Western Electric 2500When Western Electric adopted the Henry Dreyfuss design that would be known as the Model 500, no one suspected that its descendants would outlive the company itself. First manufactured in 1949, the 500 saw numerous variants over the years, and lives on even today as a frequently copied design. The most significant modification to the 500 came in 1964 when it was converted to touch-tone dialing. This model, the 1500, lacked the pound and asterisk buttons, both of which were added three years later on the model 2500. (This change denotes a switch from the Type 25 dial to the Type 35) Given its brief production life, the 1500 is today a highly collectible curiosity, the significance of the two missing buttons well known to collectors. The 2500 on the other hand, soldiered on for many years, right to the bitter end. With the 1984 fragmentation of AT&T and the dissolution of the Western Electric name, the 2500 was the end of a long line of dependable products. Read the rest of this entry »