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Author Topic: Not a slot, but it's my Western Electric model 304 desk phone, from 1949.  (Read 1798 times)

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Online shortrackskater

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I've has this phone for well over 40 years, sitting in my room in various places. About a month ago, I "noticed" it, even though it had sat in its current location for 30 of those 40 years!
My uncle had given me this phone all those years ago. I remember fussing with it, using a D cell battery, hooking it up to the frayed wires coming out the back and hearing some clicking/static sounds on the receiver.  I must have been around 11 years old or so. No one told me how phones worked or that they had to be physically wired into the wall to work! I never looked. We had a wall phone so I never saw wires...duh! Well I was 11, and didn't have much of any father figure to show me stuff. I must have thought that the phone was more like a radio transmitter, who knows.
Fast forward to Jan 2015, when I notice that this phone has sat all this time.
I pick it up, and just make a statement: "I'm going to make you work."
I open the phone and actually LOOK at the inside. It's missing something on the dial... there's just a dial there and no wires to anything! Also the cord to the wall had been tossed out since it was so rotted and frayed. The receiver cord was also rotted. I tried to strip the cloth back. When I exposed the three wires, the insulation just crumbled off!
Next step... internet!
I found some great pictures and diagrams and ... a forum! A forum much like our old NLG! As nice as the new one is, and all the work to move over here, I still think the old site was easier to navigate. But that's another story...er...rant, for another day.
Through that forum and diagrams and help from some people there, I was able to figure out that I had a WE 304. I originally thought it was the more common 302, which looks identical other than the insides. I learned about two wire and four wire ringers, party line wiring and all sorts of fun phone stuff!
As the few weeks passed, I eventually got all the stuff I needed. I got a new dial switch thingy (looks like a set of contacts that attaches to the dial clock mechanism), the hang up switch (which was gone... just had the buttons), a new set of repo cloth wiring and the cute little round plate that clips on the dial face.
After some wrong wiring attempts (this was when I thought it was a 302) I got it corrected, plugged the phone in and got a dial tone!
The audio was great in talking and listening. And it's kind of fun to actually DIAL a number.
I feel great that it's working again and I think my uncle (who passed away years ago) would have been happy that I gave new life to an old phone.
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Online shortrackskater

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Anyone ever read this?   :Scratch-Head: 
Makes me not want to bother posting another story, when there's no one here.
If a tree falls down in the forest...
PLEASE consider becoming a contributing member. Even just a donation of any amount will help to pay costs to keep this site up and running so YOU can keep your machine up and running :)

Offline cowboygames

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Don't be discouraged, 73 people read it

Offline Shaggy

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I read it. That's very nice. I have a 57 western electric payphone I'll have to post a pic of. I like those old phones too.  :cool_thumb_up:
"All things being equal. The easiest explanation and the easiest answer is probably the right one".

Offline IFFV68

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I read it,
I have one of those old phones with the leather feet. . Mine is dated 1936 inside,yes it still works.

To bad the Quality of plastic phones today only last a few years. These old phones will be working long after we are all gone.

It's not what you can afford to Buy?
It's what you can afford to keep!

Online shortrackskater

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Thanks everyone! I feel better now. I was having an abandonment issue with this post... actually I had forgotten about it!  :rotfl:
PLEASE consider becoming a contributing member. Even just a donation of any amount will help to pay costs to keep this site up and running so YOU can keep your machine up and running :)

 

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