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20 AL phone or lamp need some info

Started by Darkstar2006, February 21, 2023, 08:57:12 AM

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Bought this lovely lamp/phone 20 AL from Ebay fairly cheap. I don't particularly like non-dial sticks because i like to use my old phones. I bought this one because i liked the way the conversion was done, there were No drilled holes. Either it was going to be a restored phone, phone parts or a lamp. I choose both restored phone AND lamp.
The phone is in nice original condition, with original working receiver (75 ohms). NO TRANSMITTER under the 250W cap
POPLAR has a complete wiring diagram (#323 & 329) that i printed out.

Info I need:

Transmitter. If I can find and original 250w element what gaskets/grommets do i need and the installation layout.
What are the ohms of the 250w element
hook switch: Currently the hook switch makes direct connection to the contacts on the stack. There is no nub for a rubber bumper, like my other candlesticks, which are insulated from the contacts on the stack. Is not having a insulator on the hook switch correct?
Subset: What non generator subsets were compatible.

As you can see from the photos the hook switch was used as the on/off switch 110v with only a piece of tape as an insulator.
My plans:
Remove the lamp wiring and socket. replace the socket with one that has an on/off switch and a shade harp.
install new/old wire for the receiver, original transmitter and a 3 wire subset wire that i will coil up in the base of the phone.
Why do people with cell phones use "old phone" as their ring tone?

-Dave S.


What is the model number stamped on the "perch"?

250 and 250W are codes for the long arm transmitter used on wall phones. Desk stands take 229, 329, 323, 337. There is one other -- 271??  229 is electrically equivalent to a 250. I believe the 229/229W was used on older desk stands such as the 20-B.

You need a sidetone subset such as 295A, 334A, or 534A. The 584A will also work, but is newer than your desk stand.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


 perch is a 20AL pictures attached

Thanks for the subset info . I down loaded diagrams and wiring instructions that you had posted in another post.

just looking in my parts bin i found a *271* and  a 329 with just a PAT in USA plate.
Why do people with cell phones use "old phone" as their ring tone?

-Dave S.


The transmitter I wasn't sure of was the 291, not the 271. See below from a post by member dencins:

Also, that rack (plate with hookswitch and screw terminals) is the correct one for a 20-AL. I don't know why the hook does not have the insulator on it. Perhaps "ye olde lampmaker" had more than one desk stand and swapped some parts around.


January 30, 2013, 07:50:44 PM

"The production years for the 20-B was from 1903 through 1912.  The first insulated transmitter was the 271 (pre-1912 and only on 20-P) followed by the 291 (1912) then the 329 (1913) and the 323 (1917).  The only 20-X (X being a single letter) candlestick that was insulated was the 20-P.  Anti-sidetone common battery circuit was introduced around 1930.

Based on the production dates all factory produced 20-B's were uninsulated and sidetone so a 20-B would not have a 323 transmitter unless it was put on later.

It is possble to use a 323 as uninsulated transmitter by attaching a wire from the wire connection on the bridge to the faceplate thus bypassing the insulator between the bridge and the carbon module holder.  On a 20-B this would avoid needing to change the switch.

Dennis Hallworth"

"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


Thanks that's a big help. the face plate i have is a 323 not a 329. I also have (i believe, from pictures) is a 323bw with a red stamp "230"(date stamp?) and a 323w with a black date stamp "may 1928" transmitter elements and resonator? plates.

Thank for the help!
Why do people with cell phones use "old phone" as their ring tone?

-Dave S.