Author Topic: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion  (Read 7922 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« on: April 07, 2016, 02:58:58 PM »
I found this on the Collector's Weekly eBay Auction page, and apparently the seller accepted a BiN even though it was strictly an auction at $25 starting bid.

It looks like the base was marked similarly to the 500 equipped with an electronic ringer mentioned last year.

Does anyone know exactly what it is?

www.ebay.com/itm/322065356094
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 03:08:42 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 06:16:31 PM »
I think the seller got a lot more than $25 to pull it from eBay. Some collector wanted the marked base. Ringer looks like it is MIA as the volume control is empty. I would have loved to have seen the inside of it. Those are some deep scratches on the base....Doug
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 06:21:11 PM by Doug Rose »
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Offline andre_janew

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 06:42:06 PM »
It is labeled as a trial set.  It is dated July 1956.  I figure they were testing some sort of phone related component or accessory with this phone.  What it could be I have no idea.  A new 425-type network? 

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 08:00:52 PM »
Apparently what they were testing was a ringer, I sent the seller a message about the phone and she states it has a ringer box inside, I also think some "helpful" eBayer advised her of what she had. Here is her message:

I happened to find some research on the phone and realized, as you probably knew, that it is an extremely rare phone. It has the ringer box inside as the phone was used for testing it. They made 400 or 500 of these phones. Mine is number 380 I believe. My research shows that the phone is worth much more than I realized. If you are interested in making an offer, let me know. i Have received several offers already on it.
Thanks

What offer should I make her?

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unbeldi

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 08:27:35 PM »
Without seeing just what this "ringer box"  inside is, I wouldn't offer much at all.  What they tested could have been removed.

But, we do know that they did conduct tests in 1956 for the tone ringer that was used later in the Morris trial.

The suffix —R might indeed mean that it was a ringer that was tested.

The seller is located in West Orange, NJ, and seems to be a reseller of estate items.  The Oranges (West, South, East) used to be upscale towns where a lot of Bell Labs engineers lived. From there it is just a short train ride to get into Manhattan to AT&T, WECo, and BTL may still have had offices there too, on the other hand Whippany isn't far to the West, were Bell Labs was, and where the Morris System was developed.

So it does make sense that the seller would find something like this.

Note that the line cord of the set was shown in the ad, and it has only two conductors, no ground!  This might also indicate that the test was for a ringer that operated only on tip and ring.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 08:42:54 PM by unbeldi »

Offline poplar1

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 08:36:13 PM »
Another auction photo
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unbeldi

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 08:50:45 PM »
The trial at Crystal lake in 1956/7 supposedly only involved 300 sets, but who knows whether they started with number 1, or perhaps 100?

I wonder how she  "just happened to find some research on the set".    Perhaps she found some notebooks by the engineer?
Other than that, it is rather difficult to find coherent research on these developments, surely not something a novice might be able to pull together.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 08:54:20 PM by unbeldi »

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 10:08:14 PM »
The trial at Crystal lake in 1956/7 supposedly only involved 300 sets, but who knows whether they started with number 1, or perhaps 100?

I wonder how she  "just happened to find some research on the set".    Perhaps she found some notebooks by the engineer?
Other than that, it is rather difficult to find coherent research on these developments, surely not something a novice might be able to pull together.

Nudge, nudge, "Mr. Helpful."

Ben

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 10:08:37 PM »
The auction pic showing the handset logo shows the "G-1" deliberately scratched out.  Would Bell Labs have changed something in the handset and then obliterated the model number, since it was no longer a regular G-1? 
Paul

unbeldi

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 10:21:14 PM »
The auction pic showing the handset logo shows the "G-1" deliberately scratched out.  Would Bell Labs have changed something in the handset and then obliterated the model number, since it was no longer a regular G-1?

Very keen observation, this could indeed indicate that this was a transistorized telephone.  It might have had a dynamic or condenser microphone, and a different receiver.


Offline RotarDad

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 10:32:00 PM »
Unbeldi - This endeavor seems a bit strange to me.  They stamp an entirely different base (expensive tooling) and install different components in 1956, then decide to keep making basically the same old 500 for 30 more years???
Paul

unbeldi

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 10:53:05 PM »
Unbeldi - This endeavor seems a bit strange to me.  They stamp an entirely different base (expensive tooling) and install different components in 1956, then decide to keep making basically the same old 500 for 30 more years???

Well, Bell Labs worked on many 'strange' projects, that either went somewhere, or did not.

BUT, the tone ringer and transistorized telephone were a component of the project toward the first electronic switching system,  the 1ESS, the largest research and development project in Bell System's history, before and after, and perhaps the largest any industry ever undertook.  The first incarnation, the Morris (IL) system used a different local loop design that had to avoid high voltage AC ringing current. Ringing was by audible frequencies which provided fully-selective party line service for alerting and the same circuit generated ANI toward the central office for message rate.

Here is some recently relevant history:  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=14504.0

But, indeed, while the Electronic Office became a reality, the tone ringer was abandoned after the Morris trial of 1960-62, in favor of the traditional local loop design with analog ringing and rotary dialing.  To convert the entire continent to this concept was apparently prohibitive.

But we don't know what this set really was for.... so let's see if we get more info through another auction.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 09:27:23 AM by unbeldi »

Offline andre_janew

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 12:19:45 PM »
They probably tried different things that either turned out to be impractical or too expensive to produce at the time.  They could've come back to them later when they were more practical and less expensive to produce.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 12:39:46 PM by andre_janew »

unbeldi

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2016, 12:31:15 PM »
The probably tried different things that either turned out to be impractical or too expensive to produce at the time.  They could've come back to them later when they were more practical and less expensive to produce.

The first tone-dialing (later known as Touch-Tone) experiments were carried out around 1941 and after the war several field trials were held, but the project was shelved (but not really) for a decade until the transistor made it all reliable enough for consumer use.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Field Trial 500? F-51674-R Discussion
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 12:41:22 PM »
I have a MAJOR question. When did they start marking the bases as Field trial sets ?
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