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Who among us has the newest WE 500? And newer non-WE 500 types?

Started by bellsystemproperty, October 25, 2009, 07:31:42 PM

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Kenny C

In memory of
  Marie B.


My newest 500 is an '80 ITT. A little off topic but I also have a Cortelco 554 from 1999.
"Ain't Worryin' 'Bout Nothin"


I think my newest is a 1973 refurbished 500.  My newest untouched 500 would probably be a 1958.


Tee hee.... I don't have a new 500.  They're all old.  Like me.

-Bill Geurts
-Bill G


Legend has it that the final 500s were made in Dec 2006 by Cortelco.  I've not found one, and have noticed that the only 21st century 500s I've seen were all made in July of 2003.  Perhaps they were made in batches, and the final batch was the July 03's.  

And Cortelco still makes a dial-less 500, in bright red only, at least that's what they claim on their website, I've never seen one. 

Kenny C

In memory of
  Marie B.


I'll have to dig it out and check the dates, but I have a beige 554 with the shell stamped AT&T. I don't recall the exact dates, but I believe the components were late '70s/early '80s.

I've also had a handful of fairly new ITT 500 sets, although I've not had anything new enough to have the new style ringer. One, I recall, had a green Walmart price tag still on the bottom. This same one was hardwired, but used a modular handset shell.


My newest is a manual style with a seperate touch tone keypad, dated 1987
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.


I thought my PTI/Palco ivory was my "newest" well bits of it are - here'e the 3 500's I have:

Black - C/D 500 CONV, Network: 10/59 - Michigan Bell
Red - 500 DM 8/80, Network: 7/53 - So. Ne Eng**el Co (?)
Ivory - 69413, Network = 60 - New Brunswick Telecom

So I suppose the "newest" is the Ivory, but no date on it, then the refurb red Aug 1980, then my hard worked black set.

BUT, when you look at the networks...!

"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"

Dave F

There has been plenty of discussion about old 500 sets, but I was wondering:  Just who among us has the latest WE 500, and when exactly did the last one roll off the production line?

Russ Kirk

Well,  due the decline in quality I have not actively collected newer sets.  The newest I have (forgive me) is not a rotary,  but a WE 2500MMGJ.  No dates anywhere but inside the case, 1986.

I have to say it is the poorest quality I have ever seen in WE/ATT equipment.  When I opened the set, unlike most other sets, it literally fell apart in my hands. The screws fell on the floor and the TT pad and spring fell.

- Russ Kirk


The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Greg G.

Latest dated WE 500 I have is a 65.  (That's not including 500 style phones made by SC or others from later dates).  I generally don't go beyond the 60s for any phone, because once they were reduced to just an appliance sold to the end user, the quality went to crap, as Russkirk pointed out.  In fact, I'm thinking of thinning out my herd of all the 70s stuff.
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
- Mike Row


65?  I have phones in my collection made by Western Electric dated as late as 1979.  To my eyes, they still appear to be of high-quality Western Electric standards.

I agree when AT&T phone manufacturing went off-shore, the sets became worthless.  But that happened decades after 1965...
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


But, I'd seriously like to know the answer to the original question, too.

Russkirk's set looks like fun, but it's not a 500D.  It's an AT&T phone that was made in the style of a 500 set, and it's touch tone.

So, when was the actual last date a rotary phone was made in the US by Western Electric with the model number 500D?
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820