Author Topic: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup  (Read 5940 times)

Offline JimH

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Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« on: November 06, 2014, 12:31:25 AM »
I received the blue 302 today.  The auction pictures didn't lie....74 years of grime.  I wet a paper towel and put some hand soap on it and rubbed away years of dirt and nicotine.  I was surprised that a beautiful shine was hiding underneath all that dirt! I only had about a half an hour to work on it today, and I was really pleased how well it looked.  This telephone really is translucent when lit from behind.  When there is no light source from behind, it looks like the later blue 302s, but seems almost a bit darker.  The handset is not translucent.  I put a little novus on the handset and it shined up even more.  There are no hairlines on the handset caps, and the handset is solid.  It is dated 10-23-40, but the inside of the base shell says " 10 23 12".  I don't know what the "12" refers to.  There are just a couple of light scratches on the body, and a small speck of paint I haven't removed yet.  Since the correct blue plungers were not included, I haven't decided whether to use clear, which I have an old set, paint a set blue, or use black.  I have an original painted ivory set dated 9/40 that has black plungers.  That set is really clean, I thought about using the base, 5J dial and handset capsules, but I think I'll wait for the right 1940 set to come my way to use.  The dial cavity is tight.  I might use sandpaper on both the blue shell and dial body to get it to fit right.  I haven't tried to fit the shell on a chassis yet. 

Here's a couple of pictures.  I propped a 5K dial I have (operator's dial) in the dial cavity to get an idea of what it will look like, also so no light would enter the shell for the picture.

Jim

« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 01:17:28 AM by JimH »
Jim H.

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 12:50:58 AM »
I think you got a fantastic deal.  I can't wait to see what it looks like when you are done.  The same seller had a 5J dial for sale I think.  The same seller had a 1950 dated 5J for sale that might have been from this phone:

Western Electric Rotary Dial for 300 Series Telephones 5J 6-50
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:52:52 AM by Sargeguy »
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline JimH

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 01:07:53 AM »
I think you got a fantastic deal.  I can't wait to see what it looks like when you are done.  The same seller had a 5J dial for sale I think.  The same seller had a 1950 dated 5J for sale that might have been from this phone:

Western Electric Rotary Dial for 300 Series Telephones 5J 6-50
Thanks.  I saw that dial for sale, but the phone is dated 1940, and I decided to hold out for an earlier one.  I just opened up my ivory painted 1940 set and it is dated III 40 and 9/40 inside.  The dial appears to be a 5J from the outside, but I can see it is marked 5H.  The dial case is painted white.  I wonder if some 5H's were painted off-white and fitted with clear finger wheels, but were never stamped 5J?  Also, this does not have the "cross" arrangement for attaching the finger wheel, but the two "triangles" that have the lever under the finger wheel to fasten it.  I wonder when this change occurred.  I was under the assumption that all of the pre-war colored plastic 302s used the "cross" dial.
Jim H.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 02:48:55 AM »
Painted ivory, blue, red, green and old rose 302s originally had 5J dials with stainless finger wheels, as shown in the 1939 WE Catalog #10.

The thick clear plastic finger wheels (P-298941) with the X-shaped finger wheel clamp were used for 5Js on early color thermoplastic 302s, until production ceased in mid-1942.

Color 302s were not made again until late 1948/early 1949. However, 5J dials have been found dated 4-47 to 12-52. These 5Js no longer had the thick finger wheels.

Some 5H dials were converted to 5Js: The black cases were repainted and the painted finger wheels were replaced with  clear plastic ones. It's also probable that a lot of the early thick plastic finger wheels were replaced with later types.

Does your ivory set have any clues that it was remanufactured, such as dates on cords, number plate, or recharge dates on the F1 transmitter unit?
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Online Doug Rose

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 05:35:45 AM »
Jim....outstanding job. It really looks beautiful. I also think you got a great deal on it....Doug
Kidphone

Offline JimH

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 11:12:54 AM »


Does your ivory set have any clues that it was remanufactured, such as dates on cords, number plate, or recharge dates on the F1 transmitter unit?

I checked the "1940" painted ivory 302, and indeed, the handset cord is dated "I 50".  The dial plate is "II 48", so this would explain the later 5J dial.  The incredibly clean base and induction coil, along with the handset capsules are all dated 1940, which originally led me to believe it was all original.

I guess that leads me to a few questions:

If this set was refurbished c. 1950, were they producing painted and thermoplastic ivory 302s at the same time?  Maybe some were painted in the refurb shops?

Why would it have black plungers if clear ones were then available?  All of the painted colored 302s I've seen have clear or black ones, although I've got a painted gold set that has matching painted plungers.

The line cord looks really early....one of the ones with only 2 cotton covered conductors inside that appears almost flat.  I couldn't make out a date.  I have a brown one on my 1937 302 that is like this.  Maybe a customer got this in '40 and had the refurb shop fix it up and got it back with a new dial and handset cord?

Jim
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 12:56:45 AM by JimH »
Jim H.

unbeldi

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2014, 11:49:27 AM »

I guess that leads me to a few questions:

If this set was refurbished c. 1950, were they producing painted and thermoplastic ivory 302s at the same time?  Maybe some were painted in the refurb shops?

Why would it have black plungers if clear ones were then available?  All of the painted colored 302s I've seen have black ones, although I've got a painted gold set that has matching painted plungers.

The line cord looks really early....one of the ones with only 2 cotton covered conductors inside that appears almost flat.  I couldn't make out a date.  I have a brown one on my 1937 302 that is like this.  Maybe a customer got this in '40 and had the refurb shop fix it up and got it back with a new dial and handset cord?

Jim
When production of colored 302s resumed late in 1948 for availability starting January 1949, only the five base colors, ivory (4), rose (16), blue (18), green (19), red (20) were made in thermoplastics.  The painted sets with metal housings were old brass (6), statuary bronze (7), oxidized silver (-8), and dark gold (12), and were only made on request in the distributing houses.

See also:  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=9684.msg116365#msg116365



There are many unanswered or perhaps even unanswerable questions about what was done and what not, in terms of combinations of materials.  I have a 1947 ivory set, that as far as I can tell is genuine to the period, produced when no color sets were manufactured.  That did not stop the system from accepting special orders for color phones from customers, and they would make them in the shops, like my ivory.  It even has a properly dated 4-47 5J dial with the new-style fingerwheel using the early two-piece rotating latch mount.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:03:21 PM by unbeldi »

Offline JimH

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2014, 12:06:34 PM »
Thank you for the information, Unbeldi.  So my painted ivory set was probably updated in the field or refurb shop.  I know I've read accounts where people with the metallic painted sets would have them repainted.

I still haven't decided what to do about the plungers on the blue set.  Painted blue?  Black?  Clear?
To me, painted plungers would scream "doctored". At least if they're clear, they could have been replaced later.  I don't think black plungers would look right on any thermoplastic colored 302. I guess I just answered my own question:  clear.

Since brown cords would have been standard for this blue set in 1940, I think I'm going with brown.  Does anyone know when colored cords came out?  My painted old rose 302 dated 3/39 has very faded old rose cords.  Why would they not have had blue cords for the blue ones?

Jim
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:12:50 PM by JimH »
Jim H.

unbeldi

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 12:10:57 PM »
So my painted ivory set was probably updated in the field or refurb shop.  I know I've read accounts where people with the metallic painted sets would have them repainted.

I still haven't decided what to do about the plungers on the blue set.  Painted blue?  Black?  Clear?
To me, painted plungers would scream "doctored". At least if they're clear, they could have been replaced later.  I don't think black would look right on any thermoplastic colored 302.

Since brown cords would have been standard for this blue set in 1940, I think I'm going with brown.  Does anyone know when colored cords came out?  My painted old rose 302 dated 3/39 has very faded old rose cords.  Why would they not have had blue cords for the blue ones?

Jim

I do not think they should be clear for such an early phone in plastic. I believe they would have been the same color as the phone, but solid rods.   I would either use black ones, or paint them blue, you're going to have to paint your metal cradle closure anyways.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:18:50 PM by unbeldi »

Offline JimH

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2014, 12:16:43 PM »
So my painted ivory set was probably updated in the field or refurb shop.  I know I've read accounts where people with the metallic painted sets would have them repainted.

I still haven't decided what to do about the plungers on the blue set.  Painted blue?  Black?  Clear?
To me, painted plungers would scream "doctored". At least if they're clear, they could have been replaced later.  I don't think black would look right on any thermoplastic colored 302.

Since brown cords would have been standard for this blue set in 1940, I think I'm going with brown.  Does anyone know when colored cords came out?  My painted old rose 302 dated 3/39 has very faded old rose cords.  Why would they not have had blue cords for the blue ones?

Jim

I do not think they should be clear for such an early phone in plastic. I believe they would have been the same color as the phone, but solid rods.   I would either use black ones, or paint them blue, you're going to have to paint your metal cradle closure anyways.
That's a great point.  It wouldn't look "prewar" with clear plungers.  I've even thought about having some made.  Just thinkin'.

Jim

Jim H.

unbeldi

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2014, 12:18:36 PM »
I also do not think that brown cords are proper, they should be blue.  I think catalog No. 10 specifies this, if I recall.

I think only black, old brass, and statuary bronze had brown cords.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:21:40 PM by unbeldi »

Offline JimH

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2014, 12:26:07 PM »
I also do not think that brown cords are proper, they should be blue.  I think catalog No. 10 specifies this, if I recall.

I think only black, old brass, and statuary bronze had brown cords.
Has anyone ever tried to dye an original, say, ivory cord a color?  I have an ivory cord I could dye blue.  I have another in poor condition, I just might get some rit dye and try it. 
Jim H.

unbeldi

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2014, 12:37:10 PM »
I also do not think that brown cords are proper, they should be blue.  I think catalog No. 10 specifies this, if I recall.

I think only black, old brass, and statuary bronze had brown cords.
Has anyone ever tried to dye an original, say, ivory cord a color?  I have an ivory cord I could dye blue.  I have another in poor condition, I just might get some rit dye and try it.

For a nice phone like this, I would simply spend the 30 or 40 dollars and get an OPW set. There is almost nothing else you can do to improve the look of a phone like this that has the impact that nice cords make.

Offline JimH

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 12:54:34 PM »
I also do not think that brown cords are proper, they should be blue.  I think catalog No. 10 specifies this, if I recall.

I think only black, old brass, and statuary bronze had brown cords.
Has anyone ever tried to dye an original, say, ivory cord a color?  I have an ivory cord I could dye blue.  I have another in poor condition, I just might get some rit dye and try it.

For a nice phone like this, I would simply spend the 30 or 40 dollars and get an OPW set. There is almost nothing else you can do to improve the look of a phone like this that has the impact that nice cords make.
I think you're right.  New blue cords are the only way to go for this set.

Jim
Jim H.

Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Pre-war Blue 302 initial cleanup
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 02:12:20 PM »
I would guess Blue. Here is a post (from me ) From  March 2010.

In January I was corresponding with Jon Kolger about early 302's.
The following is a compilation of his e-mails on the subject:
________________________________________
Hi Jim,

Yes the handsets were completely solid.  I don't remember if the handsets
and caps were grooved... I don't have one in front of me to check it out.
All my examples are in storage.

There were other differences as well:  The handset cap threads were
different than the latter versions; the plastic used to make it was
different, much more opaque and not so translucent;  The hookswitch buttons
were the same color as the phone; the little finger cup piece underneath the
hookswitch was made of metal painted the same color as the phone; and the
dial, if it had one, had a completely different style of fingerwheel (much
thicker) and method of mounting it to the dial.  Also, the dial card had to
be inserted inside the fingerwheel AFTER the fingerwheel was attached.

I'm still looking for a blue example of these early 302s.  I have all the
other colors.

I just looked at a green 302 dated 1941 and it has a solid handset with no
grooves on the handle or caps.  I can't say definitively that they were all
this way, but I would say it is very likely.  I hope this helps...

The sets with the colored plungers were NOT the smaller plungers, just the
regular size plungers of the latter 302.  The dials were 5J with the white
painted housings.  I'm not sure when they started to make these early
colored sets.... Most of mine have a 1941 date, but I seem to recall having
one dated 1939.  I'm pretty sure I have a NOS 5J dial somewhere dated 1937.
I'm also not sure when when they started to make 302s again.  Dave Johnson
just stated 1945 on the listserv.  I don't know when they started to make
the colored sets... I've never paid that much attention to the dates on
mine... Probably early 50s.

Jon
________________________________________ _
I was waiting for the subject to come up,before posting the info.

Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.