Author Topic: UNUSUAL 50G Gray Telephone Paystation Company 3-slot Pay Telephone on eBay  (Read 506 times)

Offline Haf

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Re: UNUSUAL 50G Gray Telephone Paystation Company 3-slot Pay Telephone on eBay
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 03:13:58 AM »

So, here is another 50A/50G on eBay at the moment. Whats the scoop on it?



this one Mark Johnston is selling on ebay has one of those reproduced coin relays Dick Pitzer once made. It was once in the collection of Dick. Maybe Jim/payphone installer can tell the whole story better, this is one of those from that legendary BECO warehouse find in NY.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 03:42:52 AM by Haf »

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: UNUSUAL 50G Gray Telephone Paystation Company 3-slot Pay Telephone on eBay
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 08:04:10 AM »
I have been watching this thread and everything you said is exactly correct. I prefer to stay away from any personal stuff and just focus on the technical aspects of collecting. I do believe at the price that some of this stuff sells for it is important for the potential buyers to do their homework and try to the best of their ability to be informed. So onto the Gray Western 50G payphone Mark has for sale. It is a very interesting payphone. It is a 50G in the since of the way it is assembled,meaning the components. It has a correct prepaid relay,the 50G was a prepay telephone. However the prepaid relay was built by Dick Pitzer. It was built with a combination of parts. Some parts of the relay are real most are repro. The relay building project that Dick did was a massive undertaking, he spend several years making the parts. As always he is meticulous in the way he does things. The reason he built the relays is because there was the huge payphone haul found in New York. Problem with the discovery was that there were certain parts missing. Two parts that are the hardest to find to complete rare payphones are the lead coin chutes and the two coil relays.
    Pitzer reproed both parts. The relay in this phone is a Pitzer. There are several ways to tell. When he built the bent magnet for the relays he investigated magnetization of the magnets. It was impossible to accomplish. So a quick way to spot the relay is the magnet is not a magnet. Most of the Pitzer relays are never going to work and were really not designed to. Stan knows as much about relays and may choose to comment more on this. You can also spot the newness of the coils and the parts on top of the relay. The nickeling is very new.
  As for the chute Dick also reproed two chutes one was the chute for the 161A type payphone the other was a early Gray Western chute. So he only ever made two types. The 50G payphone on eBay in my opinion is one of Dicks repro chutes. The chute is the early Gray Western chute on this phone, you can tell right away by  what I call the butterfly shape where the screw holds it in on in the right upper corner. There are two ways you can tell it was a repro,one is it has the exact same imperfections as the original. So that means all the repros have nicks and dents in the lead in exactly the same place. I have the chute they were made from so I can do a stare and compare. I cannot tell from this picture that it is for sure a repro as the picture is not clear. But the chute has a new look lead wise that the real chutes do not have its a aging thing. The other way to tell is if you remove the chute and look at the other side and it has small circles around the nuts. These circles are from a nut driver used to tighten all the nuts on the chutes. On the original chutes the nuts were held stationary so there were no marks of tightening around them. The screws were then threaded into the nuts.

  So to summarize I believe that this phone has a Dick Pitzer chute and relay. The other thing that I see is the coin return frame. On a 50G these were nickel, A/E produced these for many years and changed them from nickel to chrome. There were also very slight changes in the size of the frame. Refurbishers also rechromed the coin frames. This one looks new. The wiring harness on this phone is new. The switch hook pile up looks newer also but it is hard to tell from the front. Many times the A/E pile ups are used on these phones as a result of not being able to find the originals. The terminal strip is original but I am not sure the terminal designations are correct only because I am not whaere I can look at a phone right now. I sold many Gray original terminal strips on eBay that were from handset phones that end up on a two piece phone. They are not correct but look great. Back of the phone is correct,bottom of the phone is correct.
 The upper housing is really interesting as it is very rare. It is a W/E probably from a 50A as Mark states it was from the first Gray Western payphone the holy grail the rarest early payphone you can find except for the 102. In this case a hole was cut in it to mount a dial, there is no should which is often the case on a early 50G that was refurbished from a 50A parts. Keep in mind also that the 50A had a butterfly mount not a 10A mount so there is a hole drilled and probably filled on the front. The 50A also had the card frame directly mounted two the front also with no base plate so those holes are filled. The hook appears to be real, hard to say without a closer look.
  Now that I have typed everything that I have typed you are probably thnking that buying a payphone is a bad idea because I am never going to know what is what. Well that's not correct. Marks payphone is a great phone let me tell you why, this is how I often value payphones if the hook is real which I think it is, the hook is worth 250-350. The upper housing in its current state is a very rare upper probably worth 250.00 as it is because it needs repaired. 1200 if it was fixed. Backboard 100.00. Lower housing 100.00. Wood terminal strip and pile up 100.00, wiring the harness sucks. Dick Pitzers repro two coil relay depending on the model from 250.00-450.00 that's what they sold for. His chutes sold for 250.00 each.
 These prices mirror what the originals sell for. The hopper in this phone is the correct one with nuts holding it together it is rare and sells for around a hundred dollars. A vault door and lock is probably a 75.00 dollar investment now days depending on the type up from there.
 Now I am sure that you can see it can be a really nice payphone for the period built the best way it could be built for the period it represents. Since many of these parts are so hard to find,if a collector is trying to build a certain model he can only do the best he can to try and get it right.
It is often not the sellers effort that is occurring on some of these payphones to deceive, it is just simply ignorance of the correct parts and pieces and the difficulty in finding them. It is also about research. I have owned a ton of payphones and have a lot of time to stare and compare and by no means am always right. Everything I am writing is my opinion based on research and looking at the phones. Marks phone is a nice phone it is basically a 50G built from parts as a refurbisher would do. Jim

Offline TelePlay

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Re: UNUSUAL 50G Gray Telephone Paystation Company 3-slot Pay Telephone on eBay
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2018, 08:35:45 AM »

Thank you for posting one of the best discussions of certain payphones I've ever seen on the forum. I'm sure many members will learn much about the what, where, how and most importantly, how those who know price these phones. Explanations supported by examples and comparative facts is a real insight into what a buyer needs to know, or how to go about evaluating a payphone.

This forum is not an appraisal or certification service. It is help to those asking for it to learn, fix and even buy phones on eBay. You were very kind to reveal that in a way that was readable, informative and free of ego driven invective.

Thank you.
            John . . .


Offline Doug Rose

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Re: UNUSUAL 50G Gray Telephone Paystation Company 3-slot Pay Telephone on eBay
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2018, 08:51:14 AM »
Jim Engle gave a great technical description which I really tried to follow, but I am no expert. I trust you.

There is also a personal side to this. eBay is a hard place to sell. I have sold for almost 20 years. I am a collector first and a seller second. I know how it feels to open a box sent to me and not to get what I expected.

Why do I sell? To make money, it is a business. A good second income. For some, their only income.

I get messages about my auctions, this isn't right, thats wrong. Liar. Thief.  I am old but wasn't around when these were built! Part of the job? I am human. I have feelings. Do my feelings get hurt? I am a big boy.  Maybe, ask Janet.

I feel I am honest. Others may not. It's life. I can't please everyone, but I do try to please myself. I hold myself to high standards. That's my story.

This story:

Not taking sides as I feel both sides got a little  8) carried away. There is a history.

I can only imagine having one of my auctions described at length, in print, showing everything the person thought I did wrong or tried to cover up. Twice! In a Forum of my fellow collectors. Ouch!

eBay is a business and you are trying to make money.

It's a hobby, it's supposed to be fun! 

It's also a business for some. All the buyers need sellers.

It's all about respect. If you don't like the auction, move to the next one.


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Re: UNUSUAL 50G Gray Telephone Paystation Company 3-slot Pay Telephone on eBay
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2018, 11:57:18 AM »
Doug....also a well said addition to the discussion.