Author Topic: A bargain!  (Read 1344 times)

Offline Dan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • 1957 WE 500-P
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2010, 09:40:50 AM »
I second your emotion about wanting to see a creaseless 554.

Regarding hook switches, I got a yellow  554 today with a replaced handset cord dated all 1-60 otherwise. It still has a chrome "thick" switchhook. This is the latest I have ever seen. Anyone have any newer than this?
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline baldopeacock

  • ****
  • Posts: 379
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2010, 09:57:25 AM »
JSowers, re: the chrome switchhook on ETS's red 554 -

I need to defer to ETS on that since it's his, and I was not there when he opened it up and did the cleanup on it.  I did read the linked previous discussion, with chrome appearing in 1957.   Thanks for that. 

ETS would have to tell us this, but I suppose that if the component dates are all late '56, it's possible that it *could* have been assembled in early '57 and thus ended up with that chrome switchhook.   All pure speculation on my part.   I have no idea whether it has any indications of visiting the WE refurb shop, ETS would have to answer that as well.   From what he told me when he got the phone and was working on it, everything appeared untouched original with a 50 year accumulation of dirt, etc.

The switchhook being a "hard part' and not a typical wear item, you'd think that if it had been replaced in its service life, there would be at least one or two other components with non original dates.   Or no?

The wood backboard on his phone came with it, originally red and needing a repaint, which he did.   Does the OE wood backboard help to date the phone at all?   

Offline ETS1979

  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2010, 11:07:05 AM »
I'm busted!!  Yes the original switchhook had a satin finish that was in poor condition.  I substituted the nice chrome one you see in the photos.  Here is a photo of the original.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 08:42:41 PM by ETS1979 »

Offline baldopeacock

  • ****
  • Posts: 379
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2010, 11:33:16 AM »
I'm busted!!  Yes the original switchhook had a satin finish that was in poor condition.  I substituted the nice chrome one you see in the photos.

Maybe someone here has ideas to restore that original satin hook, ET?

At any rate that does answer the question, and also how original that phone was when you got it.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 11:35:03 AM by baldopeacock »

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1151
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2010, 03:49:49 PM »
I haven't seen a lot of painted wood 554 backboards, but the ones I've seen have been on pre-58 phones. I think they were mostly plastic backboards by 1958 or so. About the switchhook on the red phone, thanks, ETS, for fessin' up! :) The switchhook on a soft plastic 554 is sort of like a big nose. It stands out. It's the first thing I look for when trying to spot an old one. And on this patricular red phone, it's not that it's chrome as much as it's small. The original ones were larger and stouter.

Dan, I think 1-60 may be the tail end of the large switchhook on WE 554s (others like Kellogg and NE used it longer). Also that was the tail end of the "no center hole" handset caps and the ringer adjuster went from flat to bent around that time on the WE 554s.

I don't know what you can do to restore the old switchhooks and the satin ones seem to be found on the color 554s. They do tend to get pitted with heavy use. I may have an extra one somewhere, but not without a lot of looking. I've gotten a lot of damaged 554s over the years, either by a seller not packing it well or someone forcing the case open or putting it in a bind. Lots of cracked housings. A cryin' shame. :'( If you get another one, be sure to have the seller pack it well. Especially at today's going price.
Jonathan

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3753
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2010, 06:12:24 PM »
Here is a real nice painted backboard for a 554 or a 534. that I recently sold it on ebay 290406311133.....Doug
Kidphone

Offline baldopeacock

  • ****
  • Posts: 379
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2010, 06:13:28 PM »
The plating businesses that cater to the old car hobby might be able to restore the original satin finish, perhaps?

Offline Jester

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2010, 07:55:03 PM »
Also that was the tail end of the "no center hole" handset caps and the ringer adjuster went from flat to bent around that time on the WE 554s.

Jonathan,
Pictured below is the base of my Ivory 554.  Notice the crimson date stamp reads 6/59 & the end of the ringer adjusting lever is bent.  This is the oldest example of this lever I have seen, & I haven't seen any bases between July & December of '59, so I can't say that my base points to the time they switched for sure.  I also have examples of handset caps from 1/60 that have the center holes, so I'm sure the ABS caps with no center holes were not made for very long.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 09:20:14 PM by Jester »
Stephen

Offline Dan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
  • 1957 WE 500-P
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2010, 08:18:43 PM »
My 1-60 yellow ear cap  has six holes, not seven, and is ABS, not soft tenite.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Jester

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2010, 11:33:03 PM »
Good point, Dan.  I didn't make it clear in my previous post, but I'll try to now.  These items that I mention are, in my opinion, proof of when these features were introduced.  My examples may not be the earliest--just the earliest that I have found.  These two cases also don't represent the point in time when these features were used on every set manufactured.  It's been stated many times on the forum that 500's & 554's made 1959-64 saw alot of new processes & procedures introduced, & many new items were built in this era that used older plastics somewhere on them, etc.  The real value of my examples is it gives a known date to a part with certain new feature.
Stephen

Offline AtomicEraTom

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1347
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2010, 05:26:57 AM »
I have a 58 554 and never noticed any difference in the switchhook, actually it's my very first rotary phone I got, when I was 10 or 11
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.

Offline Jester

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2010, 05:40:42 PM »
I'm busted!!  Yes the original switchhook had a satin finish that was in poor condition.  I substituted the nice chrome one you see in the photos.  Here is a photo of the original.
 

ETS,

I see some dirt & maybe a little corrosion on that hook, but nothing that couldn't clean up.  Satin finish hooks have a rough or textured finish, unlike the smooth finish on the bright chrome hook.  Ask Dennis about his method of cleaning these.  He's one I know of that gets great results.
Stephen

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5227
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: A bargain!
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2010, 06:39:41 PM »
ETS, I don't have any secrets to cleaning those hooks.  I just whatever works.  I like Simichrome polish.  It gets a lot of corrosion off.  On the chrome hooks I might use some 0000 steel wool, but it can scratch if not careful.  Just give the polish a try...it works pretty well.