Poll

What do you think the Reserve is on this auction?

$1,000 to $1,499
0 (0%)
$1,500 to $1,999
1 (5.3%)
$2,000 to $2,499
3 (15.8%)
$2,500 to $2,999
1 (5.3%)
$3,000 to $3,499
3 (15.8%)
$3,500 to $3,999
0 (0%)
$4,000 to $4,999
2 (10.5%)
$5,000 to $6,000
7 (36.8%)
Over $6,000
2 (10.5%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Voting closed: October 23, 2016, 11:05:12 AM

Author Topic: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay  (Read 2430 times)

Offline TelePlay

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Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« on: October 17, 2016, 01:09:26 AM »
In the words of poplar1, "this one needs to be talked about . . . "

So, this topic is being created for any and all discussion of the WE clear 302 prototype that is now the subject phone of Special Auction Contest 16.

As such, use the Auction Contest for guesses only and use this topic for all commentary.

The eBay listing is at:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/original-Western-Electric-PROTOTYPE-Clear-302-Telephone-Rare-1939-Worlds-Fair-/131973004190

The Auction Contest (with all of the eBay photos) is at:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=16949.msg174788#msg174788


« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 08:02:12 AM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

unbeldi

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 01:26:29 PM »
Yes,...
I thought the mixture of parts is interesting.  I wonder whether the World Fair pamphlet was originally connected to this set, or acquired separately.

The parts of the phone appear to be from early 1937, perhaps even 1936.  The receiver capsule is still the development version.
But the handset cord is much younger.

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 02:40:10 PM »
I saw this one, and sent a PM to Jim H. I figured it's still too early in the auction to talk about.

Notice the field trial number on the base, and slots in the edge of the base. This was definitely pre-production, and I would guarantee the plastic is original.
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Offline Kenton K

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 02:43:19 PM »
The base is also interesting. It looks 1936-1937 with riveted feet, early 101a, early ringer mount, but the base also has a capacitor boss, which I thought didn't appear till 1938. Very cool.

Offline jsowers

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 02:48:26 PM »
Are the handset and housing made of DuPont Lucite instead of Tenite or whatever color 302s or clear 500s were made of? That handset looks like ice, it's so clear and unyellowed. Much unlike the clear 500s, which seem to darken with age.

Also since some of our newer members may not have seen it, here is Lucille Ball in a photo using a clear 302. She got married to Desi Arnaz in New York when the 1939-40 NY World's Fair was still on, and I'm thinking this picture was taken at the exhibit. I wonder which of the activities she was doing? Her father had been a lineman for the phone company when she was growing up, so she may have been more than casually interested in the telephone. I always thought she was a very smart lady.

Funny if it would be Lucite. Lucy on Lucite.  :)
Jonathan

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 02:51:15 PM »
Notice the field trial number on the base, and slots in the edge of the base.

Same number (7011) is also on the coil, capacitor, inside of base and receiver capsule. Ringer looks un-marked. Can't see the dial.

The feet suffer from having cord pads attached to them, one remains in place, but other that matted suede, the base, the whole phone is in very good condition.

Had 35 watchers this morning. Up to 47 watchers now with 5 bidders and sitting at $275. Snipe will require a chair and a stiff adult beverage but it will be fun to watch.

I wonder if Dennis knows the seller or the estate from which it came?
            John . . .

              

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 03:08:05 PM »
Are the handset and housing made of DuPont Lucite instead of Tenite or whatever color 302s or clear 500s were made of? That handset looks like ice, it's so clear and unyellowed. Much unlike the clear 500s, which seem to darken with age.

I search for a photo of that phone at the fair but only found this 1938 Pontiac Deluxe Six Ghost Car built by  (cost $25,000 to build in 1939 and sold at auction in the St. John's MI in July 2011 for $308,000).

The car was made of Plexiglass which was created by and brought to market in 1933 by Rohm & Haas. I am posting this because it too did not yellow over time. Many more pictures of the car are posted at a site detailing the auction and discussing the car and the material used to build it. The close up below shows no yellowing.

Rohm & Haas sold Plexiglass, DuPont sold Lucite, basically the same stuff. Both were created in the early 30's so either could have been used for either to market the product. GM and Bell had pavilions at the fair.
            John . . .

              

Online Jim Stettler

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 05:45:27 PM »
I think the seller is John Huckby's son Barry.

The 1939 clear 302's were used in the voice  mirror display. It should have a separate "listen-in" Receiver as well.

There are some internet photos that show the separate receiver.   They are part of on on-line collection from the fair.
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Online Jim Stettler

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 05:46:40 PM »
Here is a picture from 1939 Bell Labs Record.
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unbeldi

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2016, 05:55:17 PM »
Here is a picture from 1939 Bell Labs Record.

Yes, I was going to show this too.   Notice that the dial appears to have a transparent finger wheel as well.
I have been suspicious that the eBay phone is a reproduction built onto an early base.

As I mentioned... a mixture of parts that don't fit the time line.

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2016, 06:05:58 PM »
In less than a day, it's up to $1,132.99. I seems the modest reserve is higher. Lot of activity for 21 hours.
            John . . .

              

Online Doug Rose

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 06:20:23 PM »
Barry Huckebee is John ATCA Boss's son. This is just an outstanding phone. Cords can be replaced. I'm sure the WE dude just wanted to get it to work.You will never seen one again in this top flight condition. The sky is the limit. I say $25 K and I might be low. I have a Kotke, but this is just too cool. A lot of deep pockets out there.

The museum will own it...Slick (thanks DP I like it)
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Offline Pourme

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 08:28:10 PM »
Is it clear (see what I did there?) how many of these were produced?
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Offline jsowers

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Re: Very nice WE 1930s Clear 302 Prototype for sale on eBay
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 08:55:07 PM »
Thanks for all the info on this phone. It was Lucite. Here is some more I found, from our own site. There's a picture of actor Adolphe Menjou using a clear 302.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=2092.0

Is it clear (see what I did there?) how many of these were produced?

Something Jim posted in the thread above from a book by John Dommer says about 25 were produced. But I'm not too sure of its accuracy. It says "they were produced for the 1939 World's Fair in Chicago." But the Chicago World's Fair was in 1933-34. I guess he meant to say they were produced in Chicago at the Hawthorne Works for the 1939 New York World's Fair. But it's unclear exactly what it means. It's also typed on a typewriter and looks a bit on the amateur side to me. So take it however you wish.
Jonathan

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« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 09:52:28 PM by Jim S. »
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