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Object Record

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Catalog Number 1998.046.001
Description Model 202 "Princess" Telephone, c. 1928-1932. This black telephone has a black plastic handset which is connected to a black cord that connects at one end of the handset to the back of the device. On the middle of the hand set, embossed in black and small lettering, the text reads "BELL SYSTEM / MADE BY / Western Electric F1". In the middle of the phone, the handset is connected to a metal black base with a black rotary dial in front of it. On the black rotary dial, a picture of a white bell with some brown and embossed text in small lettering and bold that reads "BELL SYSTEM". On the back of the base, in engraved with some black and bold text that reads "... MADE IN U.S.A PATENT 1308-124 PATENT PEND". The bottom of the base has a leather brown backing with two metal screws on each side.
Object Name Telephone
Collection 3D - Telecommunication Tools & Equipment
Title Model 202 "Princess" Telephone, c. 1928-1932
Date c. 1928-1932
Creator Western Electric
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "BELL SYSTEM / MADE BY / Western Electric F1" (embossed in black and small lettering on the middle of the handset)

"BELL SYSTEM" (embossed brown text in small lettering and bold in middle of the black rotary dial)

"... MADE IN U.S.A PATENT 1308-124 PATENT PEND" (engraved in black and bold at the back of the black phone base)

Notes "The model 202, sometimes called the D1, was the Bell System's mainstay telephone from 1930 to 1936. The D1 designation referred specifically to the phone's streamlined, oval-shaped base, which featured the company’s first recessed dial, called the 4-type. But the phone is of interest to collectors not so much for its exterior design as its interior circuitry, particularly in the handset. Until the 202, most Western Electric phones sent the recipient's voice, as well as the caller's, into the earpiece, producing a phenomenon known as sidetone. Model 202 phones had anti-sidetone handsets that sent just enough of a caller's voice into the earpiece to assure them the device was working, but not so much to be distracting.

Though a panel of Western Electric designers had selected a number of colors for their new 202, the introduction of these colors was delayed following the effects of the Great Depression. Western Electric was not immune to the downturn, laying off around 80 percent of its employees. Thus, the original 202s were available only in black, known as a “rubber finish japan” for its shiny, lacquer-like appearance. Eventually, the company added ivory, grey, bronze, gold, and oxidized silver to the phone’s palette." []
Dimensions H-7 W-5 D-0.5 inches
Search Terms Telephone
Western Electric
Subjects Telephones