I probably should have responded to this post sooner. If anyone is interested in restoring classic telephone equipment, one of the best sources of information is the Telephone Collectors International has a web site atIn addition, there is a lively moderated discussion forum and mailing list for the group at The Western Electric 302 is a true classic and came in many flavors. The folks on the TCI mailing list forum will be able to tell you all kinds of useful stuff ranging from how to clean your 302 to whether the handset cord should be rubber or cloth covered (depends upon when the phone was manufactured) to things about the internals of the phone and dial mechanism.
If you want to see where the 302 fits into the history of Bell System dial telephones, I have a web page at
BTW, here's something to think about: Modern telephone switching is all digital -- but there are line cards used at your central office which simulate dial tone, ringing and busy tones, provide sufficient ring voltage to drive an electro-mechanical brass ringer, and to convert make-and-break dialing pulses to digital signalling. All this is done to make the modern network backwardly-compatible with virtually any dial telephone made over the past 90 years.
Regards, Will***** Moderator's Note *****
I've worked in some offices that would still respond to _incoming_ ring voltage by connecting the line to an operator who would handle "manual service" calls.
Bill Horne Temporary Moderator
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