Author Topic: Now the Story Can be Told - 1949 WECo 500 Set  (Read 239045 times)

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #510 on: April 04, 2010, 09:26:56 PM »
When Dan's set is compleate, We should make a seperate "locked" thread that has all the photos, and pertinent links and corrected info, A summation of key points might be nice. This point was brought up by someone many pages ago.


If it was myself, (and I'm not claiming you are refering to my post atall) I suggested this would make a decent web page when its finished  - on its own with the posts here in an archive, and links etc, and of course lots of explanations/retractions and BIG sexy pics.

Surely enough reading and drama here to make an interesting stub to someones site or a site of its own I think.

Most likely both.

I plan to put up a few web pages of the "Cliff's Notes" version, focusing on comparing the internal components with the patent drawings and a production 500.

To capture the spirit of the find as it unfolded, an edited version of this thread would be entertaining reading for anyone who wanted to know more.

In addition, there will be several short articles written which should provide an intermediate level of documentation.
Thanks for volunteering to do the web stuff Paul. This is a neat story. It needs to be "saved" in condensed form.  Regarding who said what and when. It wasn't me, but I agreed with the concept.
Jim
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Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #511 on: April 04, 2010, 09:44:24 PM »
When Dan's set is compleate, We should make a seperate "locked" thread that has all the photos, and pertinent links and corrected info, A summation of key points might be nice. This point was brought up by someone many pages ago.


If it was myself, (and I'm not claiming you are refering to my post atall) I suggested this would make a decent web page when its finished  - on its own with the posts here in an archive, and links etc, and of course lots of explanations/retractions and BIG sexy pics.

Surely enough reading and drama here to make an interesting stub to someones site or a site of its own I think.
gpo706,

 I suspect it was your post. I only recall seeing 1 posting on the subject. Paul's site is the best location for this info. He already has many pages on field trial and pre-production sets. Plus since I have his site on my desktop It will make it easy for me to find.
JMO,
Jim
BTW aren't you in C*net, if so contact Kyle ,  aka Bellsystem property
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #512 on: April 04, 2010, 11:39:06 PM »
I feel like Columbus I was looking for India, and found Cuba....
Well back to the drawing board.
Next time I'll be sure to see a date before I bid....Just my luck...
D/P

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Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #513 on: April 04, 2010, 11:43:29 PM »
I feel like Columbus I was looking for India, and found Cuba....
Well back to the drawing board.
Next time I'll be sure to see a date before I bid....Just my luck...
D/P
Sorry, I won't say I told you so, but..........

Better luck on the next one D/P.

Jim
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #514 on: April 04, 2010, 11:48:06 PM »
At this stage, I'm convinced it would be easier to change my Birth year than it would be to find the phone.

Has anyone ever stopped to think, Henry Dreyfus was only 68 when he died.
D/P
« Last Edit: April 04, 2010, 11:49:37 PM by Dan/Panther »

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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #515 on: April 04, 2010, 11:48:53 PM »
I tell you what.  I'll trade you my 1951 great-shape production 500 for that piece of junk that doesn't even have a date on it.  And 1951 IS my birth year.
-Bill G

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #516 on: April 04, 2010, 11:51:12 PM »
Bill;
If I didn't have so much work in the set I'd go for it, but I'm in too deep. I hope you understand...
D/P

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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #517 on: April 04, 2010, 11:57:44 PM »
Darn.

You have a real prize there.  I think the whole community is envious.
-Bill G

Offline McHeath

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #518 on: April 05, 2010, 12:51:04 AM »
Yeah, there is some serious envious here. :D

A conversation with Don Gerano would be very interesting.  If he's 79 years old then he would only have been in his late teens when the 500 was developed, so he's not a first hand source, but he certainly may know a good deal about what happened in the development of the model that he learned after he joined the firm. 

As I recall Dreyfuss and his wife committed suicide together after learning about her terminal illness. 

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #519 on: April 05, 2010, 01:07:06 AM »
An article that Jon Finder wrote for Singing Wires in 2004 where he interviewed Genaro indicates that Genero joined the firm out of college in 1956, and was a part of the development of the Princess and made som very important contributions to its design, but he was not the lead person.

Apparently he was completely in control of the design of the 2500 and the Trimline.

Since he worked so very closely with Dreyfuss for 15 years up until his death, Genaro undoubtedly knows a great deal about the development of the 500.  Dreyfuss and Associates is not that big of a company, and as in any company, one gets to get a feel for the history of the company and he probably heard hundreds and hundreds of hours of war stories told within the company over the years from the "old guys"  That certainly happens in the company I work for and all the others I have ever worked for.

If it is possible for Dan to get in touch with Genaro, he is likely to start out by saying that he had nothing to do with the development of the 500, but could then morph into recounting many, many stories.

I have some friends who are into genealogy.  They repeatedly tell me that they are constantly going to the older people to get their stories and histories and memories; to put them down on paper and document things before critical things die with their grandparents, etc.  To me, this is a similar thing.  If we really want to know about these things we need to ask the questions and see if people like Genaro will oblige.  The worst he can do is say no.  If he says no, well that's the end of it.  If he says yes, then the possibility is that there will be some information that can be documented for all.

My two cents.

Gee, with all these gratis two cents offered by everyone each day, this forum can afford all the bandwidth it needs.

For the John Finder Singing wires, go to the TCI sample Singing Wires site at:
http://telephonecollectors.org/singwire/samples/0410sw.pdf
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 01:09:17 AM by Phonesrfun »
-Bill G

Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #520 on: April 05, 2010, 02:05:58 AM »
Paul,
If I am reading this right,
There were 50 1948 pre-production (marked* field trial sets) apparently  undated.
Then there were 4,000 early production sets. These may of been marked* field trial, or (probably?) not. These may of been dated(?) (since they were production sets I am thinking dated).

* Marked field trial are with the verbage of Dan's set
<snip>

Jim,

Where did you read this?  I don't recall reading anything about trial set markings on 500 sets, except on the bottom of Dan's set -- and we can't yet place that with absolute certainty.  Drawing any conclusions from a sample of one or two is risky.

As long as we're speculating, let me add a few more questions for additional pondering.

  • If there was a trial involving 50 pre-production sets, how many more experimental sets had been made for evaluation before they were ready to go to trial?  5? 50? Have any survived? Therefore, isn't the total number made likely to be greater than 50?
  • How many earlier designs were attempted before the pre-production trial set?  How many sets of each design were made for internal testing?  So far, I've only seen reference to the two versions we've been discussing, but there easily could have been dozens.
  • Dan's set was apparently marked for a test away from Murray Hill.  Could it have been in a test before the "pre-production set" trial in the BSTJ article?  Early versions of other models (non-500s) are known to have been given to executives in other Bell companies for internal testing, or placed in the homes of a few Bell System employees for testing before going outside to "real customers" for testing.  They easily could have had the marking that's on the bottom of Dan's set.

I'm sure this creative group can come up with many more possible scenarios from the few facts available. 
Such expansive thinking is a lot of fun and may lead to other possible areas for research.  Let's be careful to base our likely scenarios on the "facts in evidence."
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Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #521 on: April 05, 2010, 03:11:28 AM »
1949 500 Description Progress

I'm getting some nibbles on requests for descriptions of 1949 set components.

Set marked 500 and 11/49 on bottom next to front left foot.
  • Set believed to have been installed in San Francisco for evaluation.
  • Component dates cluster around 5/49.
  • Line cord has a paper label ring: D3AB 1-49 (hand written).
  • Label on the set bottom: 
    This is one of a limited number of new telephones being tested under various conditions in a few localities. Such tests under actual operating conditions are given all telephone equipment by the Bell System. This set may be removed after a trial period for return to the Bell Telephone Laboratories.  Examination there will make sure all possible causes of trouble are eliminated before full production starts.
    This is consistent with the notion of not telling subscribers that they were part of a test of experimental equipment, but rather a normal test of new (early production) equipment.
    (Yes, hoping to get detailed component dates and photos!)


3-31-49-2 dated housing on a 10/50 set
  • Plaque above dial: "Pre-production Model Installed February 1950" (Could have been applied any time for display purposes.)
  • Clear plungers.  (Could have been added in refurb)
  • Sold sticker on bottom: "Sold by ATT, 2/20/84, Traditional" !!!


Ringer
  • C2A dated 4-49 on the coil.  2-screw mount.


7A dial dated 11/49 (Looks like the 10/49 dial we've discussed.)

I'll have photos on the last 2 in a few days and hope to track down the owner of the first set shortly.

Evidence is mounting to support the guess that the 1949 sets were basically the same as the 1950 sets we've seen.
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #522 on: April 05, 2010, 01:30:35 PM »
Paul;
Just by looking at your 10-49 dial, I'm convinced within reason, that production sets starting in late 1949, were MOST LIKELY very similar or just like 1950 sets. I don't think at this point they looked like my set. I'm very convinced that my set is a Pre-Production, and that is all I will commit to, like you said; "Based on the evidence presented thus far." unless we are able to find photos, or documentation listing exactly what was in a pre-production set  including details, we may never know for sure.
D/P

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Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #523 on: April 05, 2010, 02:14:40 PM »
Paul,
If I am reading this right,
There were 50 1948 pre-production (marked* field trial sets) apparently  undated.
Then there were 4,000 early production sets. These may of been marked* field trial, or (probably?) not. These may of been dated(?) (since they were production sets I am thinking dated).

* Marked field trial are with the verbage of Dan's set
<snip>

list]


Paul,
Regarding the markings, I should of prefaced it with "assuming that".  I did not mean for it to appear as known fact.

I have seen similar markings on a field trial 302 set. (many years ago)
The reason I call the 302 a field trial set is
Base markings the same or very similar to Dan's set.
Metal body, ISTR small Plunger
E handset.
1 Cord hole in the back of the set for both cords
 Inside was a tag stating it was a field trial set and to return it to Bell labs for repair.
I examined this set in a collection around 20 years ago, I don't remember the exact verbage of the base or the tag. But the tag stated (or strongly implied) that the set was a field trial set.

Jim
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #524 on: April 05, 2010, 03:12:09 PM »
In my mind it does not take much of a stretch of the imagination to conclude for at least two reasons, that a phone clearly marked,

 "In case Of set trouble, Do Not Open, return to Bell Laboratories, Murray Hills, New Jersey"

The set is at least, NOT a Normal production Set.

ONE) Bell Laboratories, AS Far as I know was not in the Subscriber business.
TWO), NORMAL repairs would be left to the local phone Company.
I have to conclude, and really can not rationalize any other purpose for a phone being marked as such, was intended for any other purpose than some form of a test, and not a regular production phone.
I feel I can say with 99% certainty, that No 500 model production phone will ever be found with the components and configuration to match the phone I have. The single factor that convinces me is the writing on the bottom. As far as I know that writing  has never appeared on a production phone. if it has, I would love to see a photo of it.

After reading what Jim has read, contained in a previous, in his mind, confirmed Field test set/Pre-Production set, that my phone falls under the same blanket.

D/P


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