Author Topic: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...  (Read 479 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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www.ebay.com/itm/362150056583

Wow. I thought Ray Kotke was the only one who actually made these, and that factory versions were simply folklore. Well, this one has a turnkey knob provision, is yellowed, and has typical wear marks. Definitely looks original.

For the record, it's an auction started at $9.99 and now has one bid. With almost 7 days left as of this posting, I sincerely doubt the price will stay in the single or double digits. I'm usually cautious about posting auctions that haven't gained any attention, but this one will definitely be noticed by the heavy hitters. There's no way this one could possibly fly under the radar.

The seller also seems to know exactly what he has, and seems to be very nonchalant about the fact that it's transparent, pointing out the various cracks and blemishes as if it were a plain old black one in rough shape.

I suspect this will make a great auction contest once it gains more attention (you can't exactly pass over a clear 302), but a conversation-specific topic makes sense in the mean time.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 11:55:26 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline jsowers

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Re: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 12:18:18 AM »
So would this one's housing be Tenite as opposed to Lucite? The fingerwheel didn't fade, I assume, because it's Lucite. The seller says it was a retirement gift phone, so maybe it was a custom order and not exactly mass produced? It also has dates from all over, like it was assembled from parts. Still, it's a very interesting phone and would make a great contest entry.
Jonathan

Offline Fabius

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Re: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 10:43:01 AM »
I thought that a small number were made by Western Electric for the 1939 World's Fair in New York? I recall seeing a photo of the Bell System exhibit with the clear 302s clearly in view.
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 11:07:15 AM »
Tom...you are correct..one famous photo has Lucille Ball talking on the clear 302...Doug
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 11:16:44 AM »
Tom...you are correct..one famous photo has Lucille Ball talking on the clear 302...Doug

Doug has a great memory. Here's the link to the topic on the forum:

     http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=2092.msg28048#msg28048



 . . . and a second more recent topic

     http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=16950.msg174790#msg174790

            John . . .

              

Offline paul-f

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Re: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 11:32:17 AM »
Wow. I thought Ray Kotke was the only one who actually made these, and that factory versions were simply folklore. ...

Jim S posted photos of his:
   http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=3575.0

Several have been displayed at past phone shows.

There is an article on an unusual variant in the June 2012 Singing Wires cover article, "Clearly a very special Bell telephone"
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: A FACTORY Transparent 302--just when you thought they didn't exist...
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 11:51:40 AM »
The contest is now up, ready for guesses, at

     http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=19183.0

Place your guess there and continue the discussion of this phone here . . .
            John . . .