Author Topic: Now the Story Can be Told - 1949 WECo 500 Set  (Read 238629 times)

Offline zuperdee

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #855 on: April 26, 2010, 07:53:25 PM »
Wow, I finally read through this thread... What a story!

As for the comments about the simplicity of the dial design in this phone though: I still think the Automatic Electric dial design is simpler, more elegant, and more compact than ANY of the Western Electric dial designs, including this one. That said, the Western Electric dials do have better dust protection, and I'm guessing it may be for this reason that it seems like I've found more sticky A.E. dials than sticky W.E. dials.

Offline Dan

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #856 on: April 26, 2010, 09:56:33 PM »
I think early AE80's in soft plastic are better built too, except the dials.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #857 on: May 03, 2010, 05:24:55 PM »
I'm way late to comment on this great thread, because I've been mostly off the internet for the past four months and have only visited the forum twice in that time, but yesterday we finally got our new internet connection, and this was the first thread that really "grabbed" me.  Needless to say I haven't read the entire thread, but I skimmed over it, and I just want to say how really glad I am for you Dan/P that you found the 500 prototype, and had the wisdom and insight to bid on it, and how you are now sharing the adventure with us all. And here we were all looking for a '49 500, and you seem so have found a 1948! That is sooo waaay coool.  (Understatement of the year.)

I don't have any real words of wisdom to contribute to the discussion, but as I was reading parts of the thread, I remembered this old wrinkled Western Electric advert that I have, and whenever I see it, I can't but help but think of Dan/Panther, born in '49.  So here's a  photo of of the ad. Sorry about the poor image quality, as my scanner isn't working, but if you click on the photo to magnify it, at least it's readable. (And I made it a gray scale image to keep the file small, like a good little boy...)

Anyway, I just wanted to say...Thanks and a Big Congratulations to Dan the Panther!

-Matt

« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 05:31:13 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #858 on: May 03, 2010, 05:45:02 PM »
Matt;
Glad to hear from you, don't be stranger.
It really has been an adventure and one I feel I've had much company on.
As of yet we haven't determined the year exactly, only speculation based on what we know, which turns out isn't much.
We still need the drawing for the first run of production models or a drawing of one of the field Test sets, that would really help nail it down.
BTW, Donna has graciously offered to help document this in the form of a booklet.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #859 on: May 03, 2010, 05:53:25 PM »
In my mind it is a 1948 or older.
I think it is safe to call it a pre-production set.

JMO,
Jim
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Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #860 on: May 03, 2010, 06:03:03 PM »
Quote from: Dan/Panther
Matt;
Glad to hear from you, don't be stranger.
It really has been an adventure and one I feel I've had much company on.
As of yet we haven't determined the year exactly, only speculation based on what we know, which turns out isn't much.
We still need the drawing for the first run of production models or a drawing of one of the field Test sets, that would really help nail it down.
BTW, Donna has graciously offered to help document this in the form of a booklet.
D/P

Hi Dan,

I didn't mean to be a stranger, just that I didn't have an internet connection for several months. The two things I missed the most not having internet was just not being able to email my dear sister regularly, and especially not being on the phone forum for about four months. The withdrawal symptoms were terrible (hee hee) but I lived through it and now I'm back, and it was certainly a nice surprise to discover your find of the 500, and I'm very glad that you and Donna are documenting it.

I look forward to the continuation of "the story of the 500 being told", as hopefully you and others can maybe eventually pin down the possible actual dates of the phone. I think that I have read that the 500 was in development for about four years with Henry Dreyfuss and all the rest, since 1946, so of course right after WWll. I think I have some quotes about that from my biography about Henry Dreyfuss, with I will look up later and quote them on this thread.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this adventure!

-Matt
-Matt

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #861 on: May 03, 2010, 06:10:11 PM »
Quote from: Dan/Panther
Matt;
Glad to hear from you, don't be stranger.
It really has been an adventure and one I feel I've had much company on.
As of yet we haven't determined the year exactly, only speculation based on what we know, which turns out isn't much.
We still need the drawing for the first run of production models or a drawing of one of the field Test sets, that would really help nail it down.
BTW, Donna has graciously offered to help document this in the form of a booklet.
D/P
I think that I have read that the 500 was in development for about four years with Henry Dreyfuss and all the rest, since 1946, so of course right after WWll. I think I have some quotes about that from my biography about Henry Dreyfuss, with I will look up later and quote them on this thread.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this adventure!

-Matt
Matt,
That is some new info, Bring it on.
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #862 on: May 05, 2010, 12:41:05 AM »
Jim,

The Dreyfuss account of the development of the 500 set can be found in his book, Designing for People and several other sources.

The reference is on the site here:
   http://www.paul-f.com/weproto.html#500

In part:
1946 - Henry Dreyfuss' firm began work on the 500 external design.  Effort led by Robert Hose.

Some 2500 sketches were made.  Handsets were primarily modeled in wood, while bases were initially in clay and the most promising cast in plaster and lacquered.
 
  (References: Designing for People, Henry Dreyfuss, Simon and Schuster, 1955; Designing the Telephone, Bell Telephone Magazine, Summer 1955; Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit, Russell Flinchum, Rizzoli, 1977;  A Conversation with Donald Genaro, Singing Wires, Vol 18, No 10, Oct 2004.)
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline Tonyrotary

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #863 on: May 05, 2010, 01:15:15 AM »
Oh Wow! I cannot believe I overlooked this thread! A prototype 500! Way to go D/P! Guess you win the who has the earliest 500. :)

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #864 on: May 05, 2010, 07:07:31 AM »
Hi Jim S.

I recently wrote on this thread that:

"I think that I have read that the 500 was in development for about four years with Henry Dreyfuss and all the rest, since 1946, so of course right after WWll. I think I have some quotes about that from my biography about Henry Dreyfuss, with I will look up later and quote them on this thread."

(As if I knew what I was talking about...)

And you wrote:

"That is some new info, Bring it on."

So, I just looked it up in the Henry Dreyfuss biography, and it's too much small print for me to re-quote here, but the book is:

Henry Dreyfuss
Industrial Designer
The Man in the Brown Suit
by Russell Flinchum
published 1997 by the Smithsonian
ISBN# 0-8478-2010-6

The pages in the book about the Dreyfuss telephones are from pages 96 to 105. There are also some enticing photos. Just before the pages describing the Dreyfuss telephones are pages about the prefab houses that Henry helped design, as well as the Dreyfuss flying car. (Did I just hear McHeath's ears move?)

It's a good book and I recommend it. It's a perfect companion to Henry Dreyfuss' own book; "Designing For People".

Anyway, there might be some photos and info in those pages that may be pertinent to the present discussion about Dan/Panther's very early 500. But I just can't  quote it all here. I would scan the few pages of small text and big pictures and would and would post it here. But my scanner is almost as old and ugly as I am, in computer years...

-Matt

And please remember that I am very much an amateur about telephones.

I just know some good books.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 01:16:58 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #865 on: May 05, 2010, 12:49:59 PM »
Matt;
We have accumulated so much information it will take time to sort and organize. Donna is doing a great job at that. I keep throwing a monkey wrench into her works trying to help.
I still get chills when i look over at the phone.
I've recently acquired an early Straight handset cord,  I hope it looks as good in person as it did in the photos, I can't wait to add one more original part to the set.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #866 on: May 05, 2010, 01:23:34 PM »
Gee, I wouldn't want a Dan/Panther monkey wrench thrown at my works. ;D

So, have you attempted to contact a curator at the Smithsonian where the other early 500 set is kept?  I was just wondering if they might be interested. Maybe even help research your set? Just a thought, since your set seems to be older than the one in the museum.  :o
-Matt

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #867 on: May 05, 2010, 02:08:07 PM »
Since my scanner isn't working, I just photographed the pages about the 500 from the Henry Dreyfuss biography. Sorry about the poor image quality, but if you click to enlarge the images the text is readable.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 02:12:26 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #868 on: May 05, 2010, 02:09:45 PM »
...and three more pics from the book.
-Matt

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #869 on: May 05, 2010, 02:34:05 PM »
Matt;
Thanks, I have got to get those books.
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.