Author Topic: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)  (Read 257 times)

Offline FABphones

  • **
  • Posts: 1199
A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« on: August 12, 2019, 04:04:02 PM »
Bought this scruffy metal 302 (401). Cables tatty, paintwork rough, wrong handset (AE) - and a switch on the rear.

I got it because that base is usually on the older 302 phones, although feet not riveted on this one.

I'm hoping it is an older model, couple of queries though:

Any guesses why a switch was added? Aftermarket modification?

Base marked '401 C' Looked it up, can't find what that means, can anyone tell me?

Am looking forward to taking a look inside, seeing what I've found this time, and cleaning it up. Especially the dial.

Photos:
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones' - and a Duck!

* Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble *

Offline Ktownphoneco

  • **
  • Posts: 999
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 04:33:15 PM »
Fab  ....  Odd set to say the least.    The stamp 401-C isn't setting off any bells at the moment.     Both Western and Northern made the metal case sets during the early production years, but it was discontinued after the start of WWII, and production of the cases switched to thermoplastic.      However, because the metal cases were so rugged, they tended to be given a fresh coat of paint and recycled over and over again.     The switch at the back is something added by someone other than a telephone company, or at least not by one on this side of the "pond".   The handset is probably in the same boat.    Someone else may be able to explain the 401-C markings.   

Jeff Lamb 

Offline LarryInMichigan

  • ***
  • Posts: 5019
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 04:54:24 PM »
The handset is an Automatic Electric type 41.  The phone would have originally had an F1 or possibly E1 handset.  The base is a relatively early one, perhaps 1939.  There was a discussion here in the past about the changing base designs in the first years of the 302.  There should be a date stamp on the inside of the base.

As Jeff Lamb stated, the switch on the back was someone's custom modification, probably to silence the ringer.

Larry
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 09:46:20 PM by LarryInMichigan »

Offline Jack Ryan

  • **
  • Posts: 960
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 09:38:17 PM »
I think a 401 uses an H6 mounting and has an exclusion key.

It is used in a key system

Edit: Found it listed here - http://www.paul-f.com/we300typ.htm#401

Jack
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 09:50:14 PM by Jack Ryan »

Offline FABphones

  • **
  • Posts: 1199
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 04:13:46 AM »
I think a 401 uses an H6 mounting and has an exclusion key.

It is used in a key system

Edit: Found it listed here - http://www.paul-f.com/we300typ.htm#401

Jack

I had read that. H6 I understand - what does the rest mean.

Thanks for the replies guys.   :)
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones' - and a Duck!

* Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble *

Offline tubaman

  • *
  • Posts: 421
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 04:50:22 AM »
@FABphones,
I was watching that in the final seconds and was going to bid, but it went just a whisker over what I was happy to pay. I always set myself an absolute limit on these things so I don't get into a bidding war!
I think it's a 401 as per @Jack Ryans post so will hopefully be an interesting phone.
My main concern was the switch on the back, but by the style of it I think it was fitted a good long time ago so just adds to the character.
More pictures when it arrives please - which will doubtless make me wish I'd been prepared to bid higher!
 :)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 12:32:14 PM by tubaman »

Offline paul-f

  • **
  • Posts: 3180
    • Old Telephones as Entertainment!
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 02:00:02 PM »
H6 I understand - what does the rest mean.

An exclusion key is basically an optional switch that can be wired for several purposes. The most common was to exclude another station from the line. Often used for an executive with a secretary -- in the days when labor was cheap and technology was expensive.

The phone line would be wired to the executive's phone (the 401) first, then to the secretary's phone. Normally the phone would ring on the secretary's desk. When answered and screened by the secretary, the boss could be buzzed to take the call. If the discussion was confidential, the exclusion feature was activated by pulling up on the right plunger, activating the exclusion switch and cutting off the secretary's phone. No eavesdropping!

The photo at http://www.paul-f.com/we300typ.htm#401 shows the plunger.

More details, wiring and other uses for the exclusion switch are found in the BSPs.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

.

Offline FABphones

  • **
  • Posts: 1199
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 10:58:57 AM »
Well it has arrived, this is what I would describe as a Rat Phone (bikers term, usually Rat Bike. Black and Scruffy. Love Ďem.  :D )

Dates in phone are 1939. Dial is 1941. Metal bodyshell very scuffed but no dents. Would prefer if no switch on the rear but there it is. The rattle seller spoke of is one of the spade connections coming off the switch not attached to anything. Baseplate was loose as the screw needed tightening up. I have plans for this but am going to need a few parts.

This makes a total of 6 x 302ís in my collection but I just donít have the heart to use any for spares. Even the one I bought specifically for spares as it needs a dial.....
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 11:09:40 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones' - and a Duck!

* Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble *

Offline tubaman

  • *
  • Posts: 421
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 11:23:39 AM »
The fact that it is a 401 with the different plunger and extra contact set makes it much more interesting than a standard 302.
It's the first one I've seen.
As you say it's a shame about the switch, but at least it's at the back so it'll still look good once repainted.
 :)

Offline HarrySmith

  • ***
  • Posts: 5927
  • 1937 302
Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #9 on: Today at 07:28:03 AM »
Nice find, the 401 is harder to find than the run of the mill 302. The paint should clean up nicely with some brasso. I would remove the switch and fill the hole. You can find black rubber plugs that will just snap in to cover it.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"