Author Topic: Soft Plastic Model 554's  (Read 27576 times)

Offline Jester

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2010, 11:01:20 PM »
I haven't seen any 554's here recently, so I dragged this old thread from the pit to show off my moss green example from 12/56.  It is a date matched example with a nearly perfect satin finish hook & dark gray handset cord.  There was almost no normal wear in the normal places, leading me to believe it has spent most of its life in a box.  The only major blemish on the plastics were caused by chemical reaction.  The slimy sheen that seems common with these early vinyl cords as they age will cause a "wart" on soft plastic if it comes into contact with it.  Apart from that & some minor scratches, this one was nearly perfect.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 12:20:27 PM by Jester »
Stephen

Offline Dan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1961
  • 1957 WE 500-P
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2010, 11:41:29 PM »
Beautiful! Love the grey cord!
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline JorgeAmely

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
  • SC from 1973
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2010, 12:09:42 AM »
Stephen:

Very nice 554! Definitely looks brand new from here since there is not cord sag at all.

Is it in use now or going back to the box? 
Jorge

Offline McHeath

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3350
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2010, 12:20:13 AM »
Wow!  Love that phone!  Moss Green is a favorite, and with the early 554 features, including a great condition cord, this one is a real sweet phone. 

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5583
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2010, 12:39:23 AM »
Beautiful phone, Stephen.  The gray cord and satin hook look great!

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1771
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2010, 11:05:02 AM »
Stephen, a "wart" is a great name for that reaction. It comes from long-time contact between the cord and the housing and it's very stubborn to remove. I've also noticed cords from WE phones sticking to my wood shelves in my office. When I dust, which is like once a year, all the cords are stuck to the finish on the shelves. It takes a while for this to happen and I don't know what product was applied to the shelves. Likely some kind of polyurethane. It doesn't seem to damage the cords at all, but I do notice it makes them a little sticky, like you mentioned.

Your 554 is very nice. There aren't many 554s with gray cords around. I only have two. Green changed to green cords later than the rest of the colors, it seems. I think it was sometime in 1957. I have a green 554 from 1-57 very similar to yours that did spend its life in a box (that came with the phone), and it may have spent that time in the box without a cord. It came with two straight gray handset cords, but one was still in the wrapper, and from what I can tell from BSPs, color 554s other than ivory never came with straight cords. So I think maybe someone added it somewhere along the line.

Mine has the shiny chrome switchhook. So it's likely that changed between December and January. If I recall correctly, it's the 1956 phones that have the satin finish hook.

I posted some pictures of it below, for comparison, as I took it out of the box on my front steps. Thanks for reviving the thread.
Jonathan

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5583
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2010, 11:13:53 AM »
Thanks for those photos, Jonathan.  I really like the look of that gray straight cord on the green 554....or any of the phones for that matter. 

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5583
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2010, 11:23:34 AM »
Recently a fellow sent me his Red 554.  It was dated 2-14-57---another Valentine's Day phone.  It had the "warts" or what he called blisters from the cord.  My job was to remove those blisters and also a sticker from the front.  The phone came to him all original except for a replaced dial/bezel.  A soft plastic dial bezel was located and a 7C -53 dial with a different date was added to make it closer to original.  Here are a couple of before and after shots of the front of the phone.  It turned out very nice but I had to go down to 400 grit sandpaper to remove the blemishes caused by that handset cord.


Offline JorgeAmely

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
  • SC from 1973
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2010, 11:29:59 AM »
Jonathan:

Where do you find these beauties?

I have removed a few of those warts by rolling 400 or 600 grit sandpaper over a 6 inch piece of 1/4 inch dowel or a pencil. Just sand over it to get rid of the wart. Finish off with 1000 and Novus 2.

I have noticed also cords sticking to painted shelves. Must be some chemical reaction going on between the cord plastic (out gassing perhaps?) and the material of the painted shelves. I notice the stickiness in as little as a few weeks (not that I dust them that often).

Jorge

Offline JorgeAmely

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
  • SC from 1973
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2010, 11:33:43 AM »
Dennis:

The owner is going to be very happy with his new "old" phone.
Jorge

Offline Jester

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2010, 12:27:19 PM »
I like both of these--thanks for the pics, fellas.

Jonathan,
That is an unusual card retainer inside the fingerwheel on your moss green.  I see things like that & wonder if it was really done when it was installed, and now, here's a picture of one straight from the box.
Stephen

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5583
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2010, 12:31:52 PM »
Stephen, I didn't even pay attention to that dial card retainer.  You're so right, that doesn't belong in one of those finger wheels.  Jonathan, what's the story with that?  Do you think that was original to the phone?

Offline paul-f

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2809
    • Old Telephones as Entertainment!
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #57 on: May 12, 2010, 01:40:23 PM »
It appears to be one of the later retainers that was designed for the metal number card holders (later made in plastic) that fit the #2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 dials.

It was a one-piece unit that replaced the earlier seperate metal disk and spring arrangement, providing a friction fit against the card holder.

The plastic fingerwheels should have a different shaped retainer with fingers that slide into groves in the fingerwheel.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

.

Offline McHeath

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3350
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2010, 12:07:03 AM »
Wow!  What great 554s!  Where do you guys find these fab phones?  All I ever see around here are modularized franken554s in beige or ivory, beat up and overpriced.  I've never seen such sweet early 554s.


Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1771
Re: Soft Plastic Model 554's
« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2010, 10:25:50 AM »
Stephen, I didn't even pay attention to that dial card retainer.  You're so right, that doesn't belong in one of those finger wheels.  Jonathan, what's the story with that?  Do you think that was original to the phone?

Sorry to be so late in responding, Dennis. Stephen you have sharp eyes! I never noticed that incorrect retainer and I haven't put a card in that phone since I wanted to keep it original. It's still in the box. I have a feeling someone else put that retainer in there because didn't they originally come with the retainer in a little paper or glassine envelope, along with the clear protector that sits next to the number card? That would explain why the protector on this one is bowed out. What you see is how it came from the box sent to me because these were taken on the doorstep as I unpacked it.

Since the straight cord was attached when I got it, and likely isn't original, I have a feeling someone must have put that retainer in there too. This phone came from eBay in 2006. I don't think it was cheap at all, considering it was new in the box. I think it was $132.51, if my auction spreadsheet can be trusted.
Jonathan