Author Topic: My red 304  (Read 3929 times)

Offline Jester

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My red 304
« on: December 31, 2010, 01:17:45 AM »
Posted below are some auction shots of a red WE 304 I recently won off the 'Bay.  This is the uncommon -53 cherry red that was introduced around the same time as the Imperial & Continental 202's.  Some interesting features:

The mounting cord is black rubber, but is dated 55, same as the red handset cord & dark red cover.  I can't prove it is a replacement, but suspect it was.

The base, network, ringer & dial are all dated 48.  The dial is marked 5H, but has been painted white around the circumference of the housing & had a 500 style FW with special #5 adapter fitted to it.  I have an Imperial like this, so I suspect this to be a refurb. practice.

Handset is the earlier solid F1--typical of the factory painted F1's I've seen used on these phones.

It appears that the only "new" parts used on this phone were the cover, cords & fingerwheel.  The idea seems to be to use up the surplus parts while offering a phone in a color the customer wants.  Also, notice there is no switch boss cast inside the front LH corner on this cover.  It is dated 1-14-55.
Stephen

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 07:04:51 AM »
Stephen....I watched this auction and was tempted. Is the shell painted? Is it marked H1 inside on the shell if it is painted. I couldn't decide if this was factory WE or an after market job. If it is all painted, it is in very nice shape for 55 years old. Nice catch on this, its a beauty....Doug
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Offline Jester

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 02:09:35 PM »
Doug,
The shell is not painted--it's the same color red all the way through.  The vermillion stamp on this one is H3.
Stephen

Offline Jim S.

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 11:44:28 PM »
Nice looking phone.

Is the housing soft plastic or the typical plastic for colored 300 type sets?

I am under the impression that the "off" colors were soft plastic.

Jim S.
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Offline Jester

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2011, 01:22:31 AM »
Jim,
It sure seems to be the same material as what my 500 & 554 covers are made of.  It doesn't seem as prone to shrinkage as the other colored 300 sets I have and light won't shine through it the way it will on the others.  I would like to see examples of ivory & gray/green from this 1954/55 time frame.  I suspect they were also tenite--not just the "off" colors.
Stephen

Offline Jester

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 12:56:05 PM »
It has taken me a long time, but I have finally finished this phone & wanted to show you the results.  There were many small scratches on the cover, & nearly every sharp corner had a series of dings right along the edge.  There were so many, and the placement was uniform enough(see first auction pic. posted above) that it reminded me of a milled edge on American coins.  I owe a big Thank you to Doug Rose for bringing this color & model to my attention.  Doug also helped by providing an extra handset that is in better condition than the one I got with the phone.
Stephen

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 01:29:47 PM »
That is one beautiful phone! In my opinion, one of the hardest WE phones to find. Just think, you normally see a real nice blue 302 once a month on eBay. Same with an A1. When was the last time you saw a Blood Red 302? Softplastic red color matching the 500 sets of the early 50's. A factory painted handset to match. I know of four collectors who have one. This is just an amazing example. Stephen.....you should be very proud.....Doug
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 02:01:57 PM »
Beautiful phone, Stephen!  Congratulations.

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 08:48:33 PM »
I recently acquired a Cherry Red Model 302.  This is a "soft plastic" set like Jester's.  We did some comparing today.  Both of our housings are marked from the same day.  His however is a 304 and mine a 302 based upon the wiring.  His has an H3 mounting code where mine is H1.  He has the 101B Induction Coil with 4 conductor ringer.  Mine is a 101A with the two conductor ringer.

The handset on mine is an F4 (U1 Receiver, T1 Transmitter) where his is an F1.  The receiver (U1) is dated the day after I was born in 1955.

I'm very fortunate to have picked up this set from a local collector.  The handset cord is original and marked 1955 as is the housing.  The mounting cord is an Odis LeVrier reproduction (before House of Telephones was bought by Oldphoneworks).  This is NOT a Pekin Red set, but rather Cherry Red.  I thought I'd share a couple of photos.

Offline paul-f

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 09:57:45 PM »
Beautiful, Dennis.

It will certainly look great displayed with your 500s.
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Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 11:50:12 PM »
Sir, it is "drop dead gorgeous". Congratulations. A very elegant set indeed.
Jorge

Offline jsowers

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 09:00:01 PM »
Looking at this gorgeous phone, I have to wonder why.

Do you think the reason they made these in this color is they looked better than their 500 brethren? Right around the time these were made, red 500 sets still came with gray cords that didn't match, and a few months previous, the red 500 sets came with black dials that didn't match. Sort of a red-black-gray mishmash.

By contrast, everything about this phone matches, and looks great. Did they make them in any other soft plastic 500 colors? Or did the green, ivory and dark blue already match the 500 colors so well that it wasn't necessary?

I have a few shots of phone installer trucks and company displays promoting early color phones where there are color 302s and color 500s intermingled in the same display. So for a while they were both available.

Thanks, Dennis, for posting all the similarities and differences between those two rare phones. Since yours and Stephen's have the same date on the housing, you have to wonder if they made a very short run of these and then switched over to just making red 500s.

Food for thought, as they say.
Jonathan

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 09:10:32 PM »
Best of my knowledge they were made in Blood Red, Ivory, Green and allegedly Blue. Theses are soft plastic, not thermoplastic with matching painted handsets. I have owned a Green and seen an Ivory, very hard to tell the difference between the SP and TP. The Blood Red is the wild card where they are SP red and not the thermoplastic orange/red. In my opinion much harder to find than a Blue thermoplastic. When is the last time you saw one of these? If ever. There are rumors that it came in Blue, I have never seen one. WE using up all their parts while accommodating the want for color by the public. This is one beautiful phone....Doug
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Offline GG

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 07:02:21 AM »


I never even knew that they made 302s in that color red, as distinct from the more common red ones we see from time to time.

Brighter and more vivid, more "alarming" in a way, and one can definitely envision it installed in a place where, when it rings, people drop everything to answer it.

Probably the reason for the display of mixed colored 302s and 500s on the truck was something along the lines of "you can have whichever color you like, but which model you get depends on how far you are from the CO." 

Offline paul-f

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Re: My red 304
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 12:59:18 PM »
Thermoplastic 300-series colors reported are summarized here:

   http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#WE300T
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