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My First 302!

Started by Don_18, February 04, 2023, 05:42:34 PM

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Hey guys,

Finally found my first Western Electric 302! Got it off Craigslist and it seems to be mostly original. Phone is generally dated 3-52 throughout.  I think it cleaned up great and the cloth cord just makes it look right.

One issue was that someone tried to quiet the ringer with tape on the bells, still must have been too loud so they removed the clapper.  >:(  When this wasn't quiet enough they finally moved the ringer wire  :o

I had a 47 ringer with brass bells I installed, but it bugs me that I had to pull out the 52 ringer.  Has anyone replaced a clapper?



Wish I had another ringer for ya but,I don't.
As far as changing the clapper I don't think that's possible, its a shame people that haven't a clue
what there doing get their fingers into things where they shouldn't be.
Maybe some one else here has the right dated ringer for you.


Quote from: Don_18 on February 04, 2023, 05:42:34 PMHas anyone replaced a clapper?

The original clapper was a crimped-on 5/16" round metal disk.

5/16 round brass balls are available on eBay and from other uses (some lamp pull chains come with a 3/8" brass ball on the end as a weight - these would have a hole drilled in them).

If you have the equipment to drill a hole (the clapper rod diameter) in the center of a brass ball, 3/8" would probably be best so after drilling, the ball could be put on a drill and filed or sanded down to 5/16".

The ball, after placing it on the clapper rod, could be soldered or 2-part epoxy glued into place.

Or, you could just get another B1A ringer for $20 to $40 on eBay.

It's a hobby with several ways to resolve this problem by throwing time and money at the fix.


If it is too loud, all you have to do is loosen the left-hand bell and rotate it until it moves closer to the clapper, then retighten it.  The bells are drilled off-center.



Yeah, I was thinking about prying open the crimp on the good ringer, or driving out the pivot pivot point on the assembly and swapping them.

TelePlay - I really like the idea of a brass ball, l'll give that a shot.



Hi Don, welcome to CRPF.

Image attached showing B1A example complete with clapper.

Keep us up to date with your progress.

A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble



I had a half dead 500 that donated the clapper, just had to ream out the hole hair.  The hardest part was getting the arm straightened out and aligned with the gongs.  Loctite 603 Bearing Retainer Compound is holding it all together. Seems to be working fine so far.


Doug Rose

Nice work Don.............Welcome to the Forum!......Doug


Its a good job . I certainly couldn't have done better.



Interesting that the were still making these new in 1952 when the 500 came out in 1949. Is this a very late one?


Nice job, and welcome to the forum!
As a Norwegian, I may look at the phones in another way, and by my opinion the 302 will work better on a long (bad?) line than the 500, just because of a small loss in the automatic compensation part of the 500 circuit.  Even the dial circuit makes less resistance during the pulses, that makes a difference in some cases. I have an really old exchange, and telephones that not will short the line completely work fine internal, but not in the trunk. All my non WE phones work well (Except the 1911 Siemens phone).  The 500 and  the 202 does not work on the trunk, and of-course not the push button phones :)


Quote from: Don_18 on February 05, 2023, 11:24:59 PMThank you!   :D 

Welcome . Don . and welcome here on this forum , the best in the world .


Welcome to the forum. You have found the best forum on the net.
A warning, Phoneitis is a progressive, incurable disease. I hope you have not caught it yet. Next you will be wanting all the different colors or the different models of 300 series (there are quite a few) or maybe you will want another brand like Automatic Electric or you could get bit by the tool bug and want to collect telephone tools. In the advanced stages you will be constructing another building to house your collection or maybe building your own central office! If you want proof just look at the collections topic ;D 
Seriously, nice work on the 302, Congrats.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


The 302 is my favorite style of the Western Electric. It's  such a demure looking phone with a relatively small foot print. I love your solution to the ringer problem, very creative thought.