Tue 10/21/2003 11:13 AM
Well, I got the ol' gal [Princess phone] working again.
It was the "Strap from H of Network" that need to be connected to the A
terminal. This had been isolated but I had wondered about it. It must have been
the "see me" connection for the phone company and someone in the past isolated
it so as not to be charged for the phone.
Anyhow, I found the connection requirement on Page 9 of the 702B manual. Table C
(702B Telephone Set Line and Ringer Connections).
Thank you for all your dedication and hard work. I would not have been able to
figure out where that darn H strap went without that Table.
Now my house is filled with the pleasant ring of Bell Telephone again.
Santa Cruz, CA
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 6:54 PM
I followed your ringer rewiring instructions at
and effortlessly got my sister's beloved "500"
phone set (with a 425E network) to start ringing.
Many thanks for your nice web site--what an
accomplishment, what a gift.
December 15, 2003 12:25 AM
You run the most fascinating site I've come
across in months.
The Bell System Memorial (BSM) is exactly what I was looking for when I
decided I needed to acquire some rugged old phones that required no
external power. Actually, I was really looking for the Western Electric
Telephones page on the BSM. But subsequently, I find myself reading
other pages on the BSM twice or three times a week. Really great
reading materials. You've got a great collection of Bell System history
here. I commend you for your efforts and accomplishments regarding the BSM.
Tue 2/24/2004 1:59 PM
I found your site through a Google search for
[Western Electric model] 500 telephone sets. My daughter purchased one at a flea
market and wanted to use it. The phone worked except for the ringer. Since I
worked for the Bell system prior to 1985 she brought the phone to me to check
out. I took the phone apart and couldn't find anything specially wrong but did
notice that the ringer was not wired across tip and ring. Using the info on your
site helped me rewire the phone so that the ringer works. I also wanted to
express my thanks for your site. Reading the information brought back a lot of
old memories of my 15 years with Ma Bell.
In the Ozarks on Indian Creek
Fri 2/27/2004 4:30 PM
I think I came across your site searching
Google for information on Princess phones. But I had to read through the rest of
I was just over 10 years old in 1984 so I
only remember little bits about old "Ma Bell." Mostly that my parents had an
ivory 2554 wall phone in the kitchen that I think they had installed in the late
70's (from old pictures, it looks like they had a 554 prior). When the lease or
buy decision came, my dad opted to buy it. As a tribute to the ruggedness of
these, it was in service in that kitchen until about '96 when my mom replaced it
with a cordless (she gave the 2554 to me; more to follow). That 2554 is to
date in service in MY kitchen and after, say, 25 years STILL works perfectly.
I also remember my grandmother having a
wall-mounted blue rotary Trimline in her kitchen on a pulse line that I think
she had continued renting from AT&T up until her death in '97.
I also have a vintage red 2500 set in my
bedroom which I acquired from a flea market. It's kind of neat since it had
never been retrofitted for modular. It has a hardwired receiver and the matching
red line cord running to a 4-pin plug (w/ Bell System logo). I simply went to
the RadioShack and bought a modular adapter. I just love the sound of
old-fashioned bell ringers!
I also have a small collection of old phones:
Three 500's (black, white/bone and baby blue); a bakelite 300; a second 2500,
black; a lemon yellow 554 wall set; ivory Princess; WE 3-Slot Payphone and a 1D2
Payphone. The latter had the locks removed by the phone company when it was
retired from service so it only requires the T-key to open it; also the coin
relay is in place but was disconnected. Operates as a normal phone and doubles
as a bank (coins drop directly into the coin box).
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
To whom it may concern,
I was given a red 500 desk phone rotary dial
that had been in my grandmother's home for years, and the phone itself has many
past childhood memories, one of which included the ring [sound]. I had to
purchase a special adapter for it to work (female 4-prong to male modular) and
the phone didn't ring. I was disappointed until I found your web-site, which got
my phone to ring! Thank you so much; you have no idea how important this was to
me!!! Thanks again, your the best!
Saturday, May 29, 2004 3:21 PM
I want to thank you for all your help! I was able to get the my phone in perfect
working order. The history of my phone dates back to my childhood. We had
several black telephones in our house and I am sure that my father disconnected
the ringer so the phone company could not detect it. As for getting the
microphone to work, I found that I only had to lift the [contact] prongs up to
meet the microphone.
The telephone was used as a play phone for my kids for the last 15 years or so
and now my daughter is enjoying the "now working" telephone in her room. I had
put it away for a while and when she came upon it she said to me, "I love that
phone" and so began the plan to get it into working order.
I couldn't have done it without your help and wonderful web site!!
Sunday, July 25, 2004 4:08
Subject: I had a frustrating . . .
I just had the most frustrating time with my own long distance server, COX, and
also with AT&T Long Distance. I found your site, and I really enjoyed it. I
guess I really needed to sound off, and it was a pleasure to find that other
people have felt as I have.
Today wasn't my first frustration with the
current [customer service] systems, but it was a real topper. It used to be that
[here in the USA] you could get Long Distance Information by dialing 1-411 or 1-
(area code)-555-1212. It only cost 50 cents. Now, you go through a series of
options to punch in. If you choose the wrong one, you start all over. I just
tried to dial 1-800-CALL ATT that the AT&T commercial advertises . I am
relatively certain that they [the call centers] are outsourced. The two
different people that I tried to talk to did NOT seem to understand me -
they don't speak much English. They also kept repeating themselves to whatever I
asked or explained was my difficulty. They might as well have been a recording
themselves, because they both kept saying "you need to hang up your phone and
dial your number again". The second person was supposedly the supervisor of the
first person. When I asked to speak to his supervisor, he kept saying that he
WAS the supervisor. I finally told him that he was a very poor supervisor if he
didn't speak English well enough to even try to answer my questions. He hung up
on me. I looked up AT&T on the [Internet], found them, and found that there is
no "contact us" e-mail address. Well, I guess not!!! They would be swamped with
dissatisfied customers!!!! During the era of Bell Telephone System, you could
also get overseas information quite easily, and make an overseas call easily.
Not now. It is a MESS!!!
I especially enjoyed the poem written to "American
Pie" music. It is just so sad, so true. Thank you for letting me have a
place to complain to. Apparently there is no one to complain to who has the
power to actually take us seriously, or DO anything about these absolutely
abominable practices. I was so frustrated and angry by the time I got done with
COX and AT&T I practically gave myself a stroke. That is the truth.
Thank you so much for your wonderful website. It really is so well put together.
I can't believe that you keep it up yourself too. Thank you. Finding it, and
being able to write and complain to a sympathetic reader has calmed me down. If
you ever hear of a place to state complaints that really gets through to these
annoying, frustrating lines, keep my e-address and send it on.
VERY sincerely yours,
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Today I purchased my wife an "old-fashioned phone with a real bell ringer" from
an antique shop. I was able to quickly wire the phone to accept incoming calls,
but the ringer did not work. Two minutes after visiting your site, I had her
new/old phone ringing like a charm! Thank you for the useful information and for
celebrating the good-old days!
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005
Subject: Found too late
I agree with many others in saying what an
awesome site this is. I stumbled across it while hoping to find information on
my fathers contributions to Southern Bell. He would have loved this website. I
am a Bellsouth Employee of 18 years and a "Bell Brat" of an employee who retired
in 1991 with 38 years. Jack Lowry was my father and although I knew he was well
known and respected throughout the company, I did not know the extent. At his
funeral, Oct 2004 someone told me that he had come up with the Cut Through (CT)
program. Any network folks will know what I am talking about. I am curious if
you know of anywhere that I can gather information on "innovative" changes and
such that might tell me more about what contributions employees made. You seem
to have a wealth of knowledge or a dang good list of resources based upon what I
have seen so far.
I also work near your home David, I don't believe the BELLSOUTH sign in your
picture from Kennesaw is my office but I work close by.
Thanks so much for putting your effort into this sight. Most of the people who
post appear to be retired and let me just say...... it is not the same ole Bell!
From: Ken & Jing deGruchy
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 5:03 PM
Subject: Just found your great sight with a google search of "Telephone
Courtesy" A short film
I love your sight and the DVD's you offer [Webmaster's Note: DVD's no longer
offered] sound very
obtaining. I am a film collector going back to my high school says in
the early 70's. I just today watched Telephone Courtesy (Wilde Films)
just for a remembrance of my youth when I would project any films I
could find. Do you have this one in your archives? My 16mm print is in
good shape. I also have the Bell Telephone Hour which shows how the
famous radio program was put together.
From: J.C. McClellan-Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 11:27 AM
Subject: THANK YOU!
I was in a dilemma as to why I couldn't get
my old phone to ring any more. I had had it hooked up for YEARS and it worked
fine, I moved to Iowa 7 years ago and when I hooked my phone up the ringer
wouldn't work. I just recently looked into it... yeah, I'm a bit slow sometimes
at getting to things... and was wringing my hands (pun intended) trying to
figure it out. I was about to start tearing parts out when I found your site. A
simple change of one wire and wha-lah!! It works wonderfully!! I once again have
my LOUD old phone ringing. You're wonderful, your site is wonderful!! SO easy to
navigate, so easy to find the answers clear and simple. Thank you SO much for
all your work, time and energy! You have really done a wonderful service
here!! Gee... I think I love you...
Seriously - Many, MANY thanks,
From: Anthony R. Martinez
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2005 12:45 AM
Subject: Thanks for the site!
This is the second time I’ve run across your website while looking for technical
data on telephones, and the second time I’ve just found myself lost in it
(assuming that’s not a mixed metaphor).
A couple of years ago, I was thinking about buying a Princess phone, and wanted
to research the things before purchasing one. I found your site after doing a
search on Yahoo! or Google. I really impressed with all of the information you
had. I learned all about the different types of Princess models, and the site
helped me figure out what to look for in a vintage phone. I now have two
genuine Princess models, both with lighted dials, and I’m really pleased with
I just decided to use eBay to sell the WE 2500 that one of the Princess sets
replaced. Luckily, I found your site again. It helped me identify the
particular model (2500DMG), and it had some information I can use in the listing
description. But I found myself wandering the site once more, reading pages and
following the links and looking at photos just for the fun of it.
Your website is that rare combination of information and entertainment that I
wish I could find more readily on the Internet. I don’t really have an interest
in old phones (except that I did want the Princesses), but I could sit and read
your website for hours, contentedly. I wrote just to thank you for providing
the information and for doing it in such a fascinating way. I’ve finally
bookmarked you so I can come back even when I don’t need information for a
project at hand.
Anthony R. Martinez
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