Author Topic: Now the Story Can be Told - 1949 WECo 500 Set  (Read 238597 times)

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #870 on: May 05, 2010, 03:51:43 PM »
Quote from: Dan/Panther
Matt;
Thanks, I have got to get those books.
D/P

They really are good books. My younger step son is in college in industrial design, and when I offered to give him the books (after I read them three times), he wasn't interested. I tried to explain that they were really very interesting, about the birth and "golden age" of industrial design, but he still wasn't interested. Kid's these days... ;)

The book "Designing For People" by Dreyfuss is online here:

http://tinyurl.com/2fjj7nr

And here is the Dreyfuss biography, but it's an expensive book and I haven't found it online to read:

http://tinyurl.com/2evsc7z

-Matt
-Matt

Offline bwanna

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #871 on: May 05, 2010, 06:54:01 PM »
hobiematt...sure is good to "see" you again. this is great info. these look like a couple of great books to have.

i was of the mind that d/p's set is a 48 field trial. now i am wondering if it is in fact an early production set from 1949 ???

why?...the aiming dots. the phone in matt's photo says it is a 1949, yet it does not have the aiming dots. also, difficult to tell, but that finger wheel looks plastic to me. this leads me to believe the aiming dots were not added until 1949 & dan's phone does have the aiming dots!

matt, can you take a magnifying glass to look at the photo & compare the fingerstop to the fingerstop from dan's phone?


d/p....i just keep moving that wrench out of my way :P
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 06:57:25 PM by bwanna »
donna

Offline McHeath

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #872 on: May 05, 2010, 10:41:19 PM »
Well now we have pictorial evidence that there was at least one 500 assembled without the aiming dots.

I'm still inclined to think that D/Ps is a 1948 pre-production model, based on the documentation we have from the patents.  The picture in the book is second hand evidence, and books written long after the fact often get details wrong, which is what I believe happened here with them calling the phone in the picture a 1949 model.

Now, where has that phone without the aiming dots gotten to?

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #873 on: May 05, 2010, 11:09:57 PM »
If the truth be known, those photos are most likely staged re-enactments and not even the original players. Notice they only show hands, and a man in a double breasted suit, could be anyone.
My guess is the phone is a mock up.
I still want to get those books.
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 #874 on: May 06, 2010, 12:34:39 AM »
Matt;
Thanks, I have got to get those books.
D/P

Designing the telephone chapter 7 Abbreviated version, Bell Telephone magazine.

http://www.archive.org/stream/bellvol3334telephonemag00amerrich#page/n463/mode/1up

Page counter 464

Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #875 on: May 06, 2010, 12:52:06 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.)

Thanks Paul,
I guess I never had read the Dreyfuss Referance info. I recall see the referances cited, but I never tried to locate any of it (before).
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #876 on: May 06, 2010, 12:53:39 AM »
Matt,
Thanks for posting the photos of the pages.
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #877 on: May 06, 2010, 03:16:09 PM »
Quote from: Dan/Panther
...those photos are most likely staged re-enactments and not even the original players. Notice they only show hands, and a man in a double breasted suit, could be anyone. My guess is the phone is a mock up.
D/P

Yes, the photo in the book of the (maybe) '49 500 without the aiming dots certainly does looked staged, and as the caption says, it was a publicity photo.

Bwanna, I looked at the fingerstop on the photo in the book as you asked with a magnifying  glass and it does indeed look to me like the same as D/P's, in shape at least.

BTW, I'm really vicariously enjoying this whole epic episode of discovery along with D/P and I guess most others in the forum. In a way, I'm almost glad that there are no dates on the phone (though that may sound stupid) because it forces us to try to solve the mysteries by using whatever evidence we can find from, what, 54 years ago? I love a good mystery... 8)

Can someone tell me more about the '49 500 in the Smithsonian? Is it depicted or written about somewhere online?

-Matt
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 03:19:07 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt

Offline bwanna

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #878 on: May 06, 2010, 08:48:46 PM »
hobie, i'm afraid i have to disagree, but thank you for looking & for posting a closer view of the phone. dan's fingerstop has kind of a swoop to it. where the one in the pic looks more squared off, like on later models.

sooooooo...what does this tell us ???
donna

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #879 on: May 06, 2010, 09:28:28 PM »
I have been on the Smithsonian site and emailed requesting any information that they may have in their archives including any photos. No response yet.
D/P

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

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #880 on: May 06, 2010, 09:42:57 PM »
sooooooo...what does this tell us ???

I dunno, but.....

I measured my earlier #2, #4, #5 and #6 dial fingerstops with a caliper.  From an exacting standpoint, they are all over the board, but the thickness of the earlier dials seem to mostly be about .25 inches, give or take a few hundredths.  The attached photo is of my 1951 500 with the #7 dial, which measures in at about .32" and is visibly a little thicker than the earlier dial fingerstops.  I have also noticed that the earlier fingerstops seemed to have a deeper "swoop" to them and the later ones that have the thicker support have the more flat "swoop"  I also see that on the ones with the deeper swoop and the thinner support, the overall thickness of the fingerstop is thinner.  Maybe the earlier ones were more prone to getting bent up and either causing people to hurt their fingers, or breaking off entirely.  This may have been Bell's way of strengthening the finger stop in order to make it better.  Either that or they knew a yet to be formed sneaker manufacturer would someday want to claim trademark rights on the swoop.

Here is the photo of where I took the measurements.  It wold be interesting if Dan could haul out his caliper and check out his finger stop.
-Bill G

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #881 on: May 06, 2010, 10:17:59 PM »
Also remember that during the development of the 500 in general they where experimenting with very fine increments and very sight subtle changes.

So while the fingerstop on D/P's phone may look the same to me, as whatever it is that is that is pictured in the book, with my untrained eye, it could very well have changed.

I think measuring with precise calipers is a good idea.

Please remember that I don't have the slightest idea what I am talking about.

There, I said it.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 10:19:41 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #882 on: May 06, 2010, 11:17:32 PM »
Bill;l
I got out my trusty calipers and measured the spine of the fingers stop at the same location you did.
I get about .318 Thousandths, or just about what you got.

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 #883 on: May 06, 2010, 11:38:36 PM »
I love precision...
-Matt

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #884 on: May 07, 2010, 05:03:40 PM »
Quote from: bwanna
hobie, i'm afraid i have to disagree, but thank you for looking & for posting a closer view of the phone. dan's fingerstop has kind of a swoop to it. where the one in the pic looks more squared off, like on later models.
sooooooo...what does this tell us ???

Thanks Bwanna, I can sort of see it now that you pointed it out. Please never be "afraid" to disagree, especially with me! I am only an amateur, and sometimes my eyes don't always recognize the very subtle differences.

My only point is that during the developmental stages of the WE 500 (1946-1950?) that they were experimenting with all kinds of very subtle precise testing and changes in ergonomic shapes and angles in all the components. So that's why I am glad that precision calipers are now involved with our studies.

In my meager mind, dear Bwanna and Dan/Panther, the development of the WE 500 was one of the most important industrial designs in all of twentieth century history. I will again quote Henry Dreyfuss here in order to attempt to make a point:

"Of all the magic of modern civilization, the telephone seems to me the most wondrous achievement..."  -Henry Dreyfuss

Personally, I also wish that Henry's design work in the late 1940s and 1950's in industrial housing after world war two had worked better. I was and am still a frustrated industrial designer before I was born.  It seemed natural to me that after WWll, that the war industry could just be retooled a little bit to manufacture some decent homes for those people who had survived the war.

We had some huge covered factories after WWll which I wish has been used to manufacture homes for the men and women and children after WWll. Henry Dreyfuss tried to do that, and one of his attempts at manufactured housing was recently found.

But my modest and very possibly inaccurate guess that when the "building trades" working folks heard about inexpensive efficient houses being built, in factories, that the workers might be afraid of being "exploited" and out of a traditional home building job. It is my contention that that wasn't the case.

Please keep in mind that I am neither a "capitalist" nor a "communist".

And there is a reason why I now enjoy living in a "trailer", so well build in 1954.

And I wasn't even born until 1957.

Go figure.

Love,

-Matt


« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 05:06:54 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt