Author Topic: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941  (Read 244 times)

Offline Smitty

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Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« on: October 28, 2017, 10:28:06 PM »
Almost all of my meager phone collection has come from estate sales, but very seldom at these sales do I find anything of interest.  My best finds to date were an old rose WE 302 ($40.00) and a NE 302 ($4.00).  Today my wife and I went to one out in the country not far from where we live.  I had seen no phones at all, and when we were just about to leave she went into a room we had missed and called me in to point out two boxes.  They each contained a WE 211A, apparently brand new.  They were marked at $20.00 each, but I asked the lady if they would take $35.00 for the pair, and she agreed.

They will need a bit of cleaning - they both have some sort of cloudiness that doesn't just wipe off.  It appears to be some sort of mildew, if that is possible.  I haven't opened the phone bodies yet, but the transmitters are both are dated 10-41.  One of the receivers is dated 10-13-41 and the other is dated the next day, 10-14-41.  The cloth cords seem perfect, and one of them has the strain relief exposed outside the phone body, and it is dated IV 41.  The boxes are also dated 1941.

Here's the long-winded story that makes this find really neat, at least to me:  My wife's grandparents ran a little mom-and-pop grocery store in Dallas from the 1930s through the 1960s.  The store was located just a few steps from their house, and they had a private phone line connecting the two locations.  When you picked up the phone in the house, it would ring the one in the store, and vice versa.  I have seen photos from the store that show this phone, and it is clearly a dial-less Western Electric space saver type that looks just like these 211As.  Now, fast forward to today.  We are building a barn on our property and I have been planning to set up a "ring-down" type phone circuit between the house and barn that will be just like the one her grandparents had between their house and store.  I had started looking online for 211s to buy for that purpose.  And then today we walk into a brand new pair of them in a farmhouse outside Navasota, Texas!  The price was better than what I have seen online too.

Mike

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 11:29:37 PM »
Great Find Mike!  Seventy Six Years Old. What a Find!!....Doug
Kidphone

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 11:53:59 PM »
Very cool find!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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do or do not"

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 01:24:51 AM »
You may consider buying more use 211''s online if you are going to use them and sell these New in Box unused phones. You may get a nice premium for these being in the boxes still.

Terry

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 12:24:02 PM »
You may consider buying more use 211''s online if you are going to use them and sell these New in Box unused phones. You may get a nice premium for these being in the boxes still.

But don't list them for sale until after the 1st of December (November FOTM nomination).
            John . . .

              

Offline Smitty

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 05:54:34 PM »
Thanks to all for the comments, and thanks, John, for the FOTM nomination.  And Terry, your point about selling them is a good one, and I'll give it some serious thought.

Mike

Offline jsowers

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 06:07:24 PM »
Thanks to all for the comments, and thanks, John, for the FOTM nomination.  And Terry, your point about selling them is a good one, and I'll give it some serious thought.

Mike

Yes, I agree with Terry. When you think about it, it would actually be a shame to use something that's been sitting unused for 76 years in its original box. They might bring a lot more in the state they're currently in, to a collector. You don't see too many in the original boxes. For ringing you would need to buy subsets anyway, and you might just get enough to pay for both two used 211s and two subsets.

Which begs the question on how a "ringdown" circuit works anyway. What equipment would be required for that, not using a POTS line? Would it not be easier to just buy a Panasonic PBX and two rotary 211s with subsets or two WE 354s? Just wondering aloud, I guess.
Jonathan

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 06:14:01 PM »
FYI:  I sold one of these (NIB) from the late 40s for 40 bucks a few years ago.
Greg Sargeant
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Offline jsowers

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 07:30:20 PM »
A quick search of sold auctions on eBay yielded this one that ended at $80. It also yielded a lot of lower ones, but few had cloth cords and no dial and none were in the original boxes. So it's hard to say what they're worth. You never know with eBay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/302470645631

Jonathan

Offline Smitty

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Re: Two New In-The-Box 211s from 1941
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 08:27:15 PM »
Which begs the question on how a "ringdown" circuit works anyway. What equipment would be required for that, not using a POTS line? Would it not be easier to just buy a Panasonic PBX and two rotary 211s with subsets or two WE 354s? Just wondering aloud, I guess.

I may well be using the terminology incorrectly.  What I've been thinking is that the best way to set up a private line between the house and barn (using two 211s with appropriate subsets) would be to get a phone line simulator.  It would connect the two and provide a "ringdown" circuit (I think it's called) which would cause the other phone to ring when you pick either one up.  I know zilch about these things, so there may be a better way to do it.  I think I'd rather use non-dial phones like the 211 but might reconsider that.

Mike