Author Topic: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers  (Read 17207 times)

Offline Sargeguy

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Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« on: April 09, 2012, 11:12:53 PM »
I am starting this thread to help sort through the various WE transmitter numbers and the phones or other apparatus they are associated with.  Please post any comments, corrections or observations below.  I will add info as I have time/learn more.

Transmitters had different numbers for a varity of reasons.  Some referred to the electronic qualities of the transmitters, with some transmitters used on inter phones, while others were designed for longer lines, etc.  some numbers referred to the type of mounting bracket or arm the transmitter was mounted on.  Whether or not a transmitter was insulated or not was another variable.

A transmitter's intended function did not necessarily dictate where it ended up.  Desk stands were sold by Western Electric without transmitters or receivers.  Older transmitters and receivers were also available as an option.  Repairmen would likely use whatever transmitters were available that would work with a certain phone, so if a desk stand"s 229 failed, it would be replaced with a 250 if that was all that was on the truck.  The later practice of refurbishing candlesticks and wood phones led to all types of combinations.


Sometimes transmitters had their designations changed, in which case the old number was obliterated and a new number stamped beside it.

Evolution of Western Electric Tag Schemes (according to my theory probably wrong)

Western Electric transmitter tags went through a number of changes over the years they were manufactured (mid 1890s to mid 1930s).  They started simply and became more and more complex as the patent dates were taken from the back of the cup and put on the transmitter tag.  This was most likely an expedient so that the repairman just had to switch the faceplate, and not the cup as well.  One consideration when matching a transmitter to a transmitter cup is to make sure there is only one set of patent dates on the transmitter and cup.  Early transmitters had no patent dates on the banana tag because the dates were on the cup.  The later cups had patent dates on the tags but none on the cups.

"W" vs. "*"

The use of the "w" is usually associated with non-Bell System phones.  There are numerous examples of "barn fresh" phones with "PROPERTY OF THE AMERICAN BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY" stamped on the transmitter cup and "229w" transmitters, however, to suggest that they were used on some Bell System phones as well.  The Bell System was a complicated entity in the early 1900s, made up of numerous smaller companies with varying degrees of independence from The American Bell Telephone Company.   How these companies sourced their parts may have an effect on this but no one really knows.  The use of the asterisk seems to be used exclusively by the Bell System.  Personally, I think no one really knows.


*1234567*(7-digit) 
These are uncommon, they were used on 301A and other phones in the early 1900s.


*A.B.T. Co.*
A scarce transmitter designation used in the early 1900s, stands for American Bell Telephone Company.  Examples that I know of were used on 301A and 293A wall phones.


*229*
Commonly found on a variety of phones, although originally intended for desk stands.


WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY all one size no model number.  Uncommon. The two examples I know of were found on 2-boxers.


WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY with the model number below the words.  "COMPANY" is the same size as "WESTERN ELECTRIC".


WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY (smaller letters)  "Patent Applied For" below, model # above.


WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY (smaller letters)  "Patent in USA JAN 14, 1913" below, model # above.


WESTERN ELECTRIC MADE IN USA (smaller letters)  "Patent in USA JAN 14, 1913" below, model # above.


PROPERTY OF AMERICAN TEL & TEL COMPANY, model # in the center,  "PAT in USA JAN 14, 1913" below


COMMON TRANSMITTER TYPES

Earlier Transmitters

Although these are not the earliest Bell System transmitters they are the ones more commonly seen, and within the range of the average collector.  These are found on two-boxers and fiddlebacks, #10 and TYPE 22s as well as other models, including later phones.


7-digit-Bell System found wall phones and candlesticks


*A.B.T. Co.*-Bell System candlesticks and wall phones


*229*

WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY found on earlier two-box wall phones

200 series

200-series transmitters are usually associated with nickel plated candlesticks such as the 20-B or wooden wall phones such as the 293A.  They are mostly uninsulated, and have springs and a thin central screw that hold the diaphragm in place.  They tend to follow the design patented in 1891-92, although there are exceptions.

Looking at the 1908 catalog it appears that the 229 and 250 were the most widely used transmitter, on telephones, RR apparatus, police phones etc.  The 229 was used on candlesticks and wall phones, the 250 was only used on wall phones, especially those with a #10 arm. 

*225*-Used on speaking tube telephones
226w-Low resistance transmitter without lug
227w--Low resistance transmitter with lug
228w-High resistance transmitter without lug
*229*-High resistance transmitter with lug. Bell System central battery candlesticks and wall phones as in the case of the beveled edge example above.
229w-High resistance transmitter with lug. Bell System and independent central battery candlesticks and wall phones, RR apparatus (1908 catalog)
232w-switchboard. Has a larger diaphragm and longer bridge than other WE transmitters
234w-Operator's chest transmitter
244w-No.1 Handset
*250*-Bell System phones using the #10 transmitter arm (301a, 317)
250w-Bell System and independent central battery phones using the #10 transmitter arm (301a, 317) as well as others.
251w-Low resistance bracket type transmitter
255w-Used on the 20Bc candlestick
256w-Test set
257w-No. 2 Handset

*259*/259w-uninsulated standard size.  Found one on a #5 arm

269w-Small insulated case for interphones like the 20T and 20P
270wHigh resistance bracket type-transmitter with insulated case.  Wall telephones that require a bracket type-transmitter.
271w-High resistance type-transmitter with insulated case and lug.  The 20-P desk stand and 293A wall phones.
272w-High resistance type-transmitter with insulated case and lug and two 5 1/2 inch cords Wall telephones (except intercoms) that require a lug.

273w-found on a magneto/top box converted to a wall phone.  Also spotted on a WE compact intercom with watchcase receiver.

277w-Used on Interphones like the 293AG


284w-Looks like a typical transmitter, insulated.  Found on portable magneto boxes and "PUSH TO TALK" type phones.
291w-Used on early 20xx series candlesticks and 333 wall phones.
297w transmitter used with metal wall sets




300 series

300 series transmitters can be found on black finished candlesticks such as the 20-AL and metal wall phones like the 533.  Nickel versions are common as well, used on the 20-PC and 20-BC candlesticks.  Combinations of black and nickel parts are commonplace.  300 series transmitters generally are of the design patented in 1913.  They are mostly insulated and feature the diaphragm with the dimpled center and sticky gasket instead of springs.  There are lots of exceptions to this description.  Dial candlesticks feature later transmitters such as the 323 and 337.

302w-Smaller transmitter found on interphones
305w-Smaller transmitter found on interphones
*311*-Found on intercoms and 333 wall phones
311w-Found on intercoms and 333 wall phones
316w-intercoms

323


323w-Insulated with lug.  All-purpose: Found on deskstands, wall phones and Interphones



325W-Used on the 327H intercom, older type with retaining springs
323BW
329-High resistance insulated transmitter with lug.


*329*-High resistance insulated transmitter with lug.
329w-High resistance insulated transmitter with lug.
337-Common on later candlesticks and 533 wall phones
349-?
*350*Bell System high resistance bracket type transmitter for phones that require a bracket such as the 317
350w-High resistance bracket type transmitter for phones that require a bracket such as the 317 wall phone

386w-Operator's chest transmitter

389w-Large transmitter found on candlestick microphones

WESTERN ELECTRIC
w/out number and a 1916 patent date.  The example I know of was plated in nickel.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 10:48:44 PM by Sargeguy »
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline wds

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 05:35:18 PM »
I picked up this We transmitter, and didn't see it on your list.  256w.  Ever seen one like this before?
Dave

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 05:50:47 PM »
That looks pretty strange on the back. What was it on? Have you opened it up?
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline wds

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 06:01:12 PM »
I pulled the transmitter off the faceplate, and it looks like a 229 on the diaphram side.  I unscrewed the large round plug and it was full of carbon granules.  I didn't go any farther for fear of loosing the carbon.  The transmitter is a smaller diameter, like the 302.  I added a new gasket - the old one had crumbled apart. 
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 06:29:20 PM by wds »
Dave

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 10:23:49 PM »
OK, I don't blame you for not taking it apart further. So that whole big "bump" on the back is full of carbon? It seems to get stranger as we go :)
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline wds

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 10:30:03 PM »
When I took the plug out, it was full of carbon right up to the top.  I actually lost a few grains trying to put the plug back in.  there is a screw in the middle of the plug, so I think that must be where they inserted the carbon.  I notice the two terminals are in the side of the large bump, so maybe the entire bump isn't full of carbon.  Although, if not all the way full, then I wonder if the carbon even touches the diaphram.  I also think the transmitter is too deep to fit in the 302 cup.  It appeared to need another 1/8" or so to fit.  Sure would like to see a cut sheet for this one that would show what's on the inside of this thing.
Dave

Offline G-Man

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 02:39:12 AM »
I believe it may have been intended for use on a handset or a dispatching arm. The chamber is probably positioned to keep the carbon in the proper position when in use.
 
Also, the catalog excerpts appear to be out of the TCI's 1908 catalog scans. Here are the links to both the hi-definition (very large file download) and low-fi (lower file size) versions:

http://tinyurl.com/c6qqbvy
http://tinyurl.com/c64scg3

Offline wds

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 12:21:03 PM »
# 1002.  I looked that one up in the cateloge, and I think it used a #257 transmitter.  Not sure if the 257 is the same as a 256.  Maybe someone who has one can see what transmitter is on there's. 
Dave

Offline Bill

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 12:09:15 PM »
I would like to ID this transmitter element, but I'm not making any progress. It is definitely Western Electric, and is clearly dated 1924. I can't make out the smudged few letters on the upper left in the photo of the back, but that would probably be the type number. Any ideas?

When I pick up this element and shake it, it rattles. Sounds like there is a very small B-B inside. This isn't promising, is it? Can I remove the small nut in the center of the diaphragm and hope to do some good, or is this a self-destruct nut?

Thanks for any ideas.

Bill

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 08:31:45 PM »
I would not remove it, the granules might pour out when the diaphragm seperates from the back.  What led you to believe this is WECO?  It does not follow the usual pattern
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline HowardPgh

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 09:28:51 AM »
Bill-
What the dimensions of the transmitter in your picture?
I wonder if it is Automatic Electric.  I have an early buttset that needs a transmitter.
Howard

This has a picture of my handset that needs a part.
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=6264.0
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 09:34:07 AM by HowardPgh »
Howard

Offline Bill

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A MYSTERY!
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 08:32:19 PM »
Sargeguy -

I'm quite sure that the butt set is WE, since it is clearly marked D-75959 and matches sets described in the BSPs, etc. And the transmitter was glued by age and deteriorated gasket material so tightly into the cavity that I had a hard time removing it. So I believe it is the real thing.

Pix of the butt set at http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=7586.0
-----------------
Howard -

My main interest is in getting this thing running again. I have to admit, though, that the transmitter element apears to be a twin of the AE that Paul-F pictured in your thread. Could this be true? I've repeated Paul's transmitter, and mine, below. Paul, if it is convenient for you, could you take a picture of the front of the element, and pass on any identifying info? Many thanks.

Sorry I can't measure the size - the set is 2500 miles away at the moment. Maybe in May?

Bill

« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 12:58:43 PM by Bill »

Offline wds

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 07:37:32 PM »
so the transmitter marked "Western Electric Company" pre-dates the 229?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 07:46:17 PM by wds »
Dave

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 07:48:35 PM »
I am watching that auction, and was tempted but I have two already.  I am not really sure about which came first.  I have a beveled edge *229*, which should be earlier?  They were used with the #5 arm on two-box wall phones, and I am not sure of any other applications.   First thing I would do is get it re-nickeled.  It's brassed out and re-painted.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline dencins

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Re: Western Electric Transmitter Numbers
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 09:37:02 PM »
I am wondering if this could be from a non-telephone application like a microphone.  Anyone have an old (1890 - early 1900) Western Electric catalogue other than telephones?

The beveled edge transmitters were produced before this style.  The beveled edge style was made on a lathe as one piece.  The next style usually seen on 2XX transmitters (and like this one) was also made on a lathe but was three piece with rivets holding the back pieces in place.

Other than the tag I do not see any other indication this was plated.  Maybe it was painted black?

Dennis Hallworth