Author Topic: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone  (Read 5153 times)

Offline benkeys

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Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« on: February 08, 2012, 06:53:51 PM »
I'm looking at this phone, but honestly i dont know what something like this is worth or how old it is.. from what i have been seeing the WE 500 was ran for many years.. I'm mainly interested in 1960-1970's phones.. Any info/insight would be helpful - thanks..

http://tinyurl.com/7o9ykjs
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 11:01:02 AM by Dennis Markham »
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline jsowers

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 08:30:40 PM »
I can't speak to exactly what it's worth because that's kind of subjective. In my days haunting thrift stores about ten years ago, these were $5 phones. Times and prices have changed, though. Black 500s are not at all rare, or about 99% of them.

 Normally the modular phones are worth less than the hard-wired versions. Often the modular phones, which date to about 1977-83, are refurbished phones. Meaning they are made up of parts with many dates and not original to any one period of time. They are perfectly fine to collect and make wonderful phones to use. I have a moss green one in use in my living room.

This particular phone needs a black modular handset cord and a mounting cord, and they are not hard to find in stores today, at least for a black or white phone. This phone has a black base, which means it dates to about 1965 or earlier. The base has been repainted some and the feet may have been replaced at that time. The original date on the bottom has been painted over.

The hard-wired phones of the 60s and early 70s are a bit rarer and will cost more, and they're oftentimes date matching originals and fairly easy to clean up and make new looking. They came in a wide array of colors too. You can still find a bargain now and then in these non-modular phones. They're still widely available, at least on eBay. Just avoid faded examples unless you plan to get into reversing plastic fade, which is quite an art.

I hope that answers some of your questions on the WE 500 set. A good way to see what phones are going for is to look at completed auctions on eBay. Just click "completed listings" on the left in your search.
Jonathan

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 08:49:11 PM »
My 1975-refurb WE500DM (to the left there in my picture) was my first Western Electric phone, and despite it's multiple dates, I love it, probably paid more than it's worth being in the UK, but it's still a loved phone... :)

At that price, it's worth buying, cleaning up and keeping as a working phone, they have great bells on them, even with them on the Low setting mine never fails to make me jump!!! :D

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 08:59:07 PM »
benkeys,

I do not know where you are located, but just about everywhere in the old Bell System territory, people are trying to give these things away.  500 DMs can be found at flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales.  I wouldn't pay more than about $3 for one locally.  I don't think that a black one would even be worth the shipping cost if it were free.

Larry

Offline benkeys

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 09:04:59 PM »
Right, i was just curious of a price range.. My uncle has some phones, and he was telling me that most phones are worth between 5 and 25.00 usually. I never see any type of old phones or old radios in goodwills or thrift stores around here.. if i want one i either have to go to a forum classified or ebay.. I was mainly looking at this phone bc it was nice looking,worked and it wasnt too far from me and that makes shipping alot lower.. I imagine the date is probably stamped inside also. I know handset cords are easy to find and usually inexpensive. I seen some hard wire phones bring high amounts, but i wont pay a whole lot for one bc i'm not a die hard collector.. The funny thing is i came across 2 SC 554 wall mounts on ebay, one red and 1 cream. The red had a BIN price of 99.00 and the cream BIN price of 39.99.. i thought that was quite high, as i own a SC 554B, that i just got working.. its a nice phone, but i dont think its 100.00 nice..
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline benkeys

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 09:11:24 PM »
benkeys,

I do not know where you are located, but just about everywhere in the old Bell System territory, people are trying to give these things away.  500 DMs can be found at flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales.  I wouldn't pay more than about $3 for one locally.  I don't think that a black one would even be worth the shipping cost if it were free.

Larry
Larry, i'm in Lima OH. Its about an hour or so south of Toledo. The problem is, no phones come up locally, not on my CL or goodwill.. i dont do alot of thrift shopping but i know people that do and they would tell me if they seen a old phone, bc people know i like them. I was thinking that WE 500 would make a nice living room phone and get people asking me "where'd you get that" or "does it work" and some people would want to hear it ring..
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 09:29:46 PM »
benkeys,

If I need black modular cords, I buy them at the local dollar store.

Lima, OH is not terribly far from here.  I have bought at least two or three phones on ebay which came from Van Wert, OH, and I have seen several on craigslist in Van Wert.  Why there are so many phones for sale in Van Wert I cannot imagine.  You might want to look over there.

Larry

Offline McHeath

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 09:46:06 PM »
This is a 1950's chassis, it has the full bracket for the dial with three rivets.  It also has four rivets holding the network on, so all that means a 50's baseplate.  Probably refurbished in the late 70's and up to anytime to the early to mid 90s perhaps.  Feet replaced, original date code painted out, all plastics replaced, dial replaced, modularized, I'd pay a few bucks for it if I saw in it a store mainly out of curiosity to see what dates are on the ringer and network.  (probably the only original parts left)

Still, cleaned up it would be a nice looking phone.

You can often find nice 50's model 500 phones on e-bay for reasonable prices if you keep an eye out.  These would be ones that are all mostly intact, still hardwired, and cheap.  I've bought them for as low as 5 bucks, plus shipping.


Offline benkeys

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Re: Vintage Western Electric Bell System Model 500 DM Rotary Phone
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 10:15:01 PM »
IDK why all the phones are in vanwert, maybe bc its outside of the city and everybody has barns and they find things stashed away in barns.. people in Lima rather keep things like old phones when they find out they are not worth a couple hundred dollars like they thought.. people are like that around here.. if they cant get top dollar out of there older stuff they will just keep it. Now heres a good question, while looking at phones i noticed some WE have the same or similar model numbers of SC phones... whats the difference between the 2? is one brand worth more then the other? Also what is the big difference between a phone that is hard wired and one that has plugs? i do know that hard wired were usually earlier models..
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....