Dating a vibroplex
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Listing did not say it was a Junior model, so no one bid perhaps. Base was clear coated with a satin finish polyurethane and key reassembled.
Other hardware wasn’t stripped of paint, but simply cleaned. Note: This was the second or third key I purchased on e Bay.
More images of these keys are available in the Photo Gallery. This is NOT an all-inclusive list of keys in my collection. Nickel plating worn, as is usualy on a key that’s earned a living. NOTE: This key has an original “bug logo” decal on the base applied on the base just under the rearward arms of the frame directly under keying lever midline.
I stopped adding to the list several years ago with the intent of better cataloging them; I’m going to add keys as I find ones that are not already in the list below. This is a pre-1940 bug with the nickel-plated base. Dual paddle, arrived with a second paddle made from the wooden lid of a cigar box. All original parts, base has chips but pinstriping mostly intact. Most of the decals were placed closer to the edge of the base.
Photos are being added as I update this list; you may click the image to enlarge. Keying lever broken off at main spring; there is no main spring or weight rod. Key needs finger piece replaced (have one in stock). Key has what appears to be lots of coal soot coating it.
They were soft rubber but time turned them into hard plastic. The base has apparently been brush painted, but that finish has chips in all corners. .99 OTHER DAMAGE: Damper was bent some point in the past, severely. I may simply replace it with one from a similar period bug if I can find one. The base has unique rounded corners, and the ends of the frame where the adjustments are lcoated are also very rounded. It is a rather rare “Improved Vibroplex” key, shown by the unique rounded corners on the base, and the slightly different damper arm hinge.
This key has the pinned box dash lever, and it shows a great deal of wear. The lever stops are old style, I.e., screw heads rather than knurled like later models. I have not cleaned the contacts and used the key but will do so. Bug operates by shifting lever’s neutral position to the right. UPDATE: e Bay seller says damper wasn’t bent when shipped. UPDATE 2/14/11: Replaced the damper with one off a parts key I bought some time ago. No ID tag, probably removed to prevent ID as a counterfeit key!
Bug was not packed well, was packed in newspaper with thin layer of bubble wrap around the key.
Cleaned contacts with Tarn-X and it plays very well.