Author Topic: Bell / Western Electric - "Mod 1 Picturephone"  (Read 30268 times)

Offline Dave F

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Re: Bell Type 1 Picturephone
« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2012, 02:28:36 PM »
Larry...I agree 100%. I would never power this on. Let the professional who purchases do that. It would be a shame to permanently destroy somehing that lasted all these years. Good call....Doug
I would have to agree with Doug and the others who recommend AGAINST plugging it in.  As much as I (we) would like to see it work, the risk of causing damage to something this rare and fragile that has sat untouched for decades is too great.  That little "puff of smoke" could turn it into a very expensive boat anchor.

I believe that, having all the components and that solid-gold documentation, a reasonably-qualified person would have a fair chance of making it operational.  A voltmeter, an oscilloscope, and the ability to read schematics (all of which I possess, hint, hint!) might just be all it takes.

I also STRONGLY AGREE with D/P --

Don't get rid of anything until you thoroughly inventory and catalog everything.  Nobody knows what this find is worth, and any wild guessing is just that.  But, for sure, the more complete it is, the more it will be worth.

If you want to sell some items from your collection soon to get experience with eBay, first show us pictures of what you are planning to sell.  Most items will not be related to the Picturephone, and we will let you know.  If, by chance, you show us something that nobody can identify, hang onto it for additional future evaluation.  We all will help you, and that way you won't be in jeopardy of accidentally disposing of any Picturephone parts.

DF
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 02:42:40 PM by Dave F »

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Bell Type 1 Picturephone
« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2012, 02:51:32 PM »
I should note that like Dave F, I would be able to deal with a smokin' power supply.  Also, for me at least, the urge to plug it in would be so great that I hardly think I could contain myself.   :o 

Perhaps it is best, then for it to be left to the buyer to power it up.

This is not a consideration we normally have to deal with when it comes to phones.
-Bill G

Offline Dave F

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Re: Bell Type 1 Picturephone
« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2012, 04:21:18 PM »
Here on the Forum, we always strive to provide accurate information.  So, it should be noted that a Picturephone like Maureen's is correctly termed "Mod 1", as opposed to "Type 1" (my bad!).  For additional interest, here are two pictures pulled from the internet.  One is a Mod 1 with the cover removed.  This is probably as close as most of us will ever get to seeing the insides.  The other picture is of a later Mod 2 unit, in case you are not familiar with the difference.

Offline MagicMo

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Re: Bell Type 1 Picturephone
« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2012, 05:03:11 PM »
Update: I found pictures from the actual booth that my father took. I also have pics from it being used in our home!  still looking.....I will post pics later!
Maureen
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Offline MagicMo

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Pictures of the Picturephone booth
« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2012, 06:57:11 PM »
Take a look. The picture in the kitchen is our house! My Aunt and Uncle are looking at my parents on the screen, they were in the basement. I could possibly have another display unit somewhere, wouldn't that be amazing? From the picture it looks like it could be 1973-74, not exactly sure. The other pics show the booths and control room from the Prudential Building. If you look close enough, I think I see what looks like the power unit in the control room (lower middle). Sorry about the picture quality, it is a picture taken of an old picture. I haven't looked through all the pics, I might have more!
Maureen
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 07:38:50 PM by MagicMo »
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: Bell Type 1 Picturephone
« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2012, 07:07:58 PM »
Pictures of the power/control unit with the cover off. If you want to see a certain angle that I did not post here, just ask, I have many more in my phone. Thanks, Maureen
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2012, 08:58:40 PM »
a Picturephone like Maureen's is correctly termed "Mod 1", as opposed to "Type 1"

There, how's that (Thread Title) Dave? Wondered if I should actually make it Bell/WECo "Mod 1 Picturephone". Presumably this was built by WECo for Bell?

Terry

Offline MagicMo

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2012, 09:28:53 PM »
Also, you can barely see it in the pic but the control/power unit logged 817 minutes or 817 hours? At $27 per a 3 minute call!! That alone leads me to believe this unit was from the Prudential Building. Your thoughts?
Thanks,
Maureen
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 10:39:33 PM by MagicMo »
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Offline Dave F

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2012, 09:51:26 PM »
a Picturephone like Maureen's is correctly termed "Mod 1", as opposed to "Type 1"

There, how's that (Thread Title) Dave? Wondered if I should actually make it Bell/WECo "Mod 1 Picturephone". Presumably this was built by WECo for Bell?

Terry
Excellent service.  Thanks!  Yes, to be completely correct, it is a "Western Electric Mod 1 Picturephone"


Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2012, 09:55:30 PM »
Also, you can barley see it in the pic but the control/power unit logged 817 minutes or 817 hours? At $27 per a 3 minute call!! That alone leads me to believe this unit was from the Prudential Building. Your thoughts?
Thanks,
Maureen

The power unit would probably not be logging the elapsed times for phone calls.  It would not be uncommon to have a power supply that has a meter that looks like a car's odometer that measures the hours of service for the time the power supply is turned on.  The function of logging the elapsed time for each call would be a function of the equipment in the central office.
-Bill G

Offline Dave F

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2012, 10:16:49 PM »
Also, you can barley see it in the pic but the control/power unit logged 817 minutes or 817 hours? At $27 per a 3 minute call!! That alone leads me to believe this unit was from the Prudential Building. Your thoughts?
Thanks,
Maureen

The power unit would probably not be logging the elapsed times for phone calls.  It would not be uncommon to have a power supply that has a meter that looks like a car's odometer that measures the hours of service for the time the power supply is turned on.  The function of logging the elapsed time for each call would be a function of the equipment in the central office.
The "timer" in the picture looks like an event counter, not an actual timer.  I recognize it as being similar to some that I have packed away.  It advances one digit per "event".  Without digging through the specs, we can only guess what it was counting.  Maybe it logged the number of times the system was used.

Maureen, your pictures are super.  It's hard to imagine having one of these sets casually operating in the kitchen!  Looking at the innards of the control unit, at appears from the multiple Amphenol connectors (excuse the tech lingo) that one control unit was capable of running more than one display.  It does seem that, at least for some period of time, you had at least two display units in your house.  This keeps getting better and better.  After I win your auction, I'll examine the control unit more completely and give you a report!

DF
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 10:23:11 PM by Dave F »

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #71 on: November 23, 2012, 10:25:21 PM »
Now that I look at it more closely, it does look like it may be an event counter.  If it has a button that you can push to reset to all zeroes, it would be a counter for sure.  I cannot see the photo clearly enough to tell on my laptop.
-Bill G

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2012, 10:28:59 PM »
Even though the Picturephone project was a collossal dud for the Bell System, the project was nonetheless historic.  All this information is in its own right historic, and Maureen should be very proud that her dad had a hand in this historic project.

I am blown away.
-Bill G

Offline Dave F

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #73 on: November 23, 2012, 10:30:16 PM »
Now that I look at it more closely, it does look like it may be an event counter.  If it has a button that you can push to reset to all zeroes, it would be a counter for sure.  I cannot see the photo clearly enough to tell on my laptop.
It's almost certainly an event counter.  I'll try to dig one out from storage and post a clear picture tomorrow.

DF

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Bell "Mod 1 Picturephone"
« Reply #74 on: November 23, 2012, 10:33:11 PM »
... the Picturephone project was a collossal dud for the Bell System...

I wonder why, with all that supporting equipment it took just to run two ends of it.
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