Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration => Technical "Stuff" => Topic started by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 09:58:55 AM

Title: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 09:58:55 AM
132 notchless dial plate

132 A:  Common numeric "Rural"  dial plate used on exchanges that used numbers.

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10624.0;attach=96620;image)

132 B: Common alphanumeric "Metropolitan"  dial plate used on exchanges that used a combination of numbers and letters.  These came in both notched and notchless versions.  The notchless had both "Z" and no "Z" versions.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JFfWpoDwe2I/UP3l6AsT1gI/AAAAAAAAY78/xZMk4PUOPfA/s576/Telephone%252020130120_7714DSCN9012.JPG)

Note that the word "OPERATOR" is straight

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yQZ5al07gQI/Upli0M1c-LI/AAAAAAAAaNY/fj7wB4hX28I/s284-no/unnamed+%25281%2529.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-6hkJKA6I9Yg/Upli4NL0MrI/AAAAAAAAaNo/tl3Z-4wCBhQ/w275-h273-no/unnamed.jpg)

132-C:  Uncommon alphanumeric dial plate without any writing around the 0. 

132D: Has "Long Distance" around the "0" in place of "Operator"

132 E: Uncommon-. J, M, R and W were used only when calling from dial phones to manual (non-dial) party lines. The letter indicated the party (2301-J for example). Party letters were not assigned to dial lines.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JLQ6eDZD0hg/Upi5ktYfe3I/AAAAAAAAaKc/cZGRRaKJ0S0/s418-Ic42/caa9739c05c624925e0c598667b95ff1.jpg)

Note that the word "OPERATOR" is rounded

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-maPSkzGhkLE/Upku6h72XtI/AAAAAAAAaLs/vzDVn0iCBC4/w625-h568-no/WECO+132E+002.jpg)

132 G: Very rare dial of unknown use, has letters and numbers in black.  This is a rare example from Paul V.s estate that features an early fingerstop usually found on Western Electric #1 dials.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7aR-1ZAYBfQ/VH-AoO2nMMI/AAAAAAAAbtg/cyodebNNjBw/w568-h493-no/2Stop-2.jpg)

D-58439: An uncommon variant of unknown purpose possibly used on small independent exchanges or on PBXs that did not have operators:

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10624.0;attach=92650;image)

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10624.0;attach=92652;image)
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 10:26:17 AM
149 Celluloid Dial Plates

These were issued on #4 and early #5 dials.  They featured a painted dial face that was covered with a celluloid coating.  The celluloid coating did not prove to be durable and Western Electric eventually reverted to enamel

149 A:  Common numeric "Rural" dial plate used on exchanges that did not use letters.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AAgLgdulnpY/Vil_3JrGdSI/AAAAAAAAcOA/V1KJ_aaYWl8/s397-Ic42/149%252520dial%252520plates_665.JPG)

149 B: Common alphanumeric "Metropolitan"  dial plate used on exchanges that used a combination of numbers and letters.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-g06Nx3iBKxU/Vil_20t28-I/AAAAAAAAcOE/_OpJVYo4EHc/s450-Ic42/149%252520dial%252520plates_664.JPG)

This one has II 34 and 149-B stamped on the back.  It also differs from later versions by the odd tab on the back:

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_26I3Nyjgm7Q/TPLLikGZ99I/AAAAAAAAS9A/T1bmhTasgBU/s576/DSC_6298.JPG)

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_26I3Nyjgm7Q/TPLLhSJ9Q2I/AAAAAAAAS84/M1_3YODQqew/s512/DSC_6299.JPG)

Later versions saw the date and model # moved to the front.  This format was used for all dial plates that followed, with the exception of some 6a and 164A plates (see below)

149D:  Similar to 149A but has "LONG DISTANCE" around the 0 in place of "OPERATOR"

149E: JMRW "Party Line" dial plate

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4bjsSbwapuA/Vil_2-bIFOI/AAAAAAAAcN8/5Wi8aPlIVZA/s450-Ic42/149%252520dial%252520plates_663.JPG)

149 H: Blank white dial plate used on pay phones in conjunction with a "Daisy Wheel".  This one is stamped "149H" on the back.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QJqUo5irzT4/Vil_29MfuDI/AAAAAAAAcN4/LEVIcCyqvzY/s450-Ic42/149%252520dial%252520plates_662.JPG)



Solid Celluloid Dial Plate

Issued in very limited quantities for a short period, these dials did not stand up well to regular usage and were withdrawn

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-gSwfbGi9DGk/UpljaXgvatI/AAAAAAAAaN8/ZkyOb03vJVA/w522-h516-no/Celluloid+number+plate+III-34.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fjTd2ZSZjhA/UpljaMzYGoI/AAAAAAAAaOI/KGJABIY1RxY/w503-h516-no/Celluloid+number+plate+III-34+WE.jpg)

These also came in a J, M, R and W version
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 10:28:51 AM
150 dial plates

150 A:  Common numeric "Rural" dial plate used on exchanges that did not use letters.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R5nUY_Sa6XI/Upi5wT0XXvI/AAAAAAAAaK0/f7T7A_4PKAc/w500-h516-no/WECO+150A+009.jpg)

150 B: Common alphanumeric "Metropolitan"  dial plate used on exchanges that used a combination of numbers and letters.

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10610.0;attach=61522;image)
Later versions did not have the "Z"

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uRx_UCUoA-M/Upi5nBpSjAI/AAAAAAAAaKk/s5_koVXipBA/s512-Ic42/WECO%252520150B%252520001.jpg)

150 C:  ???

150 D:  A very rare dial plate found on independent exchanges where that used Western Electric telephones and required you to dial "0" for long distance.
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zHW8vAMMTmk/UpkzppihkfI/AAAAAAAAaMA/vvRARubBqCo/w589-h568-no/WECO+150D+001.jpg)

150 E: Uncommon-. J, M, R and W were used only when calling from dial phones to manual (non-dial) party lines. The letter indicated the party (2301-J for example). Party letters were not assigned to dial lines.

150 F:  ???

150 G:  ???

150 H: Blank white dial plate used on pay phones in conjunction with a "Daisy Wheel"

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1bbv-hyG_N0/UplUmp9VEbI/AAAAAAAAaNA/D8kVkFvsEkk/w567-h568-no/%2524%2528KGrHqJ%252C%2521qQFJVtCKeu5BS%2528E6bH%252Cy%2521%257E%257E60_57.JPG)
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 10:34:57 AM
"6A" dial plates

Found only on early #6 dials these plates feature a dot above the 0.  The date is either stamped on the back or enameled on the front.  They came in both "Z" operator and "No Z" versions.  They look similar to the 164A but lack the holes for a retaining ring and are not compatible with earlier dials.

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10610.0;attach=61517;image)



Earlier version with the "Z"

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7sTrZslUdX8/Upi5pXnIp_I/AAAAAAAAaKs/pimZ8DMTmD0/w561-h516-no/164A+001.jpg)

Later version without the "Z"

164 Dial Plate

164A Common "Universal" dial plate that is backwards compatible with previous dials

164B Blank dial plate used on pay phones

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QchcfhW4tQ0/UplNxuIfoZI/AAAAAAAAaMs/NC4om02t8rU/w567-h568-no/164B+001.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p5So27XmDeU/UplNm_l47PI/AAAAAAAAaMc/qUlB54tyo2w/w567-h568-no/164B+002.jpg)

Interestingly LarryinMichigan owns a Connecticut phone with a 6A dial and a dial plate marked 154B.  It has a numeric plate with no "Operator" around the 0:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=8731.15 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=8731.15)

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=8731.0;attach=48222;image)

164C Black dots only used on 5302

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ijfb5q7S_yz4XutVFn_W5_KeCCPun7N8P1ZOrl3Uq1dX=w214-h212-p-no)

164D White dots only used on beige or green payphones with clear fingerwheels

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-s8b6yL1L73M/Upi7vKRZLPI/AAAAAAAAaLE/xRblMZ-7Z5U/w307-h303-no/164C.jpg)

The Northern Electric version is similar to the Western Electric version except that the numbers are black instead of red. 

(http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10624.0;attach=96761;image)
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 08:34:19 PM
References and acknowledgements

Thanks to poplar1, rdelius, and LarryinMichigan for the help.  I also relied heavily on Phone Man Dave's site: http://www.phonemandave.net/ (http://www.phonemandave.net/) for a lot of info.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on November 29, 2013, 09:30:50 PM
It would be interesting to discuss the meaning of the dots on the dial plates. Many of the plates have anywhere from 1 to 4 dots before the date or between the quarter and the year, for example, one of your plates is marked IV::53, another ...III 53, yet another ....II46
I keep track of these, but don't have the definitive answer. A quarter only has three months, so what would four dots mean?

A similar marking can be found on the cellulose acetate face plate that was recently for sale on eBay, and that is shown in this thread. The seller remarked that it was unusual to have a date of IIII-34, but he overlooked that it was not actually marked such, but instead was marked III I-34, and I suspect this means Q1 of 34, not Q4.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on November 29, 2013, 10:01:49 PM
I noticed that as well.  It may be a quality control mark that could refer to the shop, line, stamp, etc.  I also noticed that some plates have a dot over the date, and some have lines before the date.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on November 29, 2013, 10:36:58 PM
Celluloid number plate:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231094997982
Did you know that the person who invented this face plate, also held the patent on the black cellulose acetate number card frames that had paper inserts for the exchange name and little tear-off paper tabs for each digit of the telephone number, which would be glued on a strip and inserted into the frame?

I believe these dial face plates were not made by Western, but outside the Bell System. Perhaps the reason they show up, but are so rare, is that they only were used in field trials 1933-1934 and didn't pass muster.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Phonesrfun on November 29, 2013, 11:16:36 PM
Since the face plate had slots for the keeper ring, what was the purpose of the dimples?  To me it doesn't seem like they would be there to hold the position of the face plate because of the keeper.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on November 30, 2013, 12:00:26 AM
Since the face plate had slots for the keeper ring, what was the purpose of the dimples?  To me it doesn't seem like they would be there to hold the position of the face plate because of the keeper.
The dimples are for maintaining proper clearance from the dial body. The earlier patent had problems with this apparently, which the second one improved upon.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Phonesrfun on November 30, 2013, 12:04:45 AM
Makes sense, although it seems to me that designing it so that the FP would lie flush on the dial face would be the way to go.  It is amazing how much engineering went into the earlier dials. 
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on November 30, 2013, 12:36:04 AM
Makes sense, although it seems to me that designing it so that the FP would lie flush on the dial face would be the way to go.  It is amazing how much engineering went into the earlier dials. 
These were designed when #2 dials were still common place and one goal was to prevent dust entering the large open area in the center and to seal the dial as much as possible. Placing the dial face directly on the surface provides the danger of interfering with the rotation of the dial gear, as the patent states, I believe, although the patents never refer to any specific dial type, other than stating that usually there is a cutout notch for the finger stop.

The plate is actually a three-layer design, and the lettering is protected with a layer of clear cellulose acetate. Dipping the whole plate into cellulose acetate solutions is supposed to remove any scratches suffered in use.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: brshaffer on December 02, 2013, 09:59:47 PM
Are celluloid dials more or less desirable?  (From a collecting standpoint).  My WE202 came with a 4H and a 149B dial plate.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 02, 2013, 10:30:37 PM
149s in good shape are much harder to find than 150s.  They were made for a shorter period and tended to deteriorate more rapidly.  What shape is yours in?
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 02, 2013, 10:45:42 PM
Found this on a 251.  The phone has a frequency ringer and rubber feet.  Also the fingerwheel was only painted on one side.  I am assuming that it is not a genuine Western Electric dial plate.  The phone has a number card that says "Dial 0 for Long Distance" so this plate would have served the same purpose as a 150-D I guess. 

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 02, 2013, 11:09:23 PM
Are celluloid dials more or less desirable?  (From a collecting standpoint).  My WE202 came with a 4H and a 149B dial plate.
I suppose almost anything that is genuine and in limited supply is more desirable. The cellulose acetate faceplates just didn't hold up over time as well, so good ones are valuable. The cellulose acetate shrinks and could peel off the metal backing.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: brshaffer on December 03, 2013, 11:42:58 PM
149s in good shape are much harder to find than 150s.  They were made for a shorter period and tended to deteriorate more rapidly.  What shape is yours in?

Fairly decent shape, aside from needing a cleaning.  It's a recent acquisition and there are a few projects ahead of it in line.  A few scratches but no fading, warping, or cracking.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 03, 2013, 11:46:47 PM
149s in good shape are much harder to find than 150s.  They were made for a shorter period and tended to deteriorate more rapidly.  What shape is yours in?

Fairly decent shape, aside from needing a cleaning.  It's a recent acquisition and there are a few projects ahead of it in line.  A few scratches but no fading, warping, or cracking.
That one is very nice, I would say.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 03, 2013, 11:47:22 PM
Looks like it should clean up nicely with a little soap and water, then some Novus #2.  I would not try anything stronger.  This one looks white, usually they have faded to a beige color.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: brshaffer on December 03, 2013, 11:52:42 PM
They have faded to a beige color.

It is beige, it just looks white in the picture due to the white balance (which I can't control on the iPhone).  It looks like something that is made of that "glow in the dark" material--a little yellow/green/beige.  Definitely a different color compared to my porcelain dials.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: brshaffer on December 03, 2013, 11:56:37 PM

That one is very nice, I would say.


Hehe, I really lucked out with this 202 then.  It came with a 4H dial, a nice 149B, and an acetate number card :)
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 04, 2013, 12:06:10 AM

That one is very nice, I would say.


Hehe, I really lucked out with this 202 then.  It came with a 4H dial, a nice 149B, and an acetate number card :)
Very nice!   Well, I have a special find too...  for this topic.  next post.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 04, 2013, 12:16:48 AM
Here is a special find. One of those exceedingly rare all cellulose acetate dial number plates without metal backing.

This one came on a #2AB dial of a 51-C desk stand that was installed for tip-party message rate service with a 554-C subset.

By all indications this desk stand was last refurbished in 1933, as indicated by several matching dates on the unit.

The dial plate is dated II-33 on the back, and has the inscription that indicates the patent application was still pending.  Indeed the patent was not granted until later in the year.

The dial plate is for a #4 dial, as is indicated by the notch for the finger stop on the edge. However, the dial is indeed a 2AB. I have found no references that indicate that these were ever found notchless for #2 dials.

By the dial card, the instrument was installed in Brooklyn, on the BUckminster exchange.

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: tallguy58 on December 04, 2013, 11:38:54 AM
Here's one from a 151AL. Phone was refurbed in '42. It cleaned up beautifully. I just sent it off to Steve Hilsz for lubrication.

I think the cream color lends a touch of nostalgia to these dials.

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Contempra on December 04, 2013, 11:54:59 AM
Nice dial tallguy ;)
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: tallguy58 on December 04, 2013, 11:55:59 AM
Merci, mon ami! ;D
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Contempra on December 04, 2013, 11:58:30 AM
you're welcom :D
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 04, 2013, 04:23:40 PM
Those are pretty cool finds!
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 05, 2013, 03:37:18 PM
It would be interesting to discuss the meaning of the dots on the dial plates. Many of the plates have anywhere from 1 to 4 dots before the date or between the quarter and the year, for example, one of your plates is marked IV::53, another ···III 53, yet another ····II46


As another example of the dots 'surrounding' the date marking, here is a 150B plate, dated Q1 1952, which I just received on a 5J dial.

It has two dots before the quarter (··I) and it has one dot above the 5 of the year.

So what does that mean?  I do not believe that these markings are just random. They mean something.
I like to think that it's the second month of the 1st quarter, but as we noted here before, there are examples of four dots in that position. Alternatives would be to count weeks somehow. week is always 1-4.

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 05, 2013, 05:04:45 PM
My guess is that it is control mark used to distinguish one batch/assembly line/workshop etc.  from the others.  I don't think it has anything to do with the date of manufacture necessarily.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: tallguy58 on December 05, 2013, 05:15:23 PM
Hey Greg, here's one for you:



http://www.ebay.com/itm/Early-1900s-Western-Electric-Candestick-Phone-Model-51AL-/200999543743
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 05, 2013, 06:09:44 PM
My guess is that it is control mark used to distinguish one batch/assembly line/workshop etc.  from the others.  I don't think it has anything to do with the date of manufacture necessarily.
That is certainly a possibility, I agree.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on December 05, 2013, 11:58:56 PM
132G number plate on 2AG dial---this is on a 50AL that had a buy-it-now of $225. Some phones with this number plate have gone for over $900.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-AMERICAN-TEL-TEL-CO-323-CANDLESTICK-TELEPHONE-50AL-PATENT-1913-/200977005152




Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on December 06, 2013, 12:14:22 AM
132G number plate on 2AG dial. Single letters were used to designate different central offices.


http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=7042.0
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 06, 2013, 08:10:59 PM
Quote
132G number plate on 2AG dial---this is on a 50AL that had a buy-it-now of $225. Some phones with this number plate have gone for over $900

Nice
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on December 15, 2013, 12:32:20 PM
149-type number plates usually have the code no. and date on the front; this one just sold for $46.50

http://www.ebay.com/itm/131063844553
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Phonesrfun on December 15, 2013, 01:46:03 PM
I don't know about the tab either.  I have not seen that in the past on any I have.  The back of yours seems to have a set of very faded red numbers at the bottom that may have once been a date.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on December 15, 2013, 01:50:32 PM
Yes, I figured out that it is stamped 149-B and II or IV 34 as I was responding to poplar1.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on December 16, 2013, 12:15:23 AM
"6A" dial plates

Found only on early #6 dials these plates feature a dot above the 0.  The date is either stamped on the back or enameled on the front.  They came in both "Z" operator and "No Z" versions.  They look similar to the 164A but lack the holes for a retaining ring and are not compatible with earlier dials.


The old style plate with black dot that fits only 6-type dials is coded P-340016 in Section C34.101, Issue 6, Feb. 1955
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on December 30, 2013, 12:33:53 AM
This excerpt from BLR Vol 17, October 1938, p.52 establishes the time when the cellulose acetate layered dial plates were retired in favor of the enameled disks.


Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on January 14, 2014, 04:54:44 PM
I found this one on a #2AB dial:

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on January 15, 2014, 01:18:01 AM
Here's a 132-C number plate that was found in a dial marked 2AC.  It fits in the sequence shown at the start of this topic.
  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=10624.msg112993#msg112993 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=10624.msg112993#msg112993)
 
Next to it is a similar later plate found in a refurbed 5H dial.  From the shape, it might be a 149C or 150C plate, if those numbers exist.  It is unmarked, so doesn't answer the question of whether it might be a non-Bell replacement part.
 
Perhaps someone can find the C-variations referenced in a catalog.
 
BTW, taking the plate off the 5H revealed that the inside of the dial had been painted beige! I wouldn't have done that, but it doesn't seem to have hurt the operation.
 
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on January 15, 2014, 10:24:40 AM
The beige paint on the 5H suggests that this dial was not reissued from the WE shops. So far, these 150-style plates with no "operator" have been found only on refurbished non-Bell phones. Since they are not coded (150C or whatever), and because of the poor quality, it seems they are in fact not WE reissues. Off hand, I don't recall seeing any number plates that WE remanufactured.

Also, I'm curious why the all figures, no operator plate found on Larry's Connecticut phone with WE 6-type dial is coded 164B, since that code was already used for the blank plate on pay phones. Another Connecticut phone with 6-type dial I checked has no markings on the back of the number plate.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on January 15, 2014, 11:51:28 AM
"Suggests" is the operative word.  Since the parts can't talk, we have no idea whether the paint and the number plate were done at the same time or years apart.
 
It's equally possible that the paint was an artifact from some user (or lazy refurb shop) deciding to paint the phone and removing the fingerwheel and number plate before applying the paint to the housing and dial internals.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on March 08, 2014, 07:56:46 PM
With Greg's help and support, I have summarized the number plate variations coded 131, 132, 149 and 150 in a table.  They all seem to use the same suffix codes.
 
Starting with the Universal number plates (164), the suffix codes are different.  I'll summarize them separately.
 
This format makes it easy to see similarities and focus our attention on the variations yet to be found and included.
 
We still need: 131B, 132A and D, 150F and G (?) and possibly several other 149 variations, if made.
 
The draft page is here:
   http://www.paul-f.com/weNumberPlates.html (http://www.paul-f.com/weNumberPlates.html)
 
After some testing, I'll integrate it into the site.  Additions and corrections are welcome.
 
Here are a few photos to add to this topic.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on March 09, 2014, 01:01:36 AM
Here is a 132-A:
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on March 10, 2014, 12:38:00 AM
Thanks, Greg.
 
I spent some time with my phones today and found a few more to photograph.  Also found some info in the BSPs and patents.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on March 11, 2014, 09:37:34 AM
Here is a Northern Electric with OPERATOR
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on March 11, 2014, 05:22:32 PM
Thanks for the addition, Greg.
 
I added the NE 164 plate as an afterthought, as it often comes up in WE dial plate conversations, due to their minor differences from the WE 164s.
 
Is yours marked 164-A?
 
The one without the "OPERATOR" is marked 164-AX.
 
I haven't looked for any other NE variations.  Does anyone have catalog info or samples of B, C, D or other NE variations?
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on March 11, 2014, 06:02:07 PM
Found this on a 251.  The phone has a frequency ringer and rubber feet.  Also the fingerwheel was only painted on one side.  I am assuming that it is not a genuine Western Electric dial plate.  The phone has a number card that says "Dial 0 for Long Distance" so this plate would have served the same purpose as a 150-D I guess. 



This same refurbished plate is often seen on  refurbished phones from Surplus Center of Lincoln, NE. I've never seen one labeled 150C or anything else.

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on March 11, 2014, 08:50:57 PM
That one was on a Frankenphone that I put new cords on. I scanned the dial before returning it to the customer.  I think it just said 164A with a manufacture date in the 1970s.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on March 11, 2014, 08:54:54 PM
Good observation, David.  The only "150C" plates I've held have been unmarked and most of the photos I've been sent so far are unmarked on the front and there has been no back photo provided.  I've marked it as questionable while we research this more.  If not WE, it would be interesting to try to track down who made them.
 
Also, there is more to learn about the dial plates used on the Connecticut sets.
 
Has a photo of the back of Larry's 164B-1-56 numbers only plate been posted?
  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=8731.msg93942#msg93942 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=8731.msg93942#msg93942)
 
David's is unmarked, and mine has the P-340016 style with only a date code of II-53 on a 6A dial dated 8-53.
 
 
Currently looking for photos of #1 dial showing a 131B, 132D, 149C, D and H, and a 150C to fill in the chart.
 
We should add BSP or catalog references and date ranges for each style.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: BDM on March 27, 2014, 10:23:44 PM
I assume this to be a notched 132A. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

(http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr233/bdm123456/dial21111_zps18f78f4a.jpg)

(http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr233/bdm123456/dial22222_zps630016cf.jpg)

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on March 27, 2014, 11:34:48 PM
It certainly looks like it should be one, Brian.
 
In the language of identifying other antiques, we might attribute it to Western Electric.
 
It would be reassuring if it had the model number marked on it, as the 132-B posted earlier did.  Without it, we're left wondering whether they assigned a different model number to this one, to reflect its notched configuration, or whether it was made by someone else.
 
It would also help to find a catalog that shows us how they were ordered.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: BDM on March 27, 2014, 11:50:08 PM
Wish I knew Paul. I believe I've had that plate for an easy 20+ years now.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on March 28, 2014, 12:11:50 AM
The answer may be in the "1930-31" Western Electric catalog.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on March 28, 2014, 11:59:18 AM
The dial section of the "1930-31" Western Electric catalog only contains number 2 dials, no number 4 dials.
 
Catalog 9 complicates things by showing a drawing of what we might expect to be a 132B number plate, but labeling it a 149B plate.  How can this be?  ???
 
We already have a photo of a similar enamel plate that is clearly marked 132-B.
 
Has anyone seen a celluloid number plate made in the shape of a 132 plate?  Marked?  Or any plate of this shape marked 149?
 
Could this be a catalog error?   :o
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: BDM on March 28, 2014, 12:16:06 PM
Paul/Dave, I compared this with a notchless properly marked 132 plate (rural) that I have (read: identical). I was comparing them side by side just to see if I could find a difference. I kept looking/comparing/re-checking, even measuring what I could and I cannot find a difference. If someone else other than W.E. manufactured this, they did one heck of a job! But as you've stated Paul, that bit of doubt is there without something to physically ID this plate.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on April 23, 2014, 09:24:50 AM
The 6L dial on the right has a modified 164D number plate. In addition to the the dots, there are also numerals. I don't know whether this is a legit number plate or not; normally the 164D has dots only:


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Two-Western-Electric-Vintage-6-Telephone-Dials-/201074102152

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on April 23, 2014, 11:55:41 AM
It looks like someone used a rubber stamp
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: paul-f on April 23, 2014, 09:43:41 PM
The rubber stamps could have come from one of these kits:
  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5557.msg67447#msg67447 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5557.msg67447#msg67447)
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on August 23, 2014, 07:10:58 PM
Today, another example of those cellulose acetate number plates (http://www.ebay.com/itm/141378443766) sold on eBay. It was mounted on a 1934 refurbished 2AB dial.

The dial is marked as refurbished in I-34, having the same date as the number plate. This again makes it very likely that these were installed not by some third party later, but in a refurbishing center.



Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on August 23, 2014, 07:24:18 PM
Here is a side by side comparison of three examples from 1933 and 1934.

The top one is mine (Brooklyn), the middle one is the new one from Washington (Bayview), and the bottom one shows the version after the patents were issued in 1934.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Lewes2 on September 15, 2014, 10:19:26 AM
Paul, IMHO your draft web page with dial faces is outstanding!  And timely for me.  I was searching your site for dial faces and didn't see anything.  Then I came across this thread.  Perfect timing. When does the page go live?

As usual, you've answered a lot of questions I've had about the various configurations I've see on EBAY and other places. 

Chuck
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 14, 2015, 06:44:26 PM
 RE: 149b dial plate listed above by Paul-f on "Western Electric Dial Plates".  One reply mentioned having the 149b as shown above. I have that also right in front of me. However, a web site I saw last night shows that same one as a 132b notched. That site said the 132b could be notchless or notched.  Mention is made of the 132 has having the 3 prongs on back of course. The 149b  II36  dial plate I just looked at on a B1/202/AB does not have the three prongs.

So, are the the three prongs on the back a major difference between a 132 and 149 plate?  Mention was made of "catalog error" in the 149 diagrams. Perhaps the transition period was not as sharp as imagined, perhaps a late 132 did resemble an early 149.  The "132" I seem to have is like the other corresponder's, no numbers on back(or on front). Thanks.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on April 14, 2015, 07:04:44 PM
As I understand it, the catalogue image shown in Paul's post

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=10624.msg123066#msg123066

Contains an error. The 149B numberplate should be the same style as the other 149 plates. A 132B numberplate, like the other 132 plates, has three pins on the rear. 132 number plates were originally un-notched for the #2 dial but were later notched (before enamelling) when the #4 dial was released.

I'm not sure if there was a period (perhaps during the development of the unreleased #3 dial) between the original un-notched 132 and the 149 where only notched 132 plated were manufactured. I have never seen a notched 132 with a number other than 132 (although some are unmarked).

Jack


Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 14, 2015, 07:26:23 PM
RE: 149b dial plate listed above by Paul-f on "Western Electric Dial Plates".  One reply mentioned having the 149b as shown above. I have that also right in front of me. However, a web site I saw last night shows that same one as a 132b notched. That site said the 132b could be notchless or notched.  Mention is made of the 132 has having the 3 prongs on back of course. The 149b  II36  dial plate I just looked at on a B1/202/AB does not have the three prongs.

So, are the the three prongs on the back a major difference between a 132 and 149 plate?  Mention was made of "catalog error" in the 149 diagrams. Perhaps the transition period was not as sharp as imagined, perhaps a late 132 did resemble an early 149.  The "132" I seem to have is like the other corresponder's, no numbers on back(or on front). Thanks.

I also believe that to be an error in the catalog. The 149 type plates closes the large open center area around the shaft to just enough for the shaft to emerge.

The number plates on the No.4 dials on the early D1 handset mountings for 102 and 202 instruments had a large diameter opening with a notch, the "notched 132", ca. 1930-1934.

I believe the first plate that closed the center area was the all-cellulose acetate pate developed by ca. 1931, and having patent dates of 1934 by Cox and Gutberlet of Philadelphia. Their review of prior art mentions the short-coming of the previous design with the wide opening. The C&G plate was apparently tested in the Bell System in various places with dates between Q2-33 and Q4-34. I believe I own the earliest one found to date (II-33). These are extremely rare items.

The 149 plate appears ca. 1934. It may well have copied the closed design from Cox et al. It is inconceivable that the 149B plate would still have the opening in 1935.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on April 14, 2015, 07:39:41 PM
I believe the first plate that closed the center area was the all-cellulose acetate pate developed by ca. 1931, and having patent dates of 1934 by Cox and Gutberlet of Philadelphia.

Do you know the patent number?

Thanks
Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 14, 2015, 07:44:52 PM
I believe the first plate that closed the center area was the all-cellulose acetate pate developed by ca. 1931, and having patent dates of 1934 by Cox and Gutberlet of Philadelphia.

Do you know the patent number?

Thanks
Jack

US Patent 1933315--Cox and Gutberlet 1934
US Patent 1963439--Gutberlet and Cox 1934

Here you go:

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on April 14, 2015, 07:51:27 PM
Thanks for that.

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 14, 2015, 08:03:39 PM
Thanks for that.

Jack

YW.

BTW, these two guys are also responsible for the black cellulose acetate make-up number cards, E-2118, 2119, 2163, 2164 (BSP C37.311 1/11/34), created about the same time.   So, while their all cellulose acetate dial face plates weren't accepted permanently in the Bell System, they had better success with the number card centers.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on April 14, 2015, 08:28:41 PM
Of course these days those dial centres are discoloured, hard and lumpy but I suppose over time, that happens to the best of us. :-(

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 14, 2015, 09:28:37 PM
It looks like Jack Ryan cleared the 132b question for me. The one I have has the 3 rear pins, a notch for the future/present #4 dial and a large opening with raised border. This one has the "Z" above the horizontal "operator" as does the example incorrectly labeled 149b.  So, the rear 3 pins are indicative of a 132. Now, to find a place for this one. Thank you
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on April 14, 2015, 09:41:22 PM
Now, to find a place for this one.

May I suggest one of my dials?

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 15, 2015, 07:38:23 AM
It looks like Jack Ryan cleared the 132b question for me. The one I have has the 3 rear pins, a notch for the future/present #4 dial and a large opening with raised border. This one has the "Z" above the horizontal "operator" as does the example incorrectly labeled 149b.  So, the rear 3 pins are indicative of a 132. Now, to find a place for this one. Thank you

For the first couple of years the 132 plate for No. 4 dials did not show the letter Z,  presence of the Z on a 132 plate suggests it was likely made from 1932 to 1934.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 15, 2015, 08:59:04 AM
Thanks guys for the help. I was thinking from where I got that dial and now I recall it was off of an early "D". So, what Jack is saying about the date seems to match up perfectly.  The "1" was slightly faint and there were a couple of fine hairlines in the enamel so I think they seller put an overlay on it. I took te overlay off and found a very good plate. Put on another newer plate and gave it to a young niece who loves the phone and of course cares nothing about the date of the dial plate.   That got me thinking about the 1 30  B1 202 I have on the desk that has an AB stop with a II36 149 plate on it.  It is all original except for the 1936 plate which appears to have been placed on there a very long time ago. Maybe I should put the 132 on it and find another home for the 149 II36.  Sure beats watching the news. Thanks for your help.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on April 15, 2015, 06:41:36 PM
Always happy to assist but it was unbeldi who mentioned the dates.

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Sargeguy on October 22, 2015, 09:19:03 PM
Just added a few pictures to the 149 "celluloid" section
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on June 09, 2016, 10:21:55 PM
150 dial plates


150 C:  ???


Possible 150C sighting on a 251 set (AB1 tel set mounting) --  found in a 593 box.
Both the 251 and the 593 were probably more often used by independent companies, since they were shipped without ringers. The  local operating companies then added the required frequency selective ringers required for certain kinds of party lines.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vtg-Black-Rotary-Dial-Desk-Telephone-Western-Electric-Excellent-Clean-/131843711762
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Tim Mc on July 10, 2016, 05:52:33 PM
I think I just landed a unique #4 dial plate without the "Z" like this one shown at Phonemandave's web site:

Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on July 10, 2016, 06:32:11 PM
I think I just landed a unique #4 dial plate without the "Z" like this one shown at Phonemandave's web site:

The early No. 132 dial number plates for the #4 dial indeed did not have the Z printed on them. The Z was present starting in ca. 1932.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Tim Mc on July 14, 2016, 10:48:56 AM
For any that are curious, here's the specific dial and plate received - a #4 from I-31.  There are no markings on the back, but it does have the three locating pins. I assume this is known as a "#4" and not a "4H".  As for the dial plate, I assume that it's a "4B" or a notched 132B.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on July 14, 2016, 10:57:31 AM
When equipped with an alphanumeric number plate, your 4H-type dial is designated "4HB."
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on July 14, 2016, 07:50:53 PM
What is the code that distinguishes a notched 132 number plate from one that isn't?

Thanks
Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on July 14, 2016, 09:23:42 PM
What is the code that distinguishes a notched 132 number plate from one that isn't?

Thanks
Jack

There wasn't any special code. It wasn't needed, because there probably was no or very little overlap in production. The notched plates also fit on No. 2 dials, when replacement was needed.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on July 14, 2016, 09:57:53 PM
There wasn't any special code. It wasn't needed, because there probably was no or very little overlap in production. The notched plates also fit on No. 2 dials, when replacement was needed.

Thanks for that. I wondered if WE's numbering diligence extended to changes that were visible but otherwise inconsequential.

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on July 14, 2016, 10:07:49 PM
Even the notched 132 plates only had a short lifetime, by ca. 1933 WECo was testing replacements and a year later or so, they had the 149.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on July 14, 2016, 10:26:49 PM
Yes I knew they were short lived but possibly longer lived than WE would have liked. It seems to have taken 17 attempts to perfect the 149.

I have been told that some un-notched 132 plates were notched by installers on site. That likely happened but I don't know that it was an official procedure. I don't remember seeing a BSP on the subject.

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on July 14, 2016, 10:36:35 PM
Yes I knew they were short lived but possibly longer lived than WE would have liked. It seems to have taken 17 attempts to perfect the 149.

I have been told that some un-notched 132 plates were notched by installers on site. That likely happened but I don't know that it was an official procedure. I don't remember seeing a BSP on the subject.

Jack

The only number plate maintenance that I remember from the BSPs of the time, and that are available, was to use a KS-...some-number... cloth to wipe it clean.

But I positively know that in 1933 at least some of the repair shops no longer used 132 type plates during refurbishment of candlesticks, at least no longer exclusively.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: Jack Ryan on July 14, 2016, 11:32:06 PM
Thanks Unbeldi

Jack
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: poplar1 on July 15, 2016, 12:34:32 PM
There have been no 2-type dials manufactured later than III 32 reported here. Unfortunately, my 2H dial dated III 32 has a 1952 150B number plate, so it offers no clue whether the dial was originally equipped with an unnotched plate. It does seem likely that the production of unnotched plates would have ceased along with the manufacture of dial desk stands (apparently in 1930).

Although Sargeguy's photo shows "132-B" stamped on the back of an unnotched plate, the vast majority of these notched plates with 3 pins have no markings on the back.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 13, 2017, 11:30:27 AM
RE: 150C plate.
I took an original? plate off of a B1/202 I bought years ago, a II36 phone. The back of the plate was somewhat rusted/tarnished. There are no markings on the plate and it matches perfectly  with the 150C noted on this web site. Front is quite good. Somewhere else I saw that a writer called it a 150D, but that appears at odds with other views. Is the prevailing idea about this dial is that it was not a genuine WE dial or has that changed?  The "0" stands alone as in the pictures in Greg's posts. Thank You.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 13, 2017, 12:01:41 PM
RE: 150C plate.
I took an original? plate off of a B1/202 I bought years ago, a II36 phone.
What do you mean by "original"?  There probably were no original B1 202s, I believe all B1 handset mountings were manufactured as 102-type telephones, i.e. sidetone instruments.  No B1s were manufactured anymore in 1936, so the date must be a refurbishment date.  On which part is this date stamped ?

What kind of dial is on the instrument ?  Is it a type 4 or 5 ?
Can you show some pictures?

Quote
The back of the plate was somewhat rusted/tarnished. There are no markings on the plate and it matches perfectly  with the 150C noted on this web site. Front is quite good. Somewhere else I saw that a writer called it a 150D, but that appears at odds with other views. Is the prevailing idea about this dial is that it was not a genuine WE dial or has that changed?  The "0" stands alone as in the pictures in Greg's posts. Thank You.

On which web site?

A 150D has "Long Distance" printed on it, I believe.

This is a 150-type plate I found on a 5H dial in a 302 telephone, which was found in independent telephone country in WI.  Is this what your plate looks like ?
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 13, 2017, 07:12:22 PM
Thank you for the reply. The "original" term was meant to describe that the dial plate appeared to be original to the dial, and only the dial.  Dial is marked in red  II36  & 4H.   What the phone was initially is impossible to ascertain.

My question was purely about the dial plate, and yes the one I have looks exactly as the one you sent in reply. No markings on it on front and back is corroded enough to obscure any possible markings. My only interest in this is the plate. It appears to be the 150C and I was wondering what are the opinions on that in 2017, thank you.  Incidentally I just came across a decent 4H II 37 dial with "original" II 37 dial plate.........I assume it is original to the phone. Nothing looks new on any of it.  Thank You.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 13, 2017, 07:13:43 PM
The picture you supplied is one I had saved on the computer. Yes, that is same dial plate.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 13, 2017, 08:03:53 PM
The No. 150 type number plates were first issued in the first quarter 1938, so it cannot possibly be original to the dial.
The plate that was used until that time was the No. 149, which was a metal plate with cellulose acetate layers on the front.
Only the very last 4H dials, made in the first or second quarter of 1938, had the new plate already.
The 149 plate came out in 1934, replacing the 132.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 13, 2017, 08:25:29 PM
BTW, talking about a 150C number plate is completely non-standard.  The Bell System did not stock such an type number.
They only made 150 A, B, D, E, and H plates, same for the 149.

The 132C did not have an official replacement part.

These plates were probably made outside the Bell System for the independent telephone companies.
The plate I showed, was indeed found on a set installed by an independent telco, and I suspect yours was too.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: TallahasseeTom on April 13, 2017, 09:12:08 PM
The Paul-F.com web site mentions a 150C, right or wrong, but he does not mention manufacturer.  But, that satisfies my interest on the plate that I had actually put away until I saw his discussion and one other on 150's.  Sounds like it is some after market production, so back in the drawer it goes.

I suppose the II 1937 149b plate and dial I found today, both in good shape, can be used as needed.
Thanks for the time and help.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: unbeldi on April 13, 2017, 10:00:50 PM
The Paul-F.com web site mentions a 150C, right or wrong, but he does not mention manufacturer.  But, that satisfies my interest on the plate that I had actually put away until I saw his discussion and one other on 150's.  Sounds like it is some after market production, so back in the drawer it goes.

I suppose the II 1937 149b plate and dial I found today, both in good shape, can be used as needed.
Thanks for the time and help.

I think this type of plate should be referred to also as a 150B.  The 150B evolved over time anyways into three distinct WECo versions.  Most notably, in 1953 they dropped the Z letter from the zero position and curled "OPERATOR" around the zero, without renumbering the plate.   This is just another variation, whether Bell or non-Bell.
Independents may well have not wanted to show "Operator", because either their population didn't speak English, such as in some areas of Canada, or because they used different codes for reaching long distance.   On some switching systems, the long distance operator was 112.
Title: Re: Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones
Post by: rdelius on April 14, 2017, 01:10:43 PM
At Heins telephone  Sanford NC ,we had some NE 251 sets (302) that had some of these number plates.with no operator.