Author Topic: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard  (Read 1084 times)

Offline Brinybay

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Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« on: March 04, 2017, 08:28:29 PM »
Good price?  This one is more to my liking, has a nice vintage look to it, and I could use it as a desk.  Just not sure I could afford it, but if the asking price is a screaming deal, I will snatch it up.

Quote

Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard - $883

This is a collectible Western Electric 555 corded switchboard PBX. I'm not sure of the year it was made. It was operating in the Chinook Motel, in Seattle, in the Skyway area. As a sales guy for Pacific NW Bell in the 70's, I sold this motel a new telephone system (Com Key). I had the PNB installer cut the trunk cable and deliver this unit to my house, where I've had it ever since. I always hoped to connect this to my home phone but never got around to doing it. I'm told it's easy to do. It's in nice condition for it's age. It was working perfectly when it was uninstalled. It's only been moved twice so it's very much how it was when it was taken out of service. I have a copy of an operations manual for it and there's a lot of info online related to it. The size is 4' high, 2.5' wide and 2.5' deep. (By the way, I haven't cleaned it. It will look better when I do.)
It's very cool and always gets a lot of attention. It makes a unique and functional desk. I think it will continue to increase in value.
It's time for me to move this on.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 08:32:36 PM by Brinybay »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 09:16:21 PM »
Isn't the asking price $883 or am I misreading something?

If so, that is pretty high. Even at that price these are always a pretty good deal per pound but the weight is what keeps the price down.

You need to do lots of bargaining with him but I assume this is at least within range for you?

Terry

Offline poplar1

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 09:21:00 PM »
The going price for a working 551 or 555  is probably in the $400 range. On the other hand, this one was carefully removed and cared for, and it is close by. The 552 I would think would be worth $100 for parts.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 12:58:02 PM »
Even at that price these are always a pretty good deal per pound but the weight is what keeps the price down.

You need to do lots of bargaining with him but I assume this is at least within range for you?

Terry

You didn't misread it, they're asking $883.  What do these things weigh?  The distance is very doable, he's just on the other end of town.  I would have to factor in the cost of getting it transported (kinda like buying on ebay.)  I'm assuming that it will take more than a dolly, a friend (if I can find one), and my Ford Ranger pickup.  I would also have to justify it with my wife, especially since we are hunting for a new washer and dryer.  That's the hard part.  I sent an email to the seller asking if he's open to offers and the logistics of moving it, waiting to hear back.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 01:17:51 PM by Brinybay »
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Offline Brinybay

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 02:17:47 PM »
Did some measuring, it won't fit through the office doorway even with trim and door removed.  Anita said it could go in the living room where the Majestic radio is now, but I would have to get rid of the radio.  That would only involve moving some furniture to get it in.  In theory it's doable, but other factors like the cost and that we have other priorities at this time have to come first. 
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Offline Jim S.

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 03:14:09 PM »
The "desk" comes off easily.
Jim
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You die, you forget it all.

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 05:04:05 PM »
The "desk" comes off easily.
Jim

That helps, thanks!  In that case, I could get it into the office.  I heard back from the seller, he's pretty firm on the price.  What would y'all do, buy it or pass? 

Quote
Hi Greg. I'm not sure of the actual weight. Two guys, a dolly and a pickup would do it. I'm pretty firm on the price. I might come down a little bit. I'm getting a fair amount of interest, so far, mostly from out-of-towners.

Steve

In favor: 

Functioning when removed, not been stripped.
It has a connection to this area.
Comes with a manual.
Seller claims it can be moved with muscle and pickup.

Not in favor:

Price is high, won't dicker much.
I would need to find a friend to help move it.  They tend to disappear when asked to help move something.
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Offline Brinybay

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 10:39:01 PM »
The going price for a working 551 or 555  is probably in the $400 range. On the other hand, this one was carefully removed and cared for, and it is close by. The 552 I would think would be worth $100 for parts.

Looks like you were right, here's one in similar condition that sold for far less.  I think I'll wait.  I can go as far as BC and Oregon.

http://tinyurl.com/h4y5tm9
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Offline Brinybay

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 10:45:15 PM »
But then, compared to this one it's a bargain!

http://tinyurl.com/z87lger

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Offline trainman

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2017, 11:48:55 PM »
The cord units are modular. a plug and a quarter turn screw. you can take them out to reduce the weight of the actual frame. heck, even the wood panels come off. look for the screws holding them to the frame, then the panels lift straight up and off brackets.  you need to take the top off first. there is one screw for the side hidden under the top. 3 screw on the top and 4 on each side.

id say 400 is a decent price. 800 or more is high, just because the dont move very fast due to weight and shipping issues.  i got mine for 250. seller originally wanted 450. but then again, ive been cleaning it, troubleshooting cord units, regluing loose veneer, have to refinish one side. the rest are still very good.

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 07:25:03 PM »
$400 and up  is fair for a complete board. This is a small board, figure $400 or so.
--------------------------------
 As said, they are very modular. The seller can help flip the stripped down board into a truck, You can unload and locate then put it back together.
-----------------------------------
Most folks selling a board are tired of having it  around, you can probably out-wait them for a better price. You are probably the only one interested in it.



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Offline trainman

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 10:17:40 PM »
Back of a 555. Cord units can come out. A quarter turn screw on the top, another quarter turn screw on the bottom.

The desk comes out. 4 screws underneath and a plug.

Offline Pourme

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 07:48:55 AM »
Hang in there!...Show him the reasonable priced units if possible. I hope you get it...Keep us posted!

Benny

PS: Congrats on your wife supporting the purchase and placement of it!...That's a bonus!
Benny

The Internet is a telephone system that's gotten uppity

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 08:14:54 AM »
I watched a 555 board on the local Cragslist. It was listed at $500.00, over the next couple of months it went down to $100.00. I called at that point and went to look at it. It was not stripped out. I offered $50.00 and he agreed. A couple of years later it was stolen from my storage with a couple of other things. I am still looking for a replacment board! As Jim stated, they will get tired of it hanging around and will take less eventually!
Harry Smith
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Offline Brinybay

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Re: Vintage 555 Cord PBX Switchboard
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 01:07:20 PM »
Going to wait it out.  Maybe not this one, but sometime in the future, now that I know what to look for and the fact it can be dismantled relatively easy for transport. 
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Rowe
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 - Anonymou
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