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#525067 10/16/11 08:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
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Hi all,

I need some information and advice. I have a black 500 (Western Electric) that is date stamped on the plastic as 62. The handset is labled as G1, and the dumafloppy that secures the handset cord is molded into the handset itself, not the transmitter cup. The phone has triangular feet, and is very clean on the inside. THe dial finger wheel is clear plastic, but the hook buttons are black plastic. The shell makes a dull noise when tapped with a fingernail (and sounds much different than my other newer 500s). I should have mentioned that the 1962 date is both on the shell and handset. The bottom of the base is very nicely painted, and has the proper WECO model number, but there is no date stamp, either in the silver grey original color or the reddish orange re-furb color.

I am wondering if this phone is a Western Electric remanufactured "Franken phone", and what should I do with it? It is in rather nice condition, but my other phones that I have restored are all dated on the bottom like they should be, and I am reasonably sure that they are actual as issued phones. This one seems a bit suspect, but I am not sure why.

If it is a soft plastic shell, I am afraid to do anything to it, unlike the newer phones that I am rather good at polishing. I like this particular instrument, but I am wondering if I should includ it in my display of Weco "500" phones if it is not really a true 500. I will definately keep this and add it to the collection, but I am just not sure how to classify it.

Thank you much!

Joe


Real comms took 200lb teletypes, hand keys, sounders, operators and cranked phones!
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#525068 10/17/11 06:29 AM
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if it is not really a true 500
Just because it doesn't have the model number on the bottom does not mean it's not a "true 500."


Arthur P. Bloom
"30 years of faithful service...15 years on hold"

#525069 10/17/11 05:56 PM
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Keep in mind that WECO never included color coding of the set in the base stampings, unlike ITT and SC. This was because WECO expected to see the set again as part of the Bell system routine, while ITT and SC sales were final. Only independent refurbishers saw their sets again.

In Bell System territories, it was common that the bare bases were stocked on the installers' trucks, along with a myriad of housing kits so that custom colors could be accommodated on the spot while maintaining minimal rolling inventory.

As for the plastic you have, my guess is that you are seeing is an early version of ABS. Bakelite was the norm for housings for decades, but ABS proved to be more versatile, cheaper to produce and allowed for more color variations.


Ed Vaughn, MBSWWYPBX

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