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The Bell System provided the majority of the telephones in North America until the 1980s.  Their phones were mainly designed and made by Western Electric in the US and Northern Electric in Canada.  Their designs were so good, they were often copied by other manufacturers -- in North America and the rest of the world.  Here are some of the classics.  Email for availability of other models.


Models on this page:   D1   302   211   500   2500   5302   Princess   Candlestick   Celebrity   Stowaway   Others

WE D1 base with E1 Handset

WE D1 with F1 handset
with F1 handset
D1 base with E1 handset (1930 - 50s)

Oval shaped metal base was designed to accommodate the E1 handset and a recessed dial.  Available with or without dial.  Designed to be used with an external subscriber set (not included - phone set up for display). 

Price: $275.  E1 handset.

          $250.  with F1 handset, as shipped with later production units. 

To make it a working phone, either may be connected to an optional external ringer box ($40-100), or an internal modern network ($25) to interface with the phone line.  Email for details.

WE 302
302 (1936 - 50s)

The first WE phone with the network and ringer built into the phone. Originally introduced with a metal base and the new "F1" handset, World War II forced a switch to thermoplastic bases in 1941. Works great on modern phone lines. 
Price:  $150, Plastic case.
          $200, Metal case.

Occasionally available in ivory thermoplastic with clear fingerwheel. 
Price: $300-400.

Other variations include a model with a ringer on/off switch on the front and a 2-line model.

(For more info on the WE 300-series, click here.)

WE 101 Space Saver
211 with F handset for display only

WE211 with F1 and metal subset
211 with F handset and metal subset

WE211 with G1 and plastic subset
211 with G handset and plastic subset
211 "Hang-up" or "Space Saver" (1933 - 60s)

Designed to fit into tight places, this unit was often found in workshops, bars, retail stores, attached to the side of a desk to preserve desktop space, and was briefly marketed as a wall phone for home use. 

The "handset mounting" (top photo) only contains a hookswitch and connection terminals. The components in the top photo are great for display, but are not a complete telephone.

To work, an external subscriber set must be added, which contains coils, capacitors and the ringer.  The subset was mounted away from the phone, on a wall or under a desk or counter, saving space on the desk.

Price (without subset):
     $120. 
Dial set with G handset.
     $135.  Dial set with F1 handset.
     $80.  Manual model (without dial) with G handset. 


Options include an original-style or repro angle bracket for wall mounting.

External subset ($40-100) to interface with the phone line.  Several configurations are available, such as the early metal subset in the middle photo or the later plastic subset in the lower photo.  Various styles of wood ringer boxes can also be used with modern mini-networks to make a working phone.  Email for details

WE 500D, 500DM and 2500DM
500 (1949-Present)

The workhorse of the WE line for many years.  These are the phones most baby boomers grew up with.  Originally introduced in black only with a metal fingerwheel.

Colors and clear plastic fingerwheels were added in 1953 and the range of colors was expanded in 1958.  By decree, this design was licensed to all comers, and was made by numerous companies.  Kellogg, Stromberg Carlson and Cortelco are a few examples.  The design is still being produced by several companies today!

I specialize in the high quality US-built models made before cost reductions that were instituted after the break up of the Bell System in 1984. 


Price: $120. Early model (made by Western Electric in the 1950s and early 60s) in black with Metal Fingerwheel (top photo).  

Email for availability and price of other variations and colors, including both hardwired and modular versions.   Popular model numbers are:

  500DM - Single line rotary desk set with modular cords (middle photo - green set)
  2500DM - Single line TouchTone desk set with modular cords (lower photo - red set)

  554BM - Single line rotary wall set with modular cords
  2554BM - Single line TouchTone wall set with modular cords

Popular colors include beige, black, green, aqua, yellow, red and pink.

Price range: $80-150, depending on style and color.


Well over 100 models and variations were produced by Western Electric for the Bell System.
For more information, check out the table in my site, "Old Telephones as Entertainment!" by following this link:  WE500 Types.  No, I don't stock them all!  I do have quite a few, though, so if you see any you like, email me for availability.

WE 5302 5302 (early - mid 50s)

Introduced after the 500, when customers wanted the look of the new series and the phone company wanted to use up stock of the older 302 parts.  Uses the base, internals and 3" dial from a 302 (often refurbished), with a special case that looks similar to the 500 but is shorter from front to back.  Click for side view.   The ring with letters and numbers around the dial is like that on the 500's dial.  The cradle was designed to accommodate either the F or G series handsets.  Was installed with one of 3 handsets -- the F1 (shown), a G handset using the F's internal elements, and the G (same as on the 500D above). 

A lot scarcer than either the 300 or 500!
Price: $140.  With either F or G handset.

          $175.  5302 W (without Bell System Markings)

(I have acquired a limited number of NOS [new old stock] shells, which will be installed for an additional $40.)

Princess "Princess" (1959 - 80s)

Initially marketed as a bedside extension with the slogan,
  "It's little, it's lovely and it lights." 

A switch on the back controls a night light that softly illuminates the dial.  When the handset is picked up, the light gets brighter for dialing.  (Requires optional transformer.)

The first model (701) had no internal ringer and was so light, an optional lead weight was added to make dialing easier. The 702, introduced in 1963, includes a ringer in the base and is usually available in a variety of colors, such as beige, light blue, green, red and pink.  Price depends on color chosen.

Price: $100-160,  702BM, Rotary, modular cords.
         $120-180,  2702BM, TouchTone, modular cords.

Dial light transformer kits (wired and tested): $25 with a phone.

Also available: (Email for details.)
  Sets with hardwired cords.
  Early 701s with optional weight and external ringer.
  Early 10-button TouchTone sets (No * and # keys).
 
Princess phone keychains in 5 original model 701 colors.

Princess mini sets, beige (about 4" long).  Used as marketing aids to show the colors to prospective customers for a second phone -- a radical idea in the early 1960s!

(For more info on Princess sets, click here.)

WE Candlesticks

Stars & Stripes Phone

ATC/DecoTel Candlesticks (1971 - 80s)

Designer phones made out of "modern" high quality components built to resemble the candlesticks made in the teens and twenties. Made by ATC and sold by Western Electric, GTE and others. The straight shaft is black, the shaped shaft is woodgrained. Cases are plastic.  Some dials have metal fingerwheels and porcelain number plates.

These are, in my opinion, of superior quality when compared with the many other similar telephones that were available in the 1970s and 1980s.

Price: $120, Black, red or white, straight shaft.

    $140, Woodgrained, shaped shaft.

    $150, Bicentennial "Stars and Stripes".
 
One available with the rare "Canadian Maple Leaf" design.
 
 
Note: Some metal candlestick phones in both dial and manual styles made from the teens thru 30s are available.  Email for details.

(For more info on Design Line sets, click here.)

WE Celebrity
Celebrity (1975 - 80s)

Designer phone made out of "modern" high quality components built to resemble early European "French" phones.  Ivory with gold-colored accents and trim.
Price: $100.

Occasionally available in aqua or TouchTone.

(For more info on Design Line sets, click here.)

WE Stowaway

Click for larger view
Stowaway - Oak (1975 - 80s)

"Executive" touchtone phone in a furniture quality oak chest.  Relief panels on all five visible sides.  Stunning!
Price: $100.

Occasionally available in flat-sided walnut, rotary or touchtone.

(For more info on Design Line sets, click here.)

Year following model name is the approximate introduction date. Most were manufactured for 10-20 years.
All phones are used and refurbished unless noted, and can be expected to show some wear signs on close inspection.
Prices include cleaning, polishing, mechanical servicing and warranty.  See FAQ for details.
Prices for phones in "as found" condition or with cosmetic blemishes will be quoted on request.



~ ~ ~  ALSO AVAILABLE:  ~ ~ ~

354 Wall Phone
354 Wall Phone Ivory (one only)
Telstar (tinted plastic roll-back cover)
Sculptura ("donut"), Yellow, Whiteand Brown
Noteworthy (corkboard/blackboard/phone book holder)
Numerous other Design Line models from the 70s - 80s
Trimline, Rotary and Touchtone
Lineman's Test Sets (Butt Sets)
Original Candlestick Phones (dial or manual)
10-button Touchtone phones (desk, wall,or Princess)


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