Author Topic: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)  (Read 417 times)

Offline FABphones

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Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« on: April 13, 2021, 03:10:55 AM »
Not a phone high on my list of ‘would likes’, but hard to find, especially in the EU, and especially at this price. The hammer went down for just £31 (approx $42).

Needs a tidy up but nothing too difficult. ;)

Date on base is 11-59.

This will join just two other Beiges in the collection.

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Can anyone confirm the actual Beige shade the P/U 500 was available in, I’ve seen several mentioned - Rose Beige, Dark Beige, Light Beige.

*This one is ‘Dark Beige’  ?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 03:29:30 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
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Offline tubaman

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 03:20:21 AM »
You got a real bargain there, well done! (How did I miss that????)
 ;D

Offline david@london

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 04:25:36 AM »
Great find CJ and looks to be in v nice condition.
It is a Light Beige (color code 60). Rose Beige (color code 55) is darker and has white numbers/letters on the dial bezel. Light Beige replaced Rose Beige in 1957.

I'm not sure if the 500U was made in Rose Beige or the other colors discontinued in 1957 - Mahogany Brown, Oxford Grey & Mediterranean Blue.
I do remember seeing a Med Blue 500P.

Just been looking at paul.f-com  but haven't clarified on that point yet.

edit... Some interesting details on the P/U designation here
Quote from jsowers: "... we don't see many early 500U or 500P phones from before 1957. A 500U or P in one of the early dark colors is a rare bird indeed."

edit 2... discussion of 'Mushroom Lamp Phone Color Rarity' here


« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 06:17:36 AM by david@london »

Online Doug Rose

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 09:21:13 AM »
CJ....Beautiful....nice even color. Really nice find!....Doug
Kidphone

Offline Scott

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 10:25:49 AM »
Tremendous find, congratulations.

Scott K.

Offline FABphones

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2021, 12:26:41 PM »
Thanks guys.  :)

From what I can gather, Beige was such an unpopular colour these aren’t soooo easy to find. I was surprised to read that Pink is the most common colour.

I try to keep to my Ivory/Black theme, but this Beige was too rare a find to pass by, especially outside of the US.  ...it will sit with its Sepia cousins nicely.  :D

A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
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Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
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‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline Key2871

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 01:44:55 PM »
Wow, congrats on a nice find.
KEN

Offline paul-f

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2021, 04:33:11 PM »
Great find CJ and looks to be in v nice condition.
It is a Light Beige (color code 60). Rose Beige (color code 55) is darker and has white numbers/letters on the dial bezel. Light Beige replaced Rose Beige in 1957.

I'm not sure if the 500U was made in Rose Beige or the other colors discontinued in 1957 - Mahogany Brown, Oxford Grey & Mediterranean Blue.
I do remember seeing a Med Blue 500P.

Just been looking at paul.f-com  but haven't clarified on that point yet.

edit... Some interesting details on the P/U designation here
Quote from jsowers: "... we don't see many early 500U or 500P phones from before 1957. A 500U or P in one of the early dark colors is a rare bird indeed."
edit 2... discussion of 'Mushroom Lamp Phone Color Rarity' here


The 500P came out before the early colors were discontinued, and made thru the transition to the 1957 colors.
http://www.paul-f.com/color.htm#WE500

Trace the evolution from the 500 H, to P to U beginning here:http://www.paul-f.com/we500typ.htm#500H
Visit: paul-f.com         WE  500  Design_Line

.

Online poplar1

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2021, 07:02:40 PM »
Thanks guys.  :)

From what I can gather, Beige was such an unpopular colour these aren’t soooo easy to find. I was surprised to read that Pink is the most common colour.

Are you saying that Light Beige was unpopular for this model, or for any WE set?
Certainly, the Lt. Beige (dash 60) color is not popular with collectors (other than Cowboy Frank, who collects only Lt. Beige).

In 1960, 2/3 of the newly manufactured WE phones were in colors other than black. White was the most popular (27%), followed by Light Beige (22%). (Most installation orders were for black phones, but these were usually refurbished sets from the WE Service Center, not new phones from the WE factory.)

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5064.msg63109#msg63109
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline FABphones

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2021, 08:33:44 PM »
Are you saying that Light Beige was unpopular for this model, or for any WE set...

Good question. On this thread, this 500.

...In 1960, 2/3 of the newly manufactured WE phones were in colors other than black. White was the most popular (27%), followed by Light Beige (22%)...

I have heard of that handset poster and read ‘questionable’ more than once. Is it an accurate depiction of sales, or PR spin in order to boost sales of certain colours by promoting them as a more popular choice amongst the (then) modern subscriber. We will never know either way for certain. It also appears to cover all sales, not specifically their 500 models.

As far as I can tell, there were/are trends for colours. From what I’ve read Beige had an upturn in the 1960’s, but in the 50’s (when this one was made, albeit in the latter part), it was lower down the scale of popularity:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=12122.0

Quote from above link, reply #5

1950s Even less plentiful:
Light Beige (-60)     
Yellow (-56)     
Light gray (-61)     
White (-58)

None of us can confirm how many Light Beige were made, or have survived, but there will certainly be less around now than there were then, adding to the difficulty to find them.

Re collectors, I have been led to believe that Beige does seem to be an undesired colour.

As always, much to learn.
 :)
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
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Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
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‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Online poplar1

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2021, 09:34:06 PM »
Jonathan qualifies his ranking of colors as being what has survived, rather than how many were manufactured.

I see no reason to question the ad, other than the fact that turquoise seems to be missing. The ad is dated February, 1960, but perhaps it was composed sometime after the introduction of the light colors white, pink, light beige, aqua blue and light gray -- i.e. circa 1958 -- but before the Princess was introduced in 1959. That would explain the lack of turquoise.

As for PR, the Bell System was the main customer of WE. So they were not selling directly to the customers seeing the ad. In our Southern Bell area, color phones had a one-time premium of $7.50. A lighted dial was maybe 30 cents per month in addition to the extension charge if you had more than one phone. A Princess had a one-time charge of $7.00, but no charge for color, and I think 70 cents per month + the extension charge if applicable.

One of my grandmother's friends had a light beige 500 U in her living room.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline FABphones

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2021, 04:17:07 AM »
Am trying to confirm the area code of 602 is Arizona, the TENproject site doesn’t load for me, is it working for others or now gone?

Does anyone know of another site to check Area Codes. Thanks.

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ETA: Found - https://www.area-codes.com
Arizona confirmed!  :)

« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 04:24:14 AM by FABphones »
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
—-
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
—-
‘You never realise how anti-social you are until there’s a pandemic and your life doesn’t really change that much’

Offline david@london

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2021, 07:29:06 AM »
CJ, the TEN project seems to be working ok here.....

http://tenproject.cloudapp.net/tensearch.aspx

Offline 5415551212

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2021, 03:06:39 PM »
Is the switch at the bottom left just for the light or is also a 2 line switch like on other models?

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Beige P/U 500 (Mushroom Phone)
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2021, 03:49:20 PM »
Yes, it is for the dial light. It can be switched to night light position so it stays on or only comes on when the handset is lifted.
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