Author Topic: Strowger 11 Digit  (Read 14494 times)

Offline DavePEI

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Strowger 11 Digit
« on: September 25, 2011, 10:50:29 PM »
I am a happy guy tonight! I won an eBay auction for an 11 digit Strowger wall phone for $592 CDN. I will be waiting with baited breath hoping it will arrive safely. It is a lot of money, but I have been looking for a good one of these for a very long time! These were the ORIGINAL dial phones, dating from the era of 1905. The photo below is the phone I am getting.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 01:21:52 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2011, 11:49:47 PM »
Congrats Dave!

I am not sure how you are going to resist trying to hook it up and make it work which of course is impossible since these used a 3 wire system to the CO. But a bit of tinkering should be able to make it a usable extension I would think.

Now if I could only find a Strowger Stick for less than the federal debt I'd be a happy guy as well.

Terry

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 11:51:09 PM »
I would be interested to see the insides when you get it.  Looks good from this standpoint.

I won one a few years ago for more money than you paid for yours, and mine is missing the governor for the dial and some of the original switch contacts from the dial, and has either a repro finger wheel or one that has been re nickled.

-Bill G

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 12:01:02 AM »
I am happy for you to get something you have been looking for a long time.

Chuck

Offline GG

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 02:24:35 AM »


Congratulations!   Sheesh at that price, I could almost have afforded one of those a month ago...:-)

About "impossible to hook up," what's the scoop with that?  I'll bet an adaptor could be built to make it work.  As long as the dial produces regular break impulses that are uniform from 1-0 and has at least one off-normal contact that closes (to shunt the receiver), then there should even be a way to wire it without an adaptor.  I'd also suggest a spark quench capacitor across the impulse contacts, and if the receiver is not a DC receiver (no permanent magnet), a varistor (or double-diode assembly) across the receiver terminals to protect against acoustic damage.   

IMHO any modifications that can be made by moving wires at the terminal strips (including adding capacitors etc.), which are reversible to put the phone back in original condition, are permissible without breaking the "no-damage" rule. 

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 05:12:30 AM »
I am glad everyone seems to agree that I did ok, price-wise. I was pleased. The phone appears to be in reasonably good shape. I don't know what it going on with  the transmitter mount (has a twist to the right of the transmitter), but it likely isn''t serious [Update: I emailed him, and he tells me that one of the mounting bolts is missing its nut, and the other is loose, with the result the mount as crooked when photographed. Can't ask for better news than that!]. Until it arrives, it is probable best if I refer you to the auction for photos the inside. It is eBay item 380370764476

One thing which did please me, is he says he has removed the receiver and switch hook arm, and packed it in a double box next to the main phone. An eBay seller who thinks! Yay!

Dial positions on one of these are as follows, top to bottom; Long Distance, 0, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. In later phone/exchange design, the Long Distance position was combined with the operator position. I mention this as the numbers appear to have faded from the celluloid designation strip.

Dave
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 09:21:17 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline Wallphone

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 11:39:34 AM »
Nice find Dave. Why didn't you get the optional finger wheel? < http://tinyurl.com/3hb657m > Hopefully the dial is intact. I thought that I had some pics of that dial but I can't find them yet.
Doug Pav
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 03:06:07 PM by Wallphone »

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 11:07:20 PM »
Hi All:

Oct 03, 2011 - My Strowger 11 digit phone arrived about two hours ago from Saskatoon, in great shape (other than the handset cord cut by the seller in order to ship the handset off the phone. Not a biggie - I already have another cord on order.

I am attaching two photos taken while I am in the process of cleaning the phone up. Bells are off for polishing. The dial is smooth operating and appears to work well, and does have its governor. Contacts look like they could use a good burnishing.

The acetate dial card is extremely faded. I have spoken with Al Farmer of Nebraska - he has quality reproduction cards available and I have ordered one!

The chrome took a nice shine and all is there, but the front button, missing on most of these. Thankfully, the switch is still in the set. Often they aren't. I have just made another button for it out of hardwood dowel on my Taig lathe - the first project using it which I would call a 100% success. Not a problem with the lathe - more one of the operator's inexperience :-) Looks good.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 11:54:25 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2011, 11:26:11 PM »
Looking good Dave! You are correct about most of these not having the contacts for the button. None of my Strowger sets have the contacts or the button. Does your set have a cover over the clapper? One of mine does but the other two doesn't. I am not certain that it is original.

Can't wait to see it finished.

Terry

Offline paul-f

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 12:10:36 AM »
Dave,

Here are a few photos.  I may have one I can scan here somewhere.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline teka-bb

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 03:07:37 AM »
Looking good Dave! You are correct about most of these not having the contacts for the button. None of my Strowger sets have the contacts or the button. Does your set have a cover over the clapper? One of mine does but the other two doesn't. I am not certain that it is original.

Can't wait to see it finished.

Terry

Hi Terry,

My Strowger wallset has the cover over the clapper.
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2011, 04:44:31 AM »
Looking good Dave! You are correct about most of these not having the contacts for the button. None of my Strowger sets have the contacts or the button. Does your set have a cover over the clapper? One of mine does but the other two doesn't. I am not certain that it is original.

Can't wait to see it finished.

Terry

Hi Terry:

Mine doesn't have the clapper cover, BUT... I thought of you when I discovered two mounting holes for a clapper cover on it! So, at one time, it did!

Dave
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2011, 04:49:30 AM »
Dave,

Here are a few photos.  I may have one I can scan here somewhere.


Hi Paul:

That is one handsome set of phones there! Those are some purdy candlesticks!

I have located a source for a reproduction card. from Al Farmer of Nebraska. Incidentally, this one has the larger center plate, so would have used the numbers only card. Al has reproductions of both the numbers only card, and of the alpha-numerical dial. He is going to be away for a week or so, so it will likely be a week or two until he can send it, so if you do get a chance to scan one, I could use a temporarily printed one until the new one comes...

Incidentally, Al last night was telling me that my phone has the original AE receiver with it, as does one of Terry's (the one with missing parts, Terry), and the one you showed above.

The mouthpiece isn't original, it is a lightweight reproduction.

I am missing the bell clapper mentioned in my message to Terry, and one of the bell bolts. There is another one on that bell, but it doesn't match the original on the other. I thought I might have had one here to replace it with, but no luck.

Most of the fellows I have been corresponding with regularly have heard my history with these phones. It is a long one. I grew up in Brockville, Ontario, home of GTE/AE in Canada. Now, I had a couple of my friend's Dads at the plant who knew I collected phones, and they would let me know whenever something interesting went into the plant dump. Now these weren't something which would normally have come from the Brockville plant, but they would often take in older exchanges, and refurbish them, and provide those customers with brand new state of the art equipment. Some had come in along with one of those deals.

As a result of such tips, and courtesy the plant dump which got raided on a regular basis, I had three of these phones! They, of course, were my favorite phones. Had, I say, because when I went off to Ryerson, Mom and Dad, seeing no value in saving "old junk" like these phones threw out all three Strowgers, plus all the other phones I had collected to that date. I nearly dis-owned my parents over that! If the garbage man was a collector, he would have been a very happy man. So, it has taken me 4o some years to get another one!

Knowing this, I hope everyone will have a greater appreciation as to why I was so happy to find one finally at a good price!

Dave  
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 05:32:56 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline Wallphone

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2011, 08:22:37 AM »
Did someone say Clapper? < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pWBJiW0Xpo > An old Johnny Carson skit.
Doug Pav

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Strowger 11 Digit
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2011, 11:33:44 PM »
Did someone say Clapper? < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pWBJiW0Xpo > An old Johnny Carson skit.
Doug Pav

Sure, thanks Doug...only problem with that is that YouTube of course has a whole list of OTHER Carson skits available so there goes the entire evening! What a team Johnny and Ed  were.

Thanks (really!)....Terry