Author Topic: Red WE Spacesaver  (Read 444 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3191
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Red WE Spacesaver
« on: November 09, 2017, 04:32:47 PM »
I found this on ebay a few days ago. What looks like a spray painted G1 handset mount at first glance turns out to be a Bell-issued -53 Red Spacesaver, complete with a Neutral Gray cord!

I entered a snipe for $51, and it turns out the losing bidder had his bid just over $2 lower than mine, so I got it for $49 when the auction ended last night!

I would guess this is 1953-55, based on the cord alone. It also appears that it was factory done and not a refurb shop repaint, or, at least a repaint like the D1 Continentals (use up old handsets and housings, but new dials, cords, etc).

I need to buy a chrome dial card retainer, but this otherwise looks complete. Hey, it even has the original painted bracket!

It should arrive Monday. I'll have better pictures then!

www.ebay.com/itm/253238096666
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 05:41:48 PM by TelePlay »
Christian

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

Offline HarrySmith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4246
  • 1956 Rose Beige 500
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 04:52:44 PM »
Nice!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline cihensley@aol.com

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 05:50:42 PM »
Good find.

Chuck

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1773
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 12:31:33 AM »
I saw that one and wondered about it too. It's definitely a curiosity. I'm glad you got it so now we can see what it really is. You don't usually see F1 handsets with dark gray cords.

The bracket is mounted backwards and there's no way it could be used that way because the handset couldn't rest in the switchhook. It's a simple thing to turn it around, but it's funny to see it on backwards. The paint is in great shape. The seller also says he or she thinks it's red plastic. The shot of the inside where the card retainer would fit looks very red and a lot like plastic, but I thought all these were painted metal. I don't see any black showing through the base. The handset has that Bakelite groove, so there's no doubt about that being black originally and the two parts match perfectly. It will be interesting to see what this is.

The auction also says it belonged to a former fireman. Interesting provenance. Too bad you don't have the matching red subset, if there ever was one.
Jonathan

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3191
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 09:21:52 PM »
Thanks guys!!

I guarantee that this one is painted metal. G1s were metal until they were discontinued in the mid '80s, and that was after the #6 used largely plastic gears and components. I guess it says something about the paint when neither the seller nor us can tell that it's even paint!

It almost seems like this one was never used. The handset has no wear, and even the receiver cap has no scratches from the switchhook as far as I can see. There are also no wear marks in or around the dial mount/dial card retainer hole, which tells me neither a mount nor card were ever installed. If it was for manual use, the retainer was probably provided upon delivery like the NOS 500s we find, but never made it to the phone. The installer would have surely clipped it on when the phone was installed, but if this sat in the box

The 'never installed' idea helps explain how the bracket is mounted so oddly. Someone may have just grabbed it out of the original box like that.
Christian

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

Offline tallguy58

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 832
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 08:26:44 AM »
Probably used as a manual direct line to the fire department in a plant or warehouse somewhere.
Cheers........Bill

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6014
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 09:08:11 AM »
A nickel retainer ring will top this off! Real Nice Christian...Doug
Kidphone

Offline AE_Collector

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6516
  • AE 2 - AECo's 1st Self Contained Desk Phone 1925
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 10:57:28 AM »
Of course there are people listing phones on eBay that automatically come to the conclusion that a RED phone must have been used for the fire department or the President of the USA. The same people list manual (non dial) phones as “Extension phones” or “Hotel Phones”. They simply don’t know that an era existed where phones didn’t have/need a dial.

Nice “Find” Christian!

Terry

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3191
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 09:49:32 PM »
It came today! ;D

This paint job definitely looks original. I would guess it was a limited production reason, but the shell and 'lid' were originally from a black Spacesaver, so it doesn't appear to have been done at the factory.

However, the date in the base is 3rd Quarter 1955. That would explain the Neutral Gray cord, if the phone was built Red at the factory.

It's possible that this was refurbed as a Red phone shortly after it was installed, which would have required a complete tear down, save for the housing and retainer screw on the bottom (painted Red).

Another possibility is that all Spacesaver housings were painted Black at the factory. The ones that were ordered in color were already finished in black, and they were simply sanded down and finished in the ordered color, and furnished with correct cords.

Still, the handset logo has "manufactured by" instead of "made by", which stopped being used in 1938 or 1939. That tells me this one was refurbed, or at least made of refurbed parts. Still, I'm considering this one factory. I would bet all color Spacesavers--or at least the early ones--were made from reused parts.

The handset cord conductors are very dry rotted inside, so I kept opening the phone and disrupting the conductors to a minimum. Other than that, it's just about perfect. I doubt this phone was used even once. It shows circular marks on the bracket from being mounted to the wall, and several shallow scratches in the handset from the cradle, but no evidence of repeated or constant use. The receiver cap paint looks new.

By the way, the bracket mounted the way it is does work. The handset doesn't touch it at all when mounted! Still, I'll flip it around to the traditional position.

Very cool phone! I'm so happy that I found one in a factory color! Sorry for the horrible pictures...the 'after' shots will be better!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 09:53:51 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian

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

Offline Pourme

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
  • Benny
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 07:16:48 AM »
The handset will rest in the cradle as long as it isn't attached to the wall. What a unique find, Christian! Any plans for a red subset?

Benny
The Internet is a telephone system that's gotten uppity

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3191
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 07:28:57 AM »
The handset will rest in the cradle as long as it isn't attached to the wall. What a unique find, Christian! Any plans for a red subset?

Benny
Actually, it looks like it was mounted that way. I would guess a 1x2" board was attached in the space between the phone and the bracket.

If my paint matching plan works out, yep, the plan is a matching subset! Problem is, I'm not sure how I would connect it without disturbing the dry rotted conductors inside the phone.
Christian

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

Online Babybearjs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1753
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 03:54:30 PM »
how were these colored? were they just painted or were they powder coated?
John

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3191
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 04:20:53 PM »
how were these colored? were they just painted or were they powder coated?

I don't think Powdercoating existed back then. If it did, it wasn't nearly as versatile and accurate with colors, gloss levels, and durability as it is today. You also have to account for the non-metallic Bakelite handset on this Spacesaver.

It was probably just a very tough paint.
Christian

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

Offline ramegoom

  • Yet another addiction beginning to unfold.
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 11:14:25 PM »
Did they ever make that handset style in red? I have a space saver and the only thing it doesn't have is a red handset.

Offline Jester

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 777
Re: Red WE Spacesaver
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 01:56:07 AM »
The short answer is "no".  They made the F style handset in a color called Pekin Red-- sometimes called "tomato red" later--but they hadn't dreamed this handset would have a great demand in any color than black, so the 1950's color palette was covered by painted black Bakelite F1 handsets. What I have seen on sets like this, many are marked F4.  Basically, an early "solid" F1 has the H1 receiver capsule replaced with the newer U1 unit. This is done with a set of red and white jumper wires installed to replace the spring contacts in the original handset. Also, these sets were seen with g type handsets after 1960, so you could argue the point of using a G3 in dark red on a space saver.
.
Stephen