Author Topic: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free  (Read 221 times)

Offline Fabius

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Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« on: December 01, 2018, 08:23:08 PM »
A member of the ATCA Facebook page posted that he saw the switchboard listed in the Grand Rapids Michigan Craigslist with an price of $50. Called the owner and told him I'd take it. When I got to his place (today) he let me have it for free as long as I promised I wasn't going to scrape it.

The numbers on the trunk lines match what's shown on the dial. Now to contact the local library or historical society (area code and exchange indicate Grand Haven, Michigan) and see if they have any reverse number directories from the 1980s, give or take a decade.

Notice that this PBX is equipped with a magneto.

PBX has a couple of modules that I don't know what they are for. See last two pictures. The last photo shows a module with 3 tubes. Ballast tubes?

The extensions are numbers only, to 60. The number 13 is not missing as seen on some hotel PBXs.
 
It was a cold rainy day today. We wrapped the board in a tarp and held it in place tied down by straps

If you see anything about the board you'd like to comment on please do.

One nice thing is that all of the relay covers are present.

The owner told me he got the switchboard from Clare Seplinski of Wayland Michigan. With the switchboard came a large envelope with switchboard papers addressed to Clare (postmarked 1989). A Google search found that Clare passed away in 1994 and a search on the address in the Michigan voter registration website showed that a woman with the same last name is living at Clare's address. She is of an age that leads me to believe she is Clare's wife. I'll try politely contacting her.
Tom Vaughn
La Porte, Indiana
ATCA Past President
ATCA #765
C*NET 1+ 821-9905

Offline Key2871

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 09:08:56 AM »
Congratulations on your find, an early Christmas present in the form of an old beauty is always nice.
I bet your a happy camper!

Offline Fabius

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 11:10:18 AM »
Yes I am. I'm also excited to do the research to find out where it came from.
Tom Vaughn
La Porte, Indiana
ATCA Past President
ATCA #765
C*NET 1+ 821-9905

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 11:12:09 AM »
Wonderful find Tom! You certainly can't beat the price!....Doug
Kidphone

Offline Key2871

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 12:47:45 PM »
Yea, find where it came from would be great, good luck.
How much do you suppose it weighs? 3-400 pounds?
Or a little less. That is just too cool Tom, congrats again.

Offline Fabius

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 07:09:54 PM »

How much do you suppose it weighs? 3-400 pounds?


About 375 pounds.
Tom Vaughn
La Porte, Indiana
ATCA Past President
ATCA #765
C*NET 1+ 821-9905

Offline RB

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 09:53:28 AM »
That is the most complete board I have seen, nice find!

Offline 19and41

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2018, 02:24:52 PM »
Great catch!  Thanks for sharing!
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke

Offline oldguy

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 11:32:50 PM »
Congratulations Tom. I’ve always wanted one but don’t have the room. Maybe someday.
Gary

Offline Dan F

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 01:54:40 AM »
I don't have the room either, but I got one anyway. And made it work!

Congratulations Tom. I’ve always wanted one but don’t have the room. Maybe someday.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 07:21:55 AM »
Appears to have the hard-to-find Conference Jack. (Not sure if other equipment is needed.)
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Online HarrySmith

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 07:55:47 AM »
Nice find! Great catch. I am still looking to replace the one that was stolen from me. Same scenario, I got it from Craigslist for $50.00 then it was stolen from where I had it stored.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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there is only
do or do not"

Offline FABphones

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2018, 07:14:35 PM »
Wow. I would just love one of those, I would certainly have found room for it. Well done. Find of the year?

Harry, sorry to read that - stolen? Weighs quite a bit so I would imagine it was slow progress for the thieves removing that.
A collector of
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Found on Craigslist: Western Electric 555 PBX. Cost: Free
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2018, 09:23:23 PM »
Other than allowing for possible Area Code changes....did you try dialing the number? I sold a 555 once. I knew from the phone number on the dial and trunks that it had been in Kamloops BC Canada. Never thought about it beyond that. Guy shows up to get it and askedcwhere it came from. Kamloops I say. Yeah but what business? I dont know. He pulls out his cell phone and calls it, gets answer, talks a moment and says thanks, goodbye. Sagebrush Motel in Kamloops he says to me. I nearly fell over. O had worked in Kamloops putting in an AE #1EAX for about 4 months. Stayed at the Sagebrush Motel most of that time as it was old with separate bedroom and a kitchen. But, to add to the story, I was 20 and dated the girl at the front desk a bit while I was there. Her parents ran the motel which had a living unit for the manager attached to the reception area where the 555 was. Several times I went over there and we just watched TV while she jumped up to answer the switchboard every time it rang. I had the switchboard for years and it never occured to me to check what business it had been located at! Terry
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 09:44:43 PM by AE_Collector »