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Western Electric Model 354 – Part 3 – The F1 Handset

This Bakelite Western Electric F1 handset and associated parts are all dated similarly to the rest of the telephone—September of 1952. I have cleaned and polished my share of Bakelite handsets and this one is one of the nicest handsets “as removed from service.” As always I wash the plastic in warm sudsy water and then apply liberal amounts of Novus #2 polish.Inside the handset I first remove each of the screws used to fasten down the electrical conductor leads. Those screws and the contacts themselves are cleaned to ensure a good clear electrical path. As you can see from the two accompanying photographs they were dirty and corroded. After cleaning I believe they will enhance the performance of the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter and receiver elements are also carefully cleaned before being put back into the F1 handset. Not shown in these photographs, I have attached a reproduction brown cloth handset cord made by Odis LeVrier of House of Telephones.

In my final posting on this series I will post photographs of the complete telephone, ready to go back into service. This is a great fifty-six year old telephone!

2 responses to “Western Electric Model 354 – Part 3 – The F1 Handset”

Beautiful! I am in awe. Though I am a total novice, I do know beauty and art when I see it. I recently bought my first vintage phone, only because my modern plastic handheld went on the blink and lasted a whole six months. When I found I could purchase the real deal for approximately the same amount..one I had always dreamed of owning…I jumped at it. Now I see them everywhere I look….lol…Once your eyes are opened they cannot be closed again….smile….By the way I bought a 1930’s Art Deco (North) (Northern) Electric and that is about all I know, other than it is supposed to work…..lol….
Thank you,
Teresa

Thank you Teresa for your comments. These phones are handsomely designed and I guess that’s why some call them “art deco”. Of course very little is manufactured any longer with the style and character that once was commonplace in our society. I look forward to helping you get your North Electric “Galion” phone in working condition.

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