Author Topic: Design Line Phones  (Read 4850 times)

Offline poplar1

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Design Line Phones
« on: February 18, 2014, 08:45:37 PM »
Starting in the 1960s, companies such as the U.S. Telephone Co. (Japan) sold incomplete phones to various retail stores. Customers bought the empty phones, then arranged with the phone company to install the working parts--dial, cords, transmitter, receiver, network, hookswitch , ringer. These parts remained property of the phone company, which charged monthly rental on the parts at about the same rate for a 500 or 2500 set.

The Bell Phone Center Stores, later rebranded AT&T, and other phone company stores originally sold phones such as the Mickey Mouse and Chestphones to customers, but the phone company retained ownership of the working parts and responsibility for maintaining these working parts (but not the housings). The Bell stores later sold complete working phones, other than the "Big Ten" sets (500, Princess, etc.). At that point, you could only get a Princess phone, for example, by leasing it. Later, they sold the Big Ten sets as well.

The Phone Center Stores also sold Northern Telecom Contempras, Dawn, etc. As far as I know, these always contained Northern Telecom parts.

All of the rotary dial Empress phones currently listed on Ebay have Tamara dials and Stromberg-Carlson networks. In addition to the empty shells that were made for either AE parts or WE parts, ATC also sold complete working phones, usually with Stromberg-Carlson parts. However, the Empress phone phonesrfun showed has WE internal parts. So far, there doesn't seem to be a WE number or BSP for the ATC Empress Telephone, even the ones with WE parts.


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

Offline poplar1

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 09:16:40 PM »
Here is an ATC Snoopy and Woodstock phone with WE internal parts and WE dial. Notice the WE model number and the sticker with serial number.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271384129551

                                  [WE Model #] 881C111
                                        [Date] 78303

                                  Serial No. C922829
                                  THE TELEPHONE HOUSING IS YOUR PROP-
                                  ERTY.    TO ASSURE QUALITY OF SERVICE,
                                  ALL WORKING PARTS, e.g.  DIAL,  CORDS,
                                  AND ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS REMAIN THE
                                  PROPERTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE
                                  BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY.
                                  Western Electric

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

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 09:26:36 PM »
I have a chest phone I will dig out and look at the stickers on the bottom later tonight.

-Bill G

Offline jsowers

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 11:15:04 PM »
Here are the label and markings from my early Stowaway and Wicker Accent phones, both from 1973.
 
Also if you're interested, I have a Sears Christmas Catalog from 1967 that has two white French-type phones for sale and they mention that the buyer will have to arrange installation with their phone company. They mention the part numbers for both the WE and GTE parts kit that has to be installed, I think. I can post a scan if need be.
Jonathan

Offline paul-f

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 11:53:11 PM »
I believe the Design Line trademark was used for phones that were distributed through Western Electric.  Each had a model number that "may" have indicated the source of the housing.  (Active phone components were supplied and installed by Western Electric in all sets.)
 
Models found in Bell System documentation (pre-1984) so far are posted here:
 
  http://www.paul-f.com/weDesignLine.html
 
  88x models apparently used housings manufactured by others:
     881 -- American Telecommunication Corporation (ATC) / DecoTel.
     882 -- United States Telephone Company (USTel).
     883 -- ?  (Local independent contractor / woodworking shop?)
     884 -- ?
 
Models 900 and above were made by Western Elactric in the Indianapolis plant.
 
The Design Line name was used for years after 1984 by AT&T.
 
 
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 12:40:14 AM »
Here is the information on my chest phone.

Not shown is a hand-written label that has the following:

Sold By:  Mtn Bell
Date 6-18
Model: TmLt

Interesting date June 18th of what year??

It has a number card that has area code 406, which is Montana which was in Mountain Bell at the time.  Nice retractable cord that still works.

-Bill G

Offline paul-f

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 04:28:48 PM »
David and I had an interesting offline discussion about the Sculptura and similar DecoTel set -- the CirclPhone.
 
They are not identical and the Bell System literature doesn't reference DecoTel (as it does for the other 881-series Design Line sets).
 
Also, the DecoTel literature doesn't reference Western Electric.
 
Given the relationship between the companies, there must be a story here.
 
Below, the Sculptura is on the left and the CirclPhone is on the right.  Note the different switchhook buttons.
 
Edit - added bottom photo
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 06:16:07 PM by paul-f »
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline poplar1

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 12:57:59 PM »
There was a Kit of Parts available for the phone company installer to use to complete the Customer-owned housings that were designed to accept these kits. There was a one-time service  charge, typically about $25, for installing the parts. The parts remained telephone company property and unless this was the only phone on the line, there was a monthly charge for an extension phone.

Other phones, such as wood wall phones could be modified by the Western Electric Service Center. A 685A subset without cover was often installed inside the phone, and new switch hook contacts, a T-1 transmitter  unit and an LB1 receiver unit were added. Any old parts not used,  such as long pole receiver elements,  were returned to the customer.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Mr. Bones

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 10:03:55 PM »
881103 (http://paul-f.com/weDesignLine.html#Cradle)

     Here are a few pictures of my very-bedraggled Mediterranean Cradle Phone.

     Got it for cheap, but it looks older / more corroded than my 151AL! :o

      It stands a lonely, but critical sentinel duty at my bar, along with Jim Carrey, and The Golden Goose.( As you can see by the dust, neither the phone, or the bar gets much human contact.) If the local sit-rep reaches "Critical" level, there is a muscular, metal-bodied 302-type there to lay down 'The Law'!

    It works, though. Dialing is a 'tad bit' fussy, and RX volume is below what I expect in a telephone. Usw.

Sadly, the bottom is halfway as worn as mine own, and has absolutely zero to offer, information-wise.

Best regards!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 11:09:53 PM by Mr. Bones »
Sláinte!
   Mr. Bones
      Rubricollis Ferus

Offline poplar1

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 10:40:29 PM »
@Mr.Bones: Since it has an AE dial, it may have been used in a GTE area. Have you tried replacing the receiver unit?

Although Bill's Stowaway set has a serial number, it is marked CS on both the label and the model number label. CS stands for Consumer Sales. Is it possible that this phone was sold as a complete phone, with the customer owning the parts,  rather than a customer-owned housing with leased parts? If so, what year Bell start selling the whole phone?
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Mr. Bones

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 11:32:05 PM »
@Mr.Bones: Since it has an AE dial, it may have been used in a GTE area. Have you tried replacing the receiver unit?

     I have not fiddled with replacing / repairing anything on this phone, since it actually works, in a limited fashion.. What RX element would it utilize? one from the G-x handsets, I reckon? I have no spares, alas.
Quote
Although Bill's Stowaway set has a serial number, it is marked CS on both the label and the model number label. CS stands for Consumer Sales. Is it possible that this phone was sold as a complete phone, with the customer owning the parts,  rather than a customer-owned housing with leased parts? If so, what year Bell start selling the whole phone?
      It would be exponentially beyond my scope of knowledge to speculate upon any of that, but certainly good food for thought. I am as curious as yourself...

     Mayhaps, some of the good people here have the answers..??.. most usually, that is the case, thankfully;)

Best regards!

Sláinte!
   Mr. Bones
      Rubricollis Ferus

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 11:36:14 PM »
Quote from:  Mr. Bones
I have not fiddled with replacing / repairing anything on this phone, since it actually works, in a limited fashion.. What RX element would it utilize? one from the G-x handsets, I reckon? I have no spares, alas.


Best thing is to open the receiver cap and see which element it has in it.  If it is from a GTE store, then more likely a GTE receiver element, but anything is possible.  Best to check.
-Bill G

Offline Mr. Bones

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 11:52:05 PM »
Best thing is to open the receiver cap and see which element it has in it.  If it is from a GTE store, then more likely a GTE receiver element, but anything is possible.  Best to check.

Thanks, Bill!

     Makes good sense, maybe I will check it out this weekend. It'd be a great excuse to knock the dust off of the bottle of Maker's Mark, as well ;). Couple of fingers, and about 6 rocks, gives me a nice sip and think scenario. ;D

Best regards!
Sláinte!
   Mr. Bones
      Rubricollis Ferus

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2016, 03:18:01 AM »
let me put in my question.... I have a ATC Snoopy phone that has total ATC Parts. The circuit board is a ATC board and has a P/N# of 736654-01 and NONE of the filed schematics match this board. it has terminals E1-E8 along with the regular network markings. it is a TT phone with a ATC TT pad. the switch hook is part of the circuit board and is soldiered in place. has anyone come across one of these at all? I'm trying to reconnect all the wires and its hard to do when the TCI Library only shows WE and AE networks. the "A" and "E2" terminals are switched just for starters.... has anyone run into this problem? because it sure is for me!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 09:44:44 PM by Babybearjs »
John

Offline RotoTech99

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Re: Design Line Phones
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2016, 09:48:19 AM »
From: RotoTech99:

Hi, I have located what I believe you need...

Go to Technical Stuff and click on the header to get the postings,  then go to page 3 and look for the postings for "Looking for documents on ATC integrated network 736644-01 & 736659" posted on 3/13/16.

The wiring info is posted as a .pdf file, and lists the wiring from a set identical to yours.

It has the full list of the wiring, including for the ringer and line cord.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 10:10:42 AM by RotoTech99 »