Author Topic: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354  (Read 3066 times)

Offline AE40FAN

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My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« on: June 24, 2013, 12:08:24 PM »
Went to an outdoor flea market yesterday.  Kept my eyes peeled for phone but, all I found were 80's modular junkers.   This was until I stumbled upon a black Western Electric 354.  It was sitting on a table with a bunch of other stuff baking away in the hot sun.  I new I had to rescue it.  I asked the seller how much she wanted for it.  She wanted 40 and I talked her down to 35.  It's in really nice shape.  Bakelite handset still very shiny with the exception of some scuffs.  It's a 1955 all matching dates.  I'll post photos at some point before the clean up.  The question I have is I would like to restore this without spending a dime!  The only obstacle is the coiled rubber cord.  It is stretched out.  It is still very pliable.  Can this be revived using the dowel trick?  Any tips before I begin taking this apart for cleaning and polishing?  Also, I was under the impressing the switch hooks were either black or chrome.  This particular model has a matte silver switchook?

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 12:15:48 PM »
If the cord is not broken or brittle, you should be able to restore is using a dowel.  Reversing the direction of the coiling will make it stretchy again.

Larry

Offline McHeath

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 11:50:17 PM »
My first antique phone was a WE 354 as well, they are quite nice phones, very satisfying size and heft. 

Clean it and scrub it, which is cheap, and try the dowel in the over trick for the cord.  You've got a very late 354, last year in fact.  The matte silver hook I've seen some, but I don't know the story of.

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 12:16:10 AM »
Come to think of it my first antique phone was a 354!

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 07:57:51 PM »
I plan on just hanging this on a a wall in my kitchen for display.  Do you gentleman think  a screw should hold this with no issues?  I'm hoping it turns out as nice as my AE34 did!!

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 09:41:40 PM »
A single screw is likely to hold the weight, as long as the screw is not too small.  Two screws were usually used to keep it from swinging while dialing.  One screw center at the top, and another in one bottom corner or the other.  There are holes in the back plate for the screws.
-Bill G

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 10:17:24 PM »
A single screw is likely to hold the weight, as long as the screw is not too small.  Two screws were usually used to keep it from swinging while dialing.  One screw center at the top, and another in one bottom corner or the other.  There are holes in the back plate for the screws.

Thanks Bill.  Phone would purely be for display in the kitchen.  Once I get it cleaned up I'll post after photos.  Restoring the coiled cord may be my biggest obstacle. 

Offline Mr. Bones

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 12:05:53 AM »
I plan on just hanging this on a a wall in my kitchen for display.  Do you gentleman think  a screw should hold this with no issues?  I'm hoping it turns out as nice as my AE34 did!!

A single screw is likely to hold the weight, as long as the screw is not too small.  Two screws were usually used to keep it from swinging while dialing.  One screw center at the top, and another in one bottom corner or the other.  There are holes in the back plate for the screws.

If I recall correctly, from hanging my wallphones, there is also about a 3/8" offset from the center of the backplate, to where the top screw needs to go, to center it on a particular place on the wall. Might want to measure it, if it is to hang centered, among other displayed items.

I typically use #8 phillips head screws, between an inch, and 1.5 inches in length. Mine are all used to communicate, and none have come loose. (I generally try to hit a stud) ;) I can gladly recommend other methods, if it must live in a void, between studs.

Best regards!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 12:09:17 AM by Mr. Bones »
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   Mr. Bones
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Offline Jim S.

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 08:29:34 AM »
You can convert it to modular mounting with a modular adaptor plates from a 554 .
Just a thought.
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 06:33:52 PM »
Phone is finally finished.  I boiled the cord in water for about 30 minutes and then a wrapped it around a dial and threw it in the freezer overnight. I let it thaw and presto!  I know this is a fairly common wall phone but, the thing i love most is that I didn't have to invest a dime in parts....
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 08:10:00 PM by AE40FAN »

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 07:08:41 PM »
WOW! That looks really nice, I wish I had one. Yours is nice too as I've seen a lot of them with blacked out switch hooks and they aren't as cool as that.

Ben

Offline AE40FAN

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 07:17:06 PM »
Thanks Ben :)   Yeah, It's the silver satin finish switch hook. Apparently, it was either black, chrome, or this...

Offline WesternElectricBen

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Re: My first wall phone...black Western Electric 354
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 07:34:06 PM »
I didn't know their was a option.