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

Main Menu

Has anyone seen this number indicator dial or have one?

Started by davidbholcomb, December 05, 2012, 01:23:31 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


This article is out of Modern Mechanix magazine from May 1931. Has anyone seen this unique dial or have one? The patent is also attached.
Dave, who still needs a Transmitter Bracket for the Automatic Electric Type 38 Handset.


I have never seen one, nor have I heard of one, at least not one that small.  Operators at cordless "B" boards in panel offices had a call indicator that was built into the operator's position in the shelf.

The one shown in the photo is very small in comparison.  It would be interesting to see.

There is a question of how useful it would be as compared to the cost to make such a device, especially in 1931 and the reliability.  The alternative is to jot the number down on the back of an envelope, which is easy and costs nothing.

The phone companies of the time were abhorant to having user-provided equipment or attachments.  It was "against the law".  therefore, unless an actual phone company purchased the patents and/or the devices to put on their phones, the likelihood of this ever seeing the light of day in actual homes or offices would have been nil.

There were things like pencil holders and note holders and advertising that were sold as adjuct items to attach to phones, but anything that would be attached electronically would not usually be seen.

All that being said, the article is interesting.
-Bill G


Thanks Bill for the info, I guess the idea was to help with the problems of being charged for calling wrong numbers. Remember the days when if you dialed a wrong number you would have to call the "O" operator to get the charge reversed on your bill.
Dave, who still needs a Transmitter Bracket for the Automatic Electric Type 38 Handset.


That's a very cool dial.  Have to add this to my list of wants!  Great post.