Author Topic: 1959 WE 500  (Read 2584 times)

Offline liteamorn

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1959 WE 500
« on: September 29, 2011, 04:48:31 PM »
http://tinyurl.com/65s25n2

I just received this gem today, it is in amazing shape for a phone this age.
 The receiver and transmitter caps do not have the center holes , and the date 59 is all over it. The only exeption is the receiver which is dated 58.

Offline GG

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 04:25:50 AM »


Good catch! 

Presumably you also got that cord that was pictured, right?  That's a base cord that is normally attached by being screwed under the nearest screw that holds down the ringer.  The plug at the end of that cord is an aftermarket plug most likely added in the 70s; you can get an appropriate-age original from PhoneCoInc.com for a decent price. 

You have a #7 dial there, which originally had a soft-center plastic fingerwheel, rather than the hard-center plastic fingerwheel it's equipped with now (probably also added in the 70s).  This should be fairly easy to find a replacement part for.  That dial fingerwheel is probably what threw some other potential bidders off the trail: they didn't realize there was a #7 dial there and probably all-original parts throughout.  For which reason you got the steal of a deal.

Aside from those two minor points and a basic cleaning with a clean damp rag, looks like it's immediately ready for use. 

Offline liteamorn

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 09:45:42 AM »
GG,
I took the plug apart and you are right, definitely not original, it's made in Taiwan lol. Is the original plug round? It cord has all the spades still connected and there seems like a lot of extra wire jammed in there, I'm wondering if it was hard wired back in 1959.

Does the soft plastic finger wheel attach the same way as the hard finger wheel? Is the number card attached much like the #5 dial?

It cleaned up really well, I am going to get some novus platic polish, there are a couple of minor scratches by the cradle where it looks like someone scraped off a sticker or something.

Can you find me a link to a soft plastic finger wheel so I could see what they look like? What I have found so far for the #7 dial is the metel finger wheel and a plastic wheel that looks like the one I have.



Offline jsowers

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 11:44:05 AM »
Here are some pictures of 283B plugs. The round 505A plugs weren't used until the 1960s. Yours doesn't have to be color matching. They used dark brown, gray and ivory plugs a lot in the 50s.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5077.0

You don't have to have a plug at all if you're not going to put it into service. If you do put it into service, a regular modular wall jack on the end would be your best and cheapest adapter and easily hidden behind the table. Then use a standard modular wall cord the rest of the way. It's been discussed on the Forum a few times.

Below is a link to a Forum topic on fingerwheels that should show you the difference. Both fingerwheels attach the same, but the number card goes in differently on the open center variety. The link below also includes some hints for inserting the card.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5058.0

About Novus, you can get it on eBay and you can also get it at your local Harley-Davidson dealer. Novus 2 seems to be the best for phones.
Jonathan

Offline liteamorn

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 05:49:09 PM »
Thank you guys for the valuable information. I see the difference between the dials, If I ever find a soft centered fingerwheel i'll have to find a powerful magnet to get the holder out.

I did put the phone in service in my bedroom with the modular cord the seller put on. I like the looks of the old cord and i am looking for an original 283B plug for it and a modular adapter to plug it into. The closest plug I saw on phoneco's site sure looks like it but his number is 005. I'm wondering if it is closer to the one on the phone now or a suitable restoration plug.

I found novus2 on amazon for a little less money than ebay (after shipping). I bought a half gallon of the stuff, I have a 302 that I cleaned up with shoe polish that I bet will really look good when I'm done.

I wonder if anyone would want to swap a 1958 receiver for a 6-59. Or justt have a 59 for sale. I'm going to post on classifieds to see what I can find.

Offline GG

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 02:03:46 AM »


A bit of clarification about "put a modular jack on the end" (I do this often).

Here's the type of modular jack you want:

Surface-mounted, with screw terminals.  That is, the type of jack you'd attach to the baseboards, and when you connect up the cable to it, you screw the wires down to the terminals inside the jack.   These typically have little mouseholes or break-outs for running the cable into them.

Now instead, run the original oldschool telephone cord in via the mousehole, and screw down the spade-lugs to the terminal screws inside the jack.  (For WE phones, usually yellow should go along with green to the "green" screw, this so that the phone will ring.)

This results in a phone with an oldschool cord that goes into a jack.  Lastly, take a regular mod cord, plug it into the jack that's attached to the phone.  Plug the other end into a live wall jack, and the phone will work. 

This is a completely non-destructive way to wire an oldschool phone for modular service.

Offline liteamorn

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 09:51:20 AM »
So in a sense I would be hard wiring the phone to a modular wall receptical and connecting it via a modular line to my already existing modular connection? Interesting concept.

Offline Adam

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 10:36:45 AM »
On my vintage single line sets, I try to have them all have the correct 4 prong plugs and then I use these adapters (shown below) to plug them into the modular jacks in my place.

But, I have used GG's trick to "connectorize" the cord of one phone who's spade leads had been cut off at the end.

P.S.: At any place that sells modular jacks, you should also be able to find little 6 inch modular cords.  They are made for plugging in wall phones mounted on wall jacks.  They complete the modular jack at the end of the spade tip cord scheme very nicely.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline Adam

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2011, 10:42:10 AM »
By the way, IMHO, I would definitely consider the Taiwanese 4 prong plug "correct" for the set, as they were from that time period, and they were virtually indistinguishable from their Western Electric equivalents.  (This is for me though, purists might disagree.)
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline GG

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 03:20:05 AM »


Liteamorn: Yes, exactly; and all without having to modify the original cord from the 500 set.

Adam: Yes, you can do that with cords that have been cut; but I'd at least terminate the cut wires with proper spade terminals to screw down inside the jack.  Screwing down the tinsel-type wires from the line cord, to the terminals in a mod jack, is not particularly robust and the conductors will eventually break off and need to be reterminated. 

The various imported and third-party plugs are "OK" in one sense, but any WE phone marked Bell System wouldn't have been equipped that way except by someone doing an unauthorized DIY.   Telco original 4-prong plugs are inexpensive enough from PhoneCoInc, and you can get 4-prong jacks to go along with.  (If I ever manage to buy a house, I'm going to install 4-prong jacks right next to the modular and Ethernet stuff.)

You can also get real 42-A connecting blocks, which are completely correct for all WE phones from that era.  Connect the phone to the 42-A block, and then take a short length of silver flat cord and put spade lugs on one end (into the 42-A block) and a mod plug on the other end.  There are lots of ways to go about this.  The main thing is to not damage the original equipment e.g. the original line cord on the phone. 


Offline Adam

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2011, 12:24:21 PM »
Adam: Yes, you can do that with cords that have been cut; but I'd at least terminate the cut wires with proper spade terminals to screw down inside the jack.  Screwing down the tinsel-type wires from the line cord, to the terminals in a mod jack, is not particularly robust and the conductors will eventually break off and need to be reterminated.

Good advice, but I didn't do that, because I didn't have any.  Instead, I added a "strain relief" (a tie-rap tightened to the end of the cord), it sits just inside the block's mouse hole and prevents the cord from moving around inside the block.

Quote
(If I ever manage to buy a house, I'm going to install 4-prong jacks right next to the modular and Ethernet stuff.)

If I ever manage to buy a house, I plan on removing EVERY modular jack and replacing them with the correct (flush-mounted if necessary) 4-prong jacks.  Then, for the occasional modern phone, I would use the 4-prong to modular adapters you can still get for a dime a dozen, and my vintage phones would plug in natively.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline liteamorn

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Re: 1959 WE 500
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2011, 04:07:36 PM »
Update
Reading the advice here this is what I have finally done to make this phone as close to original as possible. I ordered a 283B plug and the adapter to modular. I also ordered the soft centered finer wheel.

I found very large bottle of Novus #2 on Amazon and I am going to see if I can bring this phone even closer to new in appearence. I will also be putting the elbow grease and Novus to my WE 302.

If I find a 1959 receiver i will have my first fully dated we 500.

Thanks again guys!