Author Topic: Date code on a WE C-D 500  (Read 1661 times)

Offline benkeys

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Date code on a WE C-D 500
« on: July 03, 2012, 10:40:05 PM »
I'm looking at a WE 500 desk phone and it looks like its 1950s but not sure. It has a date code of 971 on the bottom. It looks to complete except for the missing number holder in the dial. Also, is this phone worth spending 22.00 on in its condition? thanks  

http://tinyurl.com/bs3bklw
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 09:24:17 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 HarrySmith

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 10:46:20 PM »
That is a refurb date of Sept 1973, the orange stamp is always from a refurb. The plastic feet are replacements. The phone is from the 1950's judging by the metal fingerwheel. Asking the seller to open it and get the dates from the network, ringer & dial will tell for sure.
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 10:58:10 PM »
I agree that it would help to have the dates from the inside. Although the phone was refurbed in 1971, any of the parts could be older than that, either original to the phone or added when the phone was refurbished.

The 7D dials with metal finger wheels were made until at least late 1964, the Bakelite "G-1" handset were made until about 1966, and  the round rubber feet started around 1964 but could also have been added to an earlier set.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline benkeys

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 11:03:04 PM »
Ok, knowing that, Is it still a good buy at 22.00? The seller guarantees it to be in working order.
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline poplar1

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 11:15:42 PM »
I'm not sure anyone else can say what is too high or a good deal for you. I see that the same seller is asking $10 more for similar black 500s with the station number card holders. The phone appears to be in good condition, but most collectors would prefer phones that have matching dates. Most of the 500s you find will not have matching dates because they will have been refurbished several times, i.e. each time they got disconnected because someone moved, changed to a color set, upgraded to Touch-Tone or whatever. There were phones (302s for example) that were leased continuously at the same location for over 50 years (you could tell because they had the original cords and original paint) but most were rebuilt over and over. One retired Bell installer/repairman (the late B.B. Wingo)  told me that the refurbished phones were actually more reliable than new ones because they went through more rigorous testing.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline benkeys

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 12:11:54 AM »
I know what youre saying. I'm not exactly a collector. I just enjoy the old phones. They remind of when i was younger. Back in the late 80s and early 90's we still had a rotary phone, not a 50's model but still a rotary phone. I also like the good old fashioned bell ringer. My SC-554 from the late 70s sounds good but not very loud, but ive always heard the WE 500s were always loud. The phone will be used quite often. Therefore its important to be reliable. I doubt if i'll ever re-sell but there is always a small chance i may.  How difficult is a number holder to find and how expensive are they usually?
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline poplar1

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 03:54:05 AM »
The station number card holders probably are worth $2-$10 each. They are not rare, just often missing. Try not to get a plastic one as they break easily. There shouldn't be any difference in volume (either of the receiver or the ringer) between a SC 500, SC 554, WE 500 or WE 554. The SC and ITT were made under license and are basically identical to the WE 500.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline benkeys

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 04:13:56 PM »
I asked the seller for the date codes on the inside, and this is the information he gave me: There is an A 27 on inside of plastic housing on phone.

Looking at the underside of the dial as best I can there is a date code that is also in orange that reads 12-56  and 7 D3

There is also an orange code near the two ringers that is 04A and 2 55

On the underside of one of the ringers I see a R357

On the plastic housing of the thing with wires coming out of it, I see this :  NET425B
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline xylenol15

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 11:39:03 PM »
I'm not sure anyone else can say what is too high or a good deal for you. I see that the same seller is asking $10 more for similar black 500s with the station number card holders. The phone appears to be in good condition, but most collectors would prefer phones that have matching dates. Most of the 500s you find will not have matching dates because they will have been refurbished several times, i.e. each time they got disconnected because someone moved, changed to a color set, upgraded to Touch-Tone or whatever. There were phones (302s for example) that were leased continuously at the same location for over 50 years (you could tell because they had the original cords and original paint) but most were rebuilt over and over. One retired Bell installer/repairman (the late B.B. Wingo)  told me that the refurbished phones were actually more reliable than new ones because they went through more rigorous testing.

Ha! Matching dates. Pff. I've said before that I love refurbed phones, although I did have fun that one time I found a single owner, matching dates phone.   ;D

As for you, benkeys, black 500s show up pretty often for similar prices on ebay, so I wouldn't feel rushed unless there was something about this one in particular that really caught your fancy. Let us know how it works out if you decide to spring for it.  ;)

Offline benkeys

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 05:56:28 AM »
Well i have 14.00 in ebay bucks to spend, so that means i'd only have to spend 8.00 in cash.. and i only have a month to spend my ebay bucks.. I havent seen anything better in the 20.00 price range. I have a funny story about 500's. Yesterday i was at my local electronics/military surplus store getting caps for a radio. I asked if they had any old rotary phones for sale, and they said yeah.. so i ask about a WE 500 and the owner said, i'd have to have 45-50.00 because "everyone" wants the WE 500's.. If everybody wanted them youn would think they wouldnt have them stored in a box in the warehouse section of the store collecting dust.. Am i right? They had a few late 60's and 1 or 2 mid 50's but they were in pretty poor condition and probably would need a good going through. So, i am going to get this phone.. i cant turn it down for the price.
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....

Offline xylenol15

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2012, 11:26:30 AM »
Well, enjoy! It looks to be in decent condition but there's a bit of corrosion inside you ought to brush off, the hook switch spring in particular I think.

Offline benkeys

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Re: Date code on a WE C-D 500
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2012, 03:51:13 PM »
I'll give it a light cleaning inside and out when i get it. I'll also make sure all the moving parts move freely as they should, if not get some light oil and oil them.
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....