Author Topic: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please  (Read 121 times)

Offline EveryMann

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Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:40:50 AM »
Hello:

Model 302? 500?

This phone was original to my grandparents in Los Angeles, and even as a kid back in the 1970s it struck me as a cool, old relic. It's been taking up space in the closet for years, and as the modern FiOS wiring precludes it from dialing out, it isn't too useful here. Combined with the fact that I'm outvoted by my wife & two daughters on cluttering the house with "man"-related anachronisms, the time has come to post it on the popular auction site.

In researching how to list it, I'm having trouble determining exactly what it is, if it's 1940s or 1950s, etc. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!

Offline Pourme

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 09:04:43 AM »
It appears to be a 302, although it could be a 304. Turn it upside down and remove the two screws that secure the body to the base. There should be several dates printed on various parts inside the phone.

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

Offline Ktownphoneco

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 09:07:36 AM »
Assuming it has a "B" series ringer, 195 condenser and a type 101 induction coil, it's most likely a 302.     If you can open the set up and take a picture of the insides and back of the dial, it would be easy to confirm the fact.    Turn the set over, and  fully loosen the 2 machine screws at each end of the base.      Holding the case and base together, turn the set back over, and separate both of these pieces by lifting one from the other.     As you separate the two, lift and tilt the case to the left (looking at the set from the front).      There is a black canvas strap that connects the case and base on the left side, so you are required to open the two pieces like a book.       Once open the set, you should find dates stamped on the induction coil, ringer and dial.   There should also be a date on the condenser as well, but you'd probably need to release it from it's long steel strap, and that's not really necessary if you can see the dates on the other components.   You'll also be able to properly identify the dial type, which is most likely a 5H.     There should also be dates on the transmitter and receiver cartridges in the handset.   If your going to list it on eBay, you'll probably want to take additional pictures of the set anyway.    Buyers normally want to see as much of the set as they can, and get an idea of exactly when the set was made.    The more information you can provide, either through pictures or item description, the quicker the set should sell.   

Enjoy the day.

Jeff Lamb

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 10:15:52 AM »
Unfortunately, those phones are not especially valuable.  I would suggest starting by listing it on the local craigslist for $20 or $25 (or keeping it and hiding it where the ladies won't see it, like in the office).

Larry

Offline EveryMann

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 12:39:27 PM »
Hello, and thank you:

I suspected this was a 302 model, though I couldn't discern why seemingly identical-looking phones will sell for $50 in one instance, but $250 in another on the popular auction site. If it's only worth $25 then I will let my 5-yr-old play with it.

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 01:14:58 PM »
Before you sacrifce it take Jeff's advice, open it up & confirm what you have.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 03:43:18 PM »
If it's only worth $25 then I will let my 5-yr-old play with it.

Recent sold 302s on eBay start on the low end at about $30 including shipping and go up into the mid $200s. Depends on what it is and its condition.

Selling price depends on what's inside, the condition of the cords, whether the housing is metal or plastic (generally pre-war metal and war/post war plastic), the condition of the paint if metal and the condition of the surface if plastic, the condition of the finger wheel, the presence or absence of the number card holder (which a lot of sellers take off and sell alone for $12 plus shipping on eBay - the scoundrels), the condition of the bottom plate, the presence of a working ringer, the clean or condition of the interior components, the condition of the dial (turns slow or normal), the dial type (#4 worth more than #5 worth more than a #6), the condition and type of number plate (letters and numbers or numbers only and the what's printed in the "0" position, they type of handset (most are F1 but an E1 might show up and an F1W indicates the phone was sold by WE to another telephone provider to add their own internal parts as determined by the inter company sales contract), the dates of the components (ringer, coil, base, dial, elements and handset - matching or not), the condition of the leather feet, the conduit of the internal wiring (hardened and cracked with age), dates on the cord restraints, condition of the handset caps, short ears or not on metal housings and whether or not the cup under the hand hold area is vented (very early production run metal housing).

Then the final price determinants are market activity/demand (some months slower than others), how many buyers want it (the more the higher the price), what they are willing to pay for it in the current market.

The above applies to black 302s. Colored housings and handsets have additional things to watch for.

A rule of thumb is a complete phone with good cords that has been cleaned up and tested gets higher prices. That also requires a full set of interior and exterior images to show the buyers exactly what they are bidding on. Listing dates always helps if they are date matching or very close to that. A clean working phone that is ready to go right out of the box will find more buyers and higher prices. The cost or cords and number card holders can exceed the price of the phone (>$25).

      ( If I missed or misstated anything, please add and/or correct. )
            John . . .

              

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Western Electric/Bell ID Assistance Please
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 04:44:11 PM »
This appears to be a nice example of a late 40s 302.  On the plus side it is all original from what I can see.  The cord protector is a neat addition, as is the 4-pronged plus.  It has the correct dial card with a cool sounding exchange name.  On the con side is that it has a few dings or melt marks on the front edge.  I would expect it to fetch $30-35.  I would not clean it, let the buyer do that.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
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