Author Topic: Western Electric Dial Identification  (Read 1320 times)

Offline tekuhn

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Western Electric Dial Identification
« on: October 18, 2016, 12:07:08 PM »
Hi there. I have a WE D1 phone that was manufactured in 1936 (IV 36). The dial is marked 4H, but the switch has the W terminal on the opposite side from the pictures I find and looks like what I see on 5H dials. Also, it has a 150B faceplate dated I 47 which seems to be what is on a 5H dial. Do I have something that someone pieced together, or is it possible this is an original 4H dial that was added to the phone at a later date?


Offline poplar1

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 12:19:38 PM »
The contact springs on the dial have been updated at the WE repair shop in order to have bifurcated ("twin") contacts for the receiver.
The cords  are also newer than 1936--see dates on the cord restraints. In 1936, the cords would have had brown fabric covering.
Also, one of the M1E jumpers has been replaced. It's possible that this phone previously had a 61-type filter, and that when it was removed, it was necessary to add a new jumper in its place.

Phones were purchased by the Bell operating companies from Western Electric, then leased to customers. When a phone was disconnected, it was shipped back to the Western Electric Distributing House. At that time, it was either remanufactured, parted out, or junked. Customers rarely got "new phones" even though they almost always asked for new ones.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 12:26:43 PM »
That might be a 1951 date on the D4AN mounting cord. The dial is older than 1936, because it is painted black rather than parkerized.

Often, 202s and even 302s got dials that were converted from 2-type to 4-type. The old externally mounted finger stop was replaced with an internally mounted one so that the dial could be used on phones that had recessed dials (D1 202s, 302s). If they were originally 2A dials (from desk stand, wall sets, pay phones), then it was also necessary to swap out the contact springs, since there is no "R" terminal on a 2A dial. The old "W" to the right of BB was marked out and "R" was stamped in vermilion ink.

2H dials (from B1s and C1s) already had the correct spring pileup. However, they might also have been upgraded with the "twin" contacts like your dial has.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline tekuhn

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 01:24:39 PM »
The main reason I am asking to make sure it's really a 4H, is because it is missing the finger wheel, nut, and washer. Looking at Oldphoneworks.com, they list a different wheel for a 4H versus a 5H and I wanted to make sure I get the right one. Other sources such as on eBay have sellers saying their wheel will fit 2, 4, or 5's so not really sure what the difference is. Looking at pictures, I see no difference until the 6, where the oblong mounting hole appears to be rotated about 90 degrees.

Offline tekuhn

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 01:51:02 PM »
On the cords - the cord to the subset is labeled "5-6  D4AN  I 51". The receiver cord "52  H3AG". Handset is E1 with F1 transmitter element (12/42) and receiver is magnet/diaphragm type ink stamped "IV 31" inside the compartment. I need to figure out how to unscrew the transmitter cup to change the cord without damaging anything.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 02:51:13 PM »
The main reason I am asking to make sure it's really a 4H, is because it is missing the finger wheel, nut, and washer. Looking at Oldphoneworks.com, they list a different wheel for a 4H versus a 5H and I wanted to make sure I get the right one. Other sources such as on eBay have sellers saying their wheel will fit 2, 4, or 5's so not really sure what the difference is. Looking at pictures, I see no difference until the 6, where the oblong mounting hole appears to be rotated about 90 degrees.

Same black  finger wheel fits 2A, 2H, 4H and 5H dials. Of course, older ones are brass, then steel, then aluminum, but they are all interchangeable.
6A, 7A and 7D use the same finger wheel, but, as you pointed out, have a larger mounting hole which is also rotated 90 degrees.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline tekuhn

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 03:06:32 PM »
Great information (as always)! Perhaps the one listed as 4H is brass which might explain the higher price. Since I have a 1947 faceplate, it's logical to assume the wheel could have been changed out as well, so I have no problem using steel or aluminum.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2016, 06:26:14 PM »
$14.95 for aluminum, or $34.95 for brasss finger wheel? + Postage? I think you can do better than that! That's about the right price for a complete 5H or 4H dial.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 06:28:56 PM by poplar1 »
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline tekuhn

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2016, 07:51:24 PM »
Exactly. I have been watching dialer auctions and have definitely seen complete dialers for $15-$20.

Offline mariepr

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 09:33:42 PM »
What kind of dial is this on 1960s era WE "butt sets"?  While having seen these only on ebay photographs it appears that one needs a tool to dial.  Was there some reason for not using a conventional finger wheel?  As in the linesman being able to just use a tool instead of removing his work gloves?  Some of these hard black rubber butt sets instead have #6 dials with conventional aluminum finger wheels and newer models came out with plastic finger wheels.  Can anyone shed some light on the logic of this design?

Offline rdelius

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 09:50:12 PM »
No fingerwheel to bend when dropped off a pole

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 09:54:44 PM »
The dial style is called a "pin dial". They are easy to dial ( no a special tool needed) . I have been told they are rated for a 200' drop.

JMO,
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline Ktownphoneco

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 09:59:23 PM »
The test set is a type 1011B, and the dial I believe is a type 103A.     The dials were known as "pencil dials", as they could be dialed with pretty much any pointed object, including pencils.

Jeff Lamb

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 11:23:24 PM »
Or your fingernails on the pin. Pretty easy after a little practice.

They were coveted by the PBX repair guys because of their small size. The downtown guys didn't have vehicles so they walked between customers in their area. Thus a smaller butt set left more room for other items in their repair kit.

Terry

unbeldi

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Re: Western Electric Dial Identification
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2017, 09:02:08 AM »
Here is a 103A dial in new condition with box.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 09:09:13 AM by unbeldi »