Author Topic: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41  (Read 10117 times)

Offline savageje

  • ***
  • Posts: 129
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2015, 01:34:19 PM »
Doug- thanks for sharing.  That really is a great-looking 302.  I didn't realize they made colored thermoplastic 302s prior to the war.

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6861
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2015, 06:16:07 PM »
I heard back from my friend who bought the green 302. He purchased it because of the rarity of a color of a pre-war 302. He now has three, an Ivory and an Old Rose. He is a great guy. He did Google L Parsons out of curiosity, but it was the phone and not LParsons why he purchased it

I pointed him to the Forum and maybe he will come on board...Doug
Kidphone

Offline TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7191
  • Available by PM
    • . . . the times they been a'changing
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2015, 06:26:47 PM »
He purchased it because of the rarity of a color of a pre-war 302.

An honest question here since I'm not up on color 302s. Other than the F1 transmitter dated 10/41, what else in the eBay listing would indicate that this is indeed a pre-war phone. The transmitter is easily inserted/exchanged and without seeing the inside dates, how can one or what do the color 302 experts see that make this a pre-war 302. Just trying to learn here.
            John . . .

              

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2015, 06:54:41 PM »
He purchased it because of the rarity of a color of a pre-war 302.

An honest question here since I'm not up on color 302s. Other than the F1 transmitter dated 10/41, what else in the eBay listing would indicate that this is indeed a pre-war phone. The transmitter is easily inserted/exchanged and without seeing the inside dates, how can one or what do the color 302 experts see that make this a pre-war 302. Just trying to learn here.
The plungers are one thing to spot; they're full-color instead of clear or black. Another thing is the level of transparency. The prewar plastic 302 housings were translucent, even more so than the postwar plastics. These plastic housings were apparently unstable, and this lead to cracking and warping in unsuitable conditions.
Sound familiar? :o
 
The prewar 302 housings were apparently worse than the postwar ones when it came to cracking and shrinking. After all, this was the first time WE used colored thermoplastic housings, and they were far from perfect.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 07:05:29 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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

Offline poplar1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6035
  • 102C-6 = "Old Brass" Hand Telephone Set
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2015, 07:20:47 PM »
Other than the F1 transmitter dated 10/41, what else in the eBay listing would indicate that this is indeed a pre-war phone.

Also, the handset handle does not have an insert, but instead is one piece.
The finger stop is longer, and the P-208941 finger wheel is thicker than those produced from 1947 up.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline savageje

  • ***
  • Posts: 129
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2015, 07:29:52 PM »
Wow, that fingerwheel looks REALLY thick.  I don't think I've ever handled one on a colored 302 set before - so I don't know how it compares - but the one pictured looks like a really solid piece of plastic.

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2015, 07:42:32 PM »
Wow, that fingerwheel looks REALLY thick.  I don't think I've ever handled one on a colored 302 set before - so I don't know how it compares - but the one pictured looks like a really solid piece of plastic.
I have a version 2 open-center (the one before the type used on early 500s) that was on one of my ivory 302s, but the dial card retainer was smashed to pieces. It's from 1953, but boy is it thick!!! :o
Christian Petterson

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

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2015, 08:05:39 PM »
He purchased it because of the rarity of a color of a pre-war 302.

An honest question here since I'm not up on color 302s. Other than the F1 transmitter dated 10/41, what else in the eBay listing would indicate that this is indeed a pre-war phone. The transmitter is easily inserted/exchanged and without seeing the inside dates, how can one or what do the color 302 experts see that make this a pre-war 302. Just trying to learn here.
The plungers are one thing to spot; they're full-color instead of clear or black. Another thing is the level of transparency. The prewar plastic 302 housings were translucent, even more so than the postwar plastics. These plastic housings were apparently unstable, and this lead to cracking and warping in unsuitable conditions.
Sound familiar? :o
 
The prewar 302 housings were apparently worse than the postwar ones when it came to cracking and shrinking. After all, this was the first time WE used colored thermoplastic housings, and they were far from perfect.

I have not seen, heard of or experienced that the prewar colored plastic were anymore or less susceptible to cracking or shrinking than when manufacturing resumed in 1949. Do you have reliable sources that state so?  I have owned, repaired, and closely handled and examined nearly twenty of the later versions, and still have a considerable number of them, but I still have not had any prewar models to make such statements, have you?

I also have not seen any evidence that Western Electric had any more startup problems with them in 1941 than they had later.  Frankly, we don't see enough of the early ones to make a statement.

The molding process and the material properties were well known by the time Western started to use them.

Western Electric did not make the plastic, they bought it from Eastman Kodak in granular form already colored in the tones they needed. Eastman was already producing all three of the principal varieties of Tenite (Acetate, Propionate, and Butyrate).   I am sure Western Electric and the Bell Labs scientists worked closely with the Eastman chemists and plastics engineers.  Surely, 10 years later technology improved, and the plastic formulations from Eastman may have been better, but we really don't know how. I have not found historical sources for improvements.

There seems to be some evidence that the black housings were handled differently.  Some finders have reported varying degrees of translucency, even coloring from black to dark indigo blue.  I found a 1941 black plastic example that is definitely more brittle than the later ones, because it was cracked and I could observe first hand how the plastic behaves with solvent.  A crack that I thought I had welded, reappeared as well.

Whether the early materials exhibited more shrinking inherently, is almost impossible to ascertain, but we know they had an additional ten years time for that process. I don't know how else to quantify that.  We can't repeat the experiment.

Just my $0.02 !


Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2015, 08:14:55 PM »
He purchased it because of the rarity of a color of a pre-war 302.

An honest question here since I'm not up on color 302s. Other than the F1 transmitter dated 10/41, what else in the eBay listing would indicate that this is indeed a pre-war phone. The transmitter is easily inserted/exchanged and without seeing the inside dates, how can one or what do the color 302 experts see that make this a pre-war 302. Just trying to learn here.
The plungers are one thing to spot; they're full-color instead of clear or black. Another thing is the level of transparency. The prewar plastic 302 housings were translucent, even more so than the postwar plastics. These plastic housings were apparently unstable, and this lead to cracking and warping in unsuitable conditions.
Sound familiar? :o
 
The prewar 302 housings were apparently worse than the postwar ones when it came to cracking and shrinking. After all, this was the first time WE used colored thermoplastic housings, and they were far from perfect.

I have not seen, heard of or experienced that the prewar colored plastic were anymore or less susceptible to cracking or shrinking than when manufacturing resumed in 1949. Do you have reliable sources that state so?  I have owned, repaired, and closely handled and examined nearly twenty of the later versions, and still have a considerable number of them, but I still have not had any prewar models to make such statements, have you?

I also have not seen any evidence that Western Electric had any more startup problems with them in 1941 than they had later.  Frankly, we don't see enough of the early ones to make a statement.

The molding process and the material properties were well known by the time Western started to use them.

Western Electric did not make the plastic, they bought it from Eastman Kodak in granular form already colored in the tones they needed. Eastman was already producing all three of the principal varieties of Tenite (Acetate, Propionate, and Butyrate).   I am sure Western Electric and the Bell Labs scientists worked closely with the Eastman chemists and plastics engineers.  Surely, 10 years later technology improved, and the plastic formulations from Eastman may have been better, but we really don't know how. I have not found historical sources for improvements.

There seems to be some evidence that the black housings were handled differently.  Some finders have reported varying degrees of translucency, even coloring from black to dark indigo blue.  I found a 1941 black plastic example that is definitely more brittle than the later ones, because it was cracked and I could observe first hand how the plastic behaves with solvent.  A crack that I thought I had welded, reappeared as well.

Whether the early materials exhibited more shrinking inherently, is almost impossible to ascertain, but we know they had an additional ten years time for that process. I don't know how else to quantify that.  We can't repeat the experiment.

Just my $0.02 !


I didn't have a reliable source for that. I had seen someone post that they were more unstable, so I went with that claim. The fact that the earlier plastics were slightly more translucent than their postwar counterparts was probably a sign that they were somewhat underdeveloped.
Christian Petterson

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

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2015, 08:19:51 PM »
He purchased it because of the rarity of a color of a pre-war 302.

An honest question here since I'm not up on color 302s. Other than the F1 transmitter dated 10/41, what else in the eBay listing would indicate that this is indeed a pre-war phone. The transmitter is easily inserted/exchanged and without seeing the inside dates, how can one or what do the color 302 experts see that make this a pre-war 302. Just trying to learn here.

Here is my list of differences that come to mind. Some of these points were already stated by others, as I see, but let me just summarize.

* Solid plastic plungers of the same housing color
* Solid (not hollow) handsets; the conductors from the receiver were molded into the plastic just like the solid handle Bakelite handsets. Therefore the underside of the handle does not have a plastic "lid" onto which the company logo is impressed.
* The mounting code of the housing is simply the letter H and the numeral, for example H1 for a 302, just like on the metal sets. The color housings produced starting in 1949 had hollow handles, and the handset mounting code always had a solid circle symbol following the code, e.g. H1 (circle).  This indicates that the hookswitch is designed for the light-weight handsets.
* Correspondingly, the F1 designation on the handsets for the 1949+ sets has a dot following the F1, which the early ones don't have, again indicating a light-weight handset.
* The date stamp on the housing should be appropriate, of course.
* The 5J dial used a different mounting method for the plastic finger wheel which was thicker. The thickness is the immediate visible sign that the dial is probably authentic.
* The number card was inserted in place after the finger wheel is properly mounted, not before as on the post-war 5J dials (even before 1949, I have a 1947-stamped 5JB dial with the new finger wheel already)
* The finger hold cover between the cradle ears is metal painted in the appropriate color. Later, these were also made from plastic.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 09:42:50 PM by unbeldi »

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2015, 08:27:16 PM »
I didn't have a reliable source for that. I had seen someone post that they were more unstable, so I went with that claim. The fact that the earlier plastics were slightly more translucent than their postwar counterparts was probably a sign that they were somewhat underdeveloped.

Well, translucency statements can be just as subjective. It depends on how the sets were treated or exposed.

For example I have five Old Rose  (I think, maybe only four anymore) sets, all dated between 1949 and 1954 and each one has a different color.  Well, a different tone of Old Rose. It is not from discoloration, it is from fading.  One set is clearly more translucent than all the others, and it appears the color pigments have been destroyed by light (I suppose), as the front of the set is faded much more than the rear.  Under high magnification the plastic almost seems transparent and I can tell that the fading is not only in a thin surface layer, but deeper in the bulk as well. Sanding did very little to that housing for appearance.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 09:38:48 PM by unbeldi »

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6861
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2015, 08:47:13 PM »
This is the thick finger wheel that was on the early pre-war color 302s. It is very thick ans held on by a crisscross design, like an x. The dial card and celluloid pushed in the open face. It  is like nothing you have ever seen....Doug
Kidphone

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2015, 08:47:39 PM »
What is interesting about this set, and which makes it quiet rare, is that it was produced not for use in the Bell System, but for the independent market, as is evidenced by the F1W marking in the handset logo which does not refer to the Bell System.

This probably indicates that the issuing telephone company was an independent, or bought it from WECo for the purpose of presentation to their honoree separately.

Also note that the handset includes the RF filter on the transmitter, which was common for all non-Bell System handsets. The capacitor was not installed in handsets for the Bell System member.

Offline HarrySmith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5214
  • 1937 302
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2015, 08:49:36 PM »
That fingerwheel is very cool! I have yet to own one of those but I love how thick it is!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline Jon Kolger

  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Blue AE Type 34
Re: Nice Green Thermo WE 302 10/41
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2015, 07:56:01 PM »
Another difference in the pre-war colored 302 sets is that the threads on the handset caps are different from the threads used on the postwar sets.  You cannot thread a prewar cap on a postwar handset, and vice-versa.  And I would disagree that the plastic is more translucent.  To me, the prewar colored plastic is virtually opaque, compared to the postwar sets.  A year or two ago I posted photos on this forum of all my prewar colored 302s, so the photos are on here somewhere.  I'm still looking for a blue one, if indeed they ever made prewar 302s in blue.