Author Topic: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone  (Read 4292 times)

Offline Chgophone

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Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« on: October 24, 2014, 11:42:25 AM »
Hello all,

I am new to the forum, but have a long time interest in payphones, railroad/telegraph phones, headsets, and just about anything else phone related.  I have a payphone problem I need your help with.

I've had a wooden phonebooth for 35+ years and refurbished it 10 years ago.  I recently picked up a WE 233G 3-slot payphone for the phonebooth.  The payphone is wired to receive calls, but that's it, the coin mechanism had been removed.  I would like to hear that great ding and gong when coins are dropped in.  I bought a coinchute assembly on EBay, but when coins are dropped in at the top of the phone, they miss the coinchute and drop down inside the phone case.  From looking around your forum, I think I may have the wrong coinchute.

The front housing of the phone housing is marked 233G  P-81B403, with a paper sticker marked 7-74.  The phone base/housing is marked 233G  III-65.  The coinchute is marked P-33888-3  8-20-54.  I'm wondering if this 1954 coinchute is correct for my 1960's payphone?  I have attached a picture of where coinchute attaches in the front housing and of the top of the coinchute itself.

I've googled this for some time, but I'm stuck, so would greatly appreciate any help.

Offline mentalstampede

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 01:42:56 PM »
From what I understand the older coin chute should be functional for what you are trying to accomplish.

How are you mounting the coin chute? It should mount with one screw through a rubber grommet at the bottom and two long screws with springs at the top. When properly installed, it should sit with the top leaned toward the front of the phone, not straight up and down.

Do all three coin types miss the slots, and in what direction do they miss? Are they missing the coin chute entirely or falling out before they hit the gongs?
 
EDIT: It looks like you coin chute assembly may be missing some small parts. A full picture of both sides of your coin chute and of the chute installed in the upper housing may help us see what's wrong.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 01:51:07 PM by mentalstampede »
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” --Robert Heinlein

Offline Chgophone

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2014, 01:26:52 PM »
Hi,

I have attached some pics of the coin chute, the coin chute mounted, and also one of the part the coin chute attaches to.

I think you are right, it looks as if there is a part or cover missing from where the coin chute attaches to the phone housing. 

All three coin types miss the coin chute entirely, and just fall directly to the bottom of the housing without going thru the coin chute at all.

I've looked around the websites that sell payphone parts, but never saw anything like this listed.

Thanks so much for your help.

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2015, 08:07:48 PM »
I need to verify that the payphone our church owns is a 233. enclosed are 3 photos of what we have. the original coin box has been removed and the lock was taken off the cover. someone put in some jack chain to hold the cover in place. I am looking for the key to open the upper housing to see what the dating is on the phone. does anyone know what key is suppose to open this unit? if a key cannot be found, can the unit be opened by a locksmith? based on what I have found out about this unit, the whole thing is worth between 1500 and 2500.00 at auction.... also, does anyone know if Drexel-Heritage furniture was responsible for the manufacturing of the Booths themselves for Western Electric? I was told that it took a appliance dolly and some strong people to move this unit.....
John

Offline G-Man

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2015, 08:59:31 PM »
I need to verify that the payphone our church owns is a 233. enclosed are 3 photos of what we have. the original coin box has been removed and the lock was taken off the cover. someone put in some jack chain to hold the cover in place. I am looking for the key to open the upper housing to see what the dating is on the phone. does anyone know what key is suppose to open this unit? if a key cannot be found, can the unit be opened by a locksmith? based on what I have found out about this unit, the whole thing is worth between 1500 and 2500.00 at auction.... also, does anyone know if Drexel-Heritage furniture was responsible for the manufacturing of the Booths themselves for Western Electric? I was told that it took a appliance dolly and some strong people to move this unit.....

Once you open the upper-housing you can verify the model number. The original key to open WECo 3-slot telephones was a 10G which is easily obtainable, though it is also possible that along with any other possible modifications, the lock may have had the levers removed so it can be opened with a small screwdriver. If not, then you can most likely borrow a 10G (or 29S if someone installed an A.E. lock) from one of the members of the forum.
Most of the round “ACE” KS-19227 locks have been disabled. If not then that is a different story since they were keyed differently according the region they were used in. But for now, concentrate on opening the other key.

Western manufactured a great many of their own booths but some were sourced elsewhere. I never heard that Drexel was one of their contractors, but look on the upper inside corner of the doors. There should be some markings indicating whether it was made by WECo or If it has a number starting with KS-
 , then it was made by one of their subcontractors.
As far as value, it possible that it is worth that much, but the prices they go for can be rather fickle. Several  booths have been offered free of charge to other collectors at phone shows but either no one had the room or are unwilling to disassemble them for transport. Consequently, some have ended up as firewood or  the wood was used for home bar or other woodworking project





Offline G-Man

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2015, 09:08:23 PM »
 I just now uploaded one of the photos so I could magnify it and have seen that the original locks are missing.  The round “ACE” lock has a dummy plug in place, and I am unable to determine what has replaced the original regular upper-housing lock. Unfortunately it looks as if you are on your own since they are non-standard.

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2015, 10:00:09 PM »
The ACE lock is not installed, its got the dummy plug in it right now... so, a 10G key is what this needs... OK... I'll look around.... how hard are they to have duplicated? I also am looking for the top frame sign, I can get some from OPW but I'd like to know if anyone else has any for sale or to give away. does anyone ever make these custom?
John

Offline G-Man

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 11:30:21 PM »
The ACE lock is not installed, its got the dummy plug in it right now... so, a 10G key is what this needs... OK... I'll look around.... how hard are they to have duplicated? I also am looking for the top frame sign, I can get some from OPW but I'd like to know if anyone else has any for sale or to give away. does anyone ever make these custom?

Hi Babybearjs

As I stated in my subsequent post, once I examined the photo close-up, I determined that in addition to the “ACE”  lock being removed, the 10-type lock has been replaced with a non-standard cabinet or other style of  lock. Because of the poor definition of the photograph, I am unable to precisely make out what it is so perhaps it is one of Phoneco’s that also opens with a screwdriver. Either way, a 10G key is not going to do you any good.



Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Western Electric 233G 3-slot payphone
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 03:56:27 AM »
interesting.... I'll have to ask if anyone ever had a key to the phone....
John