Author Topic: Western Electric A-3 Telephone  (Read 385 times)


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Western Electric A-3 Telephone
« on: January 30, 2018, 10:02:36 AM »
I'm sure everyone has been eyeing this one, and I am very curious as to why it is going for so much?  A search for Western Electric A-3 brings up absolutely nothing, and I can't find it mentioned anywhere on the forum, so I am wondering if this is some super rare phone?


Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Western Electric A-3 Telephone
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 10:39:15 AM »
The A1 was Western Electric's first handset desk stand, pre-dating the B1. I'm not sure what an A3 is, but I think it was some sort of party line variation or something.  Help me out here, desk stand experts! :-[

This phone was simply a dial candlestick base and stem with the stem sawed off a couple inches from the base, with a cradle attached to the sawed off section.
In the past, collectors have believed that they're much rarer than they actually are, and usually sold for very high amounts at auction. However, more have appeared in recent years than people believed existed, so the rarity factor has dipped a bit. Still, they do sell for a lot, and are still very hard to find.

It went from being considered practically a prototype to a hard to find, very early phone, like a 1949 500 compared to a 1950.

Many of these had "A1" stamped out and "B1" added, and the handset and dial were swapped out. Unfortunately, this one doesn't appear to have the original handset or dial, but it wasn't stamped out.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 10:43:38 AM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline poplar1

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Re: Western Electric A-3 Telephone
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 11:13:48 AM »
From a previous topic

The A3 was not the party line version.  It was used in PBX systems and in the No.1 Residence System. It later became the 104 telephone with the B3 base (and others later).
The party line version was the A2, for two-party message rate service, like the later 103 telephone with a B2 base (and others).
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Western Electric A-3 Telephone
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 12:23:48 PM »
More background can be found in the BSPs referenced on this page:
Visit:         WE 500  Design_Line



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Re: Western Electric A-3 Telephone
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 10:06:26 PM »
Very surprised this phone got such low coverage on the forum. Went for quite a pretty penny...