Author Topic: 1958 Northern Electric Rose Beige 500, other rare NE 500's I have as well  (Read 6240 times)

Offline Dan/Panther

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Derek, thanks for all the history behind the soft plastic NE phones. As you've said, they're quite rare. I've seen very few of them and always wondered if NE changed later than WE on most things. Funny that the Neoprene feet changed about the same time. With WE it was late August, 1958. I've seen a Bell System bill insert from 8-58 stating that fact, and since I was born in that month, I have several phones that bear that out. See the picture below of the base date of my black 500U from 8-58. The housing on this phone was made on 8-21-58, the day after I was born.

Here is a shot of my 8-58 C/D 500 with the leather feet.

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Offline 1954NE500

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I believe the reason for the switch from swede/leather feet to neoprene feet in late 8/58 on WE/NE 500's, WE 5302's and refurbished NE 302's was that neoprene feet had a better grip that the swede/leather feet and neoprene feet were a lot easier to produce in mass quantities as well. In July, 1959, we would kiss Tenite 500's and 554's goodbye as they gave way to ABS plastics for the 500's and 554's as well. Open-center plastic finger wheels for colored 500's and 554's would be gone by late 1965 and replaced by the now more modern closed-center plastic finger wheels as well. I would pretty much put the end of the Golden Age Of The 500/554 phones in late 1965 or early 1966 myself from my observations.