Author Topic: B1 No. 2  (Read 4275 times)

Offline NorthernElectric

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B1 No. 2
« on: March 19, 2016, 11:49:14 AM »
A while back, I bought a Northern Electric D1 that had a Western Electric E1 handset on it.  Later on, I found a Northern Electric E1 handset to replace it with, so I've had a spare Western Electric E1 kicking around for a while.  So, I've been keeping my eyes open for a suitable phone to use it on.  I found such a phone yesterday, but I almost didn't buy it.

In this topic, I posted about a Northern Electric manual candlestick with a Western Electric OST receiver.  I had seen this on an online classified site.  The seller had a few phones listed but at that time the candlestick was the only one I was interested in.  I checked back a couple of days later and he had posted a few more, one of them a B1 but with a Kellogg handset.

From the angle the low res photos were taken at, it looked like it might have had an externally mounted fingerstop, but I wasn't sure so asked for a photo from the side.  The photo I got back confirmed that the dial had an external fingerstop but the angle did not allow me to read the stamp.  I made arrangements with the seller to go and look at it Friday.

When I got there, I was disappointed with the phone.  When I looked inside I saw only 4 contacts on the dial and due to a bit of verdigris and/or dirt, I misread the stamp on the fingerstop as 2AB.  That coupled with the Kellogg handset got me thinking this was a complete frankenphone.  To make matters worse, there was a hole drilled on either side of the base towards the back through the top of the outer edge and through the base plate, presumably to bolt the phone down (where the red arrows point) which either weren't visible or I failed to notice in the photos.  This is even more of a shame due to the fact that the finish is in better shape than my other B1 or any of my D1s.  Perhaps it was used in a public location where theft was a possibility at one time in it's history; that's the only reason I could think of for anyone doing that.

I told the seller that it was a shame that I had come all that way (almost 3 hours drive) to go home empty handed, but I didn't think I would be interested.  Since I already had a B1 I was not desperate to buy a phone that I might be less than happy with.  He said he was trying to declutter and though he was beating around the bush a bit it finally sunk in that he wanted me to make him an offer, any offer.  I decided I would make a real lowball offer, less than a third of his asking price, half hoping he would refuse and that would put an end to it.  But he accepted and I left with the phone.

When I got it home and examined it more carefully, I discovered that the dial was actually a 2HB and that the end of the contact strip was broken off.  The wire for the R terminal was there, but the screw lug was missing, as were the screw (and nut?) from the terminal strip.  I removed the dial and replaced it with a dial blank and swapped the Kellogg handset for my spare E1 last night.  This morning I had a bit of a brainstorm.  I had a 5H dial with a governor problem that I wasn't using, so I decided to see if I could (temporarily?) repair the dial by swapping the 5H contacty assembly onto it.  It seemed to work so I hooked it up to a 684BX using the WR-C63.373 circuit posted here.

I feel a bit better about my purchase now.

I have a few questions for the experts:

Will there be any problems using the 5H contacts on this dial?

How easy would it be to obtain a set of contacts for this dial?

Were the same contacts also used on the 4H?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 12:31:15 PM by NorthernElectric »
Cliff

unbeldi

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2016, 12:32:55 PM »
Yes, all H-type dials until 1952 (before the No. 6 dial) have compatible contact arrangements.   So a 2H = 4H = 5H.
The H type was first used for the handset mountings, and that makes it easy to remember which dial should go onto a Handset mounting, but it is not known whether this was a coincidence, or by design.

The difference between these dials (2, 4, 5) was in principle based on the desire for more quiet operation. The No. 5 dial also introduced twin-contacts in the 1940s to improve reliability of electrical contact.  More obvious is the placement of the W contact screw in front of the pileup in No. 5 dials, while it was in the "rear", i.e. close to the governor previously.

I have not so far thought of contemplating this, but since your old contact assembly is broken, you might examine if the old W terminal could be used on the 5H stack in the rear to make it look older.   I would have to consult pictures or some sets right now to examine this idea.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 12:41:43 PM by unbeldi »

Offline poplar1

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 01:08:57 PM »
I have heard that when 2-type and 4-type dials were updated with twin contacts, it was necessary to enlarge a hole under the terminal strip to accommodate the redesigned terminal strip. I have not verified this.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2016, 01:38:55 PM »
Yes, all H-type dials until 1952 (before the No. 6 dial) have compatible contact arrangements.   So a 2H = 4H = 5H.

Supplementary question:  Could a 2AB dial be converted to a 2H (functionally speaking) by swapping on a set of H contacts?  I don't have one but recently passed up what seemed like a decent price on one because I didn't have a WE dial stick that needed a dial.

I have heard that when 2-type and 4-type dials were updated with twin contacts, it was necessary to enlarge a hole under the terminal strip to accommodate the redesigned terminal strip. I have not verified this.

I'm pretty sure that the 5H contacts screwed down flat to the base with no problem, but I will double check that.  I don't know if it makes any difference but the donor 5H dial was a Northern.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 01:41:46 PM by NorthernElectric »
Cliff

Offline Ktownphoneco

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2016, 02:01:15 PM »
Yes, and they sometimes were.      The finger stop would either be stamped over with an "X", and an "H" added as in the picture below, or a replacement "2HB" finger stop would be installed in place of the original one stamped "2AB".

Jeff Lamb

unbeldi

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2016, 02:01:52 PM »
Yes, all H-type dials until 1952 (before the No. 6 dial) have compatible contact arrangements.   So a 2H = 4H = 5H.

Supplementary question:  Could a 2AB dial be converted to a 2H (functionally speaking) by swapping on a set of H contacts?  I don't have one but recently passed up what seemed like a decent price on one because I didn't have a WE dial stick that needed a dial.

I have heard that when 2-type and 4-type dials were updated with twin contacts, it was necessary to enlarge a hole under the terminal strip to accommodate the redesigned terminal strip. I have not verified this.

I'm pretty sure that the 5H contacts screwed down flat to the base with no problem, but I will double check that.  I don't know if it makes any difference but the donor 5H dial was a Northern.


I believe so.   Aside from the contact assembly, the No. 2 dials all use the same mechanism.
Hmm, I could easily test that as I have a WECo 2AA, and also a NE-5H dial sitting on the shelf next to the desk.

Offline Ktownphoneco

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 03:00:09 PM »
Regarding type 2 dial conversions, I should have mentioned that a considerable number of type 2 dials were converted to type 4H dials, once the D1 came onto the market.    The "H" type spring contacts were installed, the side mounted external finger stop removed and the 2 holes filled with lead.    The case was then drilled and tapped to allow for the installation of the new internally mounted finger stop, the notch-less number plate swapped for a notched plate, an ink "4H" stamp placed on the back of the case (most of the time), and the dial was ready to be installed in a recessed dial mount telephone set.

Jeff Lamb

Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2016, 03:06:46 PM »
Yes, and they sometimes were.      The finger stop would either be stamped over with an "X", and an "H" added as in the picture below, or a replacement "2HB" finger stop would be installed in place of the original one stamped "2AB".

Jeff Lamb

I have seen that H in a square stamp before, but on a candlestick perch.  It is stamped 20AL on the rear and 20AB with the H in a square below it on the front.
Cliff

unbeldi

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 03:20:06 PM »
I would think that the H in a square box is a designation of the service center that performed the work.  Not a conversion type mark, such as converting going from 2AA to 2H, as in case of the dial.
I don't know what location H was though.  I only have a list seven single-letter designations.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 03:22:05 PM by unbeldi »

Offline Ktownphoneco

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 03:35:20 PM »
That's entirely possible.    I thought the mark might have been relevant to the "H" type spring set since it was placed right next to the "X" out "AB" markings.      However, the on the rear of that dial, the "W" terminal had a small red line through it, and the letter "R" stamped in red ink directly below.      On the upper  portion of the dial and to the right of the brass governor drum, is "2H" stamped in red ink.     So the letter "H" in a square box, may have more to do with indicating a conversion, rather than the spring set being installed.

Here pictures of the early type 2 dial with the case itself stamped "2A", and the word "STOP" stamped across the face of the finger stop.      The "2A" has been "X" stamped out, and the finger stop additionally stamped "2AB".     I'm assuming the case stamp only indicated the dial type, i.e., "2A", as at the time of manufacture, as workers making the dial would have no idea which porcelain number plate would be installed on it.       The square shoulder of the governor drum is rather unique to this dial, although I've seen it a couple of times on type 5 dials for some reason.

Jeff
   

unbeldi

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2016, 03:39:50 PM »
Is that fingerstop a repro?

I thought only No 1 finger stops had STOP embossed on them.

Also the lettering of 2AB does not look authentic.   I think the characters had the tiniest of serifs, but were not plain as this.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 03:42:25 PM by unbeldi »

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2016, 04:18:20 PM »
That's entirely possible.    I thought the mark might have been relevant to the "H" type spring set since it was placed right next to the "X" out "AB" markings.      However, the on the rear of that dial, the "W" terminal had a small red line through it, and the letter "R" stamped in red ink directly below.      On the upper  portion of the dial and to the right of the brass governor drum, is "2H" stamped in red ink.     So the letter "H" in a square box, may have more to do with indicating a conversion, rather than the spring set being installed.

Here pictures of the early type 2 dial with the case itself stamped "2A", and the word "STOP" stamped across the face of the finger stop.      The "2A" has been "X" stamped out, and the finger stop additionally stamped "2AB".     I'm assuming the case stamp only indicated the dial type, i.e., "2A", as at the time of manufacture, as workers making the dial would have no idea which porcelain number plate would be installed on it.       The square shoulder of the governor drum is rather unique to this dial, although I've seen it a couple of times on type 5 dials for some reason.

Jeff
   
Jeff....outstanding dial! I love the finger stop with STOP on it. Very nice indeed!!

Your dial plate looks like the ones that I have, with a very subtle red for the numbers. There was one going around eBay a month ago with really deep red numbers that I thought might be touched up, but I was in the minority....Doug
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 04:21:30 PM by Doug Rose »
Kidphone

Offline Ktownphoneco

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2016, 04:47:37 PM »
No, I'm sure it's a factory original.       When they finger stop was struck with the "2AB" stamp it distorted the surface slightly, as happens when they strike it with the "X" when doing a spring switch conversion.       I've had 2 type "2A" dials, 1 of which I sold.    Both had the word "STOP" across the face of the finger stop, however the other dial didn't have "2AB" stamped on the finger stop.     
I think it's quite plausible the finger stops left over from the very short life of the type 1 dials, ended up being installed on the type "2A" dials until the stock ran out.    Western wasn't one to throw out perfectly good parts if they could be used elsewhere, as has been demonstrated a number of times.    The 5302 comes to mind as a prime example.
I'd be hesitant to compare the "2AB" stamps used at the factory to those made and distributed to factory and telco refurbishing shops across the U.S.A., so that both the factory and the refurb shops produced exactly the same results.     
The only person that I'm aware of that made reproduction type 2 finger stops was Paul Vaverchak.   I could be wrong, but I don't think he had any made with "STOP" across the face.     
Plus the cost of having a manufacturer create a metal stamp, and stamp a dozen or two finger stops with the word "STOP" would tend to drive the cost up by quite a few dollars per finger stop.
But the most obvious difference between this finger stop and a reproduction made by the late Paul Vaverchack, are the edges.     His repro's are fairly sharp on the edges, making it quite obvious that they were stamped out of a piece of metal by a press of some sort.     This finger stop has more or less smooth curved edges.     That's one of the easiest ways to tell a repro from a factory original.   
Comparing this one to the ones displayed on Paul Fassbender's web site as best I can, I don't see any difference in them.     
But I guess it boils down to how does one prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a finger stop is authentic or a reproduction ?   

But once the "repro" seed is planted, it's hard to convince anyone otherwise.

Jeff

 

Offline poplar1

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2016, 06:44:07 PM »
     
The only person that I'm aware of that made reproduction type 2 finger stops was Paul Vaverchak.   

Mark (oldphoneshop) also makes them. Don (oldphoneworks) sells repro finger stops, but I don't know who makes his.

In oldphoneshop's Ebay listing # 201097052222 for new 3-48 finger stop screws:

 I have made the #2 AB and #2HB and 2AA finger stops but there are only going to be a small amount of extra screws.


Here is Mark's listing for repro screws for finger stops ($18 for 2 screws):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Western-Electric-telephone-2-AB-dial-Fingerstop-screws-convert-4-dials-/111468946961
(I don't know if the finger stop pictured in the listing and below is one of his creations.)

2nd photo is the repro 2AB finger stop being sold by OPW ($24.95 for fingerstop + 2 screws).
http://www.oldphoneworks.com/reproduction-2ab-fingerstop.html
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 06:46:06 PM by poplar1 »
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: B1 No. 2
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2016, 09:00:40 PM »
I've come across several 2AG dials with "STOP" written on the finger stop. Those dials are from 1920 or 1921 and I wondered if some of them might be, if not refurbished #1 dials, using parts that were originally intended for the #1 dial.

Jack