Author Topic: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?  (Read 12256 times)

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2009, 01:16:36 AM »
I admit that I also never had a 554 since childhood!

But I have also stood beneath the big bell of Notre Damme in Paris and heard her ring.

I'm not sure if that counts for something.

Offline wfs1933

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2015, 02:47:15 PM »
I know the 500 came out in 1949, i've seen a few on Ebay made in 1953

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2015, 07:42:44 PM »
I'm going to re-open this old thread about the black hooked version of the Western Electric 554.  Last weekend I was contacted by RotarDad.  He sent me an Etsy link for a phone he thought might be a legitimate, early 554 with a black hook.  The seller said it was NOS.  After looking at the listing I agreed that it looked legit to me as well.  He said that he was not interested in buying the phone so with his blessing I pushed the button.  It arrived yesterday.  Turns out I bought a NOS 554 in  White from the same seller back in 2013.  If I can get them to upload, here are some photos of it as I pulled it out of the box.  No extra charge for the dust.

The parts that are specific are dated June 5, June 6 and June 8.  So today would be the 60th birthday of the ear piece.  The transmitter is dated June 8, 1955 so we'll have to go with it's birthday being in two days.  The housing is dated 6 5 55 2.

The 554 that Jonathan posted here is dated June 10, 1955.  So this one would be just a couple of days older.

It came in the original box marked BR554 -3.  I believe the B indicates a dial version and the R is for the retractile cord.  By the way, the cord is the heavy rubber with a 55 date on the strain relief.  The only thing missing is the little package with the dial card retainer ring and acetate disc.

Thank you RotarDad for the tip on this phone.  It fits well in my 554 collection.


« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 09:05:15 PM by Dennis Markham »

Offline jsowers

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2015, 07:56:30 PM »
Dennis, even sight unseen I can tell you got a nice prize there. Rare plus NOS plus it fills a hole in your collection. What's not to like?
For those who don't want to go back and read the history, they only made the black switchhook models for a short time--just a few months in mid-1955. My theory is the ivory 554 was introduced to replace the ivory 354 and the switchook changed to chrome across the board. Then shortly after came colors like dark beige, moss green and red. There are very few 554s from 1955 that have surfaced, so it's only a theory from what we've seen and phone company literature of the era.

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2015, 09:33:57 PM »
Dennis - Thanks for posting the pics.  I'm very pleased this one turned out well!  I wouldn't have even known about the existence of black hook 554s without this great forum and all your efforts to maintain it as well as share your knowledge.  Thank you!  Paul
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 09:36:12 PM by RotarDad »

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2015, 09:52:57 PM »
Wow, great phone, Dennis!!! You obviously have the best of both worlds; black hook AND it's NOS!! Great find!

How much did it cost, BTW?
Christian Petterson

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

Offline ted88

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Re: Who Among Us Has the Oldest 554?
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2017, 07:16:48 PM »
Not sure of dates on my 554's,  but I have every color they made.