Author Topic: Trimline clock  (Read 3835 times)

Offline paul-f

  • **
  • Posts: 3215
    • Old Telephones as Entertainment!
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 11:27:12 PM »
Here's a variation -- a clock wedged into one of the mini marketing give-aways.  This one is in swirled plastic.  It's next to the full sized Trimline Clock.

The clock looks like the one used in the WE Olympic 1984 sets.
   http://www.paul-f.com/weDesignLine.html#Olympic84

Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

.

Offline Dave F

  • **
  • Posts: 802
  • Help!! I Still Need Some AUTOVON Cards!!!
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2010, 02:10:18 PM »
Well, I managed to win the eBay auction for this orange Trimline clock, and here are my observations and thoughts now that Iíve had a chance to study it:

First, the clock display is not LED as described in the auction but is, in fact, a very pretty blue vacuum-fluorescent type.  Power is supplied by a WE 2012D transformer through a 248B adapter.  The 2012D is normally used to power speakerphones and rotary Card Dialers, and delivers 15-18vac.  This voltage drives the clock display pretty hard, and it is very bright.  Because vacuum fluorescent displays have a heated filament, I believe that this high of a voltage might reduce the life of the display, so I have switched to a 2012C transformer which only puts out 6-8vac (normally used for older Princess and Trimline bulbs).  This makes the display a tad too dim, but at least it probably wonít ever burn out.  Ideally, I think that about 12volts would be just perfect, and that would require using some other kind of (wall wart) transformer.

The only controls are the hookswitch on the base and the recall button on the handset.  To set the clock, depressing the hookswitch advances the time quickly, while pushing the recall button advances it slowly.  Clever use of existing hardware, and no need to install additional buttons or switches which would spoil the aesthetic look of the phone.

The orange plate surrounding the display is not painted, but is molded from plastic whose color is identical to the color of the phone housing.  Upon close inspection, it appears that this mounting plate was specially designed for this purpose.  Somebody put in a lot of effort creating this part.  I wonder how many of them they made Ė no doubt, more than just this one.  There are no WE ink stampings on either the bottom of the phone or on the inside of the handset shell.  The unused holes on the bottom look clean, like they never had any hardware mounted in them, and the two holes in the handset where the receiver would normally be mounted have never had screws threaded into them.  My conclusion is that this clock was made from new unused Trimline parts, either inside the WE factory or, at a minimum, with substantial assistance from the folks at WE.  This is definitely not an item cobbled together by a hobbyist on his dining room table.

The purists among us will argue that any use of telephone parts for any purpose other than the original intent is a blasphemy.  In many cases I would agree.  For example, taking a beautiful colored 302 and drilling holes through the case and handset to make a lamp is enough to make any of us run for the Maalox.  However, I see this clock in a different light.  It uses parts that never were made into a phone, and if they had been, that phone would have virtually no value as a collectible.  It was probably made right inside the WE factory and, as such, is a valuable relic of WE and the history of those times.  I, for one, think itís really cool and am very happy to have snagged it.  Your thoughts and comments would be welcome. 

Offline HarrySmith

  • ***
  • Posts: 6057
  • 1937 302
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2010, 02:34:51 PM »
I have to agree. That is pretty cool that it was purpose built, not homemade. I asked the seller for pictures of the insides but he did not want to open it. Definetly a worthwhile piece of Bell ephermera :D
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline Dave F

  • **
  • Posts: 802
  • Help!! I Still Need Some AUTOVON Cards!!!
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2010, 02:44:18 PM »
I have to agree. That is pretty cool that it was purpose built, not homemade. I asked the seller for pictures of the insides but he did not want to open it. Definetly a worthwhile piece of Bell ephermera :D

Thanks Harry.  It's comforting to know that at least one person out there agrees with me!

Offline Russ Kirk

  • **
  • Posts: 1341
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2010, 02:58:14 PM »
I agree it is cool also.  Seeing some of these unique and odd items are very interesting.  I even considered looking for one myself.

I for one,  am not a purist and limit myself to certain items.  It is OK for some people, but I like the variety and occasional odd items.  I also have collected some toys and ephemera that I find interesting. 

I happen to like items that have the "WOW" factor that seem to impress my visitors. 

I appreciate it that some people find odd items intersting even though they may not be my personal favorites.   

That's what makes collecting and sharing our collections very interesting and FUN!
- Russ Kirk
ATCA & TCI

Offline jsowers

  • **
  • Posts: 2066
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2010, 04:11:53 PM »
I consider myself a purist in a lot of things, and I've been told so, in so many words. I like things to be original if at all possible. But I don't see anything wrong with the Trimline clocks, and when you consider how many millions of Trimlines were made, it's not like they used anything rare. Especially the modular ones. I guess eventually everything will be "rare" but these were made in such large numbers and many of them survived. They were made close to the time when you could own your own phone, so most were bought from the phone store, and not leased for very long, if at all.

I've bought a Trimline clock before on eBay, about five years ago. It wasn't very expensive--I guess I lucked up. I gave it to a friend who collects Trimlines more than I do. It was sitting like the one Dan has in his pictures, but light beige, I think, and it sat on a wood base and it had a small plaque on the base, removed before I got it. The base needed refinishing. Sorry, I don't have pictures of it, but I could probably get some. It worked like the one Dave has and it had a 2012C modular adapter on it and kept perfect time. I thought the switchhook/recall button thing to advance the clock was neat and still do.

I agree that these had to have been made in-house because of the parts involved. They could have been employee awards and retirement gifts at one time. The scarcity of them also means they weren't mass-produced at all.
Jonathan

Offline Adam

  • **
  • Posts: 912
    • Manufacture Discontinued
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2010, 07:45:25 PM »
Not blasphemy.  Definitely COOL!

Taking a beautiful colored 302 and drilling holes through the case and handset to make a lamp is enough to make any of us run for the Maalox.  However, I see this clock in a different light.

Pun unintended (I assume).
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 07:50:43 PM by masstel »
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline McHeath

  • **
  • Posts: 3349
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2010, 11:51:07 PM »
Great clock!  Very clever use of Trimline parts and until these were noted on the forum I'd never seen one.  The level of sophistication of this clock makes me agree that it was not something kicked out at the kitchen table one Saturday afternoon in 1979 by a hobbiest.  

Wonder if over in China there are iPhones that have been converted into something very basic by employees at the factories where they are made?


Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5621
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Trimline clock
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2010, 09:06:13 PM »
I think they're a cool phone as well.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for one.  I don't remember seeing another.