Author Topic: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554  (Read 2910 times)

Online LarryInMichigan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« on: November 03, 2015, 06:17:30 PM »
A few months ago, I spotted a yellow 554, which appeared to be soft plastic, on the Chicago craigslist for $30.  What was even better was that the seller was located less than a mile from my mother's apartment.  My mother generously agreed to get it for me, and the seller agreed to meet my mother at a small nearby shopping center which they both frequent.  A few weeks ago, during my visit to the Chicago area, I picked up the phone from my mother.  It was very (very) dirty, had plenty of scratches, and had tape stuck all over it, but it was the real thing.  I finally have it cleaned and reassembled and looking almost presentable.  Everything appears to be original, except the dial.

Larry

Online LarryInMichigan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 06:18:28 PM »
Here is te back of the dial which is obviously not original.

Online LarryInMichigan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 06:45:59 PM »
BTW, As far as I am aware, this phone spent its entire life, up to a few weeks ago, in Glenview, IL.  The seller told me that it had been in her house which was built in the late 1950s, and the "PArk 4-" (724), is still a prefix in use in that area.

I just called my mother with this phone to let her know that it is working.


Larry

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5610
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015, 06:57:20 PM »
That is a beautiful phone, Larry.  Yellow is one of my favorites in the soft plastic models.  They are also very difficult to find.  Those yellow housings are almost translucent.  You can hold it up to the light and see light through the plastic. 

It's odd that the dial was swapped out somewhere along the line.  They probably put in whatever was on the truck, without regard to the color suffix. 

Nice job on that Classic Rotary Phone.

~Dennis

Offline HarrySmith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5377
  • 1937 302
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 07:35:30 PM »
Nice find! Yellow 554's were plentiful in the 60's but hard to find in the soft plastic.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 12:45:41 AM »
Larry, that yellow 554 was a very nice score and it was great your mom could help you obtain it. I remember one time I got a Princess phone from an eBay seller who happened to know where my aunt's house was, so he was able to drop it off on his way and save me the shipping. It's nice when things work out like that.
 
Do you have any pictures of how your 554 looked before the restoration? It sure looks good now, and without any fading from all the stuff that was on it. 554s especially can be dirty with kitchen grease and dialing with dirty fingers, etc. and paint from the wall.
 
PArk 4 (and also PArk 2 and PArk 5) were early prefixes in Winston-Salem, NC near me and are all still in use. I've found two 500 sets from there with PArk number cards and that's all I've ever seen.
Jonathan

Online LarryInMichigan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015, 06:16:53 AM »
Do you have any pictures of how your 554 looked before the restoration? It sure looks good now, and without any fading from all the stuff that was on it. 554s especially can be dirty with kitchen grease and dialing with dirty fingers, etc. and paint from the wall.
 

I should have taken some 'before' pictures, but I did not.  The phone was really dirty though, and there was old masking tape around the back edges.  I think that someone might have taped it once to paint the wall around it and never bothered to remove the tape.  There was also alot of sticky adhesive residue which probably came from stickers or plastic tape.  I hade to use denatured alcohol to remove the residue.  The plastic still has plenty of scratches and dents, but fortunately no cracks.  The color isn't quite perfect, and the cord is quite faded.

I don't believe that I have ever seen another soft plastic yellow 554 for sale, so I expect that they are rather rare.

Larry

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2015, 08:54:08 AM »
Nice phone, Larry! I saw that on Craigslist over the summer, and it wasn't that far away from me either. I was considering getting it, but it would have been out of my way to pick it up.
Christian Petterson

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

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2015, 09:45:10 AM »
I don't believe that I have ever seen another soft plastic yellow 554 for sale, so I expect that they are rather rare.

They are pretty rare in yellow and the faded cord is normal for yellow during those years. I've seen worse, with it faded to ivory sometimes. It would have to be in a box or a dark basement not to fade the cord.
 
Just FYI, I looked through the last few years of my eBay bookmarks and found five yellow soft plastic 554s between 2012 and 2014, but nothing in the last year at all, and of course none of them are active links. I rename my bookmarks with a short description and the ending date so I can search them later, which comes in handy sometimes.
 
Since there hasn't been one since October 2014, I bet if you put it up for bids it would be quite an attention getter.
 
Edit: Oops, I was wrong. The last link from 10-2014 is still active. It went for $60, so hopefully you could at least double your money, if not more. The pictures are gone, but the link is still active, but who knows for how much longer.
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371162764620
 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 09:56:44 AM by jsowers »
Jonathan

Online LarryInMichigan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 10:43:19 AM »
I don't believe that I have ever seen another soft plastic yellow 554 for sale, so I expect that they are rather rare.
Edit: Oops, I was wrong. The last link from 10-2014 is still active. It went for $60, so hopefully you could at least double your money, if not more. The pictures are gone, but the link is still active, but who knows for how much longer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/371162764620
 

I am very surprised that it got only $60, especially since the seller is a well-known phone seller, and the listing states that it is soft plastic.  I guess that I had better cancel my purchase offer on that villa in the Bahamas ;).


Larry

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 12:35:48 PM »
I am very surprised that it got only $60, especially since the seller is a well-known phone seller, and the listing states that it is soft plastic.  I guess that I had better cancel my purchase offer on that villa in the Bahamas ;) .

Yeah, you'd better not quit your day job.  ;)   I've gotten phones from Jim (atca) a few times and they've been great. I don't remember how good or bad this partcular one looked, though. The soft plastic 554 isn't everyone's cup of tea, I guess. I do think yours would bring more in today's climate. But not everyone wants to collect 554s. They're not so easy to display and often they have cracks in the housing resulting from people who didn't know how to remove it from the base or put it back on correctly, or pack it for shipping. I've gotten lots of damaged ones over the years. You're lucky yours is OK.
Jonathan

Online LarryInMichigan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4910
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 01:09:30 PM »
I realize that wall phones tend to bring less than desk phones because of the difficulties in displaying or using them.  I have wall phones lying all over the place begging to be displayed.  I couldn't pass on this one though.  It actually didn't cost me anything because my mother told me to consider it a gift from her :).


Larry

Offline 19and41

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1998
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2015, 02:19:02 PM »
And now for some harvest gold appliances, so it'll feel right at home.   :)
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2015, 03:06:44 PM »
And now for some harvest gold appliances, so it'll feel right at home.   :)
Or, better yet, look for color-matched appliances in the color phone you want, in the hopes of finding a wall phone in that color!

Now to find a Dark Blue refrigerator... ::)
Christian Petterson

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

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7096
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: Yellow Soft Plastic WE 554
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 08:24:55 PM »
I don't believe that I have ever seen another soft plastic yellow 554 for sale, so I expect that they are rather rare.
Edit: Oops, I was wrong. The last link from 10-2014 is still active. It went for $60, so hopefully you could at least double your money, if not more. The pictures are gone, but the link is still active, but who knows for how much longer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/371162764620
 

I am very surprised that it got only $60, especially since the seller is a well-known phone seller, and the listing states that it is soft plastic.  I guess that I had better cancel my purchase offer on that villa in the Bahamas ;).


Larry
Jim Engle is a great ATCA guy. He is just throwing stuff on eBay usually with a $12 starting bid and more often than not in the wrong catergory. Follow him and you will get some super deals....I know I have. They don't come much better than Jim..Doug
Kidphone