Author Topic: Introductory thread with pics  (Read 4409 times)

Offline The Operator

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Introductory thread with pics
« on: August 23, 2009, 11:45:17 PM »
I suppose this is an introductory thread of sorts to the forum. A collector or more perhaps a gatherer of different things I find rotary phones are among those things. A representation of Bell telephony has long been on my list of must haves since long before the internet. But lanterns have always been my favorite collectible I guess, and you know how it goes. If you're really into one thing there's always way more out there that you want than you can afford and one thing can easily keep you "financially busy" to the detriment of any other area of interest.

Before I found this forum and the clubs I had only come across some of the half-page summaries of the old Western Electric line on the internet which as it turns out are pretty half-assed. *cough-wikipedia* But I thought it was interesting how the 500 phased out the 302 in 1949. Or so it said. So based on that initial information I thought I'd start by looking for a '49 302 and a '49 500. Yah, put that '49 500 right on the 'ol list. On to some pictures!
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."

Offline The Operator

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 11:46:00 PM »
This is the '49 I found, advertised as a 302 "Lucy Phone" *cough* it turned out to be a 306. It's only through this great forum and the clubs I know the significance of the glass tube wrapped in cardboard. I didn't know it when I bought it (the pictures showed it, I just figured they were all like that) and the seller knows better than me, right? But I knew it was a 306 before it arrived. Dial has that wonderful clockwork precision feel and sound. 7/49.



I started cleaning this one up a bit before I thought to take pictures of it but the whole phone basically resembled the dial area which has yet to be cleaned. I'd really love to hear this phone "sing" but sadly the signal the 306 waits for to ring will never come. It waits. Other phones get their signal. They "sing". The 306 waits. Hmm... maybe if I find an original WE KS-16203 capacitor... or not. You would think somebody would create an adapter that would convert the POTS ring signal into one a 306 or similar would understand. After all, there would be a huge demand for it consisting of myself and maybe 6 other people.
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."

Offline The Operator

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 11:46:48 PM »
This is a 5/51 500T that may have been contested in bid with members here. Well at least you get to have another look. According to paul-f "The 500T is an early single line w/ 425A net, no equalizer, but terminal block for handset leads. (Early version of 500 J/K?)" When I bid on this I thought it had both cords but upon looking at the pics again waiting for it to arrive I noticed more carefully that it only had the one. I would have bid differently but oh well, the missing cord is on the wish list. Sure looks dirtier out of the box than it did in the auction photos.



The dial is smooth but the feet are hard as rock. Any tips on softening up early 500 feet? It has a small gouge above ABC that I will likely fill. I don't know what it is about these old black 500 sets that they always looks like they just came off a cop's desk (or to be more specific: Jack Webb's desk) when in fact it's more likely to have come off grandma's desk. That's the charm of the old black 500 sets I think.



Joe: "Think of it Bill... in 50 years these $8.10 department issue 565's will sell as antiques for over $100!"
Bill: "I think you need to cut back to half a pot of coffee there, Joe."
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."

Offline The Operator

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 11:47:26 PM »
My reward for being an insomnic one weeknight was coming across this Buy It Now with 6 days and 23 hours remaining. The auction didn't give the model number or anything useful but the one sentence description did give the date 2/51. The 2 auction phtos weren't the greatest and offered little additional insight other than it's a black phone. Normally you'd just ask what it was. But at the price there was no sense messaging the seller because they'd get the message right ahead of the one saying it sold to somebody else. So I bought it without knowing for sure if it was a 500 or a 5302. I figured I'd be happy either way, although definitely happier the one way. Some lanterns in the background.



I felt sure it was a 500 but before it arrived I'd convinced myself that it was more likely a 5302. Of course there was that dramatic moment pulling it out of the box and crinkling off the bubble wrap to find it was indeed an 1951 500. The dial sounds a little funny on the advance stroke unless you do it slow and could probably benefit a good cleaining. The 2 auction photos sure did an amazing job of highlighting the bit of dirt on this phone, I don't know how they did it. Looks much cleaner right out of the box. The number card is an old stick-on type with no clear plastic cover and is missing a hunk. The cords are noticeably thicker than the 500T above.
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."

Offline The Operator

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 11:48:01 PM »
This was sort of a shot in the dark too as the auction had no details. There was only one photo but you could see those 4 prongs alright and the price was right so I'd been quietly chanting "soft plastic... soft plastic" for the week to see if that holds sway with the Great Gods of Telephony Fortune. It a 9/57 and shows some highway miles with stickers on the base and handset and a QVC sticker with member and phone number on the bottom. Hey, you can't be messin' around with phone books when there's only 10 minutes left to call!



Of the 4 phones I've started working with this phone. It's missing 90% of the cover on one foot and why I was so intrigued with the discussion in the other thread of would be involved to replace a riveted 500 foot. The base cover has a bit of chalky white surface to it which seems to be a very fine dry rot and the the dark spots from the stickers slowly polish out to the lighter color. I thought the phone would polish out to the darker color underneath the protection of the stickers but instead it seems the adheasive had darkened the color.
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."

Offline The Operator

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2009, 11:48:31 PM »
For now guess I'm mostly interested in what I'll call the "black plate" Western Electrics, the black metal base phones made before 1967 although I certainly wouldn't exclude anything newer. Still on my proverbial "wish list" would be a '51 302 and a '51 5302 to fill out the transitional period for Western Electric. I would also like a war era 302 and, at least a colored 1/62 500. Notice I said "at least"...

And hmm you never know. Maybe another pretty colored 50's 500 (just one, or maybe two, three, or six). And wall phones, gotta have some wall phones right? And a black Princess (how emo goth is that.) And if I sell my spleen perhaps a 36 E1 302 or colored 302! Then we can pick up a whole slew of 70's sets for what will now seem like ridiculously low prices. To balance things out from there it's right into candlesticks, D1's and ringer boxes. Then it's on to the hard stuff... payphones.

And... what's this lovely AE ring I hear so much about? And... wait, so this is how it starts? Give it to me straight guys. Thanks for a great place to hang and talk about phones and telephony. I've learned a lot here and with more to learn I like the atmosphere and "cast of characters" here and hope to be among them. ~The Operator a.k.a. Mike
Ever get the urge to call the number on the dial card and say "Hey, I have your phone."

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2009, 12:17:05 AM »
Thanks for the great "show and tell", Mike! I can see that you're hooked. ;)
Keep 'em coming.

-Matt
(Too many early black WE500s, 302s, AE 80s and 40s etc. etc. to count. I'm a sick puppy in the phone dept.. ;))
-Matt

Offline foots

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2009, 03:43:21 AM »
Nice collection. I too like the black 500's. You will never own enough old phones. I started out with one phone and I'm up to around 14 and I only started a few months ago.
"Ain't Worryin' 'Bout Nothin"

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2009, 08:46:19 AM »
Welcome Mike and thanks for posting your introduction and photos.  I particularly like the black 500 series phones you have.  The 500T is very nice.  On the one dated 2/51, is there a "bonus" card under the adhesive sticker? Not to suggest you should attempt to remove the adhesive sticker, but is there another under that?  That GIbson sticker is cool because it is for a phone number with only 5 digits.

Try a little WD-40 on the sticker residue (on the yellow phone).  Now you'll have to get through the polish, but I have found good results just putting the WD-40 on the glazed spot and working it with your finger.  The product, along with the warmth from the friction of your moving finger may soften it enough to get it off.

It looks like you're on your way to becoming an addict.  Be careful!  We're glad to have you on board.

Offline bwanna

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2009, 10:07:15 AM »
hi mike

welcome! you have a fine little collection started there. thank you for the pics.

you will find good restoration advice here. we have many talented members, who are willing to share their vast knowledge.

here a couple threads that you may find interesting::
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=822.0
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1154.0

this place has a good selection of replacement parts
http://www.oldphoneworks.com/

i prefer to think of myself as a re-cyclist. i am making use of things that might otherwise end up in the landfill.

it is NOT an addiction, it is NOT an addiction, it is NOT an addiction, it is NOT an addiction, it is NOT an addiction, it is NOT ................ ;)
donna

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2009, 02:44:32 PM »
Mike;
The feet on early 500's are suede covered metal, with about 1/8" felt padding between.. they will be relatively hard to the feel.
The 306 can be wired to replicate the 302, and you can still retain the originality, or like Dennis pointed out a while back, he converted an early part of his collection to 302 configuration, even though I think he stated, he should have left it original.
Welcome to our growing world.

Ignore Bwanna, she works for the phone company and collects phones also. Something not quite right there.
That would be like a Proctologist collecting, never mind....
D/P

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Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 03:46:12 PM »
What's a 306?

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2009, 04:04:50 PM »
Quote from: Stephen Furley
What's a 306?

Stephen, here are a couple of threads with the WE 306s in them. You'll have to sort through some other ramblings here but I think you'll get the idea...

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=523.0

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=967.15
-Matt

Offline jsowers

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2009, 04:41:40 PM »
This was sort of a shot in the dark too as the auction had no details. There was only one photo but you could see those 4 prongs alright and the price was right so I'd been quietly chanting "soft plastic... soft plastic" for the week to see if that holds sway with the Great Gods of Telephony Fortune. It a 9/57 and shows some highway miles with stickers on the base and handset and a QVC sticker with member and phone number on the bottom. Hey, you can't be messin' around with phone books when there's only 10 minutes left to call!

Of the 4 phones I've started working with this phone. It's missing 90% of the cover on one foot and why I was so intrigued with the discussion in the other thread of would be involved to replace a riveted 500 foot. The base cover has a bit of chalky white surface to it which seems to be a very fine dry rot and the the dark spots from the stickers slowly polish out to the lighter color. I thought the phone would polish out to the darker color underneath the protection of the stickers but instead it seems the adheasive had darkened the color.

Mike, keep on chanting and it will come. I hate to burst your soft plastic bubble, but this ivory one looks like a hard plastic refurb. You can tell by the dates on the plastics. 1954 to mid-1959 is soft plastic. Anything later is hard plastic. The newer cords, 505A 4-prong plug and solid center fingerwheel with area code and phone number indicate that this is a 1960s or early 70s refurb of a 9-57 phone. They re-used the base and likely replaced everything else. So something as involved as a foot replacement may not be worth it, but you can still try.

I normally use denatured alcohol on hard plastic to get sticker residue off. Make sure it's not painted or soft plastic first. Then some denatured alcohol on a paper towel will clean most anything off, if it will come off. It leaves a shine and no residue or lasting odor. It also cleans the cords well. I always start in the middle of a coil cord and work my way out. Then I recoil it and start back in the middle again and go to the other side. That way I don't have to guess how to wind the coils if they're OK to start with. And they are on your phone.

Here is Paul Fassbender's take on what a 306 is (scroll down a little). His site is like a Bible for WE Telephones. There's also very good info on 500s and their touch-tone brethren.

http://www.paul-f.com/we300typ.htm

Welcome to the group and good luck with finding the phones on your list, and your list will get longer and longer the more you know about phones. You have a great start with those phones and you have a very descriptive way of writing. And about the collecting bug, "you got it bad." And that's good.
Jonathan

Offline bwanna

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Re: Introductory thread with pics
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2009, 07:11:35 PM »
Ignore Bwanna, she works for the phone company and collects phones also. Something not quite right there.
That would be like a Proctologist collecting, never mind....
D/P

 :P
donna