Author Topic: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??  (Read 24350 times)

Offline Dennis Markham

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Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« on: January 21, 2009, 03:06:54 PM »
There was some discussion about the differences between aqua and turquoise in another posting:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=102.45

I was asked to remove the cover of the turquoise model 500 to show the difference between outside and inside.  There is some yellowing from UV exposure.  As a result of sunlight exposure Aqua Blue phones take on the appearance of the Turquoise phones.   I guess that makes some sense...blue and yellow make green.

I am going to re-post the photos from that posting here along with a few examples of Turquoise.  Also, I dug out a couple of "Starlites"--- the Automatic Electric Company's answer to the Western Electric Princess phone to show the differences in their two colors as well as the differences in color between W.E.'s Aqua Blue and A.E.'s Aqua Blue as well as Turquoise next to A.E. "Seafoam Green".  The Seafoam Green is a deeper green than the Turquoise color of Western Electric.

Finally, I will show examples of Turquoise on a Model 500, A Princess, Trimline and Model 554.  The 554 came to me in very yellowed condition.  I began a sanding project on that phone more than a year ago and set it aside.  One of these days I'll get back to it and try and make it look nice.  I have seen very few Turquoise 554's.  This one is dated 1966.  In the photo you will note that I did finish the dial ring which now displays a  nice Turquoise Color.

In the one photo of the Princess I show what I call "fade rings" on the Princess.  If you are searching for a Princess on ebay, or elsewhere, try and get a photo of the deck of the phone with the handset lifted.  It is here that the color shift is most noticeable as the handset protects the plastic when it is in place.  This particular Turquoise was the most yellowed of the two Turquoise that I own.  The other has no sign of fading.

On the photo of the Model 500 housing, it is difficult to photograph both the inside and outside of the phone at the same time.  A good place for a split screen image.  Instead I tried to kill two birds with one stone---one shot.  The exterior is slightly more green than the inside.

Offline Perry

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 04:32:40 PM »
Dennis, I like those turquoise phones. Here is one I saw on eBay a while back. I bought it because it had a really cheap "buy it now" price. It has a faded/discolored body (it looks worse in person than in the photo), but the bigger problem is that the handset caps and cords were replaced with aqua ones. I suppose I might try restoring it if I ever happen upon the appropriate caps and cord.

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 04:40:49 PM »
Perry, is the color consistent under the handset?  What dates are on the plastic housing and handset?  Is there a color code on the back of the dial?  I looked at just one of my Princess phones for a color code.  The 8A dial had none.  I only checked one of them however. 

Offline Perry

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 05:42:27 PM »
The housing, base, and dated internal parts are dated 71, although for some reason the date on the base is covered by a marker of some sort. I don't see any date in the plastic handset, although it does have a "64" molded in on the inside of the receiver housing. I assumed that was the color code. Oddly, the receiver element itself is dated 4-22-57. I only see a date on the dial, but no obvious color code.

The inside of the handset is brighter in color (looks turquoise to me). The area of the case where the handset rests is a little brighter than the rest of the case, too.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 06:32:39 PM by Perry »

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 06:43:47 PM »
Thanks for the updated information Perry.  That receiver element was made on my 2nd birthday!  I remember it well.....we had cake for dessert. :)

Offline Steve

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009, 07:50:32 PM »

 You guys have some nice looking turquoise phones. we had a turquoise 554 when I was growing up and I was able to find a decent one last year. it too has the yellowing problem. is it more common on this color? I see a lot of aqua phones that don't seem to suffer as badly.
If you're a long way from home,
Can't sleep at night.
Grab your telephone,
Something just ain't right.

Offline Steve

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 07:58:22 PM »

 has anyone tried products that claim to remove yellowing? here is a cleaner I have been considering using to see if it helps.



http://www.bikedepot.net/3mplcl.html
If you're a long way from home,
Can't sleep at night.
Grab your telephone,
Something just ain't right.

Offline McHeath

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009, 12:17:39 AM »
Here's my turquoise 500, from 1966.  It's yellowed a bit, sadly, but not to bad and has a long thick matching line cord to boot!  Thanks for the pictures Dennis, it's helpful to see the what the color has turned too over the decades.  The turquoise is, to me, a classic color from the 60' and 70's. 

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2009, 08:57:09 AM »
That is a very nice Turquoise phone Heath.  Unless they spent their entire life in a box somewhere I think they all have some degree of color change----some more than others.  It is a great color from the 1960's.  I remember my mother having our kitchen painted that color in about 1965 with appliances and a clock to match.

Speaking of yellowing, Steve I have not seen that product and I'd like to give it a try.  A friend likes to apply a coat of Turtle Wax polish with UV protection on his phones after he refurbishes them.  I have put it on a few of mine.  It is one of those things I plan to do to them all but never seem to get to it.  It will help protect them from future yellowing.  It comes in a pump spray bottle.  It goes on a little greasy at first but with buffing it will have a nice shine---and keep out the UV light too.  A view of the 10oz bottle is attached.

Offline bingster

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2009, 11:42:28 AM »
This brings up a question I meant to ask a while back, but forgot to.

We've mentioned before that several auctions have come up which featured 500s in an incredibly intense blue.  Dennis, you posted an interesting photo a while back showing a phone that you were in the process of sanding, and the back half was the common aqua color that we all know, which is a bit lifeless and yellowed, but the front half is that same vibrant blue from the auctions.  Have we become so conditioned to seeing the yellowed aqua that we don't realize how blue they really were when they were new?
= DARRIN =



Offline BDM

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2009, 12:22:23 PM »
Sun tan lotion for phones ;D

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2009, 12:44:02 PM »
Bingster the Aqua Blue phone that appears at the top of this Post is the nicest example of this color that I have seen (in person).  The photo appears pretty accurate to the actual color.  I took the photo under tungsten lighting with the camera set for tungsten.  I get the best "natural" results that way.  I know natural sunlight is very good but often bright light may make the camera "stop down" and thus making the color darker.

The only other blue I know of would be the dark Mediterranean Blue, released again much later as "Teal Blue".  I think there was one of those posted recently.

Offline bingster

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2009, 07:01:25 PM »
I probably didn't put that right...

What I was talking about was the ebay auctions that we've commented on which showed aqua phones that were so vibrant in color that we thought the color had been modified in photoshop or something.  Then not long ago, you posted a photo of a phone you had been working on, the front half of which was sanded and the back half was not.  It seemed to me that the front half exhibited the same bright, vibrant color we had commented on.  So I was wondering if we're so used to seeing the way aqua 500s look now, that we don't realize how incredibly blue they originally were when new.
= DARRIN =



Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2009, 07:12:01 PM »
Bingster, I understand now what you were saying.  I still think that one particular blue phone was enhanced either by the camera or by a photo program afterward, but I think you're right.  We see so many that are yellowed, even slightly that they don't look quite so blue.  On that particular phone I was working on I THOUGHT it was in very good blue condition before I pulled it out and looked at the plastic on the inside.  So sitting alone with nothing to compare it against, it's a nice blue phone.  But once one sees a nice blue one or until the yellow is removed the difference is obvious. 

Since our discussion about this I have been looking at phones on eBay.  It's nearly impossible on some of them to tell if the phone is a yellowed Aqua or turquoise.  The best clue I guess is looking at the inside of the plastic.

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Re: Is It Aqua or Is It Turquoise??
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2009, 08:01:09 PM »
What do you all think of this one?:

http://tinyurl.com/ceu6qx

I guess it's a pretty new phone.  "New" as in early 1970s?  I never touch the stuff.

I gave up on trying to describe light blue colors and accurate color photography in general.  I used to work in that field and it became too frustrating because people do see color differently. Now I just call the light blue colors   "Sparrows Egg" and "Various Sky Hues", and it helps if they have a few white paint household splatters for special effect.

Faded colored phones personally look a bit sad to me, so I'm still staying with black for now. A shiny black telephone reflects other colors and lighting and even the expressions of various people in the room.  Just my opinion for what it's worth.  -Matt