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Apparatus Blanks for 500-series Telephones

Covers the dial hole in Manual Set Housings

©2010-13 paulf.  All rights reserved.
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WE 500C with 95A apparatus blank
Photos on this page are from Russ Cowell

RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE:     WE 500-series     WE 300-series     COLORS    Dial Desk Phones

Apparatus blanks were used to fill the space in the housing when a dial was not needed for several reasons including:
  • In 1949 when the 500 series was announced, some 25% of telephones in the Bell System were still served by manual (non-dial) exchanges.
  • Restriction on dialing out to control measured local or long distance charges.
  • Phones on PBX lines, where outgoing calls were made by operators only, such as in in companies or hotels.
  • Extensions connected to pay phone lines in small retail establishments.
  • Phones used solely for connection to a messaging or reservation line (e.g. using a 43- or 53-type dial to automatically call a taxi company, hotel, airline, etc.)
  • Private phone systems (intercoms).
For more information, see BSP C34.401 and
  by Russ Cowell and Paul Fassbender in Singing Wires, March, 2009.

Thanks also to Carl Bennett for application suggestions.

95-type Application Blanks
Apparatus Blank in Set
Apparatus Blank Back
WE 500C with 95A Apparatus Blank
WE 95A Apparatus Blank - Back
95A Apparatus Blanks were used in early soft plastic housings.

They would only fit in the housings for desk sets, not in the "new" wall or keyset set types.
WE 500C with 95B Apparatus Blank
WE 95B Apparatus Blank - Back
95B Apparatus Blanks came out in 1954 to fit the various models being introduced in the 500-series.

The smaller metal bracket was an obvious cost saver.
WE 554A with 95B Apparatus Blank
WE 95B Apparatus Blank Bracket in a 554 Set
The bracket had to mount to the housing of the wall set to permit the housing to be removed and installed over the cradle.

The blank attached to the bracket using a single screw in the blank's center.
WE 500C with 95C Apparatus Blank
WE 95C Apparatus Blank - Back
95C Apparatus Blanks appeared in about 1967, and were cost reduced to eliminate the metal bracket completely.

The tabs sat on the unused dial mounting brackets in all 500-series sets.

Larry reported that later 95Cs eliminated the posts projecting from the back.

The 95C sat a bit flusher with the housing than the 95B blank.

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©2010-13 paulf.  All rights reserved.