Author Topic: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.  (Read 5074 times)

Offline DocWurly

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Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« on: December 29, 2016, 11:49:34 PM »
I just acquired a very early 140, and worked on another one.  I'm gonna share some things I found, though I probably won't post it all right now... too tired.

Given that the schematics start them at 25001, and the serial number here is 25149.... I think we can assume the one I acquired was the 149th one made....in other words, from the first month or two of production.  Early-ish 1962.  Pretty cool.

It's beat to hell.  It's gonna be a project.

I'm finding some weird stuff with this one.

I am noticing some anomalies in the (date?) stamping stuff, on the 1962-era 140s.  I am not sure what to make of what I'm seeing here.

There is a stamp on the high C key.  Shortly after this keyboard, we start seeing an 8 digit code that means YMMDDxxx.  (xxx is a 3-digit code that we have not decoded.)  But this one doesn't follow that form.  It reads 219018.

I am not sure what to make of that.  one possibility is that the first two digits of the standard code didn't print. (similar things happen throughout the run of Wurlies). In which case this would probably be (20)219xxx, or February 19th. 1962.

I doubt it.  I think it's a different format.  Maybe it means "The 19th week of 1962, or the week of May 7th.

The volume and vib pots read 304-6210.... or the 10th week of 1962.  That's the week of March 10.  Given that the pots usually predate the wood stamps, I suspect that the body is indeed stamped May 1962.

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 11:58:50 PM »
There are some other cryptic stamps on this thing.

First of all, the main rail on both this and on the other 140 I worked on recently have stamps that, unlike later Wurlies, are not obviously date stamps.  This one reads 228093.  I suppose, conceivably, that could be YDDMMx, in which case it would be 1962, September 28.  Or..... MDDxxx?  Feb 28? Or, YWWxxx?  In which case, 1962, 28th week, Or the week of July 9th, 1962.

Keybed is stamped "21."

The keys on both of these 140s have crazy little letters stamped all over them.  What could it mean?  (Who cares?  But I wanna know!)

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 12:05:09 AM »
And.... there is a square-ish jigsaw hole carved in the bottom behind the keys, and a strange canal dug into the cheek block by the leftmost keys.  The keys have a corresponding raised area cut into them.  It's as if they were wiring something under the keys?  Or .... what?  Any ideas, anyone?

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 12:11:21 AM »
And.... the various stamps found on a slightly later 140. 

Serial number 25776.
Keystamp, hard to see in the photo, is 20809xxx (August 9, 1962)
Keybed has a stamp that reads "33."  No idea what that is.
Keys have similar weird little letter markings (I didn't take a photo).

The main rail has an 8-digit stamp, but I find it confusing: 00519675.  If this is following the date stamp convention, that means May 19, 1960.  It is NOT following the 6-digit example of the earlier-in-the-year 140.  And yet, if it is a date stamp, this would mean it is from the period of the 120's.... and it would mean a 1960 example of the 8-digit code, in spite of an earlier 1962 Wurly not using it.  (Did the 120's even use a similar main rail?)

So.... I'm gonna say it is possible that this is NOT a date stamp.  It will be helpful to look at other main rails from this time period.  Later on... they were definitely date stamps.

These main rails also have the SAME sort of cryptic code found on 1970s Wurlies:  This one reads "A-60-5."  Exactly the same code!  The earlier one has some sort of similar code that I didn't look close enough to fully transcribe. (but it's something like "A-X0-2."  That 2 is different! (X means I don't know the number).

EDIT, 1/18/2017:  Another possibility, which hadn't crossed my mind before, is that the "00519675" might mean May 19, 1970.  Now.... how that would have happened, in a Wurly that, in every other way, is clearly from 1962, I don't know.   The cryptic "A-60-5" was standard to see stamped on main rails of model 200 and later Wurlies, but NOT on these earlier ones. (I'm not sure it is universal, but it's usually A-60-2.)  And yet, the action is definitely that of a 140 (and nothing later).  Could this have hung around the shop for years?  Could a part have been replaced?  Might the piece of wood that the action is mounted on be the same for both 140's and 200s?



« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 10:11:39 PM by Paleophone »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 06:22:58 AM »
All I can tell you for sure is that the cut out wood is to make room for wires so that they did not interfere with the lowest key.
Very interesting....
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 08:31:29 PM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline cinnanon

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 09:36:52 AM »
It reads 219018.

This is my 2 cents, but it seems like there was a changeover somewhere between the two 140's you've seen.  I agree that the above would read the 19th week of '62 with the worker/inspector code 018. It certainly follows chronologically the dating of the pots you mentioned.

First of all, the main rail on both this and on the other 140 I worked on recently have stamps that, unlike later Wurlies, are not obviously date stamps.  This one reads 228093.  I suppose, conceivably, that could be YDDMMx, in which case it would be 1962, September 28.  Or..... MDDxxx?  Feb 28? Or, YWWxxx?  In which case, 1962, 28th week, Or the week of July 9th, 1962.

Keybed is stamped "21."

I think the 28th week of 62 again sounds more along the right lines.  I think i've seen that 093 on later wurlitzers?  If it's a person, perhaps it's the same person/inspector?

Maybe the keybed stamp is simply the week? or again maybe the inspector? Maybe they had some quality control issues and switched over to a more specific date stamp like you saw on the latter 140.

Keybed has a stamp that reads "33."  No idea what that is.

Maybe the week again?  Sort of makes sense...



Offline cinnanon

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 09:41:17 AM »
The main rail has an 8-digit stamp, but I find it confusing: 00519675. 

Maybe the first digit was supposed to be a "2"? May 19, 1962?

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 10:37:37 AM »
The main rail has an 8-digit stamp, but I find it confusing: 00519675. 

Maybe the first digit was supposed to be a "2"? May 19, 1962?
Makes sense!  simply an error!

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 10:47:11 AM »
All I can tell you for sure is that the cut out wood is to make room for wires so that they did not interfere with the lowest key(s)

Very interesting....

Sure, but what wires were they trying to put under the keys? That square jigsaw hole could have been an exit point for whatever it was.... and it could have been a modification by the owner.

This, BTW, is the Wurly that was owned by the guy who claimed that Bob Moog designed the original 140 amp.  I think he knew Bob a little.  I should ask him some questions.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 09:50:00 PM »
Those cut out parts may have been identical to the 120's which definitely had the power wires running underneath. Maybe leftover parts being recycled? Maybe made for a 140 series model that had wires running there? I believe they moved the power switch and headphone jack and pilot light around a couple of times to different spots. The 120's had them in the left cheek block.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2017, 08:07:00 PM »
Those cut out parts may have been identical to the 120's which definitely had the power wires running underneath. Maybe leftover parts being recycled? Maybe made for a 140 series model that had wires running there? I believe they moved the power switch and headphone jack and pilot light around a couple of times to different spots. The 120's had them in the left cheek block.

Interesting idea on leftover parts.  Still, I don't recall any 120's with wires actually running under the keys, and this is the case of a hole bored through the back of a solid cheek block, seemingly angled under those keys.

It looks like some sort of prototype design idea that someone thought better of and wasn't implemented.  The 140's had controls on the lid, and the whole thing was designed such that you'd remove the lid, twist sideways and place on left side, wires still attached.

It's also possible that this was a mod made by the prior owner, or by someone who had worked on it.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 11:54:17 PM by Paleophone »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2017, 08:30:57 PM »
Not under the keys per say, but on the left side very close to the low A key and sometimes the A would rub on the wires and stick.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 08:33:16 PM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2017, 08:36:19 PM »
Not all 140's had the controls in the lid. The one I used to have had them in the left cheek block. Mine was probably an earlier one and maybe they moved them to the lid due to the wires rubbing on the A key? 

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2017, 08:52:24 PM »
You had a 140B.  That was the solid state (semi-)portable model that was marketed from 1964 to early 1968. Therefore, later, not earlier.  The 140's and 140A's had knobs on the lid.  (reportedly, a few early 140B's, did, too.)

Check out my chart sometime:

http://paleophone.net/?page_id=923

I'd love for us to be on the same page about the differences between the various versions of the 140's, 145's, and 720's:
non-lettered (1962-3),
A's (1963-4)
and B's (1964-8). 

It's an area of ongoing confusion and misinformation on this board. 
I've used my chart as an attempt to straighten that stuff out. 
It's pretty simple once you'd read through it.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 09:35:40 PM by Paleophone »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2017, 07:40:45 AM »
Yes, mine was a 140B. Come to think of it, I actually had two over the years, but they were the same way. I'm confused though-  why does the schematic say 1962 for the 140B?

I know the 145 I worked on last year had the controls in the lid.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 07:43:39 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2017, 08:25:19 AM »
I'm confused though-  why does the schematic say 1962 for the 140B?
It doesn't.  Not in any I have seen, though I welcome new data.  The 1962 schematics are for the version with no "B."  It had an entirely different solid-state amp.

April 1, 1962: Schematic Part # 650552, Issue 1, 140 Piano action.
July 10, 1962:  Schematic Part # 650443, Issue 2: 140 Amplifier Printed Board
July xxx, 19xx: Schematic Part # 650xxx, Issue 2: 140 Amplifier (Nobody seems to have a scan without the edge cut off)
April 13, 1965: Schematic Part # 650565-S-3-E-17: 145 Tube Amp  (This is a revision:  The 145 tube amp debuted in 1962, and was used in all tube models 1962-1968.)
June 1, 1966  Schematic Part # 11-0547-S-4-E-1: 140B/720B amp
March 1, 1974 (!!! Could that be a typo, or is it just a late revision???) Schematic Part # 652233-S-1-E-5: 140B PC Board Amplifier,

« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 01:17:48 PM by Paleophone »

Offline pgroff

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2017, 10:43:12 AM »
Yes, mine was a 140B. Come to think of it, I actually had two over the years, but they were the same way. I'm confused though-  why does the schematic say 1962 for the 140B?

I know the 145 I worked on last year had the controls in the lid.

Hey pianotuner steveo, sorry for the thread drift but I'd love to know what you thought of the 145. I'd like to try one and maybe search for one to buy. Maybe another thread or PM me? Thanks! 

Paul

(groffco at gmail dot com)

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2017, 02:09:18 PM »
Mystery of the carving in the cheek, and the jigsawed-square hole is solved.  I talked to its former owner.  it is NOT original.

The owner had an organ called a Lowrey Organo. He installed a strip of micro-switches under the keys of the Wurly, and they would trigger the Lowrey.  So he could play either/or using the Wurly's keys.  Later, it malfunctioned, so he ripped it out.

This Wurly used to have the battery pack.  He remembers this holding 4 big 9-volt lantern batteries.

The leg-holding lid is lost....if anyone has a spare, I might be interested.

He also thought he'd bought it in high school, and he graduated in 1961.  I am noting this, but I think he is mistaken, and he acknowledged that he might be wrong.   It doesn't jibe with the evidence, including patent dates.



« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 02:12:24 PM by Paleophone »

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2017, 02:18:56 PM »
cinnanon, you and I are trying to decode the codes on these two main rails.  I think we have some decent theories, but they aren't quite compatible with each other.

The (presumably) earlier of the two, #25149, has a main rail with an atypical code of 228093.  We thought this could mean YWWxxx (with xxx being some sort of employee or inspector code).  That would mean 28th week of 1962, or July 9.

The "later" of the two, #25776, has a main rail code of 00519675.  You theorized, intelligently, that this might be a misprint and might mean 20519675, or May 19, 1962. 

The problem is, that would mean that they were using the 8 digit code by May, but then still on an ersatz 6-dig week code in July, for the same part.

I don't buy it.  While it is possible that they were simply being inconsistent, I think we have one of these two codes decoded wrong.  But I don't know which one!!  I am awaiting more data from more pre-A 140/145/172's!!  (This is my kind of fun.)

« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 02:24:43 PM by Paleophone »

Offline mvanmanen

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2017, 03:17:06 PM »
145B
serial 32577

if that helps your scholarship.
Controls on cheek block.

cheers!
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes, now including a Celeste (1966, 1971, 1975)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N
Hammond B3

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2017, 05:05:25 PM »
Cool!  Next time you open it up, write down the stamp #'s from the keys, main rail, and keybed.

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2017, 03:38:28 PM »
FWIW,
What I believe to be a 140 because of the varistor based tremolo.Unfortunately no serial plackard found on it.

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2017, 10:52:13 PM »
FWIW,
What I believe to be a 140 because of the varistor based tremolo.Unfortunately no serial plackard found on it.
Great!
If it has a 140 amp (vs a 140B amp), it's either a 140 or a 140A.  If it has 120-style reeds above #20, it's a 140.  If it has 200-style reeds and cracked washers, it's a 140A.

But some of these dates put it squarely in 140 territory.

pot is 30th week of 1962:  July 23.
One keybed stamp says 21023:  That means October 23, 1962.

The other keybed stamp, I can't read well (it's very lo res), but it looks to me like 211181.  Sooooo ..... interesting.  It's kinda like the other weird 6-number stamps I've seen, and it may or may not be a date.

The photo on the main rail is so lo-res that I can't read it.  It appears I am only accessing the thumbnail.  Can you upload a higher res version? 

And are there any numbers on the keys themselves?


Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2017, 11:43:27 PM »
The number towards the right side cheek block is 21113 with the last character after being maybe a 9 or just a wierd backwards p.
The number on the main rail is 21215009 with larger print below of "A 60-2".
I didn't notice any numbers stamped on the keys themselves,  but I  wasn't really looking at the time. I will look again to verify.
The original images are too large to post so I shrunk them, maybe too much...
I'll post again with less shrinking and see if it helps.
Maybe also get a pic of the upper reeds to verify if it is 140 or 140A.

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2017, 12:29:16 AM »
Fantastic!!  That's 21113.  I think the "backwards P" is merely the square edge of the stamp with some ink blobbing off it.

So, these are all just the standard date stamps, and they make a certain sense.

Left keybed:  October 23, 1962.
Right Keybed ("21113": November 13, 1962.
Main Rail ("21215009"): December 15, 1962, with inspection code 009.

Nobody seems to know what these things that say "A-60-2" and "A-60-5" mean, but they are consistently found on the main rail. (usually, after 1963, "A-60-5").

I am pretty darn sure, from these dates, that this is a 140.  I think the "A" series isn't until sometime in 1963, maybe even late in the year.


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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2017, 10:15:55 AM »


Keybed is stamped "21."

Maybe the keybed stamp is simply the week?

Keybed has a stamp that reads "33."  No idea what that is.

Maybe the week again?  Sort of makes sense...

In both of these cases, the week would fit perfectly with the other data.  I think we have a winner, and perhaps I even have some examples from the following "A" era that match this.

"21" Week of May 21-27, 1962... 3 weeks after the stamp on the keys.

"33." Week of August 13-19, 1962, in the vicinity of the August 9 keys.

http://www.epochconverter.com/weeks/1962

I'm gonna start paying attention to the relationship of that upside down main rail stamp to the other stamps.  I have a theory, still needing testing, perhaps wrong, that this will always be a later date than all the other dates.  It may be a final inspection stamp, or, instead, something to do with the date of the assembly of the action parts.  We (or, most of us) just don't know how they built these things.... what the process was to put them together, and then to ship them.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 10:23:56 AM by Paleophone »

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2017, 10:35:18 AM »
Maybe also get a pic of the upper reeds to verify if it is 140 or 140A.

Actually, vanceinatlance, the easiest way to tell if it is a 140 or 140A is the number of notes without full damper arms!  I just thought of that.  On a 140, it will be 11 damperless notes at top.  On a 140A, it will be only 5.

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2017, 01:01:48 AM »
Thanks for the heads up on the model identification. It has 11 damperless notes, so, 140. I found a key with a very faint light green stamp looks to be 211166. Havent seen any other number stamps on the keys.

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2017, 01:10:03 PM »
Thanks for the heads up on the model identification. It has 11 damperless notes, so, 140. I found a key with a very faint light green stamp looks to be 211166. Havent seen any other number stamps on the keys.

That's in line with the other stamp that says "21113".  I think this "211166" keystamp means Nov 16, 1962, three days after the other one.  Typical of the pattern that is emerging with these keybed stamps vs key stamps.  Usually within a couple days to a couple weeks.  I suspect that the last two digits didn't show up, and it's really 211166xx.   If you look closer you might see two very faint numbers at the end.

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Looking at some early model 140's. Weird date stamps and more.
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2017, 03:27:12 PM »
Yes, there does appear to be a couple more numbers now that I look at it closer. I have no idea what they are. I can post a pic if you are interested, but they are very faint. Interesting  to know the date information that you figured out, thanks!