Author Topic: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location  (Read 15867 times)

Offline Doug Rose

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What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« on: September 14, 2010, 08:49:32 PM »
About five years ago Janet and I went to a flea market and tucked way in the back under a table I saw a handset cord sticking out of a big wooden box. That handset cord turned out to be 19 Western Electric Metal Manual 302 sets and 1 with a dial. There were a few spare handsets and parts from broken phones. They came from an old hotel/motel in NH that had been closed for years. Building was being gutted and the box was found in the basement under piles of debris. Seller felt they were sitting there for years as the hotel had upgraded to newer phones in the past. One lone 500 set also came along for the ride as proof of the upgrade. All 302s were metal, most date 5/41. A few had E1s, but the majority were F1s with most elements dated 5/41 as well. For metal phones and bakelite rolling around in a box they were in really great shape. Some actually looked new, except for the huge amount of dirt and grime on them. Thankfully the basement was dry, no corrosion. Eventually he decided $90 for the lot was fair. Who was I to argue! I sent Jan for the SUV and I guarded my find. He was thrilled with the money and was laughing to his friends as Janet and I loaded "that junk" into our SUV. Every time I leave for a yard sale or a flea market, I think of that summer find!....Doug
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 08:51:58 PM by Kidphone »
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Offline Kenny C

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010, 08:51:28 PM »
does any one have a blank for a manual 302 i want to make a manual one?
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 08:54:55 PM »
Doug, that's a great story.  I have yet to add a 302 with an E1 to my collection.  I'm still looking.

Kenny, I know I have a couple dial blanks that fit a 202.  I'm not sure if they will work on a 302 or not.  Seems like they should as both have 3 inch dials.  Anyone know if they will work?  If so you're welcome to one.


Offline Kenny C

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 08:55:59 PM »
ok send me prices and i found a clear finger wheel buried in the bottom of my trunk
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 08:57:46 PM »
Kenny, if it will fit you can have it.  I'll send you a PM about it once we learn if they are the same dial blank.

Offline Kenny C

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 08:58:05 PM »
okie dokie  ;D
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Offline easytiger

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 10:18:03 PM »
I shot some inside photos of a D1 dial blank and 302 dial blank.  With some fundamental differences, they don't look interchangeable to me.  

The 302 blank looks to be a finshed metal outer plate attached to a metal "body" which has a connection board attached.  The D1 looks to be just a metal plate attached to the housing by a crossbar.

The metal plates also look designed/formed a little differently on the finished side.  The 302 plate has a sort of concave curvature to it, while the D1 plate looks more convex.

There are also a few minor differences in the dial ring impressions on the finished side - different punch-out configurations.

I didn't shoot any finished side photos, but can if there's a need/interest.

Of course, there could definitely be variations - these being just a couple.



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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 11:27:59 PM »
Thank you for taking the time to do that.  I didn't think they were interchangeable but wasn't sure.  I forgot about the attach points for the wires too.

Offline Brinybay

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 02:29:14 AM »
About five years ago Janet and I went to a flea market and tucked way in the back under a table I saw a handset cord sticking out of a big wooden box. That handset cord turned out to be 19 Western Electric Metal Manual 302 sets and 1 with a dial. There were a few spare handsets and parts from broken phones. They came from an old hotel/motel in NH that had been closed for years. Building was being gutted and the box was found in the basement under piles of debris. Seller felt they were sitting there for years as the hotel had upgraded to newer phones in the past. One lone 500 set also came along for the ride as proof of the upgrade. All 302s were metal, most date 5/41. A few had E1s, but the majority were F1s with most elements dated 5/41 as well. For metal phones and bakelite rolling around in a box they were in really great shape. Some actually looked new, except for the huge amount of dirt and grime on them. Thankfully the basement was dry, no corrosion. Eventually he decided $90 for the lot was fair. Who was I to argue! I sent Jan for the SUV and I guarded my find. He was thrilled with the money and was laughing to his friends as Janet and I loaded "that junk" into our SUV. Every time I leave for a yard sale or a flea market, I think of that summer find!....Doug

That beats my last haul of 17 phones, and they sure weren't like yours!  Some of them great, some not so great, and if I factor in the gas, I paid twice what you did.  What eventually became of all your metal 302s?

UPDATE:  For posterity, Doug's post below is referring to this 1930 WE "Old Brass" 202 that used to be my avatar.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 12:40:33 AM by Brinybay »
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2010, 09:58:27 AM »
Greg....The 302s went the way of eBay in the year that followed. It turned out to be a very profitable find for "that junk."  The phones cleaned up easily, mostly just a wet cloth and a wax. Amazingly, all phones that were complete in the box worked. I also got a few spare phones/parts in various states of disrepair, that I used to build new phones. The paint on the phones was very displayable, a couple nearly perfect. It was by far my best single find.

As I remember, your 17 phones included that wonderful 202 in your picture, so I'm not too sure it beats your find. This was a great find for me, but none of them made it into my collection. I think you win as  you added many phones to your collection. There were no losers in these two finds!! ...Doug
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 11:14:13 AM by Kidphone »
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Offline Craig T

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2010, 04:57:01 PM »
That handset cord turned out to be 19 Western Electric Metal Manual 302 sets and 1 with a dial.

That is what gets me up every Saturday morning to go out and look! Still wishing  :)

Offline Jim S.

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2010, 12:23:03 PM »
The largest amout of phones/ect I ever got was a very large collection for $8,000. The collection was worth $20-30K at the time. It was to large to inventory. It included a Strowger Stick, A short Mckinly wall phone. A long distance telephone candlestick, Conneticut taper shaft, Large Gamewell call box, Montgomery Ward 2 box glass front,  A step switch lamp, many, many more phones and parts.

More recently I bought a stash of about 50 phones. About half were old black sets and the rest were modern plastics including a white 5302.

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Kenny, I think I have a 302 blank in the shed, It should turn up over the weekend. I will let you know.
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Offline HarrySmith

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2010, 12:28:43 PM »
The best I scored so far is off Craigslist. i have an ad I run about old phones, offering my services and offering to buy old pahones and phone stuff. I got an email from a guy in West Palm Beach who said he used to collect but no longer is into phones, he siad he had a couple of boxes to get rid of. I met him about halfway between here & WPB. he asked $200.00 for the boxes, I offered $100.00 and he accepted. Ended up with 21 phones, old & new plus parts. Attached is picture of phones as I unpacked the boxes.
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Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, 03:03:27 PM »
This is the largest stash of phones I have ever purchased. All arrived in a 2' by 2' by 2' box and took about a month to arrive from New York to California. All were wrapped "burrito" style.

As you can see from the picture, the phone I really wanted brought along a bunch of brothers and sisters. The wait was worth it.

Jorge

Offline bingster

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Re: What is the Largest Amount Of Telephones You Found at One Location
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 04:07:40 PM »
The largest stash I ever got was a group of four from a little antique store in Virginia.  They had a pair of G-mount hanging handsets, a metal 302 and a North Galion.  I was a teenager at the time, so I couldn't afford to buy all of them at once, but after six months I did wind up with the whole lot.  I still have them, too.
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