone.  Sorry you didn't get it Christian.....