Author Topic: Two-Tone Colored WECo 500 Telephones  (Read 34851 times)

Offline jsowers

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Re: Seeing Red - Model 500's In Red - Black Dial & Two Tone Sets
« Reply #90 on: December 31, 2011, 02:15:26 PM »
Dennis, your red phones are really great to see and your post is a great history lesson on the difference between two-tone sets and black dial "full color" sets. They had lots of variations on the road to an all-matching phone and those in your pictures are some of the rarest of all soft plastic sets.

They didn't make as many early on as they did in 1957-59 when all the parts matched and the plant was also expanded to increase production. So those early sets are rare birds and not too easy to find.

You do need more shelves! Empty shelves have a way of filling themselves, so good luck finding all the other color variations. And thanks for posting your reds. What color is next? Moss green? Oxford Gray?
Jonathan

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Seeing Red - Model 500's In Red - Black Dial & Two Tone Sets
« Reply #91 on: December 31, 2011, 02:45:30 PM »
Dennis....great display. I'd love to see more of it. Really a eye catcher. The WE ad with the phones is a great visual.

Question on two tone sets. Basically if the dates match, you can build your own. What I am asking is there any link in the markings on your sets that show that black dial was made for the red housing or could it have come out of a different black 500 set with the same dates. I am just trying to learn as to what makes them authentic past the booklet.

More pictures of your phones, please! I love the shelves .........thanks...Doug
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Seeing Red - Model 500's In Red - Black Dial & Two Tone Sets
« Reply #92 on: December 31, 2011, 05:10:53 PM »
Thank you all for the compliments on my Red phones.

Doug, there are no special markings that I am aware of when it comes to the black-dial sets or the two-tone sets with possibly one exception.  The marking on the back of the 7D dial for a black set is -3 as I'm sure you know.  I read or was told somewhere along the line that all of the two-tones and black dial "color" sets show a marking of -3, because the -3 (Black) is the color of the dial bezel.  I think Paul F mentioned once that there was a color code specifically intended for a factory release of a two-tone set vs a local phone company assembly.  I'm not sure if I remembered that correctly or if there is a BSP on that fact or not.  Paul?

The photo attached to this post is the dial from the first set shown, the "black-dial" color set dated June of 1954.  There is the number "1" or and "I" below the rest of the information.  That MAY be the indication that was spoken about.  The dials I have run across are not normally marked with that digit, although I have seen it before.

There is nothing that keeps someone from cobbling together a black dial set, or the two-tone sets.  That's fine, especially if one wants to display them at home or wherever.  However to me the fun part is finding these sets "in the wild" that I believe were not touched by the refurb shop.  There may have been some handling along the way, like adding the latest dial card to include the Area Code, or maybe a cord replacement after the original was used to the point it caused service problems.

Those shelves are Ikea specials.  They're held on with some pretty good sized lag bolts.  My home is older and the walls are plaster and not drywall.  I don't think the bolts will pull out due to the weight.  I currently have four of those shelves up in this room.   But that is room for only 20 500's.  I need to take some lessons from you Doug to learn how to properly display the rest of my phones.

Thanks again for the comments.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 05:57:30 PM by Dennis Markham »

Offline paul-f

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Re: Seeing Red - Model 500's In Red - Black Dial & Two Tone Sets
« Reply #93 on: December 31, 2011, 07:25:00 PM »
I think Paul F mentioned once that there was a color code specifically intended for a factory release of a two-tone set vs a local phone company assembly.  I'm not sure if I remembered that correctly or if there is a BSP on that fact or not.  Paul?

The photo attached to this post is the dial from the first set shown, the "black-dial" color set dated June of 1954.  There is the number "1" or and "I" below the rest of the information.  That MAY be the indication that was spoken about.  The dials I have run across are not normally marked with that digit, although I have seen it before.

The BSPs do show two-tone sets coded with the color followed by the letter A (Described with reference here: http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#WE500).  AFAIK, this applied wherever the set was assembled.

Color codes were occasionally - but not usually - marked on the bottom of the sets.  It's interesting to find them with the marking and matching plastics.

I have also seen the letter I on dials and other components.  I don't recall seeing it in documentation.
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Seeing Red - Model 500's In Red - Black Dial & Two Tone Sets
« Reply #94 on: December 31, 2011, 07:49:10 PM »
Thank you for that information, Paul.  On the 302's, didn't the "I" indicate Indianapolis?  "S" for Shreveport, "A" for Atlanta, etc.  Maybe it's an "I" on the dial and not a "1".

I have seen sets marked like yours.  I believe Jorge Amely has a Mahogany 500 with the color code 54 on the bottom.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Seeing Red - Model 500's In Red - Black Dial & Two Tone Sets
« Reply #95 on: December 31, 2011, 10:51:12 PM »
Indy opened in 1950, Shreveport didn't open until 1967 and I don't believe there ever was a WE plant in Atlanta. (See Western Electric and the Bell System.) and http://www.paul-f.com/Doc/WEdirectory1967.pdf)

There was a Distributing House location in Atlanta, so it's possible the A code (and a few others) on some sets had something to do with where a set was refurbished.  There's a list of Distributing Houses in WE and the Bell System - p 58.  Refurb and repair operations were there.

Most of the components I remember with an I mark were 500-series parts.  As I believe we discussed elsewhere, we've heard stories that parts were initially marked "I" to document the transition from several Chicago plants to Indy, then kept on for several years.  Until we see it in writing, it's just speculation.

Some later dials had a 1 instead.  Any speculations or references on that are welcome!
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Offline Doug Rose

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Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #96 on: March 26, 2012, 01:52:05 PM »
How do you know this is the real deal without opening it. Clear plungers? This went awfully high in my lack of knowledge 500 set eyes. Educate me...Doug

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Offline Tom B

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #97 on: March 26, 2012, 02:05:33 PM »
Difficult to tell if it is the real thing without taking the lid off, as you say. The year is right for the first 2 tones, the mouthpiece cap on the G1 has no centre hole, the handset cord looks right but there seems to be a refurb stamp (faint) on the base. I would have liked to have seen the date of the shell before I bid on it.
If it's the real deal then $76.55 isn't a bad price.
Tom

Offline jsowers

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #98 on: March 26, 2012, 04:51:16 PM »
It looked all original to me, and in very good condition. I came in second. Jester came in first, so maybe he will post a few pictures when it arrives? No hard feelings, Stephen. All's fair, as they say. You're lucky I didn't bid any higher than I did. It was a nice one, and very early. Maybe the earliest I've ever seen. 10-53 is right at the beginning of production, I think. Has anyone seen anything on a color 500 dated earlier than that?

As far as the plungers go, I think clear plungers are normal since black plungers went with black housings and clear plungers went with color housings. I actually have a two-tone with black plungers, only because someone very early on painted the black housing ivory, but not the plungers.

Anyway, congrats to Stephen on getting this nice phone.
Jonathan

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #99 on: March 27, 2012, 10:44:06 AM »
The handset cord seems shiny, probably a replacement. But the numbers card is priceless!
Jorge

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #100 on: March 27, 2012, 10:57:26 AM »
The handset cord does not look fat enough to be 1953 vintage.

Larry

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #101 on: March 27, 2012, 02:17:03 PM »
The handset cord caught my eye too.  Not fat enough, not gray enough and too shiny.  Other than that....
-Bill G

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #102 on: March 27, 2012, 06:10:31 PM »
I'll bet an original cord would have been a straight cord.  Still, looks like a very nice phone find.  Congratulations Jester on adding that phone to your collection.

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #103 on: March 27, 2012, 07:51:46 PM »
Time for a picture......

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: Two Toned 500 Set
« Reply #104 on: March 27, 2012, 08:37:19 PM »
I am crossing my fingers here because if the handset is just dirty, it should shine like a black piano finish when Stephen is done with it. I would just hit it with Novus 2 for a couple hours until it gets warm to touch under a trusty Ryobi polisher. After that I would treat the leather with Dennis' magic potions and it should look just like out of the box in 1953.

I am betting that it originally had a smooth black rubber handset cord.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 08:39:58 PM by JorgeAmely »
Jorge