Author Topic: "Seamless" handsets  (Read 1424 times)

Offline poplar1

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"Seamless" handsets
« on: October 28, 2015, 09:04:39 AM »
I see references to "seamless E1 handsets" but don't understand the fascination. A quick inventory of handsets shows them to be more common than the later ones with grooves. These grooveless handsets were made from 1928-1937!

For B1 handset mountings, it's more likely that the identiying characteristic of the handsets is the older logo, rather than lack of the grooves in the handle.

            no groove handle  (1928-1937)

                 6-line logo with patent dates
                 9-line logo with patent dates                                 [228] - [Feb. '31]*

                 5-line logo
                      red patent numbers inside                              *[May '31] - [MAR '32]
                      white pat. numbers inside                               [5/34]
                      mfr. date inside                                              636 - 11  02 37
            grooved handle (1935-1939)                                          135 (1/35) - 3 27 39
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

unbeldi

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Re: "Seamless" handsets
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 09:15:51 AM »
Indeed.
What is harder, is to find matching receiver and transmitter caps without grooves.  These have often been replaced.

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: "Seamless" handsets
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 09:52:04 AM »
I agree; I was happy with the E1 on my B1 because it had the matching caps, not just the handset itself. I actually have only one or two handles that are seamed, and about 7 others that are seamless, but only one seamless spitcup in my collection.

When I said 'fully seamless' (not sure if you were indirectly referencing my recent FOtM post or not) I was talking about all three grooveless parts of the handset.
Christian Petterson

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

unbeldi

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Re: "Seamless" handsets
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 10:20:17 AM »
I have been wondering whether or not they actually ever matched after a certain time, ca. 1935, even on new sets.

The 1935 catalog shows a few E1 handsets, and it appears they show both, with and without grooves, but I think most appear to have grooved caps.

The grooves were an invention to save manufacturing effort and conceal the mold fins more easily that always develop in the seam where the top and bottom half of the mold meet.  Even though the two parts are pressed together by hundreds of tons of pressure, it is not enough to prevent a hair-thin fin of plastic to form between them.  You know this also from thermoplastic parts of modeling kits, where the parts are still in their frame and you have to cut them from this frame before assembly, except here it is more by design.

Without grooves, the handsets had to be individually manually polished on a wheel to remove the remnants of those fins.  The groove, on the other hand, made it possible that a machine could cut the fin off with a blade, guided by the groove, and the polishing was not needed, or at least reduced.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 10:22:56 AM by unbeldi »

Offline poplar1

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Re: "Seamless" handsets
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 04:35:12 PM »
The grooved caps actually appeared before the grooved handles, but the early (1932-1934) grooved caps have a wider groove than the later grooved caps (1935-1939).

Since most *receiver*caps are not dated -- other than at least some from  1934-35 -- it is usually necessary to infer the manufacture dates by looking at a phone with all matching dates. Even then, it's possible that a cap was replaced in the field. (The "snuff catchers" (mouthpieces) often have the date inside.)

It's true that the grooveless "snuff catchers" (transmitter caps) are particularly hard to find. Two possible reasons: they break easier than the receiver caps; and, when the handsets were upgraded from E1B ( with 395 "bullet transmitter) to E1E (with 625A transmitter which has an F-1 transmitter unit), the tech probably replaced the transmitter cap along with the new transmitter.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 10:22:36 AM by poplar1 »
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Brinybay

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Re: "Seamless" handsets
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 11:47:09 PM »
Well crap, now I'm going to be digging out all my E1 handsets and looking at the caps!  See what you guys did?
:)
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e

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: "Seamless" handsets
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 12:13:44 AM »
Well crap, now I'm going to be digging out all my E1 handsets and looking at the caps!  See what you guys did?
:)
Okay. I'll punish myself by going to my room...

...full of phones...

...including a small collection of B1s and D1s...

...which include various E1 handsets, which I will have no other option but to examine closer to see which ones are seamless vs seamed.

After all, I was exiled to my room. See what you did, Briny? ;D

But seriously, the seamless spitcups in good condition are worth more than the seamed versions, so if you find a spare one, you could sell it on ebay for a good $50 or so. 8)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 12:15:59 AM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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