Author Topic: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial  (Read 3752 times)

Offline George Knighton

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Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« on: December 09, 2012, 10:03:40 AM »
This was a surprise find.  One of the junky 302's that I bought just for the metal case had this installed in it.  Except for this dial and the case, the rest of the phone's junk. 

But I figure the case and dial more than made up for it.

Now....this is what's confusing me.

I see conflicting reports about how to get these things working right.  It's basically spinning okay but maybe just returning a little slowly and just needs general cleaning up.

Some people seem to say to keep lubricants away, but I'm not sure how to get it going faster unless I do something.  (The more I use it the better it gets, though.)

On the other hands, in one of the books people told me to buy, the author says to spray WD40 on it, work it some, then blow it off with compressed air, and then use clock oil or Marvel on it.

So...  I am a little confused and afraid to do anything at all to it.

Whatcha think?

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Offline George Knighton

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 10:12:10 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ocERvr_bds

That's a video showing how it's spinning now.  Maybe I should just leave well enough alone and just clean it up some.
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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 10:22:24 AM »
George....check where the finger stop is. If under the finger stop, there are two holes it is a #2 dial that was made into a 4H by WE. There would also be patent dates around the edge of the dial. Before you go parting the phone, check the dates on the base ringer and the elements. Does it have a grill under the grip to pick up the phone? H1 of H1-3 engraved over the mouse hole. Riveted instead of screw on feet?....Doug
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Offline George Knighton

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 10:42:00 AM »
George....check where the finger stop is. If under the finger stop, there are two holes it is a #2 dial that was made into a 4H by WE. There would also be patent dates around the edge of the dial. Before you go parting the phone, check the dates on the base ringer and the elements. Does it have a grill under the grip to pick up the phone? H1 of H1-3 engraved over the mouse hole. Riveted instead of screw on feet?....Doug

I'm uploading a picture to Facebook now, one that I think shows the two holes you're talking about.  I'll put it here, too.

There are dates on the back dial around the edge.  Some of the dates are obscured by the remains of the gasket. 

But I can make out:

WESTERN ELECTRIC MADE IN USA
PAT[obscured]SA
AUG 13 12  AUG 24 15  DE[obscured]Y718  SEPT 13 21

The metal case is marked H1.  There is a date inside but it only says NOV 5 and the year is smudged.  It's a long ear, though, not a short ear with cooling fins (or whatever they are).

Base is marked 11/40.  Ringer is marked 11/40.  But transmitter says 5/41.

I don't think this is anything special in particular.  :-)

Is it good or bad that it might be a #2 made into a #4H?

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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 12:28:07 PM »
GOOD...if you get a finger stop you can convert is back to a #2. The dial is the winner 1940 is a seventy two year old phone, but not a really tough find. The dial is great!...Doug
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 12:57:57 PM »
These conversions (2A to 4H) are sometimes found on Bell System metal 302s from around 1940-1941 that have all other parts original with matching dates, including the cords. The rebuild date on the dials is in the same time frame as the other parts.

Were these 302s sold to the Bell companies as new phones with these converted dials, or were the dials added in the field, or what? The fact that many of the ones I found had original cords and were not repainted makes me think the phones had never been  refurbished. They were lease returns which had apparently been leased to the same customer for 52 years.

I heard somewhere that the later conversions (with twin contacts and the W terminal placed as it would be on a standard 5H dial) involved cutting a larger hole in the case for the terminal strip. But the conversions that used the 4H style contacts with W by the governor did not require the larger hole. Is this true? If so, it is more original to have the conversions with the 4H contacts as shown in the photo, if you plan to change it back to a 2A.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 01:01:57 PM by poplar1 »
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Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 02:30:09 PM »
I usually give sticky dials a good spraying with electronic contact cleaner.  It dissolves dirt and leaves no residue.  After that, I lightly oil the pivots with the same oil that I use on clocks.  WD-40 and the like are probably best kept away from the dial.

Larry

Offline ItalianAce

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 10:31:26 AM »
That's a nice 4H converted from #2. I just hate how sometimes the rubber guard used on 302s sometimes melt onto the dial. A good paint job will bring it back (but try and not touch the original stamping or pat markings).

I have one of those #2 converted too #4 using the #5 terminal block. Its one of those second run #2 dials with the WE pat dates on the outside front exteneral of the dial. Stamped 4H and "C III 41". So I guess WE had the dial converted to a #4 later than usual being 1941, and placed it back inservice. I wonder if it was cheaper for WE to simply convert the dial than to issue a new #5 in its place. Maybe back during that period of time a converted #2 dial meant another Post-Transitional #4 or newer #5 could be used on another phone instead on the "already has a dial" phone.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 11:21:05 AM »
The early 1940s were stressful for the Bell System, due to WWII.  Much of their R&D and production were diverted to wartime products and materials such as copper and steel were prioritized for war uses, not telephones.  Anything that could be repaired and cobbled together was installed.

There were numerous wartime BSPs (with a WR- prefix) that detail some of the changes.  There are only a few in the Library so far, and we're looking for more.

one example is:
  Sets Converted to 302s

We occasionally find sets like the 440 below that were converted to single line use to help fill the demand while new set production was on hold.

It took many years after the war ended for production to catch up to installation demand.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline poplar1

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 12:02:07 PM »
The 440 or 444 shown in the photo was converted by Bohnsack Equipment Co. of Germantown, NY. They wholesaled them to Radio Shack. They used the orange plugs to fill the holes and paint that years later still comes off on your hands. BECO usually put an orange sticker on the bottom--either blank or 279-371.

WE did convert 205 and 44x sets to single line, but they did not use the orange plugs.

Northern Eloectric actually made new housings without the holes for converting the multi-line sets to single line.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline Nick in Manitou

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 12:42:53 PM »
One can certainly learn a lot just hanging around here.

Now, if I could just retain it all!

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 02:24:03 PM »
GOOD...if you get a finger stop you can convert is back to a #2. The dial is the winner 1940 is a seventy two year old phone, but not a really tough find. The dial is great!...Doug

I think I have one of these also.  So it's more desirable, and makes it more collectible, to change it back to a #2?  Is the finger stop all you need?  And what length and thread type are the screws needed?
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Offline ItalianAce

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 02:31:05 PM »
I guess it depends on how late the 2A was converted to #4. This page give good details about it which seems to indcate early #2 to #4 conversions (say 1932) kept more #2 parts than later (say a 1938) #2 to #4 conversion:  http://atcaonline.com/phone/dials.htm

Id keep mine a 4H and just change back the finger stop to a 2A(X) since my 4Hs have the pat dates on the external outside front. But finding decent looking 2AB/2AA/2Awhatever fingerstop is hard. OldPhoneWorks has them for about $50 which is far out my price range for just one. They have reproduction ones for about $20…but I hate reproduction anything lol.

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Surprise Find WE 4H Dial
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 02:37:51 PM »
I guess it depends on how late the 2A was converted to #4. This page give good details about it which seems to indcate early #2 to #4 conversions (say 1932) kept more #2 parts than later (say a 1938) #2 to #4 conversion:  http://atcaonline.com/phone/dials.htm

Id keep mine a 4H and just change back the finger stop to a 2A(X) since my 4Hs have the pat dates on the external outside front. But finding decent looking 2AB/2AA/2Awhatever fingerstop is hard. OldPhoneWorks has them for about $50 which is far out my price range for just one. They have reproduction ones for about $20…but I hate reproduction anything lol.

So the answer (for me) is to just leave it as is.  I can't even remember what phone that dial is on, but I know I have one.
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
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Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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