Western Electric Model 500
Sewing Machine -
Automatic Answering Service
"Mirrophone" wire ribbon recorder/player
- Bell Chime
From AT&T's "The Telephone Story" poster.
We Offer Personalized One-On-One
Call Us Today at (651) 787-DIAL (3425)
Click image above to enlarge
Industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, who had assisted Bell
since the early 1930's had designed the "500"
desk set which was the "basic" phone for many decades.
Bell Labs ran a full-page advertisement in "Radio and
Television News" in February 1953 about the advantages of the new 500 model.
Click HERE to view the ad.
For a listing of various types of the vintage Model 500
visit the "OLD TELEPHONES As Entertainment" web
503 / 513 series general information
503B schematic, 503C, 503CM, and 513B
500C/D schematic |
500AB and 500ADM
500L/M and 500MM
500P - The "Mushroom" lamp 500 set
- courtesy of Jim Burnham
500R/S and 500SM
500W/Y and 500YM
526A/B and 526AM/BM
502A/B and 502BM -
510A, B, E, F, and FM
511F, 511H, and 511HM
515B and 515BM
Models 500, 501, 554, and 556
Models 502, 503, 510,
511, and 558 - PDF file of BSP section C38.595.02.
Model 568 - PDF file of BSP section
500 Line & Ringer Connections
this photo of a clear 500 set!
Do you have a 500
model that doesn't ring?
HERE and print the schematic
Other than a defective ringer (extremely
rare) there are common reasons old Western Electric phones don't ring.
The two most common reasons are 1.) A previous owner disconnected one or all
of the wires from the ringer going to the network inside the phone to prevent
the phone company from "seeing" his/her phone on the phone company's line test
equipment or 2.) The phone was wired for "party-line" service which will
prevent the bell from ringing on today's "individual line" systems.
Let's cover reason #2 first. If your phone was originally wired for "party line" service many decades ago you will need to do some simple modifications of the wiring
inside of the phone to
make it ring. Referring to the schematic you just printed from the
link above, you will see vertical shaded bars dividing the schematic into
sections representing, among other things, the
dial and the line-switch
(a.k.a. the hook-switch.) Note in particular the wiring for the ringer
leads, line cord, and line switch. In the schematic you will see color
designations of R, BK, S, S-R, G, and Y. These refer to wire colors of Red,
Black, Slate (gray), Slate with Red stripe, Green and Yellow, respectively.
First, make sure there is a gray (or what
looks like a color-aged gray!) wire coming from the hook-switch assembly to
the network terminal labeled
"L2". Now locate and move the black wire from the bell ringer coil from the
"G" terminal on the network to the network terminal called "L1". Make sure
the slate (gray) wire from the ringer goes to network terminal "K". And
finally, make sure the slate/red (gray with red stripe) wire goes to network
terminal "A". See
photo for more info.
Be sure to Insulate the bare end of the
yellow wire where it would normally connect to the telephone line plug.
Now your phone should ring! If not,
check the wiring of the green and red wires of your telephone line cord to
make sure they are going to "L1" and "L2" respectively and double-check the
wires from the bell ringer coil to make sure they are hooked up like the
schematic you printed out from the link above. By insuring the wiring matches
the schematic you will also insure that if someone had disconnected or mis-wired
the bell it should ring, thus eliminating the first reason given above for why
your phone probably doesn't ring.
The above ringer rewiring information has
worked for everyone that has contacted me about their non-ringing 500
telephone (and other Western Electric models with similar bells and networks)
Here are some comments from website visitors that fixed the ringer "problem"
of their phones from the above technical advice:
There is nothing like
like the sound of an old Bell telephone. Thank you for helping me get the
ringer to work.
Thanks so much for your
help! It was actually the "party line" problem.
I reconnected the black
wire (a bit tough to tell the colors due to the age) to the "L1" terminal
and it works great. Hearing that first ring was truly sublime. Also, thanks
for putting those images of the WE dial centers on your web site. They'll
really help my phone attain that "retro" look.
Thank you very much, that
got the ringer working. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me