"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

Main Menu

Now the Story Can be Told - 1949 WECo 500 Set

Started by Dan/Panther, March 20, 2010, 11:08:11 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Quote from: Dan/Panther on April 07, 2010, 11:15:22 PM

This is my thoughts.
The first red highlight, I think the D#177001( on the bottom of my set ), only refers to the chassis, and all attached brackets, and subhousings without insides mounted (Network housing EQ housing dial bracket fastened permanently to the chassis. I think the practice of replacing networks etc, came as an afterthought, and was not an original intention. D#177001, I do not believe was the entire completed phone.
Reason is that other modules that screw or bolt to the chassis (Ringer, Dial etc.) have their own D#. If the previous was the case why assign the ringer a D# ? Is the ringer part of the entire phone or is the chassis part of the ringer, they both have D#'s, see what I'm saying too confusing.

In addition the D#'s in my phone are in sequence from D#177001- D#177018. There are 5 D#'s on the chassis alone, and still another 8 or 10 components not yet found to see what their numbers were, but my bet is that the cords, handset, caps, transmitter element, receiver element, had D#"s that would fill in the missing gaps from D#17701-D#177018. If the previous explanation ( Blue Highlighted )was correct, that would mean that all components in my phone were designed and perfected at exactly the same time, as no new D# were issued for subsequent improvements, all modules are clustered in one small group of D#'s.

I think D#'s are assigned to modules or components, and the 125, 35, 209, are numbers given as 125 of 300.
Example the EQ is D#177018, 35. My thinking EQ is Master part number D#177018, component number 35 of ???.
I would totally agree except that the D#'s are too closely clustered to fit into the previous explanation.


Another factor to consider from other D- and F- sets I've seen is that if a circuit diagram is included with the phone it is generally marked with the same number that's stamped on the bottom of the phone - even if there are other D- or F- marked components inside.

It makes logical sense that the number on the bottom could be the component identifier for the base plate and that it's also used as a general reference to the complete set because it's the most visible number when the phone is assembled.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line


Kenny C

I have a spare White bell system logo like the one you showed earlier you can have if you would like I will have to find it though. I would be happy to have a little part of me living in that phone ;D ;)
In memory of
  Marie B.


My only question is what method would they use to differentiate between the D#'s, so that by looking at a list, they would know which D# designated what parts.
I picture someone looking at a list,, on the list is....

D#177001, Model 500 Telephone Set
D#177001, Model 500 telephone base.
D#177009, Model 500 Telephone Ringer.
D#177018, Model 500 Equalizer unit.
See where I get confused, which is it, the base or the complete phone. I've worked around General Motors parts numbering System, and they didn't do duplicate numbers for different components, at GM, the leading character designated a department, or a project title, followed by it's Blueprintl or I.D. Number, we never had a duplicate number. For example, "P" designated Plastic injection molding account, followed by "112498003", where the "112498003", designated the Plastics Injection Molding Account drawing number.
If you needed a print, from the Plastics Department, you would go to the cabinet marked "P", thumb through the pile of prints in numeric order until you came to #112498003, there you would find the Drawing of the part you wanted to look at, in the event the part was updated, it was issued a NEW "P" Number.  Even then the new print would refer to the old drawing number, for reference if needed. As you can see a very uncomplicated system.
As far as the 2 or 3 digit number, this would only designate a limited parts run, for test purposes, to track where individual parts we located for test purposes. Once the design was perfected the 2, or 3 digit number was not needed anymore, and was dropped, and the print number then went on the part.
Somewhere would be a master list, that would go something like this.

                           Model 500 Field Test Sets

D#177001, Model 500 Telephone Set Chassis, serial number 125.
D#177006, Model 500 Telephone Set Dial Assembly, Serial number135
D#177009, Model 500 Telephone Set Ringer Assembly, Serial Number 124
D#177018, Model 500 Telephone Set Equalizer, Serial Number 35

And so on. This would tell the engineering department exactly where every test part was utilized, accounting would have their information in one neat package.


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


It does make logical sense that the D#177001, would be used to I.D. The completed set, but I also think that the 125 3 digit number would have to be included to designate a specific telephone set rather than one of many. I think all of the sets made for the Field Tests were numbered on the bottom D#177001, the only way to tell them apart was by the 3 digit number 125, which made that set unique,  just the D#177001, would just say it was 1 of ?.
Also when they distributed the sets, How would they know which set was distributed to where ?  If it failed how would they know where it was so they could maybe figure out if an environmental factor was cause for the failure.
My thinking is this, Hypothetically speaking.

Set Number D#177001-125, went to Phoenix Arizona, and it failed because the dial gear melted from excess heat.

Set Number D#177001-126, Went to Brooklyn New York, and performed flawlessly.

They may be able to assume, or at least start looking at the Extreme heat in Arizona, as a factor in it's failure, without the 125 tracking number, they wouldn't have a clue where that set went. At least not without extra excessive paperwork. Even then, they would have to add some form of I.D. to that phone so they would know which set was which, ( why do that extra, when they already have a 3 digit serial number in place )?  Even then, once back at the Labs, what happened if someone moved the sets around, and mixed them up, then how would they know where each set was deployed. Simple, By it's 3 digit serial number.

Duplicate 3 digit numbers inside of a particular set was strictly coincidence, and would be no factor.
I don't think we will ever know for certain, until another set like mine shows itself.



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


We're in violent agreement regarding the short numbers...

Quote from: paul-f on March 31, 2010, 01:08:47 AM
I believe the shorter numbers are simply serial numbers for components made to the marked specification.  As has been pointed out, we don't know the starting number -- whether 1, 10, 100, etc.  Each part would have a unique number, so its origin and history could be tracked during assembly, testing and use.

Therefore your ringer is uniquely identified for tracking purposes using the two codes, D-177006 and 124.

This is also consistent with some other F- and D- coded sets I've seen.  Many (not all) have had shorter numbers in addition for unique set identification.

For example,  is set 619.

Regarding the D- numbers, I agree with you that it is potentially confusing to have the same D- number refer to a component and a set.

The choices are either component, whole set only or both.  If, for the sake of discussion, we agree it's not both, we're left with a binary choice.

Since the number on the bottom of the set has been clearly used to refer to the whole set in some cases (other sets), it is possible that the D- number only refers to the whole set and not the component.  Perhaps they saw no need to issue a D- number for the base plate.

Of course it's all speculation until we find more sets.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



Quote from: bwanna on April 08, 2010, 08:46:21 AM
well, i found two 4 prong plugs in my "stash". much to my surprise i see that one is marked "japan"...the other "taiwan"    :o

i have 3 302s at my other house....not sure what if any plugs are on them. will check the next time i am there. if it turns out i have one that you think would be appropriate for your 500, you can have it.

here's a pic of the the "japan"

All of my sets have four prong plugs that also are marked "Taiwan", maybe the Bell System did have some of their parts outsourced.


QuoteAll of my sets have four prong plugs that also are marked "Taiwan", maybe the Bell System did have some of their parts outsourced.

I doubt that AT&T used any asian phone plugs or jacks.  When I was a kid, we used to buy phone jacks at Radio Shack or Olson Electronics (remember them?), and I installed them all over the house (my mother wanted a phone in every room).  When an Illinois Bell installer came to our house (around 1976), he noticed all of the "Japanese jacks" (as he called them) and told us that they were bad and forbidden by the phone company and that he was officially required to remove them.  He said that he would be nice though and only disconnect one line in the utility room and not notice all of the other connections.  I think he gave me a few WE jacks which were the only ones approved by the mighty phone company (though my installing them was certainly not approved).



larry.....most certainly bell did not use asian made jacks/plugs. i was surprised that there would be any after market product of this type at all. since prior de-regulation only the phone company was supposed to work on phones & lines. by the time the govm't broke up the telco's phones were modular.


I'm sure glad we can at least agree violently on that.
As far as the base plate not requiring a D#, I can see where it might, as the base plate I have is not what ended up in production. Do you happen to have any numbers as they relate to the actual 500 sets that finally made it into production ?
I'm still convinced that the D#'s have something to do with a paper trail that leads back to a drawing.
Didn't Bell Labs keep track of Blueprints ????
This may be a coincidence, but looking at the Patent application form, I noticed a weird thing.
Notice the Number at the bottom, CL177--7, my ringer is 177--6, just one number earlier. What are those numbers for ?


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


I am not 100% sure, but I think it is a USPO number for a classification template. Depending on what you patent, the patent examiner will use a guideline to determine if someone else has patented something similar when you fill an application. Since so many things have been patented, this will narrow the search field.


Jim Stettler

Quote from: paul-f on March 30, 2010, 01:12:45 AM

The patent numbers to search for are:
  G Handset: 151,614
  Base: 153,928
  Line Switch: 2,566,840
  Ringer: 2,590,500

Has anyone tracked down patent info for the handset element?



There are several patents related to the "ring armature receiver"
And improvements to it.

The first  patent is 2506609
The patent trail is:
2520646 Electroacoustic transducer August, 1950 Mott 179/115R
2520640 Electroacoustic transducer August, 1950 Kreisel 179/114R
2506624 Electroacoustic transducer May, 1950 Wirsching 179/120
2506609 Ring armature telephone receiver May, 1950 Mott 179/120
2249160 Acoustic device July, 1941 Mott 179/120
2170571 Acoustic device August, 1939 Mott 179/119R

You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.


Can drawings be traced by using patent numbers. I think it's not free though is it ?

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

Jim Stettler

Quote from: Dan/Panther on April 08, 2010, 07:43:13 PM
Can drawings be traced by using patent numbers. I think it's not free though is it ?
I signed up for the free account and just pulled up the housing design D153928
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.


I want to sincerely thank everyone for helping on this most exciting project.
I plan to make a formal list and credits for all involved, and place it inside of the phone.
Today I went to the Post Office, and picked up a package from Mr. Jim Stettler, you know him better as Jim Stettler. He offered to send me a shell, and handset for the phone. He said that he would leave the clean up to me.
Well I opened the box, fully expecting to see an average shell and handset 60 years grime and grit, and would have to spend the afternoon cleaning and polishing them.
I really should have known better.
After a light dusting and removing a label, I tried the shell on the frame, and set the handset on it's cradle, as of yet I don't have the proper handset cord, but in time that to will come. Well to make a long story short, here is a photo with a makeshift handset cord.
I can not thank Jim enough, this was a real sacrifice on his part. Thanks My Friend...
I was going to move to Colorado Springs 2 years ago, I'm thinking heavy about it again.
Here is a photo as promised....

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



Looks like a phone again!

Thanks Jim Stettler, amazing.

PS does that make a half Jim half D/P Frankenphone?

Only joking looks superb, so no need for the dremel then?
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"