Author Topic: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"  (Read 23399 times)

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #135 on: November 24, 2012, 11:45:11 PM »
[A Museum? Last time I went to a Museum I broke a 200 year statue. Thank God it wasn't brand new one! :o
Maureen



I am still laughing at that come-back.  I had to tell my wife...  She just looked at me like I was nutty.
-Bill G

Offline DavePEI

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #136 on: November 24, 2012, 11:47:43 PM »
Yes, it was a great answer, wasn't it :) Good thing it wasn't a shiny new one - just an old grungy piece of junk!

Dave

[A Museum? Last time I went to a Museum I broke a 200 year statue. Thank God it wasn't brand new one! :o
Maureen



I am still laughing at that come-back.  I had to tell my wife...  She just looked at me like I was nutty.
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #137 on: November 24, 2012, 11:53:10 PM »
We kind of picked up the pace with the two topics started by Maureen.
-Bill G

Offline McHeath

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #138 on: November 25, 2012, 01:13:08 AM »
Late to this party, where have I been, and what a party it is!  An amazing collection, the stuff of phone legends here.

Now I have a question maybe some of you who worked for the phone company back then would know about, what was the legality of an employee taking home so much work related stuff?  Was it just being tossed and so was okay to salvage?  Did the companies just not really care as they had so much?  I know that the places I've worked have had different opinions about taking stuff home, some were fine with taking out of date and discard stuff, while others were upset if you so much as left with a pencil.  One McDonalds I worked for back in the 80's considered it stealing if you ate so much as a french fry that was being trashed from aging out, I think it was 15 minutes in the warmer back then and then it was trashed, while another store across town felt that discard food was fair game for employees and their friends/families.

Not being judgmental here of Maureen's dad.  Just curious how the Bell System viewed this issue. 


Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #139 on: November 25, 2012, 01:42:41 AM »
I think there was the official company line, and then there was reality.  I knew a guy that worked at the Western Electric warehouse in Portland, OR who had a basement full of stuff that all hitched a ride home in his lunchbox.  He was a customer on my paper route when I was a kid.  He knew I had a curiosity in phones, and he was very instrumental in teaching me about phones, and he donated several goodies to my cause.

I think it was probably a widespread thing that everyone knew went on, but did little to stop.  In an age of zero tolerance for anything, this would probably not happen today, even if the Bell System were still around.

In strictest theory, almost any old phone any of us have was "appropriated" if you know what I mean (wink, wink).
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 01:45:48 AM by Phonesrfun »
-Bill G

Offline MagicMo

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #140 on: November 25, 2012, 01:46:34 AM »
Late to this party, where have I been, and what a party it is!  An amazing collection, the stuff of phone legends here.

Now I have a question maybe some of you who worked for the phone company back then would know about, what was the legality of an employee taking home so much work related stuff?  Was it just being tossed and so was okay to salvage?  Did the companies just not really care as they had so much?  I know that the places I've worked have had different opinions about taking stuff home, some were fine with taking out of date and discard stuff, while others were upset if you so much as left with a pencil.  One McDonalds I worked for back in the 80's considered it stealing if you ate so much as a french fry that was being trashed from aging out, I think it was 15 minutes in the warmer back then and then it was trashed, while another store across town felt that discard food was fair game for employees and their friends/families.

Not being judgmental here of Maureen's dad.  Just curious how the Bell System viewed this issue. 


That is certainly a fair question, one that I had too. I actually called two of his co-workers for some answers. My Dad did get some of his collection from work (everything he could take when they disposed of it, or upgraded). I was told they "junked" a lot during the 40 years with the phone Co. What I didn't know until I asked his old co-worker was because of his LOVE for the Co. he worked for and his passion for collecting, that after he retired he spent the rest of his life going  to telephone auctions, shows, estate sales, etc. I have boxes and boxes of receipts from what he purchased and that is why I feel confident in showing his collection. I actually found a receipt today for a 302 phone he bought in 2010. If I thought for a minute it was stolen I would not only be disappointed but I would be in shock. Luckily my Dad left me the collection along with receipts! Now, boy am I glad he didn't throw ANYTHING away! LOL
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #141 on: November 25, 2012, 01:57:07 AM »
I think there was the official company line, and then there was reality.  I knew a guy that worked at the Western Electric warehouse in Portland, OR who had a basement full of stuff that all hitched a ride home in his lunchbox.  He was a customer on my paper route when I was a kid.  He knew I had a curiosity in phones, and he was very instrumental in teaching me about phones, and he donated several goodies to my cause.

I think it was probably a widespread thing that everyone knew went on, but did little to stop.  In an age of zero tolerance for anything, this would probably not happen today, even if the Bell System were still around.

In strictest theory, almost any old phone any of us have was "appropriated" if you know what I mean (wink, wink).

Now, with all being said, I'm still trying to figure out how explain the 1969 IL Bell 100 ft Microwave BOOM truck parked in his driveway?!! LOL
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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #142 on: November 25, 2012, 02:07:03 AM »
....Probably was not smuggled home in his lunch box.
-Bill G

Offline Bill

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #143 on: November 25, 2012, 12:49:10 PM »
I think photos 23 and 24 are a microwave-generating or -amplifying tube of some kind, probably a TWT (travelling wave tube). Just for the fun of it, compare your tube to the pictures here.

http://www.radartutorial.eu/08.transmitters/tx13.en.html

I'll see if I can pull up some detail. I'm thinking the blue numbers say "W5/2GD"?

Bill
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 01:40:54 PM by Bill »

Offline McHeath

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #144 on: November 25, 2012, 01:35:26 PM »
Thanks for the replies and very interesting.  Times have certainly changed and things are tracked a lot harder it seems now.  Some years ago our schools "upgraded" their math textbooks, and all "obsolete" books were to be destroyed.  Not given away, not donated, destroyed.  I kept a stack in a corner of my classroom to sit a fan on, seemed a good use of them, and there were there for a long time until they got spied by an admin one day.  "What are those doing in here?  They are to be destroyed."

Our school sites have literally rooms full of "obsolete" computers and such that are sitting there, gathering dust.  No one is allowed to take them, nor sell them, nor donate them.  It's a shame as they could be doing someone some good.  (these are mostly Macintoshs from the 1999 to 2008 era)  My school alone has over 30 iBooks dating from 2004-06 collecting dust bunnies, all functional. 

That also makes sense that your dad kept on collecting long after he stopped working, as it was clearly more than a job for him. 

More than once the question of owning a phone that says, "Bell System property, not for sale" has come up eh?  Since they are long defunct the matter is settled. 

A boom truck!  That's worth a picture.


Offline Dave F

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #145 on: November 25, 2012, 01:57:06 PM »
Back in the 1960s and 70s, Western Electric had a refurbishing plant and warehouse in Montebello (East L.A.)  Many times we tried to get stuff from their junk piles, and each time they told us that all "junk" was to be destroyed.  We wanted some Motorola mobile radios that has been taken out of obsolete older Bell System mobile phones.  They wouldn't sell us any at any price.  Instead, they took these perfectly good (and expensive) radios out to a vacant lot and crushed them with a bulldozer.  Then they sold what was left as scrap metal.

On the other hand, we have previously discussed all the phone equipment that "accidentally" fell out of phone trucks in the old days and magically landed in our garages.  So, in spite of their best efforts, it seems their inventory control was haphazard at best (yay!).

Offline MagicMo

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #146 on: November 25, 2012, 02:40:39 PM »
Check out more stuff I found today. It just keeps coming!!
Is the first picture a CAR PHONE?? It's huge and heavy! But it did make my heart go pitter patter! The phone in the 2nd picture is actually new!! Take a look.
Maureen
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #147 on: November 25, 2012, 02:41:19 PM »
More pics
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 02:42:58 PM by MagicMo »
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #148 on: November 25, 2012, 02:44:41 PM »
more pics. I love the tiny little tool set!!!
Maureen
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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: My Dad's 40 Years with Illinois Bell and his "Collection"
« Reply #149 on: November 25, 2012, 03:03:28 PM »
The car phone examples are also collectible, but know that this is only part of the whole phone.  The control head mounted in the car usually under the dash or on the hump, and consisted of the handset, cradle, and sometimes a dial.  The rest was the actual VHF radio that usually mounted in the trunk, and would have been made by GE or Motorola.  There would have been some thick cables to connect them together, and an antenna.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 03:05:37 PM by Phonesrfun »
-Bill G