Author Topic: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)  (Read 748 times)

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« on: March 26, 2017, 08:00:40 AM »
Thought I'd share with you some of the phones I have in my collection thus far.

First up are the two beige Automatic Electric 80s and the white AE 90 kitchen phone my family and I had since we moved here to Oakfield, Wisconsin in July of 1968--when I was a mere 11 months old.  I don't think there's too many people who can say they still have the very phones from their childhood; and if you can, IMHO you're lucky, especially since they were supposed to be "telephone company property."  After the Ma Bell breakup, which affected every other telephone company as well, we were given the opportunity to buy our phones from GTE, and Dad took them up on it (as if decades of phone bills hadn't paid for them dozens of times over!).  That was sometime in the late 1980's.  The phones then "officially" became our personal property.

Base and date codes are as follows:

Left AE 80:  N 8802  CSL   Date code: 7-62-1  This one has the volume wheel for the ringer.

Center AE 90:  NB 92219  CXX-   Date code:  10-66-16  (why there's a dash after the "CXX" I don't know, but I included it in case it's significant)

Right AE 80:  NB 82210 CXX   Date code:  3-64-1

I will post pictures of the phones opened up.  As I was doing this, what struck me as weird was the fact that the 90 and the 80 on the right have 30-Hertz frequency ringers in them--and always have since Day One--yet they function just like a straight-line ringer and work perfectly on my POTS line.  Maybe the later ones could be tuned that way?  The 80 on the left is marked for a straight-line ringer, and it shows this on the coil label.  I know there were party lines in Oakfield when I was around 5-7 years old, but we always had a private line, and IIRC Dad paid extra for it.  I remember while growing up that some friends of ours two blocks away had a party line.  Now it could be because since we lived on the main drag, the lines were already set up for private lines because of all the businesses which were on Main Street.  But that doesn't explain the fact that we were evidently issued two phones with frequency ringers in them, yet they have always rang perfectly fine and continue to do so.

(Incidentally, this is the first time ever that all three phones have been in one spot at the same time. 8) )
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 08:10:07 AM by KaiserFrazer67 »
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

Offline Pourme

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 08:23:21 AM »
The use of the term "(So far)" clearly indicates the presence of "Phoneitis" in your system.

Proceed with caution.....

We are here for your support.

PS...Nice start!
The Internet is a telephone system that's gotten uppity

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 09:10:52 AM »
Here's our AE 90 kitchen phone in a bit more detail.  Yes, the extra-extra-loooooong cord was on the phone as long as I can remember; IIRC Dad had the phone company install it at Mom's request.  The cord would stretch all the way across the kitchen and about halfway into the dining room!

Second picture shows the frequency ringer inside the phone.  Again--works fine and always has.

Third picture shows that all the stark-white plastic you see on the first picture is NOS which I luckily found on eBay and bought from a seller in Saukville, Wisconsin.  The original plastic is badly yellowed, to the point where I wasn't even sure, despite my memory, that it was a white phone (the code on the back verifies this). I tried wet-sanding the dial bezel, but it didn't seem to do much good and all I wound up doing was distorting the double-injection-molded numbers on it and lightening it up a bit.  You can see the imprint of the cradle on the handset, and a small area where Mom had a Rotex label with the fire dept. phone number stuck over the top of the AECO diamond.  :P

Fourth picture is the back of the phone, showing the codes--as well as a little bit of that God-awful cactus green in which Mom had my Dad and brothers paint the kitchen in the mid-1970's.  :D  I added the white modular line cord today when I opened up the phone for pictures; the black lead shown in the first picture is just a test lead I had on at that time.  I am going to mount the phone on a backboard with a note box below it, and re-install it in the kitchen where it was originally; there is now a wall-mount modular jack and faceplate in the place where this phone was originally hard-wired and mounted directly to the wall.
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 09:17:14 AM »
The use of the term "(So far)" clearly indicates the presence of "Phoneitis" in your system.

Proceed with caution.....

We are here for your support.

PS...Nice start!
Thanks, Pourme.  I think growing up with a house full of antiques and things old primed me for "Phoneitis" in the first place!  It was always lingering in my system, like the chickenpox waiting to flare up into shingles!  ;D
I love your collection and the way you have them displayed, by the way.  I saw the YouTube video; what a beautiful sound!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 09:38:40 AM by KaiserFrazer67 »
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

Offline unbeldi

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 10:24:35 AM »
The AE 90 wall telephone was a terrific product, IMHO, and a much nicer design than the WECo 554. Our laboratory desk area in graduate school, in independent telco country, had an AE 90 installed with an extra long cord too, and reached to all desks within ca. 15 feet.  The phone had to endure constant and often unkind usage, many times one would hear the handset slammed down on the hook with a force and noise that one would expect the phone being ripped off its wall anchors or break. Never.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 11:16:52 AM by unbeldi »

Offline Pourme

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 10:50:11 AM »
Thanks, Pourme.  I think growing up with a house full of antiques and things old primed me for "Phoneitis" in the first place!  It was always lingering in my system, like the chickenpox waiting to flare up into shingles!  ;D
I love your collection and the way you have them displayed, by the way.  I saw the YouTube video; what a beautiful sound!

Thanks for the kind words. I have fun with the wall...Years ago I used to use the phone number associated with that PBX...Every now and then someone will call it and light it up out of the blue!....Funny when that happens....

I look forward to watching your collection grow!
The Internet is a telephone system that's gotten uppity

Offline jsowers

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 11:22:20 AM »
The first thought in my head when I saw that whiter than white AE90 was "amazing that it's still that white after all these years" so I'm glad to know it's been restored to original. That's a huge color difference in those plastics! I'm also from an independent telco area (it wasn't GTE) and they curiously didn't use AE90s here. They used S-C 1553s. I don't know why. I've gotten a few from yard sales in the area and seen pictures in old phone books. They did install AE80s by the bucketload here. That's the most common phone I remember from childhood. They also installed AE50 wall phones in the 1950s, but for whatever reason, no AE90s later on. I remember seeing one on the cover of a GTE phone book at Myrtle Beach in the 1970s and wondering "what is that?" They have a slight "pregnant" look to them. I don't think they installed any AE SpaceMaker phones here either. Later they used the 554 clone model S-C wall and desk phones here when phone were still leased.

It's not that unusual that all three of your phones were not new when they were installed. You posted the dates--1962, 64 and 66. That was pretty common back in the day, especially for independents who likely did their own refurbishing by repairing problems and replacing plastics on phones that came back to the office. I remember when our AE40 was replaced about 1973 with an AE80 and it wasn't new. It had metal switchhook buttons and the line compensator pot on the bottom. My telco was very tight with all their leased phones and I don't think many people here bought them in the 1980s because I don't see many at yard sales.

My local telco was bought out by Windstream about ten years ago. Their former hearquarters building, built in the 1970s, is currently being turned into a governmental office. It had a two-story main floor with a huge floor-to-ceiling expanse of glass on the western side that was very impressive and now is likely very impractical. I remember being there when there were high winds and the glass leaked air and made lots of noise.

Thanks for posting your phones and I think you are right that there are very few people who have all their phones from childhood.
Jonathan

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2017, 12:15:42 PM »
Got to love those AE's! I think the AE90 in Gardenia White is a striking looking phone.

Tom, can you find us some more of the two letter codes on the 90? Like the CF and EF on the ringer condenser. The two capsules likely have them, do you suspect the capsules are original still? Also, the back of the dial might have a two letter code. I don't think it has a potted network still if made in 1966. Sometimes potted networks have two letter codes stamped on them.

We're talking about your ringer behind your back...over here:
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=17880.0

Maybe answer over there as well.

Terry

Offline compubit

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 06:26:07 PM »
If you want to lighten up the faded white case, try using the "Retrobrite" method - search the forums.

I personally use 40 Peroxide for bleaching hair (get it at Sally Beauty Supply) on my white phones. After 1-3 visits in the sun, they look white as new. JUst remember to fully wash them before using the process - I run them through the dishwasher - top rack and then use gloves until finished.  Fingerprints can leave minute amounts of oil, which won't fully lighten (and require another round...). Good sunshine also helps.

Jim
A phone phanatic since I was less than 2 (thanks to Fisher Price); collector since a teenager; now able to afford to play!
Favorite Phone: Western Electric Trimline - it just feels right holding it up to my face!

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2017, 07:35:02 PM »
If you want to lighten up the faded white case, try using the "Retrobrite" method - search the forums.

I personally use 40 Peroxide for bleaching hair (get it at Sally Beauty Supply) on my white phones. After 1-3 visits in the sun, they look white as new. JUst remember to fully wash them before using the process - I run them through the dishwasher - top rack and then use gloves until finished.  Fingerprints can leave minute amounts of oil, which won't fully lighten (and require another round...). Good sunshine also helps.

Jim
Thanks, Jim.  I may try that this summer (when we have some decent sun here in Wisconsin), especially since I'm going to put the phone back into service.  I'd rather use the original plastic over again instead of having the NOS plastic discolor like the original stuff did.
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2017, 08:32:09 PM »
Okay.  On to the next phone...

This is the better, and older, of my two beige AE 80s.  This one was up in the master bedroom and didn't get as much use, or see as much sunlight, so it stayed in better condition.  This one came from the factory with a straight-line ringer and is dated July 1962.  It has the chrome plungers of the earlier Type 80s.

Codes for the ringer condenser are "EK" with the main info on the back (.4 MF TEST 500 VDC) and "EK9" on the edge.
Code on the back of the dial is "EE-2".
Unfortunately the receiver and transmitter elements don't match the rest of the phone.  Receiver is P/N D-51024-A with code "OF" and the transmitter is a Type 81 (P/N D-38363-A) with code "CP."

Something just struck me as odd:  It seems that the phone manufacturers stamped every kind of identification on these phones except an actual serial number...  You'd think that equipment like this--especially since it was considered "company property" leased to subscribers--would have had some kind of individualized serialization, if for no other reason than to keep track of who had what item.

I will post pics of the innards of both the Type 80s in the other thread regarding the codes in my Type 90.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 08:57:51 PM by KaiserFrazer67 »
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2017, 09:33:02 PM »
Nice start to your collection.... I started with AE also, but started with the AE 87A 3 line phones.... really nice units... still have some in storage....
John

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2017, 09:41:03 PM »
...And the last phone.  This Type 80 saw the most use in the house, since we had it back and forth between the living room/foyer and the family room, or "den."  Mom used it the most, hence the filename "Moms."  As you can see, there is considerable fading.  Again, this one has a 30-Hertz frequency ringer, yet, like the Type 90 in the kitchen, it rang perfectly all those years, and continues to do so.

Ringer condenser code is "CH" on the back with the main info and "CH10" on the side;  Dial code is "FF7"; there is also a circuit board stamping which reads "1" with an "AK" beneath it.  As you can see, the network is a WA1154A.  Again, the bulk of those photos will be posted over in the other thread in the AE Codes board.

I did not include the receiver/transmitter codes for this phone because I know them to be replacements.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 09:08:22 PM by KaiserFrazer67 »
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

Offline oldguy

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2017, 10:11:42 PM »
Nice phones Tom. Can't wait to see your collection as it grows.
Gary

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: KaiserFrazer67's Telephone Collection (So Far)
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2017, 04:13:06 AM »
The AE 80's are really starting to grow on me.  I think especially after seeing JorgeAmely's collection of "one of each color"; that seems to have sealed the deal for me.  Trying to find one in anything other than black or beige (or that ugly green of which I'm not very fond) is a daunting task, however.  Black and beige in almost equal proportions; everything else is pretty scarce.  Wouldn't mind finding a nice, earlier Garnet Red example.  Maybe one each in Dawn Gray and Colonial Blue too, if I can get that lucky...  ;D

Out of all the competitors to the WE 500s, I think the AE 80 looks the best.  They just look softer and rounder than the 500s do, for some reason; actually a bit more inviting, if that makes any sense.  The lines just seem to flow better; not as "boxy" and angular as the 500s and not quite as flat-faced.  The AE 80 seems to have held its good looks to the bitter end, when the flat square-faced versions with the Lucite dial panels came out in the mid-1970's. :P  As for the WEs--just my opinion--once you get toward the 1970's, the 500s and their clones start looking really cheap after awhile.  Fit and finish doesn't seem to be there as it is with the earlier ones.  If I ever break down and get a 500, it'll be an early one in a scarce color.  Wouldn't mind having a nice 5302, either.

I may get one good example of each manufacturer's original entry into the WE 500/AE 80 field eventually:  Seems like North Electric and Leich also had their own competing versions as well as the Kellogg K-500 "Banjo" and the S-C 1543.

My favorites, however, are the phones of the 1930s, '40s and early '50's.  Those were some true works of art.   8)
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser