Leich - Model 90
Leich - Model 90
The history of Leich is as convoluted as it is interesting. It was formed as the Eureka Electric Company which moved to Chicago in 1898. In 1902 Eureka merged with the Advance Electric Company and subsequently moved to Genoa. In 1907 the company was sold and renamed The Cracraft-Leich Electric Co. The name was changed to Leich Electric in 1917, and in 1950s Leich was purchased GTE and became the first manufacturing subsidiary of that company. GTE and Automatic Electric merged in 1955 and Leich was maintained as an operating subsidiary of GTE until the early 1960s when operations were fully merged with the parent company. In 1989 GTE and AT&T finalized a joint ownership agreement and the name of the company was changed to AG Communications Systems. AT&T transferred it's majority ownership in AG Communications to Lucent Technologies (formerly Western Electric) in 1996 and as of 2003 Lucent is the sole owner AG Communications. Thus, long-ago competitors Western Electric, Automatic Electric and Leich are now effectively one company. The Leich model 90 was produced to combat the Western/Northern Electric model 202. The Leich did have a slight advantage in that an extension base was produced in order to accommodate a ringer without the need for a separate ringer box. This phone of particular interest due to the inclusion of the above mentioned extension base with a ringer.
The Restoration Process
Dial – Dial has been fully disassembled, cleaned, lubed and timed to ensure years of trouble free service. The outer edge of the dial has been stripped and repainted with a gloss black. Unless the dial is removed, this is something you will rarely ever even see, but this is how it would have come from the factory. The number plate has been cleaned and a perfectly matching overlay has been applied. The finger wheel and dial card ring have been freshly chrome plated finish. A brand new die cut dial card and acetate cover has been added as well.
Cords – The phone has been outfitted with brand new cloth covered cords that are made in house on the same type of equipment originally used by the phone companies. They look amazing. You can choose from either black or brown cloth cords. The line cord has a modular connection to facilitate a modern connection to your wall jack.
Shell – The Bakelite shell has been painstakingly put through a multi-step restoration process which includes sanding with 400, 800, 1000, 2000 grit. This ensures that there are no scratches, dents or dings. The shell is them carefully buffed on our two step buffing wheels. This takes out the fine abrasions left by sanding and leaves the Bakelite with a smooth factory fresh finish. Finally we apply a three step restoration compound.
Handset – The handset has been ultrasonically cleaned to get all embedded debris out. It is then sanded through a multi-step restoration process which includes sanding with 400, 800, 1000, 2000 grit and buffed back to its beautiful original shine.
Ringer - This phone is equipped with the base extension which houses the ringer.
Base – The base is disassembled and sand blasted then wrapped with super soft brown felt to ensure it does not damage the table it proudly sits on.
The phone goes extensive through testing before to ensure it is in perfect working condition prior to shipping.