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New Here and Loving It! - RP2813

Started by rp2813, January 03, 2009, 06:46:53 PM

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Wow, interesting.  I just assumed anything colored would either have a clear or similarly colored fingerwheel.  I know they did the two-tone sets early on, but those had black dial faces and wheels so can't be used to judge by.  My beige phone is dated 1959 and I would have thought they'd be using clear fingerwheels on everything colored by then, but apparently that wasn't the case. 

Thanks for the info Dan.  I can see I'll be needing to figure out a way to get pix of some of my more interesting phones to post here for all to enjoy and discuss.


The two-tone phones had metal finger wheels because the dials were black, and all black dials had black metal finger wheels at that time.  The all-color (non-two-tone) phones had clear plastic finger wheels.


Tempting to buy this poster.  It's very useful information about phone configurations. 

Dennis Markham

I do have a couple original two-tone phones.  Mine however had handset cord replacements somewhere along the way.  Here is a link to them from my blog site:

The ivory phone is in excellent condition.  The two-tone sets were made originally by just having a colored housing placed on the black phones.  The color suffix of -3 should be on the back of the dial.  The color suffix indicates the color of the dial bezel which normally matches the phone except in the two-tone sets.  Original two-tone sets were made in 8 colors.  The first ones had black G1 handsets and then matching handsets were made but the dial bezel remained black.  Eventually the sets were made in full color with clear Lucite finger wheels.

Attached is from a booklet that was reproduced by one of the phone collectors from the TCI/ATCA.  I simply took a photo of the booklet as seen here.  Sorry that it's crooked.  I will take a couple more shots, one showing the two tone sets with matching handsets and straight handset cords.


I don't have any 500's with lucite fingerwheels anymore, but didn't the dial bezels made for lucite fingerwheels have larger center holes than a bezel for a metal fingerwheel?  That might help me determine whether my beige '59 was made to take a metal fingerwheel, but still I would think even a metal fingerwheel would have been painted beige.  The black metal fingerwheel looks wrong on an otherwise all beige phone.

Dennis Markham

The only Western Electric 500's that had metal finger wheels were the black models---except these two-tone sets that were actually a black set with a colored case installed.  Once the colored sets were produced in total color only Lucite finger wheels were used.  If you find a set in color that has a black metal finger wheel and it's not an original two-tone set--- someone added it.  I recently bought a red wall phone that someone had replaced the finger wheel with a black metal one.  The first finger wheels made of Lucite were the soft center or open center type...later ones were the one piece hard center wheels.


Thanks Dennis.  Now that you have access to this section of the forum we'll all benefit.  I don't think I want to do anything with the beige phone anyway.  My limited experience on this and other phone sites tells me beige is the least popular color, and that would be true for me personally.  This phone might end up as a bartering item for something else of telephonic interest somewhere down the road.  It also has a long-ish beige line cord with 4-prong jack at the end.