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Western Electric Model 354 – The Finished Product

Some ten days after I began this project the Western Electric Model 354 wall phone is finally ready to hang on the wall. I had ordered some replacement rubber dial gaskets so that I could put a new one between the dial and the housing of the phone. They apparently got lost in the mail but eventually reached me and the project could go forward. Shown here are a couple photos of the finished, working telephone. Deviating from the originality of the phone I placed a more modern back plate on the back. This will make it more convenient to hang the phone on today’s wall jack without running a line cord to a wall outlet. These back plates were made in the early to mid 1960’s to add to the model 554 wall phone when things began to turn modular. Also a brown cloth handset cord was added thanks to the work of Odis LeVrier of House of Telephones.

Internally each component has been cleaned to ensure proper working condition. The wire conductor leads were all cleaned for proper electrical conductivity.I was concerned that the steel ringer gongs would not sound as nice as those made from brass. I was pleasantly surprised when I connected this phone and let it ring. The sound was strong and clear.

So after spending an undetermined amount of time out of service, this very nice Model 354 is ready to be used again. The quality of the sound transmission and clarity of the ringer is as good as the day it was made in September of 1952!

I put together a Picasa Web Album about the refurbishing of this telephone. If you would like to see additional photos, take a look at the album. If you have questions or comments, feel free to Contact me at anytime.

6 responses to “Western Electric Model 354 – The Finished Product”

Don’t you think you could have arranged all those wires a bit neater? 🙂

Nice job!

You know Dave, I was thinking the same thing when I looked at the photo. I don’t remember if I straightened them up a bit after the photo was taken or not. But you are correct, they could be neater. That will give the new owner something to do! Thanks for the comment.

I restore old British telephones; mostly bakelite 332’s and I found looking at the differences and similarities between my telephones and yours fascinating. Many thanks Karen

Thank you Karen for taking the time to post your comment. I have seen many photographs of British telephones but have no experience with them personally. I think the design of many that I have seen are very stylish. I’m sure there are many similarities in the design of phones from time period. I will take some time to take a look at your British Telephone Blog. Thank you!

Wow, that is a beautiful job. I have a 354 that unfortunately looks like the before photos. One question, does the modular back plate mount over the original or take the place of it?

Thank you Bradley for your compliment and comment. That was a fun project, especially since I was refurbishing the phone for a friend.

Originally the Model 354 phone was not used with the modular back plate. Those plates came along in the early to mid 1960’s. The back plates were designed for the model 554 wall phone. Many early 554’s were updated with notched housings to accommodate a modular jack for the switch over to modular cords/plugs. However the back plate is a perfect retro fit for the Model 354 as well. Since the addition of the plate does not alter in any way the original telephone, (it can easily be removed) I like to use them to make it easier for the user to mount his/her telephone to a modern wall jack. It simply attaches to the back of the phone and wires from the sliding modular plug connect to the network.

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