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French 'AE' type dial question

Started by FABphones, December 11, 2018, 08:00:27 AM

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Before I go wading in to take this apart, could anyone please tell me is the spring on this style of 'AE' located directly underneath the fingerwheel - and am I in danger of it taking flight?

I've done a CRPF search and looked at this:

...but I'd prefer to double check with you guys before I get the screwdriver out and make a start on this. I have several old enamel French number plates in my box of spares and it would be nice to change this damaged one out.

I've worked on several of the later French dials, but not one of these earlier versions (have only ever needed to lubricate these). I'm hoping this fingerwheel is the same as the later ones and is a simple removal that won't require lining up and winding (like the Belgian Bell 'kettle phone' which is still being troublesome for me)?   :(

Thanks for any info.

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


I have removed those fingerwheels from many AE dials without a problem. I do not recall having to do anything special. Maybe our AE experts can add to this.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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


These French dials fit togather just like an AE .Just remove the center screw to remove the fingerwheel. The disc with the numbers is held in with clops. You will not disturb any adjustments .


Here you go.  stub
Kenneth Stubblefield


The European style dials with the flat spring that flies across the room when you remove the finger wheel and then cuts your fingers while trying to untangle it and force it back onto the dial is much more fun ;).



Thanks everyone. Really good info and the photos helped a lot.

The good news - Pleased to report it was just as you guys said. These older French dials are hard to find so I didn't want to start work without checking first. Turns out these are internally like the later 60's versions (except no plastic).

The not so good news - A few weeks back I had a mammoth tidy up, you know the sort, the one where you put stuff in the best place to find it. Then lose it totally. This is the place I have put my dial spares.

So, in the meantime I have used a later 60's number plate but it really doesn't look right. I'll keep searching and hope they turn up soon.

Photos attached for comparison. Angle of the last photo a bit low, opps.  :-[

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


Nothing earth shattering to report of the French A.E. dials, other than the fact that they are "physically" a different size dial than our North American A.E. dials, and that includes the finger wheel and porcelain number plate.    I have no idea why they did that, but if I was forced to guess, I'd say it might have something to do with Automatic Electric trying to discourage, or more precisely prevent, independent telco's in North America from buying replacement dials from European companies.     I found that out when I restored this set for another collector.

Jeff Lamb