Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration > Telephone Tools, Workshops, Tool Identification and Other "Tools" for Working on Phones

Tools and Tool Identification


Hi All:

As most of you know already, I am heavily into collecting telephone tools. I started this a number of years ago as an adjunct to the museum's tool display.

In order to increase my knowledge of the many tools out there aside from the several hundred or so I already have of my own, I would like to make this offer. If you have a tool which you can't identify, I would love to research it for you from your photo. I have many tool catalogs, and have gotten pretty good at it. This is a sincere offer which could potentially be a help to all of us, and of course would be free. I enjoy doing this, and have many suitable reference resources.

All I would need from you is as detailed photos as you can send of your unknown tool, and the text of any markings on it, i.e. any KS, H, N,  R, or other numbers on it, and I will do my very best to get back to you to let you know what you have, and for what function it was designed for. Doing so will help both you, others, and myself, too, as it may well help me to learn about a tool which I previously hadn't seen. I can't guarantee that I will find it, but it would be an interesting project.

By the same token, I would be interested in any tools that you have in duplicate, if it isn't already included in my tool list (see below), which includes Western and Northern Electric Tools, AE Tools, independent manufacturer's tools and tools produced by Teletype Corporation.  I will be updating this list this winter to show drawings or photos of all the tools listed, as I think that it would be more useful to others to see what the tools look like. Originally, I had started this listing just as a means of keeping track of the tools I had, but it is increasingly becoming a valuable aid to others.

If you have something in duplicate that you don't see on the list below, sent me its information and a photo, and we will see if we can work out some sort of deal. Make clear whether if is one you simply want identification for, or whether it is a spare you might be willing to trade or whatever.

Here is a link to the tool list:

And for the new part 2:

While I do have a copy of the list posted elsewhere on the Forum, this is a direct link to my site, where the absolutely latest version of the listing can be found. To get the latest version will be important, especially as I add more photos over the winter to the file.

Photos of unknown tools can be posted here in the Telephone Tools & Tool Identification board, or emailed directly to me at If posted here, too, others may see it and be able to identify it. I am hoping this will help us all learn more about the many thousands of special purpose tools produced for telephone and teletype work. Someone else suggested that we could maybe do a "Mystery Tool" of the week listing or, "Whatsit" thing as well. Perhaps this could also be posted here?

Note: As part of my collection of information on this topic, I digitized several books of tool BSP's several years ago, and have them posted to: - you might find them interesting. These were from BSP's in my possession, and also from a couple of books of BSP's which I borrowed for scanning from Jeremy Walters in 2007. You can also find copies of them in the TCI library where Remco mirrored them about a year ago


Sample Identification

The item below is a QTH43-A parking tool designed for a Northern Electric Centurion payphone. It is used to support the front section while the phone is opened for servicing. It is hung on the right edge of the back section, and the front section then hangs on it just like a hinge. Most payphones had parking tools designed for use with them for servicing. I got this from Jeremy Walters a few years ago.

Another example would be the KS-20950 L1 (steel) and KS-20950 L2 (aluminum) designed for supporting single slot WE payphones for servicing.



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