Author Topic: Let's not rewrite history.  (Read 1110 times)

Online Stan S

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Let's not rewrite history.
« on: July 24, 2016, 10:57:07 AM »
An auction for a copy of a 1935 Gray Paystation Catalog closed on Ebay yesterday. It was auction number 322194838160

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gray-Telephone-Pay-Station-1935-Original-Hardcover-Pay-telephone-Catalog-/322194838160

The seller asked the question:
Quote
"Ever wonder just WHY Gray began manufacturing their payphone bottom housings with only "Gray Manufacturing Company" stamped into their front edge (note photo above). I got a kick out of reading the "spin" that Gray put on their explanation for this change after Western Electric began manufacturing ALL of their own pay telephones in-house; basically pulled the rug out from under Gray.

Now I have a question, WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT!
Why did Gray emboss the front edge with "Gray Manufacturing Company"?
Because THAT WAS THEIR NAME.
IT HADN'T CHANGED SINCE DAY ONE!!

Gray ALWAYS embossed their paystations that way going back to the model 102. The 102 was manufactured at the same time as the Gray/Western 50A (about 1912).

Obviously the writer had absolutely no knowledge of payphone history or the Gray Manufacturing Co.

After the partnership with Western Electric began, Gray had two production lines building payphones at the same time.
One built Gray's part of the paystations embossed:
"The Gray Paystation Company and Western Electric Company Inc. Makers"
 
The other built paystations embossed "The Gray Telephone Paystation Company Hartford Conn USA'.

The payphones with only "The Gray Telephone Paystation Company" were sold to independent phone companies.
Of course the ones marked with Western Electric Makers only went to Western Electric.
The two types of embossing had absolutely NOTHING to do with the parting of the ways of the two companies.

Look closely at the side by side 50Gs in the attached picture. They are electrically identical. They were both manufactured at more or less the same time and CERTAINLY WAY BEFORE Western Electric started to manufacture their own payphones. Note the embossing on both!

The circuit diagrams although electrically identical have different numbers. There are slight differences in the hoppers, and the coin relays probably to circumvent patents.

I started this topic in an attempt to counter the misinformation in that auction. Fortunately, the writer took FULL CREDIT FOR HIS VERBIAGE. A good thing, because everyone now knows where it came from.

The ability of the Internet to spread information is vast. Unfortunately,this goes for misinformation as well. If nonsense  hangs around long enough it eventually becomes truth.

Because of the way Google and other search engines are programmed, websites like the 'Classic Rotary Phone Forum' are given priority in a search (unless you are a commercial Google customer and pay them-yes they have those).

Hopefully this posting will appear first when anyone searches Gray Manufacturing or anything related to their partnership with Western Electric and counter the misinformation in that auction.

LET'S NOT REWRITE THE HISTORY OF OUR HOBBY!!!

Stan S.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 11:12:05 AM by TelePlay »

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2016, 12:04:22 PM »
Stan - Thanks for the info!  I've been thinking for a while how great it would be if you were willing to document your knowledge of payphone history.  Ron Knappen' s book is very nice, but it is really a scrapbook of pics/articles/observations, rather than a true history.  Your vast knowledge written down would be a great benefit to collectors now and in the future.  A lot of work I'm sure, but you do have the passion to undertake such an effort.  If you ever decide to tackle that project, put me on the order list for a first edition!
Paul

Online Stan S

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 12:41:44 PM »
Paul
Thanks for the kind words. However, there are folks around (at least they were the last time I looked) who actually worked in the industry as payphone technicians who have far more knowledge than I have.

I doubt there are many young people who have the slightest interest in payphones. If you look at the pictures taken at phone shows the only thing increasing is the amount of gray hair (or no hair at all).

It's a very small audience and getting smaller every day. How's that for a buzz kill? 
 
Stan S.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 05:59:04 PM by DavePEI »

Offline Kimball321

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2016, 05:25:21 PM »
I'm one of those few young people who are interested in payphones.  And when I was at the show in Lancaster I met a 15 year old from the Detroit area (forgot his name) who already had more payphones then me!
I collect payphones :)

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2016, 09:33:29 PM »
Stan - I understand your concern about the aging collectors.  However, I believe the less-common, high-quality items will hold their value and collector interest much better than the other stuff.  I was thinking your knowledge on many of those earlier phones would be extremely helpful in the future.  Think of it as a way to help perpetuate the hobby!    Documentation is essential in any serious hobby - look at the Corvette folks.....  You're not starting from scratch anyway - there is a decent resource there already just aggregating all your posts and PMs on this Forum!  OK, I'll shut up now.... ;)

Paul

Offline shortrackskater

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 12:40:44 PM »
I realize this is almost a year old with no replies but I too would love to read a chronological book regarding payphone history. I have Ron's book but it is basically a scrapbook. Fun to read, but there's zero continuity to it.
Stan! I nominate you to write it. You have GREAT writing skills, especially in your Coin Controller as well as your Ebay listings. It's actually FUN to read them.

Online Stan S

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 04:24:33 PM »
Mark
"I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."
Stan S.
and
General William Tecumseh Sherman 1884

Offline shortrackskater

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 07:04:34 PM »
Darn!!! That's okay.  ;D

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 07:18:22 AM »
I have a interesting theory if you set a gray paystation bottom next to a gray western bottom you will notice that the western electric part was just simply stamped below the gray paystation words. It's the same bottom. So nothing to do with any split. Just the selling of a product to another company. As for the 50A and the 102 I agree with Stan 102 first 50A second. So the same thing is truer again I believe that the 102 had a Gray paystation only tag and then a Gray Western tag when the phones were sold for W/E. There is a long story here. To much to type now. But I will say beyond a picture. I have never seen a Gray 102 with the Gray only tag beyond a picture. I have a 102 but with the Gray W/E tag. I believe this phone if ever found is the holy grail.

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 08:27:28 AM »
Jim, are you trying to say that you believe all Gray bottoms were stamped with "The Gray Telephone Paystation Company" and were either added with "and Western Electric Company makers" or "Hartford, Connecticut, USA" depending on whether or not it was sold to WE? It doesn't really seem like to WE part was simply added on to the existing script. Notice how the upper section of the tag is moved higher to accommodate the WE part, but not the Hartford part. To me, it seems like they just started with unmarked bottoms, and stamped the entire script on, depending on where that bottom was headed.
Christian

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

Online Stan S

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 10:01:26 AM »
Quote
To me, it seems like they just started with unmarked bottoms, and stamped the entire script on, depending on where that bottom was headed.

It would be impossible to do that.
The entire front of the bottom section was stamped in the flat. Edges, bends and embossing.
The two sides and the bottom surface along with the folded back edges were one piece. The front was a second.
The two pieces were seam welded and ground smooth.

Apparently the second line (whatever it said) was added to the original die.
See attachment.

Stan S.




Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 01:51:11 PM »
love the picture.... too bad technology has taken over all these old jobs... wouldn't it be nice to see men working again like this.....
John

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 02:37:58 PM »
love the picture.... too bad technology has taken over all these old jobs... wouldn't it be nice to see men working again like this.....
For $10 a week and all the hours you could work, I'll take technology
Kidphone

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 03:02:00 PM »
love the picture.... too bad technology has taken over all these old jobs... wouldn't it be nice to see men working again like this.....
You still can.  I set up, program and run a Cincinnati 175-ton hydraulic press brake in a factory.  We have many types and sizes of press brakes where I work, as well as a host of punch presses of different sizes and tonnages.

One thing that strikes me as odd in the photo above is the way that the various machine operators just have the parts piled on the floor, either stacked neatly as is the case with the men further down the line, or just tossed in a pile as is the case with the guy in front.  Makes me wonder about all the time wasted picking them up and getting them to the next operation...  ::)  Not sure when the item I've posted below was invented, but it sure would've saved a lot of headaches.  We use these collapsible parts baskets in four different sizes; the one pictured below is a medium-sized one for us.  We also have larger non-collapsible baskets we call "Ford baskets" because they were made and used by the automotive companies for transporting parts.   We have hundreds of them, if not thousands.  All of them are fully stackable and can be easily moved around with a pallet jack or forklift.  I can't imagine that pallet jacks didn't exist in those days, and they certainly should have been able to use one on that hardwood floor.  Even a big wooden crate or cardboard box on a pallet would have been better than nothing!
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

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Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Let's not rewrite history.
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 07:16:47 PM »
Not referring to the later Hartford Connecticut bottom only the Gray pay station bottom. And I have a bottom with nothing on it from the same era. They are super rare.