Author Topic: My Favorite Western Electric Design  (Read 2727 times)

Offline Doug Rose

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My Favorite Western Electric Design
« on: January 06, 2010, 01:52:26 PM »
My opinion, at least for today,  nothing beats the beauty of a Western Electric B1 102. The round base desk phone was made in 1928. These originally came with a #2 dial and a seamless E1 handset. They didn't last long as there wasn't much room inside and the Oval D1 202 was born. This guy came from a trash can at a flea market about 15 years ago. Honest! It was a mess. Bad paint, corrosion and filthy. Layers of crime that the trash can did not do. I can ALMOST,  see why it was tossed. I removed all the paint and used a wire brush on a drill. Amazingly, the corrosion was easily removed and there was no pitting. This is one tough phone! The metal base of the phone is black, that is not paint. The cradle, finger wheel and retainer ring are a heavy steel. I replaced the handset cord and the dial plate. The leather base had no tears and cleaned up well with; soap and water, a suede brush and my favorite, Avon Skin So Soft. Dried out leather comes alive with it. It is one of those phones that you remember: where you found it, how much you paid (that's easy $0) and what you did to make it work. It came with a #4 dial that was a #2 in another life. Yes, it is a working phone. One of the favorites in my collection.....Doug
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Offline AtomicEraTom

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 02:15:46 PM »
Cool phone, and the awesome story that goes with it is even better.  Easy to see why it's a favorite!
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 02:20:41 PM »
Nice phone, Doug.  I guess I'm going to have to check the garbage cans too when I'm at the flea market!

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 04:47:11 PM »
Story is I always ask any dealer, "Do you have any old phones......Rotary Phones?" Well, the seller said no, but I saw one in the trash can around the corner. I figured a beige 500 set, but still I went running. It wasn't right on the top, but close enough. A few pushes turned up my find. It was so bad, I gave it a quick look and put it in a bag (I always carry plastic bags at the fleas) and thought I had a 202 for parts. It was a little better.....Doug
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Offline ntophones

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 05:44:43 PM »
That is amazing.
--nto

Offline Dan

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 06:38:20 PM »
I have had great luck @ flea markets too. Nice find!
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 07:46:59 PM »
Doug;
Just curious, that must have been a long time ago, right?
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 07:50:44 PM »
You deserve a PETT award! (people for the ethical treatment of telephones). I too saved a phone from the trash, but it was a 500. Maybe one of us will rescue a 12/49 500.  :)

Offline AtomicEraTom

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 03:51:19 AM »
I can't beleive annybody would be dumb enough to throw that away.  I mean, even as a phone guy, I can understand someone throwing a 500 out figuring it's a 70's job that nobody would care about.  But that's true vintage there. 

(BTW I would never throw ANY phones away, I have 3 2500s that my mom pulled out of the dumpster at the factory for me)
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 02:07:46 PM »
I think hands down for me, is the 302.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline AtomicEraTom

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 02:11:10 PM »
I love the 500, it's a classic familiar design that everybody knows.
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 05:00:32 PM »
Doug;
Just curious, that must have been a long time ago, right?
D/P

D/P it was between 15 and 20 years ago, maybe more. The second thing that goes is the memory. I forgot the first!  There was a time when telephones at flea markets were not priced as they are now. Some of my best phones cost less than $10. When I first started collecting, I would NOT pay more than $20 for a phone. $20 bucks!! That was it. Needless to say, I kick myself for some of the things I passed on. In retrospect, it sounds ridiculous, but the times have changed....Doug
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Offline HobieSport

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Re: My Favorite Western Electric Design
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 03:34:36 AM »
Doug, your WE B1 102 is truly beautiful, and I can see why it would be a favorite early WE phone. Also, what a great rescue you did of a diamond in the rough!

I'm also partial to the 302, like D/P, and of course the 500, like Tom and many of us. As far as a daily use phone, I'll usually use a plastic 302, or a 500 from the early to mid 1950s, just because they are so Henry Dreyfussly ergonomic, and classic in mid century (and timeless) design. :)
-Matt