Author Topic: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"  (Read 3361 times)

Offline cfpyne

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I have a Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone which has been in my attic for the last 40-odd years. 

In trying to get is working I noticed that it has a Western Electric 5H dial (dated 12-51). I also see that the dial has no "Operator" above the 0.  I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts about why a SC phone would have a WE dial and why the dial has no Operator.

Offline Adam

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 01:05:04 PM »
Can't speak to why it would be in an SC phone, but are we sure it's Western Electric?  Is it possible the dial was made by Northern Electric in Canada?  That would explain its lack of "Operator", since the dials they made for domestic use in Canada were made like that.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline cfpyne

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 02:30:23 PM »
Oh, I should have said that it is engraved "WESTERN ELECTRIC U.S.A." on the back. Also, it is painted black on the back but under the paint I found "12-51" and "5H" in red letters.

Offline Adam

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 02:57:02 PM »
That is curious, indeed.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline paul-f

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 03:25:58 PM »
SC phones were often sold to independent phone companies.  Some bought all  their phones without dials and added dials from any manufacturer they had on hand.

Number plates are easy to change, so may not be original to the dial.  Since yours doesn't seem to be marked on the front, is it marked on the back?  The shape suggests it's a 149 or 150 series plate.  The letter suffix may give some hint as to the origin and original use.
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Offline G-Man

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 04:05:48 PM »
I have a Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone which has been in my attic for the last 40-odd years. 

In trying to get is working I noticed that it has a Western Electric 5H dial (dated 12-51). I also see that the dial has no "Operator" above the 0.  I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts about why a SC phone would have a WE dial and why the dial has no Operator.
Stromberg Carlson would supply their instruments with whatever brand of dial their customers  specified. When a Bell System company would order Stromberg telephones they would naturally specify Western Electric 5H dials since it would eliminate the necessity of stocking another manufacturer's dial for repair purposes.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 05:01:30 PM »
I have a Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone which has been in my attic for the last 40-odd years. 

In trying to get is working I noticed that it has a Western Electric 5H dial (dated 12-51). I also see that the dial has no "Operator" above the 0.  I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts about why a SC phone would have a WE dial and why the dial has no Operator.
Stromberg Carlson would supply their instruments with whatever brand of dial their customers  specified. When a Bell System company would order Stromberg telephones they would naturally specify Western Electric 5H dials since it would eliminate the necessity of stocking another manufacturer's dial for repair purposes.
I should add that AT&T/Bell System companies often would replace the S.C. 1243's original handset with Western Electric E1 or F1 handsets.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 07:45:15 PM »
The number plate and station number card both look like those found on phones sold by Surplus Center in Lincoln, NE. Since they purchased many phones from Lincoln Telephone, your phone may also be from there. Notice the uneven enamel; is it possible the number plate is a "retread?"
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 08:46:30 PM »
This is a fairly old thread but since it has been reactivated I will reiterate my previous comments that it is not unusual to see a 5H dial on this model since they were supplied by Western Electric for use by Bell System companies

Offline poplar1

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 09:04:32 PM »
And I was attempting to answer your *second* question about why there was no "operator." Geez
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 09:17:38 PM »
Thank you for your response even though I was not the one who posed the question.
Like you I was also responding to the original question for the benefit of our newer members who may of wondered why a WECo dial is often found on a Stromberg Carlson telephone.

And I was attempting to answer your *second* question about why there was no "operator." Geez
Your breadth of knowledge contributes to the overall education of newer members and likewise, hopefully the knowledge that I have gleaned over the years as one of the few on the list who actually worked for the actual telephone company will help perpetuate this information base for future generations of collectors.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 09:21:30 PM »
And I was attempting to answer your *second* question about why there was no "operator." Geez

Resending since I am not certain as to why a strike-though appeared in my original comments:

Thank you for your response even though I was not the one who posed the question.
Like you I was also responding to the original question for the benefit of our newer members who may of wondered why a WECo dial is often found on a Stromberg Carlson telephone.

Your breadth of knowledge contributes to the overall education of newer members and likewise, hopefully the knowledge that I have gleaned over the years as one of the few on the list who actually worked for the actual telephone company will help perpetuate this information base for future generations of collectors.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 10:30:59 PM »
This is a fairly old thread but since it has been reactivated I will reiterate my previous comments that it is not unusual to see a 5H dial on this model since they were supplied by Western Electric for use by Bell System companies

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Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 08:32:16 PM »
I have a couple of similar dial plates that I have found on 251s used by the independents.  The ones I have are not WECO or NECO since the enamel is poor quality, and they are not marked.  If we could see pics of the back of the plate that might help.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline poplar1

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Re: Strange 5H dial on Stromberg Carlson 1243 phone with no "Operator"
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 09:20:04 PM »
This is a non-Bell 302 or 251 with the same crude number plate--you can actually see the rough edges of the enamel. I always wondered if these number plates were "retreads."

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151204850846

This set may have been resold at retail--the handset cord does not have a grommet, there is a blank number card, and the 4-prong plug looks like a knockoff.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.