Author Topic: New here - Getting a WE302  (Read 9396 times)

Offline KeithB

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New here - Getting a WE302
« on: August 13, 2010, 07:11:59 PM »
Hello everyone.  I'm a 50-something from Charlotte, NC and new here.  I just purchased from eBay what appears to be a WE302 deskset, and it should arrive sometime in another week or two.  After cleanup, it's slated to sit atop a 40s-era antique secretary in the bedroom.  From the auction photos, it appears to have an F1W handset and either a 4H or 5H dial.  As a high school student, I loved tinkering with older dial telephone sets, learning how they were wired. In college, our campus had a 1930s or 1940s era switchboard where my dorm roommate worked nights and weekends.  So, I've always had a bit of an interest where phones were involved. 
I've been thoroughly impressed with Dennis's repair/cleanup/polish blog entries, and really appreciate the insane amount of detailed photographs provided.  It will be a wonderful resource for restoring this fine antique.  I ordered some Novus #2 for polishing everything, and hopefully it won't have any deep gouges or cracks.  The best part of this story is the price: $40 shipped.  ;D

Offline Dan

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 07:14:43 PM »
Welcome. Hopefully it will have a 4H dial, as they are much more valuable. Post pics when you get her all pretty ;)
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 07:39:23 PM »
Welcome Keith :)  Is the phone shell metal or plastic?  The metal shells were made from 1937-1941.  How you polish it will depend on the type of shell.  Everyone should have a 302.  I have two, one plastic, one metal, plus three other 302s in disguise (two 5302s and a North Galion imposter), and I also bought a 302 for a friend.

Larry

Offline Kenny C

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 07:39:45 PM »
the 302's are the best phone (in my opinion) they have a better sound quality than the 500(my opinion) and they are more compact. I bought one in may i have  2 now and they both are my work horses. I hope you get the 4H dial if not a 5H is just as good but not as rare. Both of mine have 6H dials.
In memory of
  Marie B.
1926-2010

Offline jsowers

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 09:00:04 PM »
Keith, it's great to see someone else on the Forum from NC. I'm in Lexington, a hop, skip and jump up I-85 from you. I have several relatives living in Charlotte and surrounding area. It sounds like you're well on your way to fixing up your 302.

I have several 302s, all black. One is connected in my basement--hard wired to the junction box where my phone service terminates. It's been there for 25 years of faithful service, sitting on an old nightstand my mom started housekeeping with in the early 1950s. I can't remember exactly where I got the phone, but I think it was a yard sale.

My collection is mostly 500s and 554s from the 1950s, but the 302 brings back memories of my Aunt's house in Salisbury. You and I are about the same age, and when I was growing up, they still had their original 302 in the bedroom. It seemed a hundred years old to me and I was impressed that something so old still worked fine. Eventually they went to touch-tone in the late 1970s and the 302 went away.

So welcome to the Forum! It's nice to have someone else who knows what Cheerwine is. I had one just this evening and it was really good. For those who don't know, it's a fizzy black cherry soda. No wine, but it's very dark red.
Jonathan

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 09:10:53 PM »
Hi Keith :)
Welcome ;D
I also have two 302's, one metal & one plastic. really great, really simple phones, enjoy!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline KeithB

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 09:16:25 PM »
I'm fairly certain this one is plastic, based on the auction photos.  These are attached below.  If any of you spot anything telling, please do tell.   ;)

Offline Dan

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 10:19:15 PM »
Jonathan,I know what cheerwine is and I always get a few cases to bring home with me when I go to Myrtle Beach. It's a smoother more cherry Dr Pepper- like drink. It is fantastic in a long neck glass bottle , made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.  :D
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 11:13:07 PM »
Keith, that looks like a nice 302.  I agree, it does look plastic.  The metal ones almost always have paint loss around the cradle ears.

An F1 handset marked F1W means it was made for sale to an Independent Telco.  Note that it is not marked Bell System, it just has the Western Electric name.  The phone was more than likely originally purchased by the small telephone company in Pennsylvania, based upon the 717 Area Code on the dial card.  Google Maps shows that  Ephrata is in central Pennsylvania.

The wool footpads look a little worn but overall, it looks like a nice telephone.   Congratulations!

By the way, Welcome to the forum!

Offline KeithB

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 11:33:38 PM »
Thanks Dennis!!  Looking at far too many pages and links tonight, I'd guess it's the 5H dial.  I'm really looking forward to documenting and restoring this 302.  Your comprehensive blog posts inspired me to take up this hobby/sport/insanity once again.  ;D  I think the only things it may require are a replacement porcelain dial plate and cloth cords.  I'd rather not put a decal or overlay on it, but at the very least I'll clean it up now and replace it later.

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 11:38:53 PM »
Keith, I also forgot to thank you for the compliments on my blog and my work---thank you.  There are many on this forum that are very good at refurbishing old phones so you'll have lots of help if you ask for it.  By the way, one member, dencins (Dennis Hallworth) does leather recovering.  If you send him your old pads he'll send you four "new" ones.  He does a great job and it's affordable.  You can cross that bridge when you come to it.  Attached is a photo of some of Dennis' foot pads that I put on a 302 just today.

Offline savageje

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 12:24:14 AM »
NC Folks:  I love Cheerwine.  I'm an Indiana boy, but travel to North Carolina regularly on business.  In fact, I spent the first half of this week in Raleigh.  It was hot!  Our Charlotte office folks introduced me to Cheerwine, livermush and "real barbeque."  They also explained to me that open-wheel racing isn't "real" racing.  Not a big racing fan either way, but I always love it when I meet someone that is proud of their state and wants to share some of the culture with people they meet.  Unfortunately, I never have time to scout around for phones when I'm there...but I guess that means more for you!  ;-)


Offline KeithB

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 01:34:30 AM »
One thing I'd like to discover is what the exchange "names" were for my Charlotte NPA : 704-33x-xxxx.  I've tried to think of all the names I could, but none seem to match up with '33' and Google wasn't much help.

According to http://rcrowe.brinkster.net/tensearch.aspx it was 'EDison'.  Go figure, I don't know how Edison had anything to do with Charlotte, but it certainly fits.

According to http://ourwebhome.com/TENP/Recommended.html other recommended exchange names for '33' were:
  • DEerfield
  • DEwey
  • EDgewater
  • EDgewood
  • EDison
  • FEderal
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 01:44:45 AM by KeithB »

Offline Just4Phones

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 02:47:34 PM »
Lets all laugh at how naive KeithB is ;D  Does the story sound familiar?  I bought "a" phone to go with my old desk.  KeithB  be warned......the bug has bit you ...you are one of us now.  Telephones will soon be overrunning your house and you will be making room for just one more like the rest of us addicts.  Welcome to the forum btw.....theres a great bunch of people here and a lot of great topics/Threads

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: New here - Getting a WE302
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 02:49:48 PM »
Lets all laugh at how naive KeithB is ;D  Does the story sound familiar?  I bought "a" phone to go with my old desk.  KeithB  be warned......the bug has bit you ...you are one of us now.  Telephones will soon be overrunning your house and you will be making room for just one more like the rest of us addicts.  Welcome to the forum btw.....theres a great bunch of people here and a lot of great topics/Threads

Keith can probably fit in a few more old phones if he were to toss the desk out on the curbside so someone can haul it away!

Terry