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Non-traditional Uses for WE #2 Dials

©2002 paulf.  All rights reserved.
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Common knowledge (and common sense) dictates that #2 dials are used on early Western Electric wood and metal wall phones, 5x series candlestick phones and A and B handset mountings.

Western Electric was a master of recycling components, but have you ever seen a number 2 dial used in a D handset mounting or later phone?

 The 2H dial is electrically compatible with the 4H and later similar dials, so the outstanding issue is dealing with the external fingerstop in phones designed to have the dial mounted in a recessed cavity.  

Just for fun, having nothing better to do one morning after a phone show, I tried mounting #2 dials in a few phones to see what would happen.

WE D1 with #2 dial

Based on conversations on the collecting clubs' listservs, the first choice was a D1 handset mounting.

I had a bag of dial spacers that were used in North (Galion) phones (purchased at a previous show), and found that 2 spaced the dial up enough so that the fingerstop is above the rim of the dial mounting hole and the bottom of the dial is below the rim.  It looks like it belongs there.

The three mounting screws were sufficient to provide stable support, so the phone can be dialed as effectively as if it was in the usual B handset mounting.

(Remember geometry?  Three points define a plane, etc.)
WE5302 with #2 dial

WE5302 with #2 dial, side view

If it works in one model, it should work in any phone designed to take a 3" dial.

I'll probably do a 302 later, but jumped to one of my favorite later phones that use a 3" dial, the 5302.  As you can see, it works fine!

BTW, I did need to use longer bolts to secure the dial.  I was fortunate enough to find a box of 4-36 x 3/4" zinc chromate plated steel machine screws at a local hardware store a few years ago.  I really need to go back and see if they restocked.
If I could do it so easily, has it been done before?  Did Western or a refurbisher ever recycle #2 dials in later models in this way?  I haven't run across any examples in years of collecting.  Have you?

Needless to say, my imagination has run away with the possibilities...
  Kellogg 925 "ashtray" with a #2,
     SC1444 with a #2,
         AE50 wall "jukebox" with a #2,
              etc., etc., ...

If I see any of these "rare" or "unique" phones appearing on ebay after November 2002, I'll expect a royalty!
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©2002 paulf.  All rights reserved.