Author Topic: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?  (Read 2166 times)

Offline Slal

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Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« on: April 07, 2016, 05:22:20 PM »
Hi everyone,

Been a while, but no dove gray phone yet.  (Haven't been looking though.)

What did get my attention was basic black, a color I'd dismissed earlier.  (Had been watching an old Glen Ford flick & think it featured a WE500 w/ straight cord.

Anyway, checked the Bay and here's what I got. 

Someone's Franken-phone or legit?  Quite a few dates but no red WE markings on bottom...

Have 14 days to return if bogus.

Seller claims no way to test it & all he did was polish it up.  (believable since quite a bit of white waxy stuff under finger wheel, in between housing & dial gasket, etc.

Smelled el-stinko in box & when opened phone up-- very dirty with dust, cobwebs, etc.

What's puzzling is black paint on bottom of chassis but no vermilion markings.

Dates inside chassis: 4-55 stamped over with 5-56.  Above it, 8-56

---
Housing: 10-53
Chassis / network: 2-54
Dial: 3-55
Handset 2-56 (no "acoustic cotton" inside bakelite handsets?)
RCVR: 1-6-54
XMTR: 9-6-55
Cord mounts: '56

Anyone know if bell had their own warehouses-- would remove & replace off shelves rather than sending phones to WE?

Seems like quite a bit of refurb activity over just 2 - 3 years. 

thx

--Bruce

PS:  would've posted photos but error: "fail security check"   ???

6 photos > file size & account limit?

Offline Slal

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 05:44:57 PM »
Problem with attachments solved.

Apologies for clutter.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 10:31:30 AM by Slal »

Offline Slal

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 10:29:47 AM »
OK looks like metadata in Jpg was messing up attachments. 

Quick questions / answers.

1.) Note brush strokes on bottom, but no vermilion stamps.

When did WE start this practice?

Did WE or Bell paint over their own markings c. 1954 - 1956?

2.) I ask because stamps on both inside & outside seem redundant. 

Did Bell warehouses (if they had them) ever stamp phones when they were serviced but not sent off to WE for refurb?

3.)  Did bakelite handsets have acoustic cotton?  This one didn't have any.

4.)  My timeline from Beatrico (sp?) has retractile cords standard by 1956 but with a question mark after it.

Still using straight HS cords in February of '56?

Thanks for any replies.  What started out as just a whim has me curious about phones again. ; )

--Bruce




« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 12:21:30 PM by Slal »

unbeldi

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 11:49:28 AM »
Well, there is no short answer.

In 1956, both retractile as well as straight cords are possible, as they were possible even earlier and also later.
Until 1956, the straight cords were standard in general, but it depended in detail on the color, there are posts in the forum that go into all the details for that.
For black that is probably valid just the same, I have seen many 1955 straight-corded sets, but rarely a 1956, IIRC.  Check the dates on the strain relief of your cord to see when they might have been installed.
Refurbishing stamps were usually applied in service centers on sets they worked on, but many telephone companies also had their own shops with perhaps less stringent procedures.  Certainly, many parts, especially damaged cords were replaced by a field technician with parts from the truck.
You need to account for all dates and details and indications to come up with a good guess for the timeline of events of a telephone, and still not all can be explained reliably.

In urban areas, telephone turnover could be very high, sometimes you see sets with a dozen refurbishing stamps in a few years.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 11:56:26 AM by unbeldi »

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 12:00:45 PM »
Slal -

1) I believe the refurb centers marked the bottoms normally with vermilion or white paint showing service dates or new model certainly in the timeframe of your phone.  They certainly painted over original markings.  Yours is unusual having what looks like a refurb date stamp inside.  Of the many dozens of 500s I've worked on, only one (a 1950) had no refurb mark on the bottom, but had a vermilion date stamp inside, ahead of the ringer (1960, I think).

2) I don't know.

3) No cotton in Bakelite G-1s.

4) Straight cords were made well into '57 I believe (the rubber fat ones), and a thin vinyl version continued into the early 60's, but is seldom seen now.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 12:02:32 PM by RotarDad »
Paul

unbeldi

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 12:17:47 PM »

4) Straight cords were made well into '57 I believe (the rubber fat ones), and a thin vinyl version continued into the early 60's, but is seldom seen now.

Rubber was gone by early 50s, replaced by Neoprene, then PVC by the mid 50s.
Straight cords were still available into the 1970s, upon request, as type H4CL.

Recent discussion:  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=15987.0


Offline RotarDad

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2016, 02:11:43 PM »
Thanks Unbeldi for correcting my info on the cords.  Your knowledge on so much of this stuff is quite impressive...... :)
Paul

unbeldi

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2016, 02:26:36 PM »
Thanks Unbeldi for correcting my info on the cords.  Your knowledge on so much of this stuff is quite impressive...... :)

Thanks, I keep notes!

I am not even sure that any of the cords for 500 sets actually used natural rubber anymore.  At least the design goals stated in the 1949 conferences already mention Neoprene as the material for cord jackets, but it was also stated that "That is still subject to investigation in the Laboratories."
Neoprene is very similar to rubber, so they can be hard to keep apart.  I think the cords for the 300 sets still used rubber, but I am not at all sure that it was still used on any of 500 set cords.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 02:28:26 PM by unbeldi »

Offline Slal

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 12:53:06 PM »
Thanks for replies.

Maybe there isn't an answer-- other than I have a lovable "mutt" of a phone so I don't have to worry about it for everyday use.

1.) @RotarDad: No cotton in bakelite HS.  Got it.  Thanks.

2.) @unbeldi: both handset & line cord stays are '56.  The number card (if not a reproduction) has 1958 on the top of it.  So latest phone might've have been used would be 58 or so?  No way to tell?

a.) What were these cards used for?  Public phones?  Infer residential or business would have "SAtex 1234" or similar.

3.) Still a puzzle about why they'd paint the bottom only to stamp the inside.  Someone with a little bit of knowledge got a solvent & removed ones on the bottom?  Possible, but I guess no way of knowing.

4.) Nice to know about frequency of refurbs.  Up to a dozen!  That sounds like some pretty rough use, or maybe-- just like today-- updates?

Anyway, an interesting 'plain old black phone' for me at least.  All I did was move ringer's black wire on network to green & was in business.   Try that with most anything else over 60 years old.  Probably wouldn't work!   :)

best

--Bruce

unbeldi

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 01:05:12 PM »
The number card had a year on it?
Sounds interesting.
Can you show us?

Perhaps the inside stamps were placed there because they changed the handset cord.  They do seem to agree with the date on the cord. The cord restraint also has the quarter on it, along with the cord type, and often the length.
For example:
4-0
H4BF
III
5|6   (on either side of the clamped restraint)

Did they overpaint an older mark on the bottom?   Perhaps there was a rust spot?


Offline Slal

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 11:21:58 AM »
Hmmm...  Now that you mention it, some pitting beneath painted areas on bottom, but very small.  Doubt there will ever be an answer to that one.  ; )

Line & HS stays: tarnished but looks like...

D3BB / I
H4B1 / II

Number Card:  Not a very good picture but here is.

Anyone know what this style was used for?


Offline poplar1

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2016, 12:03:53 AM »

Line & HS stays: tarnished but looks like...

D3BB / I
H4B1 / II

Anyone know what this style was used for?


The year (56) is visible on the handset restraint in one of your pictures.

The fourth character in the handset cord code should be a letter, not the numeral 1. Possibly H4BF?
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Slal

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2016, 10:34:15 AM »
Handset was indeed an "F"  - Thanks!

B or an 8 on line cord?

Long as I had macro lens out, here's better photo of card.

Does anyone know what this style's intended use was for? 

Hotels or anywhere they'd be wanting to play up long distance?

thx

--Bruce

« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 10:38:45 AM by Slal »

Offline poplar1

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2016, 11:02:52 AM »
No 8 suffix for WE cords that I've heard about.

1st character = Letter = purpose:
         H = Handset
         D = Desk stand (line cord)
         R = Receiver

2nd character = Numeral = how many conductors

3rd (and optional 4th) =  Letter(s) to distinguish from other cords with same first letter and number (length of leads, color of leads, etc.)
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Slal

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Re: Refurb Dates on Black WE 500?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2016, 11:40:01 AM »
Great!  Add that to my notes.

Learned couple of things from this old mongrel.

Thanks, everyone, for replies.

Bruce