Author Topic: Museum piece  (Read 562 times)

Offline mariepr

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Museum piece
« on: March 24, 2017, 10:36:24 PM »
Quite a rare WE stick on ebay right now.  I don't think I've ever seen this one offered before.  This one will definitely be too rich for me.

www.ebay.com/itm/pat-1893-AMERICAN-BELL-Co-Taper-Shaft-Candle-Stick-Telephone-/232282280611

?hash=item36151a52a3:g:DNgAAOSwWxNY1ckd]
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 12:41:46 AM by AE_Collector »

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2017, 06:26:39 AM »
Thanks for the heads up on this. It was listed after I went to bed last night but as of this morning, it is an Auction Contest:

     http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=17867.0

As always, discussion of the phone here, guesses at the contest topic. It's a 5 day auction so only 3 1/2 days to get your guesses in.
            John . . .

              

Offline mariepr

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 03:36:10 PM »
In trying to pinpoint the date of this phone it looks about 1893/4 just before the WE#3 was introduced.  The shaft however isn't as ornate as the 1892 models but instead looks more like those that would be used on the WE#10. I've also found images where the shaft is more like a WE#3.  Could it be that telephone use was expanding so rapidly that WE was assembling phones with anything on hand?  There must be an interesting back story on how this phone was in hiding for 125 years.  Somebody kept a souvenir from grandad's office?  A few weeks ago a Wilhelm double diaphragm transmitter came up but I don't recall if it was the same seller.  Phones like this are truly museum pieces and it's pretty rare to find them in private collections. 

The seller's profile shows that he/she has almost 12K feedbacks but mainly deals with everyday collectables below $50.  Maybe the seller is handling the transaction for the owner because of their experience on ebay?  The description also reads no BIN price - no doubt the seller's inbox was bursting at capacity with pleas for one. 

Offline War Horse

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 09:53:59 AM »
Holy cow, this thing looks like a Frankenstein of various parts. It's nuts that it's going for that much.  Wonder if the seller had any idea what he had on his hands?  The description seems pretty short, so I'm guessing no.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 09:58:25 AM by War Horse »

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 12:03:29 PM »
Holy cow, this thing looks like a Frankenstein of various parts. It's nuts that it's going for that much.  Wonder if the seller had any idea what he had on his hands?  The description seems pretty short, so I'm guessing no.

Please elaborate for those of us who don't know or follow this line of collectibles.

From this web site . . .

     Top-50-rarest-candlesticks -- 1892-WE No-2-Desk-Set

   . . . except for the shaft which from the above site seems to indicate several types were available (but not this one) and missing the watch case receiver, it looks very similar. Why do you think not?
            John . . .

              

Offline mariepr

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 12:39:16 PM »
The seller's images show that this phone appears to have been made specifically like this.  Otherwise there would be drill holes from a previous use.

On these boards I often read comments that Western Electric was notorious for recycling parts.  One comment claimed that field service was to replace E1 handsets with F1s.  And that "bulldog" transmitters extended the life of stick phones.  Shortage of materials during WWII is another example of assembling phones with whatever worked. 

So where does Hawthorn recycling end and a "frakenphone cob job" begin?  Is it who does the "cob job"? 

unbeldi

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 01:33:08 PM »
What are the reasons to think it was not made like this ?

The switch box patents are correct as punched on the side, but they seem to be a step later than the WECo speaking tube switch boxes.
The transmitter seems to be a high-impedance solid-back 229 transmitter. Perhaps it was made quite some time later, judging by the high (7-digit!) serial number. Of the various forms of the 229 close to 5 million were made, IIRC.  It is not clear whether they started serial numbers at 1 with each new type, I rather think not, but in any case, to get to 4 million was probably not in the 1800s.  At some point they didn't number them anymore (when?) and only displayed the type number on that little plate.

But based on patent dates, the switchbox should have carried a White transmitter already, which was patented in 1892. Perhaps it is already replaced on this unit, but it still appears quite authentic. Equipment was remanufactured/refurbished all time in the operating companies, and once the regional distribution centers were established also by Western Electric.  But the first service centers weren't established until 1902 or so, and even Hawthorne didn't exist until 1904.

The only question is whether the stand/shaft was originally paired with the switchbox.  Pete D'Acosta's site might give some ideas, but he doesn't show a tapered shaft like this.  There are many reasons to believe that transmitters would be changed frequently during these times when transmitter development progress extremely rapidly.  WECo alone produced over 100 different transmitters by ca. 1920.

unbeldi

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Re: Museum piece
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 11:27:01 AM »
The speaking tube (switchbox/transmitter) of this set is the identical type, including the patent dates, of the WECo 20-K that is on D'Acosta's website oldtelephone.com.   His transmitter also has a 7-digit number.  He designates it as a 225-type transmitter.
He dates his 20K to 1903 to 1906, so my earlier estimate of not being from the 1800s anymore may be quite correct.  The 20-K is not listed anymore in the 1907/8 catalogs.

The 20-K, however, had a different shaft, the typical #20 hollow straight tube shaft.