Author Topic: Phones modified to work on the Bell System  (Read 1279 times)

Offline paul-f

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Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« on: October 15, 2017, 12:23:47 PM »
For most of its lifetime, the Bell System tightly controlled everything that was connected to their network.

When customers wanted to connect antique or custom phones, the Bell System came up with policies and procedures for modifying and certifying phones that were followed before installation.

Parts kits were produced to provide Western Electric networks, ringers and handset elements -- including the F-56659, F-56660 and later 581A. Some background and examples are shown here:

   http://www.paul-f.com/we581.html

This topic provides a place to collect photos, descriptions and markings of found sets that were modified.
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 12:33:17 PM »
Several phones have been found with a bottom stamp referencing B.S.R.S. 361.377.

It apparently documents general conversion procedures for any phone with a customer-supplied housing, as phones with several different internal component sets were documented.

1. WE 1317CN modified with a 425-type network and C-type ringer.

2. Teleconcepts Petite, with 581A-type components and WE U, and T elements in an AE handset.

3. WE 300-type set with 581-type components

    http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=19031.0
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 12:41:30 PM »
North H-series sets.

1. Inspected by WeCo

2. Bell Labs Trial Set, 1947
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 12:43:09 PM »
Teleconcepts Periscope -- modified in Houston
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 12:44:34 PM »
Suttle Tablephone with F1 handset.
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 12:46:48 PM »
Cradle phone with implanted 581A.
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 01:23:02 PM »
Mutual Telephone sets -- working with New York Telephone

Before the WE Design Line, Mutual developed a family of desk sets that complied with B-696501 and used F-56659 or F-56660 components.
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Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 06:46:51 AM »
So, MTA was a contractor of sorts? taking old phones and "restoring" them?
John

Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 09:50:26 AM »
So, MTA was a contractor of sorts? taking old phones and "restoring" them?

Mutual made new housings designed to readily accept the Western internal components.

They applied for, and received an approval number from New York Telephone, indicating that their design had been tested and found conforming to specification B696501.

The label on the set shown on the site page tells the installer to use F-56660 parts, which have gold-tone accents.
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 10:36:30 AM »
B.S.R.S. = Bell System Repair Specs. These specs were used in the Western Electric Distributing House Repair Shops (Service Centers).
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 06:09:42 PM »
Plain Front Oak Wall Phone

With implanted subset and dial. Discussion here:

    http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=17864.0

"MODIFIED TO BELL SYSTEM
SPECIFICATIONS  WECO/MK"
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 06:15:29 PM »
Fold-A-Fone Candlestick (plastic)

with attached WE Subset.  Discussion here:

   http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=19064.0


"MOD PER BELL SYSTEM
    STANDARD     SLC"
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Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 10:56:30 PM »
is it "SEC, or "SLC"? "section" or "Salt Lake City"???
John

Offline paul-f

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 12:09:12 PM »
is it "SEC, or "SLC"? "section" or "Salt Lake City" ???

My guess was SLC.

   See: http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=19040.msg195731#msg195731

If you have seen the phone or have better photos, please tell us what it should be.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 06:39:30 PM by paul-f »
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Offline 19and41

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Re: Phones modified to work on the Bell System
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 02:14:39 PM »
That's quite interesting.  I'd not seen any equipment so modified in Indiana growing up.  If a non spec phone were connected to the system, they would remove it, admonish the customer and hand the offending unit back, disconnected.  I guess we were a bit too rural to have accommodations like the units pictured.  Thanks for sharing them.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke