Author Topic: Automatic Electric 40 Single Bid Win: Good deal, or am I missing something?  (Read 1171 times)

Offline Duffy

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Tom,

Kudos to you. It is all about the learning curve. Been there and still doing it. We can't save all the not so special phones (to others), but we can have fun trying.   ;)
CDN Doug

Offline mariepr

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...So I basically made a long-winded wall of text to say that, in my opinion as it is right now:

• If a phone is complete, with no damage, or if the only damage is on a common, highly-replaceable part (like a handset cap), and
• All the decals, codes, schematics, and everything else of that ilk is all original and all there, matching, and in good shape, and
• Whatever is wrong with it is minor and easily fixable/replaceable (like rotted cordage, a sluggish dial, or a party-line ringer), and
• It's a pretty desirable old phone from before the WE 500/AE 80 era, and
• I paid less than $100 for it...  then as far as I'm concerned...

...I GOT A GOOD DEAL.

And all of those conditions were met in this purchase.

Thank you for the detailed, well thought out response of your collection philosophy.  Now let's hope the phone arrives with no accidents or mishandling in transit.
I too restore/renovate phones that can actually be used while other members strive for 100% historical from-the-factory accuracy.   I never developed an affinity for AE phones probably because I grew up in Philadelphia with only WE phones.  I acquired this phone in a lot with something else and it will have a better home with somebody who is not adverse to the heavy rubberized cords that are authentic to it. 

You mentioned the learning experience.  Yes, this board can be very critical but it's also a motherload of technical help.

To TelePlay: As of Feb. 1, 2017 $18.85 is the USPS charge for a Priority Mail Large flat rate box.  I never charge for handling or packing, just shipping.  Living in an apartment building allows me to "recycle" the packing materials that my neighbors discard.  A WE D1/F1 and a compact ringer can safely go in a Medium box, but anything bigger really needs the Large box.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 09:12:38 AM by mariepr »

Offline AE_Collector

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Real well said Tom.

In my opinion, on AE 40 and 50 telephones in unrestored condition, the presence or absence of chrome handset bands (and possibly chrome fingerwheel as well) represents close to half their value. In other words a $50 phone without chrome is close to a $100 phone with chrome.

I frequently encourage collectors to keep phones with frequency ringers as is, especially if otherwise original and coded for the ringer that is in it. Frequency ringers are part of telephony history. It won't ring but if you need it to ring just use an extension ringer in conjunction with it. If you do find a SL ringer for it try to get one of the correct vintage so it appears original and matching.

Terry

Offline mentalstampede

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These phones are like anything else, the prices fluctuate and it just depends on who sees what. Last fall I bit more than this went for on a black AE 40 in poor shape, and lost... The next week I bid on a beautiful one with perfect bakelite, straight-line ringer, intact cords and a chrome dial and picked it up for $35. You just never know how an auction is going to go.
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

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Offline KaiserFrazer67

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I frequently encourage collectors to keep phones with frequency ringers as is, especially if otherwise original and coded for the ringer that is in it. Frequency ringers are part of telephony history. It won't ring but if you need it to ring just use an extension ringer in conjunction with it. If you do find a SL ringer for it try to get one of the correct vintage so it appears original and matching.
I can certainly understand and respect that, Terry.  I will be putting in a 1950's SL ringer (correct for this vintage AE 40) probably from either OldPhoneShop or Oldphoneworks, unless I can find someone who has a good working one for less.  I haven't checked out some of the other sites yet, and I understand there are other forum members who may have one as well.  What I will be doing is saving the original ringer, fingerwheel, dial ring, metal handle (which will also be exchanged for a chrome one), and the black handset caps that were originally with my AE 50, and packing them in a marked box; that way, if I ever do decide someday to replace this phone in service with a different one, I can always reinstall the original parts for later sale or trade.  As I posted earlier:
...what frustrated me was the fact that these antiques were very beautiful, but with the exception of the Tiffany lamps, and maybe a few other items...  you couldn't actually use them on a day-to-day basis.  As I grew older, I decided to collect antiques and vintage items I could actually enjoy all the time rather than have them sit on the mantle or shelf and collect dust...
...so I won't be getting too esoteric with my collection; there are only so many places I can actually put a phone.  (Of course, I'm sure that's what they all say at first... ::) )  But if I'm going to have a vintage phone for everyday use, I do want it to be fully functional, and I'm not averse to spending some extra money to "do it up" the way I want it.  That certainly does NOT mean making a "Frankenphone" out of it--far from it; I'd never paint a phone that shouldn't be painted in the first place--but it does mean that as long as what I'm doing to it is mere bolt-on, screw-on stuff that's easily replaceable/reversible, I'll make it that way for as long as I'm using the phone.  I do want it to look "dressed up", as I believe the AE 40 looks much better with the brightwork on it.  (And, even though I'm doing my AE 50 up with polished brass parts, which was apparently never available, I do want to do this one up a bit more correctly as far as what options were historically available on the black AE 40s in that respect.)  It will also be getting an Extensicord as well, now that I see that the price has come down from a seller or two.  If this handset cord is all right, I'll put in storage with the other parts I'm going to switch out on this phone.  If the line cord is in good shape, I'll just leave it and use it.  Marie said in the description that the cords were "shot"--NOT that it's a problem--but upon review of the photos, they honestly don't look that bad to me.  It could be that whatever damage she is describing just doesn't show up in the photos.  If it's just the leads with spade connectors which are bad, I found out that they can sometimes just be stripped back to expose unrotted leads underneath.  I recently did that with the heavy-rubber coiled handset cord which was on my original Leich 901B from my neighbor.  The black one on the phone end was all rotted, so I just cut off all three leads, stripped it back a couple inches and saw that the leads underneath were just fine.  I crimped new self-piercing spade connectors on the leads, and it's good as new.  If the line cord can't be used, I will probably put a new cloth-covered cord on it; either way, it's getting a 4-prong 283B plug on the end, if it doesn't have one already.  I've actually started to reinstall many of the 4-prong jacks we originally had in the house--that's why they make adapters which go both ways--and I feel they're better IMHO because there's more surface area to make contact than in a modular plug.

I do like the fact that many of the components have a matching code (UK), whatever these codes mean.  Unbeldi and Terry, I will post pictures of these items for your research when I get the phone and start cleaning it up.  I will probably start a new project thread in the appropriate board, and I will link to it from this thread.
Thank you for the detailed, well thought out response of your collection philosophy.  Now let's hope the phone arrives with no accidents or mishandling in transit.
I too restore/renovate phones that can actually be used while other members strive for 100% historical from-the-factory accuracy.   I never developed an affinity for AE phones probably because I grew up in Philadelphia with only WE phones.  I acquired this phone in a lot with something else and it will have a better home with somebody who is not adverse to the heavy rubberized cords that are authentic to it. 
You're welcome, Marie.  It will have a very good home, I assure you.  We had General Telephone/GTE service here in Oakfield, so I grew up with two AE 80 "beige tanks" and a white AE 90 on the kitchen wall; I still have all three and they all work just fine!  I do like the AE phones a bit better than the others, and since I grew up with that brand, I do have a bit of "affection" for them if you can call it that; so my collection will probably gravitate toward those.  Again, from what I can see, the cords may not be as "shot" as all that, but it's no real concern if they are.  They may be salvageable if it's just the ends.

I do have to snicker a bit when I look at that damaged transmitter cap...  if only old phones could talk!  Sure wish we could know the story behind that one.  I don't care if it is just Bakelite, those caps are still strong enough in my experience that it would take genuinely deliberate effort to break one, even in that particular spot.  I would think a dropped handset would be more apt to break on the side or edge of the cap, not the center.  It's possible it could have hit one of the horns on the cradle; there does appear to be a small scuff mark on one of them.  All I can think of is that somebody got reeeeeeally mad at the person on the other end, and in a raging effort to try to blow their eardrum out, they smacked the transmitter end of the handset down hard onto something...  or (more likely) angrily tried to slam the handset down hard on the cradle and missed the mark.  They're lucky that's the only thing on it they broke!  I certainly would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of that phone slam, I can tell you that!  :o

I will let you know when the phone arrives.  I'm actually quite excited about it, and I'm looking forward to seeing it "in person"!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 05:57:11 AM by KaiserFrazer67 »
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