Author Topic: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck  (Read 408 times)

Offline Ed Morris

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WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« on: January 04, 2018, 06:52:25 PM »
My daughter took us to a few antique stores in the Atlanta area during our New Year's visit.  I picked up a Western Elecrric Model 591.  I did not buy the very nice phone booth ($1500, but 40% off, Superman included) or the truck, which is actually a decanter.

Ed

Offline Butch Harlow

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 07:14:28 PM »
591 is pretty neat. It's like the 251, shipped without a ringer for independent, possibly a harmonic party line ringer. There was a 1960s wood booth like that at the Stratford Hills Antique store forever. It had a fake phone in it, but they said they'd take 300.00 for it. It needed work, but was complete. Last time I went it was gone. I had no room for it, if I dragged it home, the wife would have killed me.

Offline Ed Morris

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 07:38:58 PM »
Even if I had the money, I wouldn't have room for a phone booth, either.  Here is a chassis view of the 591, but DOF is too shallow to see much detail. I may post better images when I get home.

Ed

Offline rdelius

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 08:51:17 PM »
is that a NE chassis?

Offline Ed Morris

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 10:10:21 PM »
I'm still traveling, so I haven't really looked at it except to take the photos posted here.  How would I tell if it is a Northern Electric chassis? 
Ed

Offline Jester

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truc
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 07:07:27 PM »
The date stamp is what rdelius is referring to.  Your's shows two hash marks followed by the year(61).  In NE lingo, your base was manufactured in the second quarter of 1961.  WE dates for this time period still used the mm/yy date stamping.  Also, your base is yellow cadmium-- WE bases that I have seen are still flat black from this date through 1964.  I have an aqua NE 500 from 1960 that has date and model mark much like yours, and the base is yellow cad like yours.  One more thing-- if you look to the left of those stampings at that large flat area where the network is mounted, "Made In Canada" should be stamped in the metal there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 07:12:12 PM by Jester »
Stephen

Offline Ed Morris

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 07:16:58 PM »
Thank you, Stephen.  So much to learn!  I will check it out when I get home.
Ed

Offline Ed Morris

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 04:00:14 PM »
Good eye, guys!  It is a Northern Electric Model 591 from about April, 1961, which was my senior year in high school.  It is marked on the base, although hard to see, and on the shell, which, thanks to the dirt, is easy to see, but I obviously missed it until I got home.

It has a 7D dial and a 30 cycle ringer.  I haven't cleaned up the shell or handset yet, but I did clean and lubricate the dial, which was a little sticky.  Whoever worked on the phone last did a lousy job of replacing the dial gasket.  The dial works OK now.  I was able to connect the phone and dial out to my cell phone.   

The handset caps must have been put on by a lumberjack, because I had to use Channel Locks to get them off, and even with tape around the caps, I managed to booger up the caps.  I will have to do some restoration work on them.  It also needs a new handset cord.  The shell has a couple cracks, too, that I hadn't noticed before.  I think I need new glasses.

All the parts I've seen dated so far have the 1961 date, so it looks all original.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 04:07:08 PM by Ed Morris »
Ed

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 04:13:52 PM »
Chances are, the handset caps are made of Tenite (aka Soft Plastic among the collecting community). For whatever reason, Tenite caps have been known to shrink slightly around Bakelite handles, which I believe your handle is made of.

I have several handsets in storage that I have not been able to open, because the caps have shrunken so tightly around the handle threads. You're just lucky you were able to get those off with sheer torque--many resort to heating or soaking the cap in water or Mineral Oil before they're able to remove them with a strap wrench.
Christian Petterson

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Offline Ed Morris

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Re: WE 591, Phone Booth, and Telephone Truck
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 04:39:32 PM »
The handset, also Northern Electric branded, is quite heavy.  I forgot about using a strap wrench.  I think I may still have a strap type oil filter wrench that might work next time.
Ed