Click to go HOME
WESTERN ELECTRIC
500-series Telephone Types
Classic Rotary Telephones

(Includes links to info on the 1500, 2500, 3500, Princess and Design Line series.)


©1997-2014 paul-f.com.  All rights reserved.
Before copying anything from this site, follow this link.

WE 532 amplified   WE 544   WE 750 Panel Phone    WE 581 Wall keyset

Table Key (& Reference Info) Model Number Format Case Marking Component Evolution
500 Set Colors G Handsets When Was My Phone Built? Contributors -- Many Thanks!

RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE:        500-STYLE SETS     COLORS    500 SET DEVELOPMNT    BSPs
WE 300-SETS     WE 1500-SETS     WE 2500-SETS     PRINCESS SETS     DESIGN LINE SETS     WE AUTOVON SETS
(Browser “BACK” or Control-HOME to return here)


Updated: 20 August 2014

The 500 series was introduced in 1949 and made by the Bell System until 1986.  Its design was licensed to ITT in 1951 and other manufacturers during the 50s, until it became the standard.  It continues to be made overseas to this day!
  With the later addition of TouchTone, it evolved into the 1500 (10-button keypad), 2500 (12-button keypad), and 3500 (16-button Autovon military keypad) with similar model numbers.


WE500D clear WE1512 WE2514 WE3568 Autovon

500-type
Rotary
1500-type
10-button dial
2500-type
12-button dial
3500-type
16-button dial


Over the years, numerous variations were made with extra switches, knobs and internal components for special purposes.  Model numbers well above the 5xx range were ultimately used.  Western catalogs and technical documentation only show the models that were in production or service at the publication date.  To understand the full scope of models produced we must compile data from many years of documents.  

This page was created as a casual attempt to answer the simple question,
"How many 500-series models did Western Electric make?"

The question was first posed to Antique Telephone Collectors Association (ATCA) and Telephone Collectors International (TCI) members, and other dealers and collectors in early 1997.   Following are the results to date (no claims are made as to accuracy or completeness).

~~ How to use this page ~~

>> Table Organization:  Sorted by  model number for the rotary variations.  
>> Use:  Search (usually Control-F in most browsers) for the last 3 digits of the model number of your set.
               Or Browse by category, using the links above.

Note: the Control-F search only works for models on this page.  For Touch Tone models, use the links above to go to the appropriate page, then search.



Find the model number of your phone on the bottom plate.
 
In this case, look up 500C or 500D.
(This base code was shared by both models.)
More on model numbers here.
 
Vermillion ink or other codes stamped on the bottom may indicate that the phone was refurbished.
Watch for changed parts.
500-type Model and Date Codes


Manual Sets (sets without dials) had an "apparatus blank" filling the hole in the housing normally occupied by a dial.
For more info, go to 500blanks.html.

WE 500C manual set with 95A apparatus blank
Early 500C with soft plastic housing and 95A blank.
WE 500C with 95B apparatus blank
Later 500C with hard plastic housing and 95B blank.
(Photos from Russ Cowell)       

Looking up the model number for your set should give you a brief description of the major features of the model, and a BSP (Bell System Practices) reference for the rotary set, if known.  When available, photos of some unique features are shown near the model number or linked from the chart entry.  If you don't find your model listed, try looking up the last 3 digits in the tables for other Western Electric models.  Often the major features were consistent among rotary and Touch Tone models.

The BSPs provide technical details and usually a wiring diagram.  BSPs are often found in the Station Service Manuals, Key Systems Service Manuals and Station Specialties Service Manuals published in the 1970s and early 80s.  BSPs or wiring diagrams for some common models are available on several internet sites including the ATCA and TCI club sites.  Several club members have scanned some popular BSPs and make them available on CD.
For more details on BSPs, click here.

You still need to check the internal components as many phones were refurbed and had internal components changed or removed.  For example, many phones marked 501D were converted from party line to single line (500D) by removing the 426A tube as party lines lost favor.  If done in a Bell System refurb facility, the code on the bottom was usually repainted or remarked.  Many independent shops or field mods were not remarked with the accurate model number.

Check out the table key for model numbering background and other reference details.




 

BASIC SINGLE LINE SETS 500D  WE500D

MODEL

MAJOR FUNCTIONS

REF

BSP

NOTE: see Table Key for prefix and suffix codes and reference info.

500

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)


311A Equalizer

Earliest 500 sets were not marked with suffix codes.  500 and date were stamped in ink, usually along the front edge of the baseplate.


w/ 425A net & amp; separate 311A equalizer.First production used C2A ringer, then C4A.


Note: There were no seperate model numbers for manual and dial versions.


Replaced by the 500A and 500B -- often the A/B was added to the existing 500 marking during refurb.

-

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58

500 A
500 B

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)

Early single line w/ 425A net & amp; separate 311A equalizer. Model and date moved to a location near the ringer, near where the word “LOUD” was stamped. See Photo.


Note: Bases were marked 500 A/B.  This is a manufacturing code, not the model number.  See the table key for details.

Replaced by the 500C and 500D.

2,4,7,8,9

C38.595.1
C38.601

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-101
502-510-400 
502-521-401

500 C
500 D

500D blue


Later single line w/ 425 B or E net and varistors for equalization. (No separate equalizer needed.)


Replaced the 500A, 500B, 500J and 500K sets.


This is by far the most popular variation and was made for decades.

2,4,7,8,9

C38.603
502-501-101
502-510-401

502-521-402

500 E
500 F

WE500F cradle

Single line w/ plunger switch to avoid interference on extensions (or party lines). Lifting the left plunger activates talk and dial circuits. Cradle is marked, “LIFT PLUNGER TO DIAL OR TALK”. Replacing the handset resets the switches.  Replaces the 302AA/AC.
See photos.

2,3,4,7,8,9

C32.535
C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-115
502-510-402
502-580-402

500 H

WE 500

Single line w/ hooded dial lamp (GE46 bulb, 6-8v ac or dc supply, P17A120 lamp cap assembly [contact me if you have spares of this part!]), 425B network (or later 425E).  The light is only activated when the handset is offhook.

 
Cannot be used as the tip party on message rate, automatic  ticketing, automatic message accounting or zone restriction services.  Replaced by the 500P and U for these services.
 
Announced in 1954.


Replaced by the 500P.

2,3,4,7,8,9

C32.535

C32.537
C32.538
C32.539

C38.595.00
C38.595.1
C38.607
C38.621

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-115 
502-510-403 
502-580-404

500 J
500 K
500 T J K Terminal Strip

Single line w/ 425A net w/o equalizer. 


Replaced the 500T.  Many 500T sets were remarked 500 J/K during refurb.


Replaced by the 500C and 500D.

2,3,7,8,9

C38.595.1
C38.609

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-101
502-510-404
502-521-403

500 L
500 M

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)


Single line w/ A-lead control for 1A2. 4-conductor mounting cord and terminal strip installed below dial.  Originally used in applications where the ringer circuit had to be brought out through the mounting cord.

2,7,8,9

C32.537
C38.595.1
C38.610

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-115
502-510-405
502-580-405

500 P

WE 500P

Single line w/ hooded dial lamp (GE46 bulb, 6-8v ac or dc supply, P17A120 lamp cap assembly [contact me if you have spares of this part!]), 425B network (or later 425E).  The light is only activated when the handset is offhook. 


Replaced the 500H to overcome limitations of that set.  Compatible with all services supported by the 500D.

(Available in 1955, MD ca. 1960)

2,3,4,7,8,9

C32.535
C32.537
C38.595.00
C38.595.1
C38.611

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-115 
502-510-406
502-510-410
502-580-406

500 R
500 S

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)

Single line for speakerphones, including the 1A, 1A1, 3A and 4A. 10-conductor mounting cord, internal terminal strip, extra dial and switchhook contacts and separate ringer leads for speakerphone control.   See photos  (scroll to bottom of page.)

1,2,7,8,9

C38.595.1
C38.612

Issue 1: 10/58

502-501-115 
502-580-408

500 T
500 T J K Terminal Strip

Early single line w/ 425A net, no equalizer, but terminal block for handset leads.


Use was limited to zones distant from the Central Office, where the attenuating characteristics of the equalizer in the 500 set was not needed.  This was a cost saving measure.


Note: There were no seperate model numbers for manual and dial versions.


See Photo.


Replaced by the 500J and 500K.

1

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58

500 U

WE 500U

Single line w/ hooded dial lamp (GE46 bulb, 6-8v ac or dc supply, P17A120 lamp cap assembly [contact me if you have spares of this part!]).  425B network (or later 425E).
Similar to the 500P with the addition of a night light switch (584A key).


When switched on, the night light glows dimly when handset is on hook and a full brilliance when off hook.   See Photo.
(MD 1963)

2,4,7,9

C32.535
C32.537
C38.595.00
C38.595.1
Issue 1: 10/58

C38.613
502-501-115 
502-510-408 
502-580-409

500 W
500 Y

500Y message waiting light for hotels

Photo from Russ Cowell

Single line w/ neon ringing/message waiting lamp for PBX.  Available in 1958.

1,2,4,7,8,9

C38.614
502-501-115 

502-580-411

500 AB

Single line for 2-wire or 4-wire circuits (no speakerphone).  Comes wired for 2-wire service butmay be converted at installation to 4-wire service.  Arranged for but not equipped with a KS-8109L2 Buzzer.  Intended for use in 1A1 and 1A2 Key Telephone Systems and 3B Speakerphone Systems, however it is intended for specially engineered lines.  Not for general telephone use.
For touchtone model, see 2504 in "Other Variations" below.

6

502-510-411

500 AD

Single line for 4-wire circuits and 3-type speakerphones.  Arranged for 4-wire service and equipped with a switch hook arrangement which provides one spare transfer and two spare make contacts.  The spare make contacts may be used for such purposes as controlling external relays or applying idle line circuit terminations.  Arranged for but not equipped with a KS-8109L2 Buzzer.  Intended for use in 1A1 and 1A2 Key Telephone Systems and 3B Speakerphone Systems.
For touchtone model, see 2504 in "Other Variations" below.

2,3,7,8,9

502-501-115
502-512-101
502-512-401

502-580-401

GA-51859

TA236/FT

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)

Single line with Military markings on case: Signal Corps US Army, Telephone Set TA236/FT, Western Electric.
(No Bell System markings.)

-

-


BASIC PARTY LINE SETS - 426A (or 425A 4-element) tube for 4-party selective ringing

For photos, see the corresponding sets in the table above.

MODEL

MAJOR FUNCTIONS

REF

BSP

NOTE: see Table Key for prefix and suffix codes and reference info.

501

Earliest 501 A/B sets were not marked with suffix codes. 501 and date were stamped in ink, usually along the front edge of the baseplate. w/ separate equalizer. First production used C3A ringer, then C4A.


Replaced by the 501A and 501B -- often the A/B was added to the existing 501 marking during refurb.

-

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58

501 A
501 B 

Early party line w/ separate equalizer.


Replaced by the 500C and 500D.

1,2,8,9

502-510-400
502-521-404

501 C
501 D

Later party line w/ varistors for equalization.


Replaced the 501A, 501B, 501J and 501K sets.

2,8,9

C38.603
502-521-405
502-510-401

501 F

Party line w/ plunger switch to connect talk and dial circuits - to avoid interference with talking party.  Replaces the 306G.
See photos.

2,7,8,9

C32.535
502-501-115
502-510-402 

502-580-403

500 H
with tube
Early party line with dial lamp set.  Created from a 500H by adding the 426A tube.  (For some reason apparently not marked 501H.)

Single line w/ hooded dial lamp (GE46 bulb, 6-8v ac or dc supply, P17A120 lamp cap assembly [contact me if you have spares of this part!]), 425B network (or later 425E).  The light is only activated when the handset is offhook.

 
Cannot be used as the tip party on message rate, automatic  ticketing, automatic message accounting or zone restriction services.  Replaced by the 501P for these services.

C38.607
C38.621

501 J
501 K

Party line w/ 425A net w/o equalizer.


Replaced the 501T.  Many 501T sets were remarked 501 J/K during refurb.


Replaced by the 501 C and 501D.


2,3,8,9

C38.609
502-521-406

501 P

Party line w/ dial lamp.


Replaced the 500H with tube.

2,4,7,8,9

C38.611
502-501-115 

502-510-406 
502-580-407

501 T

Early Party line w/ 425A net, no equalizer, but terminal block for handset leads.


Use was limited to zones distant from the Central Office, where the attenuating characteristics of the equalizer in the 501 set was not needed.  This was a cost saving measure.


Replaced by the 501J and 501K.

-

C38.595.00
502-510-410

501 U

Party line w/ dial lamp and night light switch

2,3,7,8,9

C38.613
502-501-115 

502-510-408 
502-580-410

 

OTHER ROTARY VARIATIONS WE 532 amplified  WE 532

MODEL

MAJOR FUNCTIONS

REF

BSP

NOTE: see Table Key for prefix and suffix codes and reference info.

502 A
502 B

Exclusion Plunger

Exclusion

Single line w/ extension set exclusion and A-lead control for 1A2


(Pulling up on the exclusion plunger [white] operates a switch which can be used for several functions, including cutting off other extensions on the line for privacy.)

2,4,8,9

C32.540

C38.595.02
C38.628
502-515-100

502-515-400
502-531-401

503 B
503 C

Data


Single line used with Data-Phone equipment, with exclusion key.

1

C38.595.02
C38.620
502-501-120
503-516-100
503-516-401

2504
- - -
3504
2- or 4-wire service

The 2504 is equipped with a line switch which provides six transfer contacts and is arranged for two-wire service.  The set is convertible to four-wire service at installation.  35C3B TOUCH-TONE Dial, N1A Ringer, 425G Network, exclusion switch assembly operated by lifting the left plunger, card-operated line switch.  The set is arranged for mounting a KS-8109L1 Buzzer which is not furnished.  Intended solely for specially engineered lines. Not for general telephone use.


The ringer adjustment is on the left side along the bottom edge -- just behind the handset cord hole.

The 3504 is for the AUTOVON network.  Factory wired for 4-wire service.  66A3A 16-button dial, N1A Ringer, 425G Network,460A diode (polarity guard), 425D diode (surge protector), exclusion switch, G3AR handset.  The set is arranged for mounting a KS-8109L1 Buzzer which is not furnished.  Intended solely for specially engineered lines. Not for general telephone use.

For similar 500 series sets, see 500AB and 500AD above.

529-225-102
- - -
502-532-107
502-532-437

Apparatus Catalog, 1970

507 A
507 B
WE 507 in

Long loop


Single line  w/ 419A diode, 425C net and 151C or 151F fixed gain amp

See photos.

3,7

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58


C38.595.05
C38.636


502-501-116
502-520-100 
502-520-400

509 A
509 B

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)

Long loop


Party line w/ 426A gas tube, 419A diode, 425C net and 151C or 151F fixed gain amp

See photos.

3,7

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58


C38.595.05
C38.636

502-501-116
502-520-100
502-520-400

510 A
510 B

2-line key selector

Two line


w/ signal key, 4-conductor mounting cord 

2,4,8,9

C38.595

C38.595.02
C38.628
502-515-100
502-515-400
502-531-402
C38.595

510 E
510 F

2-line key selector

Two line


w/ signal key, 6-conductor mounting cord    See Photo.

Also used on early PBX systems with the switch wired to provide “ground start” during power failures.

2,8,9

C38.595

C38.595.02
C38.628
502-515-100
502-515-400
502-531-402
C38.595

511 A
511 B

2-line key selector
 
Exclusion Plunger

Two line


w/ extension set exclusion and signal key

2,4,8,9

C38.595

C38.595.02
C38.628
502-515-100
502-515-400
502-531-403
C38.595

511 C
511 D

2-line key selector

Two line


w/ extension set exclusion, signal key and speakerphone

2,8,9

C38.595

C38.595.02
C38.628
502-515-100
502-515-400
502-531-404

511 F

2-line key selector

Two line


w/ extension set exclusion, speakerphone and A-lead control for 1A2, spade tip cord

2,8,9

500-124-180
502-531-405 

511 H

2-line key selector

Two line


w/ extension set exclusion, speakerphone and A-lead control for 1A2, D50 connector

2,8,9

502-515-100
502-531-405

511 X30A

2-line key selector

Voice Coupling using 30A Voice Coupler.


Provides 2-wire connection of customer-provided voice transmitting and/or receiving equipment to Bell lines, DC isolation and limits excessive line signal. Has a standard ¼” phone plug on the right side. Connection is made by operating the exclusion key.

-

502-501-901SW

512

WE 512 line key

With key for Secretarial exclusion 


See WE Secretarial Sets.

-

511 modifications
502-515-400
(Issue 5 Fig 7)

513 B

Early Data-Phone


w/test key and lamp.  Mounting cord plugs into the J1D401F data set.  Exclusion key (left plunger) transfers set between voice and data modes.  Lamp illuminates when test mode is operating.
D10N mounting cord.

4

C38.595
C38.595.07

C38.627
502-501-120
503-516-100
503-516-402

514 B

WE 514 headset

Headset Jack


Single line with headset jack in back and headset mode/recall switch above right of dial.  Ringer loudness control on left side behind handset cord cutout.

Message waiting lamp optional with D-17998 kit of parts. 


See Photos.

Available starting in 1965.

2,7,8,9

502-501-115
502-520-101
502-520-401

502-580-412

515 B

2-line key selector

Two line


w/ signal key and hold button, 6-conductor mounting cord

1,2,4,8

502-515-105
502-515-405
502-531-406

516 B

2-line key selector

Single line


w/ "make-busy" turnkey and indicator lamp (for PBX, 802A hotel)

2

502-580-463

520 A
520 B
WE 520

"Explosive atmosphere"


Single line w/ industrial round wall enclosure.  G11A or C handset.


See photos

2,5

C38.595
502-415-100
502-415-203

522
NE 522 elevator phone

“Elevator” phone.  


Mounted on a panel with the handset recessed.


(Northern Electric.  Haven't found a reference for a Western Electric set yet.)

-

-

525 A
525 B
we/WE 525 outdoor

Weatherproof housing


for outdoor use, complete.   Based on 325 set design.


Uses optional KS-8028 lock with skeleton key. 


See photos


Note:  The same housing is also used for the 695-type subset, which has just a handset, switchhook and terminal strip inside.  See 502-201-102.

2,9

C38.821
502-560-100
502-560-201
502-560-400
502-580-437

526 A
526 B
526B weatherproof housing

Weatherproof housing


for outdoor use, sold as components.
 

(later design than 525)

2,4,8,9

502-580-438

529 A
529 B

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)

No network, 12 conductor cord for 101- and 102-key equipment. Available in black only. Replaced 329C set.


D12H-03 cord, 9P-03 dial, H1A ringer, G3AR-03 handset.


Optional: KS-8109L2 buzzer, 152A capacitor, 61A filter.

-

502-560-109

532 A
532 B

WE volume control

Impaired Hearing

Single line w/ receiver amplification and volume control. 

151A amplifier, 419A varistor, and P13A693 potentiometer.


See Photo.

3,7

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58


C38.595.05
C38.629

502-501-116
502-520-100
502-520-402

533 A
533 B

WE volume control

Impaired Hearing


Party line w/ receiver amplification and volume control.
151B amplifier, 419A varistor, and P13A693 potentiometer.

3,7

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58


C38.595.05
C38.629

502-501-116
502-520-100
502-520-402

535 A
535 B

WE volume control

Noisy Locations


Single line w/ receiver amplification and push-to-listen button (G2 or G5 handset). It provides limited receiver amplification and limited reduction of transmitter and sidetone levels with the handset push-to-listen button normal. 


151B amplifier, 419A varistor, P13A693 potentiometer, P-10C610 terminal block.

7

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58


C38.595.05
C38.633

502-501-116
502-520-100
502-520-404

536 A
536 B

WE volume control

Single line w/ speech amplification. Useful for whispered confidential conversations.


151B amplifier, 419A varistor, P13A693 potentiometer, P-10C652 terminal block and 266A inductor.

3,7

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58


C38.595.05
C38.635

502-501-116
502-520-100
502-520-406

537A
537A
Rotary dial telephone e/w G5U handset, flush mount loudspeaker, battery test button, RCVR VOL pushbutton, emergency button.  12V dry cell battery for 3 months of average use.

Mechanically rugged, portable, corrosion resistant, "sealed against 100-percent humidity and forceblown rock dust." (!!)  Operates at -18 to 60 degrees C (0 - 140F).  Meets requirements for "Intrinsic Safety" in Mineral Resources, Title 30, Part 23 (Telephone and Signaling Devices), UL Standard 913 and National Fire Protection Association 493.

Approx. 18.58 in x 14.04 x 9.56.  28 Pounds.

Initial Use: No. 1A Industrial Communication System
Comcode: 103 222 592

WE Card Index
5/29/81

Found by
Rick Walsh

54x

See Key Sets

-

-

55x are all wall sets


552

WE 55X wall set Exclusion

Single line wall w/ exclusion plunger on top.

7

500-124-180

554 A
554 B

WE 554 wall set base

Single line wall.

Announced in 1955 in black and ivory.



        554 Modified for "Lift Plunger to Talk or Dial."

        554 modified  554 modified for party line use

2,4,7,8,9

C38.595.1

 Issue 1: 10/58

C38.637

 Issue 2: 12/57


502-501-101

502-521-410


502-510-410

554 F

WE 554 wall set base

Single line wall equipped with 9 foot handset cord.

2,4,7,8,9

502-501-101 
502-521-410


502-510-410 

555 B

WE 55X wall set 2-line key

Two line wall w/ signal key and hold button

2,8,9

502-515-415
502-531-407

556 A
556 B

WE 554 style wall set base

Party line wall

2,7,8,9

C38.595.1

Issue 1: 10/58
C38.637

502-501-101 
502-521-411


502-510-410 

557 A
557 B

WE 554 style wall set base

Long loop


Single line wall w/ 419A diode, 425C net and 151C or 151F fixed gain amp

7

C38.595.05


502-501-116
502-520-100

502-520-400

558 A
558 B

WE 55X wall set 2-line key

Two line wall w/ signal key.


558 modified with amplifier 

   
Above: Modified 558 with amplifier added. 
Functions like the 532 desk set above.

2,4,8

C38.638
502-515-100

502-515-401
502-531-408
C38.595

558 C
558 D
WE 55X wall set Exclusion  WE 55X wall set 2-line key

Two line wall


w/ signal key, exclusion and control leads

2,7,8,9

502-501-116 

502-515-100
502-531-409
C38.595
C38.595.02

558 F
WE 558F 2 line with exclusion

Two line wall


w/ signal key, control leads and A-lead control for 1A2.


See photos

2,9

502-515-100
502-531-410

559 A
559 B

WE 554 style wall set base

Long loop


Party line wall w/ 419A diode, 425C net and 151C or 151F fixed gain amp

7

C38.595.05

502-520-100
502-520-400

56x

See Key_Sets

-

-

570

WE 570

Photos from John Corley

Large roadside "Emergency" or "Fire" set, manual only, Usually painted bright red or yellow.


WE 570 open
Cover removed to show internal components.

8,9

C38.813
502-550-100
502-580-455

575
See Key_Sets -
-

581 A
WE 581A components

Internals for customer-supplied housing and handset. 
  (Also used in design-line phones.)

Replaced F-55659 and F-56660.  See photos.

2,8,9

503-100-120
Issue 1: 10/70

591 A
591 B

WE500D (representative of early 500 sets)

Desk set supplied to operating company with no Bell System markings or ringer -- for installation of a frequency selective ringer for party line use. 

See photos

-

No BSP -

see 500D

Connection
Diagram in box

592
WE 592 Controls

Single line set with internal speakerphone microphone and controls -- used with 1A and 1A1 Speakerphone systems.  See details and photos

 
Announced in 1954.

4

C70.201.00
C70.201.01
C70.201.03

512-610-100
512-610-101
512-610-200
512-610-400

593

WE 554 wall set base

Wall set sold to independents without a ringer, marked "Western Electric"    See photos

10

No BSP -

see 554

Connection
Diagram in box

596 E

"This is a desk type manual telephone set intended for use in the Command Post Alerting Network (COPAN)." 


Available only in yellow (-56) and light gray (-61)".  Manual set, 2 or 4 wire, manual 4-step ringer volume control, neon lamp equipped, ringer supplement, push to talk handset.  Consists of: PTT handset (G5RR), hookswitch, C4A ringer, hook switch, dial blank, neon lamp and domed lens (in position of message waiting lamp on 500W/Y), 10 conductor mounting cord, no network. 

The round number card in the dial blank says: "JCS ALERT NET/Emergency Use Only" (Joint Chiefs of Staff)

-

C38.595.01


529-205-148

597 AR

"Used in the (SAC) Strategic Air Command secondary and primary alerting systems."  


Desk manual set. Available in red (-53) only. 
The set has no ringer or network.  Just a handset (G3BR), hookswitch, terminal strip, dial blank, and a 6-conductor line cord.  Used with 4-wire circuits.

-

502-536-100
529-205-110

66x

See Automatic Dialers

-

-

75x

See Panel Phones

-

-

ROTARY KEY SETS  WE 544 keyset  WE 544

MODEL

MAJOR FUNCTIONS

REF

BSP

NOTE: see Table Key for prefix and suffix codes and reference info.

540

WE 4-button keyset

4-button,  non-lighted buttons
 B: H P P P, 14-conductor line cord
 (Note: Button codes for all key systems descriptions:
     H = hold, non-locking
     P = pickup, locking
     S = signalling, non-locking

     PS = pickup, locking, convertible to signalling, non-locking
     C = cutoff, turn button)
 

500-series keysets announced in 1955.

-

502-525-200
502-525-300
502-525-400
502-541-401

C32.558
C32.561
C38.595
C38.595.3

541

WE 4-button keyset

4-button, non-lighted buttons and exclusion,  14-conductor line cord

7

500-124-180

543
WE 543 hotel set

4-button, single line, specific to a 761A PBX


Designed for the small hotel/motel market, used in the guest rooms.  Control buttons and "A-leads" (control leads) tell the switching equipment what kind of line to connect to the set (switching done within the PBX).


4 buttons marked "Message waiting" (the front desk could illuminate it to alert you to a message), "Desk" (connected you to the front desk), "Local" (connected you to a CO trunk for a local call), and "Long distance" (gave you a direct path to a toll operator).  Only 3 of the 4 buttons depressed.   These button features relieved the attendant of having to route much of the guest traffic.


Outwardly, these sets look like a 544 or 545 set but have fewer line cord conductors (12).

543DB – 641A line key, C4B ringer

543DBC – 588B line key, C4A ringer – field/distributor converted from 544BB or 545BB.


See photos

-

502-580-431

544

WE 544 keyset

4-button, lighted buttons. 


See photos


 A: P P P PS, 25-conductor line cord
 B: H P P PS, 19-conductor line cord                                       

-

C32.558
C32.561
502-525-101
502-541-402

545 B
545 G

WE 4-button keyset

4-button, lighted buttons and exclusion.


B: H P P PS, 24-conductor line cord
(GBR)

7

500-124-180
502-525-101
502-541-403

561
WE 6-button keyset

6-button, non-lighted buttons and exclusion.  25-pair line cord.

-

C38.595

C38.595.3
502-525-200
502-525-300
502-525-400

563
WE 6-button keyset

6-button, headset connection.  25-pair line cord.

7

500-124-180
502-525-102
502-525-403 

502-541-404

564
WE 6-button keyset

6-button, lighted buttons

 B: H P P P P P, 28-conductor line cord
 C: H P P P P S, 25-conductor line cord

 D: H P P P S S, 25-conductor line cord


HD: 30 or 34 conductor line cord.   No lamp for HOLD key.
HK/HL:  30 conductor line cord.  No lamp for HOLD key.


F-53149: 564HB modified with plug-ended mounting cord.

-

C32.558
C32.561

502-525-102
502-525-404
502-525-410
502-541-406

502-541-407


C38.595.04

565
WE 6-button keyset

6-button, lighted buttons and exclusion

 A: P P P PS PS PS, 34-conductor line cord

 B: H P P PS PS PS, 34-conductor line cord

 E: H P P P PS C, 31-conductor line cord

Later sets with speakerphone and 25-pair line cord:
 GA, GB, GK (6-line pickup)
 HA, HB, HD, HK (5-line+hold)
 LA, LB, LD, LK (hold,4-line pickup,cutoff)
     (Lamp for HOLD key except on –K sets.)

7

C32.558
C32.561

500-124-180
502-525-103
502-525-405
502-525-406
502-525-408
502-525-409
502-525-411

502-541-410

502-541-414

502-541-415

502-541-416

566
WE 6-button keyset

6-button, used with 755A PBX


May be adapted to 750A PBX.   
Only one set of Tip and Ring go to the set, as line switching was done in the PBX.


FB, MB (wired for 1A speakerphone and busy lamp), MD

-

C38.851
502-525-103
502-529-400
502-541-419

567 PB
WE 6-button keyset

6-button Data Aux Set


Used to control the 103A and other early modems 

(buttons: data, talk, test1, test2, local, auto)

7

500-124-180 

502-501-122
502-534-100
502-541-429

568 H

6-button w/ exclusion (HB,HF,HR,HT)  2 or 4-wire operation (P25E963 relay assembly). 


HB has round buttons on the key strip and metal fingerwheel. 
HF replaced HB and has H1A ringer. 
HR replaced the HF and has N1A ringer with side-mounted volume control and case markings for LOUD and OFF, and a clear fingerwheel. 


Room for optional AC or DC operated buzzer. 
Available in black, red and white.

7

C38.595

C38.642

C38.642.00
500-124-180
502-532-100
502-532-400
502-532-407
502-541-420
502-541-420
502-541-420
502-541-423


CD/SD-69425

568 HT
WE 568HT

Early touchtone keyset (before 1500 numbering), relay for 2 or 4-wire operation. 


Has 22-type dial with P (Priority) and SG (Special Grade) buttons,  and round line and hold buttons on key strip.  Has square buttons on key pad. Available in black only. 


(See photos.)


1568HT replaced it.

568HB,HF,HR is the rotaty version. 
2568HAA is a later 12-button touchtone model.

7

C38.595.06
500-124-180
500-542-406
502-503-410
502-532-100
502-532-400
502-546-406


CD/SD-69423


22-type Dial:
C18.006.00
501-164-102

569 NB

Data Service


6 Buttons: data hold, talk, test, 1st pickup, 2nd pickup, auto answer or 3rd pickup

7

C38.643
500-124-180 

502-501-122
502-533-100
502-541-430

575 AM
6-button keyset for Comkey system intercom-only stations

Comkey 718, 734, 1434 and 2152. 

Red non-functioning key may be used for message waiting, 3 intercom line keys and 2 unused keys.
-
503-603-120
518-450-110
Issue 1:  1976

WE 600 Call Director (from Marketing Broshure)
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
This section contains Call Director sets, which were introduced in 1958, and "Call Director-type" telephone sets and consoles made from similar components and contained in related BSPs.

Similar touch tone sets can be found on the 1500-, 2500- and 3500-series pages:
  1500-series CallDirector
  2500-series CallDirector
  3500-series (AUTOVON) CallDirector


600WE 600 Call Director, 18-buttons
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
601
WE 601 Call Director, 30-button.
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
Call Directors, General Purpose
   18-button
   30-button

D1A Ringer (adjustment on front left of set), 6L dial.
For 1A1 and 6A Key Telephone Systems, NOT 1A.

Call Directors announced in 1958.

Replaced by the 630-series.
-
C38.650
Issue 1: 1958
C38.653
502-630-101

608

Call Director 2 or 4-wire
   30-button

608C with headset jack, Flash and Release keys.
For 1A1 or 1A2 Key Telephone Systems.

-

C38.655
500-124-180
502-608-100
502-608-400

609
WE 609 Call Director, TWX or WADS console
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
Call Director, used at supervisor desk with a dial TWX or WADS No. 6A teletypewriter switchboard. 

Moss green (-51).

589G keys (4) plus 617A Key.
-
502-609-101
502-609-401
616
WE 1616 Call Director (Renumbered from 616)
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
Call Director, 18-button, used with Switched Circuit Automatic Network (SCAN).

2- or 4-wire circuits, 1A1 or 1A2.  Flash and Release keys.
Moss green (-51).

22B TouchTone dial with P and SG keys (like the 568HT above.).
Replaced by (renumbered to) the 1616 shown here.
-
C38.658
502-616-120
502-616-401
617
Call Director, 30-button, used in FAA installations.

2- or 4-wire circuits. Light Gray (-61).

-
C38.658
502-616-101
502-616-402

618

Call Director, 2 or 4-wire service.
   18-button
Headset jack, Flash and Release keys.
For 1A1 or 1A2 Key Telephone Systems.

-

C38.655
500-124-180
502-608-100
502-608-400

619
Used with 5A Announcement Systems
-
WE Tel.Prod HB, 1975
621
Used by 701B PBX attendant.
-
C38.656
502-620-400
622
Used in No. 5 crossbar systems arranged for customer group service.
-
C38.656
502-620-401
623
Used with Master Control Center of Electronic Switching System Offices. Light Gray (-61).  18-button. -
502-623-100
 (Issue 1: 9/64)

(Restricted
Distribution)

WE Tel.Prod HB, 1975
624
Used with the recorded announcement frame of the No. 1 Electronic Switching System (ESS).
-
WE Tel.Prod HB, 1975

625

WE 625 Call Director-style, Dialless
 

WE 625 Call Director, No Dial

(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)

Call Director, used with the 110A key telephone system.


No dial. Moss green (-51).

Turnkeys for battery and buzzer.  G5 push-to-talk handset.

-

500-124-180
502-625-100

630 

631
630-type Call Director with Speakerphone

630-type with Speakerphone
(Photo from John Decker)

General purpose Call Director
   18-button
   30-button

Replaced 600A and 601A. 


Uses "even count" color codes.

For 1A, 1A1 and 6A Key Telephone Systems.

-

C38.651

502-600-100

502-600-101

502-600-301
502-610-406
502-630-100
502-630-101
502-630-200
502-630-401
502-630-402

632 Call Director for "limited use"
  18-button

Replaced 600B.

For 1A1, 1A2 and 6A Key Telephone Systems, NOT 1A.

-
502-600-100
502-600-101
502-600-301
502-630-101
502-630-402

634

WE 634 Call Director, 18-button

(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)

635

WE 635 Call Director, 30-button

(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)

Call Directors used with station line concentrators

   18-button
   30-button


Replaced 600C and 601C. 


Uses "even count" color codes.

For 1A, 1A1 and 6A Key Telephone Systems.

-

C38.650
C38.651

502-600-100

502-600-101

502-600-301
502-610-409
502-634-101
502-634-401

636 

637

WE Call Director, 30 button, headset

Looks like this 683 set
Photo from Dave Friedman

General purpose Call Directors with headset jack

   18-button
   30-button

Flash and Release keys above dial. 151D amplifier.
Uses "even count" color codes.
For 1A, 1A1, 1A2 and 6A Key Telephone Systems.

-

C38.650

C38.651

502-600-100

502-600-101

502-600-301
502-610-418
502-636-101
502-636-111
502-636-401

638

WE 638 Call Director, 18-button, headset, for line concentrators

(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)

639

WE Call Director, 30-button, headset, for line concentrators

(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
Call Directors with headset jack used with station line concentrators
   18-button
   30-button

Flash and Release keys above dial. 151D amplifier.

Uses "even count" color codes.
For 1A1, 1A2 and 6A Key Telephone Systems.

-

C38.651
500-124-180

502-600-100

502-600-301
502-636-101
502-636-111
502-636-402

643
Call Director, used in the 11A Alerting System.
-
WE Tel.Prod HB, 1975

66x

See Automatic Dialers

-

-

680
681
Call Director, "Not for general telephone use. Shall not be used unless specified by service order."
   18-button
   30-button
-
WE Tel.Prod HB, 1975
682
683

WE Call Director, 30 button, headset

Photo from Dave Friedman
Call Director, for 2- or 4-wire operation.
   18-button
   30-button
-
WE Tel.Prod HB, 1975

691A
WE 691A buttons and mouthpiece

Subset used with data set 101A in Models 14, 15 and 19 teletypewriters.

6-button keyset. Has no hookswitch or transmitter element – uses 732A receiver (which looks like a G3 handset with no holes in the transmitter cap!).


Keys marked ANS/CLEAR/ORIG/ /TEST/LOCAL. First 4 are momentary, last two lock.


425F network, 7L dial with numbers-only plate, C4A ringer and 589S Key. Bottom plate marked, “SUB SET 691A”.  
See photos.

-

C38.061.01
(Issue 1: 12/62)


502-200-101
502-200-300

754

See Panel Phones

-

-

830

10-button desk set

-

503-701-101

831

20-button desk set

-

503-702-101

832
10, 11 or 13- button keysets used in Comkey 718 and 2152 systems (see BSPs)

11-button sets have HOLD, 7 line pickup, 2 intercom lines and RECALL.

13-button sets add Privacy Release and Ring Transfer
Variations for both desk and wall mounting.
-
503-701-110
518-450-110
833
20-button keysets used in Comkey 718 and 2152 systems (see BSPs)

HOLD, 14 line pickup, 3 intercom lines, RECALL and Privacy Release -OR- Ring Transfer.
Variations for both desk and wall mounting.
-
503-702-110
518-450-110
835
836
10-button keysets, Comkey 416 Primary station with power supply and logic.  (see BSPs)

10 key Direct Station Select field.  (Replaced by 981 sets)
-
518-450-105
518-450-106
837
10-button keysets, Comkey 416 Satellite station without power supply and logic.  (see BSPs)

10 key Direct Station Select field.  (Replaced by 981 sets)
-
518-450-105
518-450-106

851
851 wall keyset

6-button wall set

-

503-601-101

852

10-button wall set

-

503-701-102

981
10-button keysets, Comkey 416, 4A Communication System
Primary (981A01) and Satellite stations (981A02 desk, 981A03 wall).  (see BSPs)

10 key Direct Station Select field.
-
518-450-105
518-450-106
983
10-button keysets, Comkey 416, 4A Communication System
Satellite stations with BIS (built-in speakerphone, 983A01), or HFAI (Hands-free answer intercom, 983A02).  (see BSPs)

10 key Direct Station Select field.
-
518-450-105
518-450-106

ROTARY AUTOMATIC DIALERS  WE 661 Card Dialer Keyset  WE 661


RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE:  
WE Card Dialers    
WE 1660-SERIES     WE 2660-SERIES     WE AUTOVON Dialer

MODEL

MAJOR FUNCTIONS

REF

BSP

NOTE: see Table Key for prefix and suffix codes and reference info.

660

WE 660 Card Dialer

Automatic Dialer - Uses plastic cards to store phone numbers to be automatically dialed. A lead control.   See Card Photos.

 
Card dialers announced in 1961.

-

502-617-400

502-660-100
502-660-101

502-660-120
502-660-400

661WE 661 Card Dialer Keyset

Keyset, 6-button Automatic Dialer - 40A dial, G1A ringer. 


40A dial is polarity sensitive and operates from line current.

-

C38.665
(Issue 2: 4/61)

502-661-101

662

WE 662 Card Dialer

Keyset, 6-button Automatic Dialer - 41A dial, optional exclusion feature, wired for speakerphone use.  "Speakerphone and exclusion cannot be provided at the same time because of insufficient mounting cord conductors" (C38.666.00, I1)


41A dial is not polarity sensitive and requires a low voltage power supply that delivers 12.5-19 vac to the dial.

-

C38.666.00

  (Issue 1: 1/63)

502-617-402
502-660-102
502-660-402
502-662-100

663

Automatic Dialer - wired for headset use, has 242-type amp, jack in back and turnswitch for ON/OFF control.

-

502-617-403
502-660-101

502-660-120
502-660-403

664
WE 664 Card Dialer

Keyset, 6-button Automatic Dialer -  wired for headset use, has 242-type amp, jack in back and turnswitch for ON/OFF control.

-

500-124-180
502-660-102
502-660-404

665

Automatic Dialer for 2 or 4-wire service

-

500-124-180


ROTARY PANEL PHONES  WE Panel Phone  WE 750B

MODEL

MAJOR FUNCTIONS

REF

BSP

NOTE: see Table Key for prefix and suffix codes and reference info.

750 A
750 B

Single line panel phone. 


Mounted in a metal box recessed into the wall. Used on CO or PBX lines. Grill on front for ringer and knob for ringer adjustment.

7

C38.680

C38.851
502-705-100 

502-730-401
502-750-100
502-750-300
502-750-400

751A
751 B

2-line panel phone with exclusion. 


Used on CO or PBX lines.

7

502-733-401
502-750-100
502-750-401

751C
751 D

751C modified for Secretarial Service


2-line panel phone with exclusion. 


Used on CO, PBX, 1A1 or 1A2 KTS lines.



  This set modified for use with Secretarial Service

7

502-705-101
502-750-100
502-750-401

752

Panel phone with 3-type speakerphone.

-

502-705-102
502-736-401
502-750-102
502-750-402

753 A
753 B

2-line panel phone with hold

8

502-705-103
502-739-401
502-750-103
502-750-403

754

6-button keyset panel phone

-

502-705-102
502-736-402
502-750-104
502-750-404

755
WE 755 Door Answering Set

Photo from Jeremy Walters

Armored, with armored cord (like a pay phone).  Used in lobbies to communicate with tenants.

-

502-750-105


KEY:

MODEL Number Format = 5nnv,      where 5nn=model number, and v indicates model variations.
                                             e.g. 500D 

Many bases are marked on the bottom 5nn x/y (e.g. 500 C/D).  This was a manufacturing convenience used where the same base component was used to build several different variations and is not the model number.  Usually x=manual version (no dial) and y=with dial.  Model number 500C has an apparatus blank instead of a dial.  Model number 500D has a dial.

There are exceptions.  The 500 P/U base was used to make the 500P or 500U sets, both of which have dials.  Some bases are marked 500 P, some 500 U and some 500 P/U.
Model with Color Code 

• Many TouchTone models have similar numbers, with a prefix of 1, 2 or 3,  e.g. 15nn x/y. 
         (See the appropriate site page for touch tone models.  Links at the top of this page.)

• Prefix codes:    
         1: TouchTone models, 10-button keypad  (digits 0-9),  e.g. 1500D, announced 1964, MD 2/68;
         2: TouchTone models, 12-button keypad  (digits 0-9, * and #), e.g. 2500D, phased in during 1968;

         3: Autovon models, 16-button keypad  (adds FO, F, I and P keys), e.g. 3504B, announced 1969;

         CS:  later models (1980s) which were customer-owned (including internal components),  e.g. CS2500.

• Suffix codes (Note: multiple suffix codes may be used on one set):   

M
Modular handset and line connectors, 
  e.g. 500DM - 500D, Modular.

1M or 2M suffix indicated bases that were inventoried as components, separately from the color parts such as the housing and handset.  This was done to economize on the size and weight of sets carried in the installers' trucks.
 e.g. 500D2M - Modular 500 base

Planned daily installations were stocked in the truck as fully assembled sets (e.g. 500DM).  The installer could assemble a set of the proper color for an extra extension added to the order while on site using a 500D2M plus color kit plus cords. More info in BSP 503-100-100.
CS500DM 1984
G
Polarity Guard installed  (TouchTone models),
  e.g. 2750AMG - 2750A panel, Modular, with Polarity Guard.
2750AMG
P
Wall set with modular wall plug,
  e.g. 554BMP - 554B wall, Modular, with Wall Plug on back of set.
CS554BMP
R
Retractile cord (coiled handset cord), 
  e.g. 500UR - 500U with Retractile cord.
 
(R is not usually marked on sets.  Found in catalogs and on boxes.)
500UR box code
(Photo of box end)
W
Without Bell System markings
  (for units sold outside the Bell System),
  e.g. 500ABMW - 500AB, Modular, Without Markings.

Handset handle and housing moldings eliminated any reference to the Bell System.
500 ABMW - without Bell System Markings

WE logo with no Bell System markings

(Handset and housing photos from Jonathan Sowers)
-nn
Color Code, 
  e.g. 500D-54 (brown).  For color list, see
Colors.
  e.g. 7D-3 (black) dial.

Color code is rarely marked on sets.  For a short time in the 1950s, when color was new, dials and occasionally bases had a color code.  More often found in catalogs and on the boxes. (See photo of 500UR-59 above.)
Model with Color Code

Dial 7D-3 1954
*
Set wired for 1A1 or 1A2,
  (typically found on 500L/M or keysets),
  e.g. 500M*
WE 500M with *
(Photo from David Haber)

       
?
(in table entries) = Model identified, but feature description and reference still needed.   Please help!

• Note: WE made many models based on the 500 design with model numbers outside the range 500-599.


SAMPLE MODEL AND DATE MARKINGS:
The markings are usually found in the back right corner of the bottom plate -- either below or to the left of the ringer adjustment wheel.

                        
Model and Date
Model with Color Code
Model with W suffix
Model with CS prefix
                        

Set is a 500C (no dial)

(Vermillion code indicates
set was refurbished.)

Set is a 500D (dial)
Color 54 = dark brown

Set is a 500AB
M = modular
W = without Bell System Markings

Set is a 554B
CS = Customer Owned
M = modular
P = modular plug installed


 
Note: date codes on the right two phones are in the form YYDDD, where YY is the last 2 digits of the year and DDD is the numeric day of the year (001-365).  Their bases are cad plated, rather than the original black.

Date codes changed format in about 1978 for 500-type sets and in about 1977 for Princess sets.


• COMPONENT EVOLUTION:
Model numbers relate to "function" while components in each model changed from time to time, and were often phased gradually into production.  For example, in the 500D:
  • Plastic housing:  Soft plastic (1949) > Hard ABS plastic (Gradually phased in between 1959 and 1964);  
  • Western Electric bakelite and soft plastic receiver caps generally have 6 holes in a circle, and transmitter caps have three concentric circles of 6, 12 and 18 holes, for a total of 36.  Hard plastic caps each have the same pattern with the addition of one hole in the center of the pattern.  Note that caps were often changed in refurb, so are not a reliable indicator of handset plastic material.  For example, soft plastic caps are often found on bakelite handles marked G1.
  • Handset: black sets: G1 bakelite (1949) > G3 plastic (phased in 1962-65) > G15 modular (~1972); 
  • Handset: colored sets: G3 plastic (1953) > G15 modular (~1972)
  • Handset cord strain relief:  2 piece design (1949) > integrated with transmitter cup (~1952);
  • Cords:  Hardwired (1949) > Modular connectors (~1972);
  • Dial:  black sets: 7A (1949) > 7D > 9-series (~1963);
  • Dial:  colored sets*: 7C (1953) > 7D > 9-series (~1963);
  • Fingerwheel:   Black metal (1949) > Clear Plastic, "open center"* > Plastic, solid center (~1962);
  • Network:  425A (1949) > 425B (1952) > 425C > 425E > 4228 > 4293 (~1983); 
  • Ringer:  C2A or C3A (party line) (1949) > C4A (~1954);
  • Baseplate:  Painted black (1949) > Cad plated (~1967)  [see photos above];
  • Feet:  Leather-covered (1949) > Triangular Neoprene (1958) > Round ribbed (1963) > Round flat (~1966);
  • Hookswitch plungers:  Black (1949) > Clear * (all colored sets and with hard plastic for black sets);
  • Housing date code (inside):  Printed in ink along front edge (1949) > pressed in circle near cradle (~1960);
  • Handsets and bottom plates marked "Bell System Property, Not for Sale" (1968-1983).

 
* Changes with Colored Sets starting in 1953:
7C dial, clear hookswitch plungers, clear plastic fingerwheel.  Look for color code on the back of the 7C dials,  e.g. 7C-59.  Clear plastic fingerwheels were also used on black 500H, P and U sets.


(Many individual components have date codes.  It is not uncommon to find refurbished phones with internal components of mixed dates, as the Bell System was a master of recycling.  I have several sets with 2 leather feet and 2 plastic feet thanks to the refurb shop.  The real treasure is to find an early set where all the dates match!)

WE also made specials for large customers (e.g. Howard Johnson).

• Exclusion keys were wired for many purposes, including ringer cut-off, extension station cutoff, etc.

References include:
1. Station Service Manual (325-048), 8/80
2. Southern Bell Station Service Manual, V2, 2/74
3. New England Telephone Service Manual, 1970
4. 100 Years of Bell Telephones, Mountjoy, 1995
5. Telephone Collecting: Seven Decades of Design, Dooner, 1993
7. New England Telephone Station Installation Handbook V2, 9/70
8. Bell System Station Service Manual, 8/77
9. Bell System Station Service Manual, 9/78
10. Western Electric Catalog #10




WHEN WAS MY 500-TYPE SET BUILT?

It's time for some detective work.  Fortunately, Western Electric left a lot of clues for us to follow.  Most components of the 500-series sets had both model numbers and dates.  This was important for them, as the Bell System owned the phones at the time, and refurbished the sets to extend their useful lifetime.  Most of the sets we find today were in service for many years and were probably refurbished at least once.  Original components were replaced with the currently manufactured parts.  Therefore, internal dates of the components do not always match.

The dates that are the most important in establishing age are the date on the bottom plate and the date on the network.  These two components were usually joined in the assembly process using rivets, so were difficult to change in refurb.  If the dates match, that was most probably the assembly date of the phone.  Other components  used in the assembly would originally have had the same month code or perhaps a date a month or two earlier.  

Look at the model number and date information carefully, to make sure it hasn't been changed.  Often, original dates have been painted over and new dates stamped . 

                        
 Original model and date
 Repainted in Vermillion   CONV 1
 CONV                         

Original date.
Set is a 500C (no dial)
(Vermillion code indicates
set was refurbished.)

Original numbers painted out

New code in vermillion ink.

Original code painted out

New code in silver ink.
"CONV" = converted

Only model variation
 painted out
Date not changed!
Look for replaced parts.



Parts such as the dial, ringer, cords, plastic housing and all handset components usually also have dates.  These parts are real easy to change, so were often replaced during the phone's useful lifetime.

If your phone has mixed dates,  the interesting dates for it are the dates on the base and network, and the dates of the last refurb or newest component found.

Another exercise for the phone sleuth is to try to determine what the original model number was, if the original model number had been painted over.  Occasionally careful examination of the black paint will show a slight raised pattern caused by the original ink below.  In other cases, remains of the previous model will be left in place.  For example, looking inside the phone from the rightmost photo above revealed a terminal strip near the handset entry hole.  Therefore the original set was probably a 500T, 500J or 500K.  The original 425A network had been removed and replaced with a 425B.  The terminal strip was left in place.

Phones stamped "CONV" usually had the network replaced.  The conversion was from the 425A to 425B.





COLORS:

Now that you know how many models you need to collect, try finding them in all the following colors, by year!!

The color code was appended to the model number as a suffix.  Dates offered are included, where known.  To view 1983 Western Electric Color Charts, follow these links:  For Phones , or For Components .  (Thanks to Todd Bernstein and David Massey for providing these charts!)


WE500 1953-4 colors -- Announcement keychains
Keychains in "original" colors

 

WE 500 Colors: 1949 thru 1983

Note: The first color name is typically the one found in the initial BSPs.  Other names were used in marketing literature and often differed among the Operating Companies.

Note: Dates are based on first appearance in marketing literature. Sets may be found dated the previous year.


-3 Black
-29 Transparent (dates unknown) 

New in 1953 (Black handset, dial & cord)
-50 Ivory, Cameo Ivory, Classic Ivory.
-51 Green, Moss Green, Mistletoe Green, Sage Green,  Colonial Green.
-52 Gray, Dark Gray, Oxford Gray, Charcoal Gray, Dove Gray. (MD* 1957) 
-53 Red, Cherry Red, Cardinal Red, Fiesta Red.

New in 1954 (full color or two-tone)
-54 Brown, Mahogany Brown, Briar Brown, Autumn Brown. (MD 1957,
          continued for keysets for several years) 
-55 Beige, Dark Beige, Rose Beige, Rosewood Beige. (MD 1957) 
-56 Yellow, Canary Yellow, Sunlight Yellow, Pastel Yellow.
-57 Blue, Medium Blue, Dark Blue, Mediterranean Blue, True Blue, Capri Blue, Shadow Blue. (MD 1957) 

New in 1957 (two-tone MD)
-58 White 
-59 Rose Pink    (MD ca. 1978)
-60 Light Beige 
-61 Light Gray    (MD ca. 1978)
-62 Aqua Blue 

New in 1964
-64 Turquoise   (MD ca. 1978)

*MD = Manufacture Discontiued



Late Production (80s)
-93 Lemon Yellow
-104 Chocolate Brown 
-105 Dark Green, Hunter Green 
-106 Lime Green  

-115 Royal Blue, Dark Blue
-123 Butter Yellow 
-124 Rust (& Merlin)  
Gun Metal Grey (Oxford)

Peach
Salmon


For more information on phone colors, see:
  Phones in Color!
  WE Color Codes Chart


 

HANDSETS:    WE G3 Handset  WE G3


How simple could it be?  Although we usually find the G1, G3 and G15 versions, look at all the others out there...  

Note that there are several model numbers within each type code, based on cord type and in some cases controls provided.  Some information is presented in the chart, but see the BSPs for details.

MODEL
TYPE

DESCRIPTION


BSP


G1
G1 handset handle

Early standard handset - Bakelite Housing and Caps, Black. 


Many were later refurbed with plastic caps (which are often hard to remove!)   Replaced by G3.

 
Some G1 handles were used to make GF handsets.  See GF below.

 
Models include: G1AR (500 sets), G1DR (PBX), G1FR (570-type sets), G1G (coin collectors), G1J (525A and B sets).   G1B had an optional weight (RS-9099) for use with 190 series and lower coin collectors.

C63.341
501-210-102
501-210-300

G2
G2 button

Early push-to-talk/listen.  Replaced by G5.

C63.341
501-210-102
501-210-300

G3
G3 handset marking

G3W photo (no Bell System markings)
from Jonathan Sowers

Later standard handset - Plastic Housing and Caps. Available in colors.


Replaced by G15 (modular).

 
Some G3 handles were used to make GF handsets.  See GF below.

 
Models include: G3AA (525A and B sets), G3AB (PBX), G3AC (570-type sets), G3AR (5,6,700-series sets), G3BR (COPAN - Command Post Alerting Network), G3CR,DR (601-type, 700 series), G3FR (112A key equipment), G3K (coin collector, 750-type), G3L (key mountings), G3M,P,R,S,T (coin collectors), G3Y (2568HP)

C63.341
501-210-102
501-210-300

G4
G4 handset handle

Shoulder Rest - fits into two holes on handle. 


Can be installed to fit either right or left shoulder. See photos.

Models include: G4AR (black only), G4B (colors), G4M (modular).  Announced in 1954.

C63.341
501-210-102
501-210-300

G5
G5 button

Push-to-talk - Has a rectangular push-to-talk bar on the handgrip.

Models include: G5AR (mobile radio), G5BR (4-wire circuits, paging),G5CR (FAA, private line systems), G5ER (535 set), G5FR (Bendix MRT9 radio), G5GR (2,4-wire private line stations), G5HR (102-type key equipment), G5JR (#300 switching system), G5KR (2A farm interphone), G5LR (617 set, COPAN), G5MR (Air-ground base station), G5NR (625-type set), G5PR,RR (596E set).

501-210-102
501-210-300

G6
G6 volume wheel

Impaired Hearing - receiver amplifier and volume control in handset. 


G6B (late) and G6BM have a 0.02mf cap across terminals R and G.  G6AR has a single stage transistorized amp.  (See G66.)  Introduced in 1961.

501-210-300
501-211-102
501-211-400

G7
WE G7 control

Weak Speech - transmitter amplifier and volume control in handset.

501-210-300
501-211-102
501-211-400

G8
G8 control and button

Noisy Locations - receiver amplifier with volume control and push-to-listen switch, which decreases transmitter output and increases receiver output.

501-210-300
501-211-102
501-211-400
D-108413
Modified G8B for noisy locations - provides additional receiver gain.  (See G66.)
501-211-102
Addendum I1

G10
G10A with 2 buttons

 
G10 with one button

Government Agencies for Security Reasons - To listen or talk it is necessary to depress a button in the middle of the handset.


These handsets are factory sealed units.

Models include: G10A-F.   G10A has two buttons on handle (receive and transmit), G10E has one button controlling both functions.

501-210-301
G11 "Used with 15A, 15B and 15C apparatus which are part of 520A, 520B and 2520C explosion-proof telephone sets. 

Designed to provide protection against the probability of explosion resulting from flames originating within the handset under extreme conditions of operation."  (Makes you wonder about the rest of the handsets, doesn't it?)  T3 transmitter, LA1 receiver, aluminum lined cavities.

501-210-102

G12
G12 handset plugs

Early plug-in type cord


Uses H4DB cord with Trimline-style plugs.

501-210-103

G13
G13 handset handle

photo from Jeremy Walters

Impaired Hearing - for coin collector sets


Similar to G6B, except uses a slide switch instead of a potentiometer and has an armored cord.  Later handsets used two pushbuttons (as shown).  Switch provides either 10 or 20db gain and spring returns to normal position. Caps are ultrasonically bonded to the handle, therefore components cannot be replaced.

____________
501-211-102
501-211-400

G15A
G15 handset handle

Basic handset with modular connection. 


Replaced G3 for modular applications.
(Model number is not marked on handset, just Bell System markings.)

501-210-103

G36

Long Route


Replaces original handset where 3db transmission gain or low current operation is required.  (Only works with rotary dials or touchtone dials equipped with a common switch contact arrangement to prevent dial sidetone amplification, and is polarity sensitive.)  When installed, a sticker was placed on the bottom of the phone, "Equipped with G36 Handset", as there are no user controls visible to indicate the presence of the amplifier.

501-211-103

G66
G66 handset handle

Impaired hearing


Receiver-amplifier unit and polarity guard.  Pushbutton provides an additional 10db gain in the receiver and 10 db loss in the transmitter circuit.  This handset is intended only for use by customers who require more receiver gain than that provided by G6 type handset. Recommended in place of the D-180413 handset.

501-211-102
Issue 6

GF

Handset for 5302. 

Uses a G1 or G3 handle, with adapters for HA1 and F1 elements used in the F1 handset.  See photo

502-400-301 NY

732A
732A handle and xmtr cap

This is actually a receiver that looks like a G3 handset. 


It has no transmitter element, the cup has no terminals installed and the transmitter cap has no holes! Used on 691A subset.  (732A is in the coding series for receivers.)  
See photo

502-200-101

KS-16504

High fidelity dynamic microphone.


Used with 8A and 9A announcement systems (to record the message), or as part of a high fidelity conference set.

501-210-120
501-210-300
J1 
WE J1 Handset
Control of 1-type telephone reporting set from a remote line.  Similar to G5 with a switch controlled oscillator for generating a 1475 cps signal.
501-210-104
Link to similar info on F Handset Models.

Note: Early models had separate cord retainer parts in the transmitter cavity.  Later models had the retainer molded into the transmitter cup.  The parts are not interchangeable.

Please send comments or photos of your favorite phones to: 

Email Address
 

Donation of photos (or actual phones) is greatly appreciated.


CONTRIBUTORS
Thanks to ATCA and TCI members, including: Rick Walsh, David Massey, Jeremy Walters, Todd Bernstein, David Willingham, John Chalupsky, Steve Hilsz, Steph Kerman, Stan DeOrsey, Steve Schlink, Jonathan Sowers and Vern Potter.

Back to Home Page


Free counters provided by Andale .

©1997-2014 paul-f.com.  All rights reserved.