Author Topic: Clear WE Buttinski  (Read 3366 times)

Offline Jim Stettler

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Clear WE Buttinski
« on: March 13, 2010, 11:14:40 PM »
Here is one that got away. I was 3rd high bid. # 180477937500

Western Electric 70's style butt set in clear. This is the 2nd one of thes that I am aware of. It would've gone nice with my other clear Butt sets.

Jim
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Offline Craig T

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 12:57:54 AM »
I honestly would not have given $20 for that at a yard sale. That is one of those scary items that reminds me how little I know about phones.

I cannot believe it went for $472 with ship. I better keep searching those completed auctions.

Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 01:18:09 AM »
My first clear telephones were 2 WE trimlines at a moving sale. She wanted $5.00 each and I only had $5.00. I talked her into selling them both to me for $5.00.

The next week my buddy went to the same moving sale and bought 2 clear trimlines from her daughter for $20 each. He did get me the mothers phone # and I bought a We Clear 500 and another clear trimline for $20.00 each.

As a Rule of thumb, If it is Clear and marked WE/ Bell System, assume it is worth at least $100+

Jim
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Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2010, 04:12:56 AM »
Here is a photo of the other WE buttset. These 5 are the only clear buttsets  that I know of (currently).

I haven't taken the time to closely compare the photo's yet.

They collector that won this one  has some really nice phones, including some nice clear sets.
Jim
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Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 04:29:38 AM »
I honestly would not have given $20 for that at a yard sale. That is one of those scary items that reminds me how little I know about phones.

I cannot believe it went for $472 with ship. I better keep searching those completed auctions.

I would of sniped higher if I didn't just buy #170438191662. (non rotary)

It is a proto-type(?) touch-a-matic. I have a mini-merlin that looks a lot like this.
I still need to dig the mini-merlin out to compare them.

This phone has a spot of swirling w/ beige. So it is actually a cross collectable with my swirl collection.
Jim
 
Note: It turns out that this is an AT&T international model. There is another thread that shows one with the sticker. The other one has a different dial mask.
Jim

It turns out this is an ATT international set.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 12:05:45 AM by Jim S. »
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 02:58:14 PM »
Jim;
Those 4 photos look the same, what exactly are the differences between them.
Also the one in the auction looks just like the one in your collection, are they different ?
I have one each of the Orange, Yellow, and Blue, would like a clear to go with them, but appears none are available.  :( :( :(
D/P
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 03:00:26 PM by Dan/Panther »

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Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 03:04:57 PM »
Jim;
Those 4 photos look the same, what exactly are the differences between them.
Also the one in the auction looks just like the one in your collection, are they different ?
I have one each of the Orange, Yellow, and Blue, would like a clear to go with them, but appears none are available.  :( :( :(
D/P

It is the same photo twice. One of them was marked 1 and they other was marked 2. I realized after I posted the photo.

The one in my collection is a GTE Automatic Electric. There are only slight differences betweeen the AE and WE buttsets.
Jim
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Offline GG

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2011, 11:18:31 AM »


Holy cow, I never knew anyone made clear test sets.  The Dracon would be expected because that's newer.  But the rest of those... especially the oldschool AE with the 3" dial... yow!

I still use an AE 801 test set in the field.  Have done so since 1978, still have that one but it's retired; I might resurrect it.  Got a bunch more for cheep, so I feel safe if one gets dropped or something.

So, was the old AE with the 3" dial actually made by AE or was that a Dan Kottke creation?  Either way it's majorly impressive.  The originals were cast aluminum so I can't even imagine what sort of material would have been used to produce a clear one when they were current. 


Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2011, 11:58:55 AM »
I think the old clear set was a proto-type made by AE. There is a lot of machining of the set. Also there are some #'s stamped in. The other AE was special made for classroom visits.

I know of 2 clear Harris, 2 clear WE.
Jim
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Offline GG

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 01:17:24 PM »


The clear WE is probably more rare than an original clear 302. 

The clear old type AE is probably a one-of-a-kind or one of a very very small batch, may be the one and only survivor and should be treated accordingly.  That design goes back to the 40s easily.  (The one that came after it and before the 801 was red; for some reason the examples I have, have all developed fatal cracks despite being kept in indoor conditions.) 

The clear AE 801 (similar to WE) is the early 801 with the concave talk/monitor switch.  By 1978 they had changed over to a convex style of line switch similar to that found on the WE test sets, and easier to use than the concave version (I have both, but orange of course).   

The dial in the clear old AE looks like it's oriented wrong.  Every other example of that model of test handset I've seen, the dials were oriented in the same manner as in the WE and the AE 801: so you could hold the handset in your left hand, and then turn it over and the dial would be facing its normal orientation for use. 

Dracon started the trend of mounting the dial such that you had to hold the handset pointing in a North-South direction in order to see the dial in its normal orientation.  (Personally I don't like trying to dial that way, it forces the wrist into an unnatural stressed position, for which reason I've never used any test sets that have the dial in that orientation.)   So if the dial in the old AE is oriented that way, my guess is it was done later by someone else, and originally it would be oriented as in the AE 801.   However it's probably not a good idea to take apart the handset to reorient the dial, if there's any chance of causing any harm. 

Apologies if my writing style is crappy right now, i'm in the middle of programming an off-prem VOIP extension for someone at an advertising agency. 

Offline gpo706

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Re: Clear WE Buttinski
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2011, 03:13:34 PM »
Amazing thought these sets are, I have to ask, why apart from demonstration uses would anyone need a clear butt phone?

Surely not a phone engineer?
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"