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1939 Matching Date All Original H1 302 with E1 Handset

Started by TelePlay, July 08, 2015, 07:39:12 PM

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Stopped by an Antique Store where I'd found nice phones in the past, I think I find one every 4 visits today. First two aisles were nothing but glass nick-nack trinkets but as I started down the 3rd aisle, there it was, the holy grail of 302's. A nice, shiny 302 with E1 handset, perfect cords and a dial blank. They wanted $35 but after pointing out the line cord end at the wall was cut off (retainer was there but the leads were cut at the retainer), they gave me 10% off so I paind $31.50 plus $1.61 in sales tax for a total purchase price of $33.11, a nice round number I thought.

Anyway, the first thing I looked at was the base, 4 ringer mount rivets, very nice leather feet and no marks or scratches in the original paint. Not having a screw driver, I shook it hard and got a ring so there was a ringer inside. Other than a few paint chips on the metal shell in the usual places, the ears mostly, the paint was perfect. And the handset, I've never seen Bakelite that shiny and no chips on the spit cup or receiver cap. The straight handset and line cords are like new with not wear, tears or paint. This phone was near NOS.

Opened it up tonight to find the base and ringer are stamped 2-39 and the induction coil I-39. Forgot the look at the cord restraints but they have to match as well. All I did before taking these "before" pictures was clean the acetate number card cover. All it had was that interesting original number card shown in the photos.

Not much work to do on this one, other than try to move the line cord restraint back about 4 inches to create new spade lug leads.

Not living in a state that has a wealth of old phones, I think I was very fortunate to stumble upon this one to save for posterity.


And, the other photos. ( And, yes, I had trouble loading these so had to upload them one at a time to find the one the system didn't like - resized it by 1 pixel, saved it and it uploaded fine )

Doug Rose



"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke


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What are the dates on the cords and the transmitter?

I would think this set was refurbished in the 40s, with new feet, new cords, and an E handset.  Perhaps it was never reinstalled again, as the dial card seems to suggest that it came straight from a shop.  The cords are routed properly WECo-style.

Even after the war many 302 apparently were refurbished with E handsets. I have found a few this way, even with plastic housings and they were barn-fresh.


I seem to detect a date of the housing.


Quote from: unbeldi on July 08, 2015, 08:58:37 PM
I seem to detect a date of the housing.

You may be right on the refurb.

The shell is stamped A312 and according to poplar1's shell dating topic

     (  )

is January, 31st day. That would match the base and ringer dates.

The transmitter has a date in black ink of IV-37, so it predates the phone. I did not find a date on the transmitter, at least what I could get apart.

The cord restraints, both of them, are clean brass and do not have any numbers stamped into them.

Looking at all of the screw heads on the phone including those for the capacitor restraint, base plate mounting screws and feet screws, none of the screws show any sign of removal after initial installation. None of the screw heads are chewed up at all. Usually some of the screws on the induction coil show signs of bad screwdriver practices but not in this phone.


Since the jackets on the cords are twill weave, they are probably 1937-1941, and not later. Also, there should be  dates on the E1 handle (visible when the receiver unit is removed), on the 557B receiver, on the snuff catcher (mouthpiece), and on the condenser that's in parallel with the transmitter.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Dennis Markham


Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409


Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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


I never knew it was possible for a refurbished 302 to come out with an E-1 handset!  I always thought that the refurbished ones came out with F-1 handsets.


Quote from: andre_janew on July 10, 2015, 03:54:41 PM
I never knew it was possible for a refurbished 302 to come out with an E-1 handset!  I always thought that the refurbished ones came out with F-1 handsets.

Well, if a telephone company or distribution shop had F1 handsets they may have used them, if they had a pile of E1s they would used them too.  Even candlesticks gained a second life. Remember that during the war WECo's telephone production stopped for civilian applications and the operating companies scrambled to find parts to maintain the customer base.


E1E handsets -- that is, those with F1 transmitter units -- were still allowed for residential use in zones near the central office at least as late as 1957, according to a Southern Bell practice.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.