Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration > Technical "Stuff"

Dial plates found on Western Electric Telephones

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Sargeguy:
132 notchless dial plate

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



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.



Note that the word "OPERATOR" is straight





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.



Note that the word "OPERATOR" is rounded



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.



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



Sargeguy:
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.



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



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:





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



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





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Issued in very limited quantities for a short period, these dials did not stand up well to regular usage and were withdrawn





These also came in a J, M, R and W version

Sargeguy:
150 dial plates

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



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


Later versions did not have the "Z"



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.


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"

Sargeguy:
"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.





Earlier version with the "Z"



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





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



164C Black dots only used on 5302



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



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

Sargeguy:
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/ for a lot of info.

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