Author Topic: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)  (Read 1035 times)

Offline FABphones

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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'
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Offline Ktownphoneco

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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

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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

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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

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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!
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I don't collect Red Phones  ...they are starting to collect me
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Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble

Offline tubaman

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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

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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

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Offline FABphones

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2019, 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: August 24, 2019, 11:09:40 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
I don't collect Red Phones  ...they are starting to collect me
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble

Offline tubaman

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 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

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2019, 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

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there is only
do or do not"

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2019, 01:57:31 AM »
the phone itself is in rough condition. it looks like the internal wiring is in a bad way, flaking, etc. hope you can restore it with little expense. as for the switch, looks like a ringer cut-off switch to me.... always hated when I found that.... used the wrong type switch because that's all they had.... and the terminal lugs... yikes!
John

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2019, 01:16:36 PM »
I assume the phone was in service before answering machines were in widespread use, and the switch looks to be for disabling the ringer. Why not just leave the phone off the hook when you don't want to be disturbed. At least the caller would get a busy signal instead of being ignored or you aren't home. Being it will be repainted if you plan to restore it, the hole should be no problem.

D/P

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Offline FABphones

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2019, 10:26:30 AM »
As I type my workspace remains in chaos whilst the new phone room is being made so I am unable to undertake any lengthy projects. This dial however kept staring at me and finally today my curiosity got the better of me as to just how good the enamel was under that layer of black. You won't believe just how long the following took me to do.

I started by removing the dial card holder and decided to clean it up before replacing. Discovered a slightly stained but otherwise nice enough Seattle MAin dial card underneath which I'm really pleased about.

The anti-bac wipes took away some black paint from the dial surround which was covered in a thick greasy grubby layer. Unfortunate but not unexpected.

Wipes and Polishing Paste had no effect on the old ripped dial card that had been glued to the Acetate, and soaking it in water did nothing. So next I soaked it in vegetable oil - that helped and the dirty paper layer came away with a bit (!) of encouragement. This left a black ring which nothing would remove. It wasn't oil or paint. Then I remembered a tip from Jim on another thread of mine about using hair lacquer to remove ink, so I thought I'd give that a try and began a search of the house. I found hair lacquer tinted with Red, then tinted Blue and even Green.... until finally I came across a can of UV Glow in the Dark hair lacquer. No other could be found so I opted for the UV version as at least it sprays clear. It took a few goes but the black ring started to come away. It was actually blue ink (see photo), and moreover the phone is literally covered in it. A can of standard hair lacquer is on my shop list before I continue with the body of the phone lest I have a glow in the dark 302 (it would too, so I'm keeping this finding from the kids or one evening I may just walk into the room and discover a few glowing phones).

All that black on the enamel was also dried ink. It took some persuasion to come off as I didn't want to scratch the enamel. There is more to remove which will be done when I begin to restore this phone properly, this is only a preliminary investigative tidy up. The dial needs taking apart and a thorough clean (I thank my tutor again for the how to strip and clean a dial tuition), and the finger wheel needs a repaint.

I need a few parts to get this phone right so it will have to now go down the to do list until they can be sourced. But it has potential. I'm pleased with the findings so far.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 11:08:38 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'
...and a Duck!
----------------
I don't collect Red Phones  ...they are starting to collect me
----------------
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble

Offline RB

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2019, 11:28:47 AM »
Yup, on it's way back from the dead.
Nice work!

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: A Scruffy WE 302 (401)
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2019, 12:56:36 PM »
you know, personally, I would have taken the dial, switch hook assembly and other parts and transferred them into a 302A unit to upgrade it... once the shell is compromised, that's pretty much all you can do in a restoration project.
John