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Stepping Back In Telephone History – Model 202

Recently I thought I would broaden my horizon a bit in my telephone collecting by putting aside my model 500’s and 554’s.

I had picked up a couple of older sets a year or two ago and just put them on the shelf—hoping to get back to them later.

Finally I have been able to put together a nice Western Electric Model 202 with an attached ringer box. Some may look at this photo and say that I am mistaken, that the phone is actually a 102. However the designation of the telephone is not based upon the body style but actually in the way the telephone is connected to the ringer box, or wired. It is true that this telephone has a B1 base which normally is associated with a Model 102, but because I chose a 4-conductor desk stand cord, to connect the phone to the ringer box it becomes a 202, wired for “anti-side tone”.

This 202 with its B1 base has a very nice #4H dial. The dial gives the phone that great dialing sound that many people described as having a “clickety-clack” sound. I have been able to record the actual sound of this dial as well as the ringer on the box to which it is connected. With the 4H dial, the E1 handset and nice reproduction brown cloth cordage, this is really a very nice telephone. There is some paint wear at the cradle but I like the character of the phone, after all it has been in around for over seventy years!

The ringer box is actually a complete base from a Western Electric model 302 telephone. The cover was manufactured by Ray Kotke at Telephone Creations. He made the boxes to look like a Western Electric box. The plastic cover fits perfectly over a Model 302 base and attaches with the screws that originally held the housing to the base. Ray makes these in several colors. Take a moment to listen to the great sound of the #4 dial and the loud ring of the 302 ringer box. This is a very nice addition to my collection. I’m currently using this phone at my desk as an every day telephone!

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