Author Topic: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone  (Read 14998 times)

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2013, 11:52:19 PM »
I know I do not know much about phones but I strongly disagree with Stan's comment: "As the payphone sits there's nothing special about it."

I am not entirely certain either but keeping in mind that Stan is a major authority on everything Payphone, I would say that he was trying to say "for what it is (a very rare and desirable antique 3 slot payphone) it is a typical example or that it has no particlular outstanding features such as some particular component that is absolutely never seen or a one off experimantal component".

For most of us it (a 174G payphone) is outstanding on it's own but for a 174G this one is typical except that maybe it is much better marked than most others seen.

That would be my interpretation of Stan's comment.

Terry
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 11:54:58 PM by AE_Collector »

Offline MagicMo

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2013, 12:21:47 AM »
Yeah, sometimes I base my conclusions on emotions rather than the facts. I totally agree with you Terry. 
And, I find I'm reluctant to let go of the illusion that I know more than I really do! LOL
 ;)Mo
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2013, 12:26:07 AM »
Stan is by far the most knowledgeable collector of pay phones. He also has examples of all the early Gray and Gray/Western pay phones, so he can show us the differences with photos of his own phones.

I think that he believes that converting a 50-G to a 174G is about as bad as taking a 20-B candlestick phone with good nickel and stripping it down to the bare brass then making a lamp out of it.

Perhaps where we disagree is that I see a distinction between the conversions such as Mo's phone that were done at Western Electric... and the many other modified pay phones sold on Ebay.
 
These latter usually have the coin relay taken out and a ringer or network  installed in its place. Locks are sometimes replaced with a crude assortment of screws and washers. Sometimes a sheet metal screw is used in a new hole drilled on the side of the upper housing. One company usually put a fake instruction card (and no plastic cover) with instructions for area code 151, which does not exist. (No area codes start with 1 or 0 and originally all had 1 or 0 as the second digit.)

These phones not converted by WE are definitely worth restoring, starting with removing the junky bolts and fake instruction card.

The pay phones marked "150GJ-55" that show up on Ebay were also not converted in the Western Electric shops. These have been discussed in other posts.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline kleenax

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2013, 06:21:08 PM »
Stan is by far the most knowledgeable collector of pay phones. Perhaps where we disagree is that I see a distinction between the conversions such as Mo's phone that were done at Western Electric... and the many other modified pay phones sold on Ebay.

You are RIGHT-ON-THE-MONEY with that philosophy David. I simply cannot see the validity or logic in the arguement that there is "nothing special" about this apparently 100% proper - Model 174G.

Scarcity is normally measured by the number of examples (in this case payphones of a specific Model) that still exist in their "original" configuration.

A properly assembled and cataloged Model 174G (such as Mo's) is no less "original" than that nebulous (previously whole) Model 50G that allegedly gave up it's parts to become the 174G.

The very fact that Western Electric actually created bonafide BSP documentation to chronicle the creation of the model is all the proof one should require. After all, it was THEIR child, not our's that they named "174G"!

I do agree that Stan has encyclopedic knowledge of vintage payphones, but I vehemently disagree that this 174G isn't "anything special"; hell, it is as RARE as Hen's Teeth!

Just list it on eBay, and you will see just how sought-after it really is.

Ray Kotke
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2013, 07:24:45 PM »
Excellent discussion.  Once again I am reminded that I don't even know what I don't know.  Great information, thank you all.

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2013, 05:55:42 AM »
Stan Schreier asked that I post this response.   I would like to promote the discussion on this particular PayStation.  Perhaps this topic should be and can be later moved to a Pay Station board.  Here is Stan's reply:

 Apparently, I seem to be the only one that knows (or remembers) what a Western Electric 174G actually is.  The 174G was a catch-all designation for a handset, 3-slot, 10 cent, prepay paystation, remanufactured from ANY- I'll repeat that, ANY model 2-piece Western Electric paystation.

   Ray, exactly which 174G would you like to discuss?  A 174G made from a 50G like the one mentioned on the forum?   A 174G made from a 150G?  A 174G made from a 161A or a 174G made from any 160C series 3-slot?  All these 174Gs ARE DIFFERENT!  Each one has it's own documentation, pardon me................DIAGRAM.  So Ray, which one is "as rare as hen's teeth" be specific!  Ray, over the years I've owned 8 or 9 174s how many have you owned?

   Take a look at the BSP I sent Dave Hunter (that he was good enough to post last night)  That's the BSP referred to on the back of the 174 being discussed.  Notice, it's just a diagram.   Why is the BSP number on the back of that payphone?  Hey, you think maybe it's because some 60 years ago a guy at Western Electric said "let's print the BSP number on the back of this 174G so it will bring more money on Ebay"?  I don't think so!!!

   That particular 174 was A SAMPLE that was used in a modification shop. When a 50G came in to be remanufactured there was probably a 'work order' that stated 'modify as per C64.241 Fig. 7'.

   I'm sure there were 4 or 5 SAMPLES in that shop.  Each one with a different BSP number printed on its backs because each of the sample 174s was a different model 2 piece paystation originally.  The guy rebuilding the 3-slot just found the right sample with the right number on the back and physically copied it.

   So, what does any of this have to do with collecting antique payphones? It all depends on your definition of collecting.  If by collecting you mean accumulating, then none of the above means a thing.  If your intention is to build the biggest pile of crap possible, then a large quantity of 174Gs (all different) is for you.  However, if you are interested in only collecting payphones that are RELEVANT on a historic, technical, or engineering level then any 174G is so much junk.  Its only value is what it was made FROM, not what it was made INTO.

   Years ago (not really that many) there was a glut of 174s.  All the major payphone players were buying them off of Ebay for $500-$700, me included.    Couldn't get them torn apart fast enough.  There were plenty of them  because the Bell System needed handset payphones. That's the reason 2-piecers are so rare, they were torn apart to be reincarnated as handset payphones.(174s).  I was able to complete some of the rarest 3-slots in my collection because of parts harvested from 174s.

   I have in my collection every FIRST VERSION Western Electric 50, 150, 160, 180, 190 and 200 series 3-slot.  I don't own or want any 170s.

   If you look in Ron Knappen's payphone book there are 21 photos of paystations from my collection.  Ron's book isn't exactly an encyclopedia but it's as close as we're going to come.  Hey Ray, is that the encyclopedic knowledge you referred to?

  Ray, when the fools on Ebay become the final word on antique payphone collecting it will be time for me to find a different interest.  The world of Ebay has nothing to do with fact or reality!

Stan

Offline kleenax

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2013, 05:29:42 PM »
Stan Schreier asked that I post this response.   I would like to promote the discussion on this particular PayStation.  Perhaps this topic should be and can be later moved to a Pay Station board.  Here is Stan's reply:

 Apparently, I seem to be the only one that knows (or remembers) what a Western Electric 174G actually is.  The 174G was a catch-all designation for a handset, 3-slot, 10 cent, prepay paystation, remanufactured from ANY- I'll repeat that, ANY model 2-piece Western Electric paystation.

   Ray, exactly which 174G would you like to discuss?  A 174G made from a 50G like the one mentioned on the forum?   A 174G made from a 150G?  A 174G made from a 161A or a 174G made from any 160C series 3-slot?  All these 174Gs ARE DIFFERENT!  Each one has it's own documentation, pardon me................DIAGRAM.  So Ray, which one is "as rare as hen's teeth" be specific!  Ray, over the years I've owned 8 or 9 174s how many have you owned?

   Take a look at the BSP I sent Dave Hunter (that he was good enough to post last night)  That's the BSP referred to on the back of the 174 being discussed.  Notice, it's just a diagram.   Why is the BSP number on the back of that payphone?  Hey, you think maybe it's because some 60 years ago a guy at Western Electric said "let's print the BSP number on the back of this 174G so it will bring more money on Ebay"?  I don't think so!!!

   That particular 174 was A SAMPLE that was used in a modification shop. When a 50G came in to be remanufactured there was probably a 'work order' that stated 'modify as per C64.241 Fig. 7'.

   I'm sure there were 4 or 5 SAMPLES in that shop.  Each one with a different BSP number printed on its backs because each of the sample 174s was a different model 2 piece paystation originally.  The guy rebuilding the 3-slot just found the right sample with the right number on the back and physically copied it.

   So, what does any of this have to do with collecting antique payphones? It all depends on your definition of collecting.  If by collecting you mean accumulating, then none of the above means a thing.  If your intention is to build the biggest pile of crap possible, then a large quantity of 174Gs (all different) is for you.  However, if you are interested in only collecting payphones that are RELEVANT on a historic, technical, or engineering level then any 174G is so much junk.  Its only value is what it was made FROM, not what it was made INTO.

   Years ago (not really that many) there was a glut of 174s.  All the major payphone players were buying them off of Ebay for $500-$700, me included.    Couldn't get them torn apart fast enough.  There were plenty of them  because the Bell System needed handset payphones. That's the reason 2-piecers are so rare, they were torn apart to be reincarnated as handset payphones.(174s).  I was able to complete some of the rarest 3-slots in my collection because of parts harvested from 174s.

   I have in my collection every FIRST VERSION Western Electric 50, 150, 160, 180, 190 and 200 series 3-slot.  I don't own or want any 170s.

   If you look in Ron Knappen's payphone book there are 21 photos of paystations from my collection.  Ron's book isn't exactly an encyclopedia but it's as close as we're going to come.  Hey Ray, is that the encyclopedic knowledge you referred to?

  Ray, when the fools on Ebay become the final word on antique payphone collecting it will be time for me to find a different interest.  The world of Ebay has nothing to do with fact or reality!

Stan

REPOST this to Stan if you would Dennis, since he's apparently much too paranoid to join listserves himself  :o

I absolutely LOVE any opportunity whatsoever Stan gives me to "jerk his chain"! ;D
Ray Kotke
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Offline kleenax

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2013, 05:39:59 PM »
Now Stan has me confused (and possibly others) about his collection of the "rarest" payphones ???

What is the difference between Stan's "rarest" payphones that are "made-up" of pieces and parts scrounged from his eBay purchases and a 174G (made of various parts)?

I don't recall ever seeing a Bell-System-Practice (BSP) generated since the END of the Bell System (post-1986) that would have documented the authenticity of the dismantling of 174's to make "rarer" phones out of them. Wouldn't THAT practice indeed make Stan's "rarest" payphones simply a "made-up" example and not really authentic?

Food for thought really.
Ray Kotke
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2013, 07:17:17 PM »
Now Stan has me confused (and possibly others) about his collection of the "rarest" payphones ???

What is the difference between Stan's "rarest" payphones that are "made-up" of pieces and parts scrounged from his eBay purchases and a 174G (made of various parts)?

I don't recall ever seeing a Bell-System-Practice (BSP) generated since the END of the Bell System (post-1986) that would have documented the authenticity of the dismantling of 174's to make "rarer" phones out of them. Wouldn't THAT practice indeed make Stan's "rarest" payphones simply a "made-up" example and not really authentic?

Food for thought really.
C'mon, Guys. Time for a TRUCE! You are both experts, and you have both made your points, and it has been educational for all of us. You both have differing views. Play nice! :)

If Stan doesn't want to join the Forum in person, we appreciate his passing along his notes. That is fine, and that is his choice. I, for one will always be glad to post his comments, as they are very helpful and educational. Likewise are yours, Ray.

Dave
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 07:25:13 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2013, 04:43:35 PM »
Hello,
I found this vault door for a payphone. Does anyone know if it goes with this payphone? And, if not, how do I know what door goes with it?
Thanks
Mo
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Offline poplar1

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2013, 06:40:26 PM »
It appears to be the right door. Although the lock fits, it is actually a 29A L22 from the top part of a single slot pay phone. That's a generic lock but only 29A L22 keys will fit. The vault doors normally have a lock with a serial number.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2013, 06:43:49 PM »
Hello,
I found this vault door for a payphone. Does anyone know if it goes with this payphone? And, if not, how do I know what door goes with it?
Thanks
Mo

Hello Mo-
Even tho some “experts” may disagree, the flat-type vault door in your photo is very collectable to collectors of early payphones.

However the lock (29A L-22) is more recent is intended for a modern single-slot upper-housing. It in itself may have some value since it was used by Ill Bell payphones.

Despite the comment of others, I agree with Ray that your 174 is rare and collectable; certainly worth a considerable amount to the right collector. I would not characterize it as a “mutt” since it was simply recycled by the Bell System for a specific purpose and an avid collector would certainly want to add it to his collection.

You may want to contact other extremely knowledgeable collectors (in addition to Ray) such as Jim Engle and Dick Pitzer. They are highly regarded experts regarding payphones in the collector’s communities and have huge collections of early coin telephones of their own.

Offline MagicMo

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2013, 12:34:25 AM »
Thanks for the info. ;)
Mo
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Offline kleenax

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2013, 11:54:11 AM »
Thanks for the info. ;)
Mo


Hey Mo;

That door that you found is indeed a nice Western Electric door (original black ones are hard to come by),  and it would look perfect mounted on that 174G. I also have a correct lock & matching key for it (14A or 14B I think).

Having said that, I would mount a Gray-type door on it with a 12B or 10L lock mounted. Photo attached of the door I have mentioned. If you cannot find one, I have one here that you could use. This vault door that is shown in the photo below would have been the vault door that was originally mounted to that Gray/Western bottom (I think).  Can you see the differences in the 2 doors? The most obvious is that one is cast iron, and the other is pressed steel.

Let me see if I can make a side-by-side of the vault doors for easier ID'ing for the next posting.

One last thing: contrary to what some say, I am NOT an expert by any means; merely an observant collector and vintage telephone aficionado  ;)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 07:28:21 PM by Dennis Markham »
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Offline MagicMo

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Re: Gray-Western 174G PayStation Company Phone
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2013, 11:18:06 PM »
Thanks Ray,
I'm sure I will come across the right one here. I just had to know what to look for. I found another cast iron door for a WE too. I just wanted to know what to look for. I think he had a box of door locks, when I saw them the first time I didn't know what they were used for! I will look through them.

I found a 195G Payphone. Do you know anything about that particular phone?
Thanks
Mo 
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