These telephones are those that came after deskstands, more commonly known as candlesticks. They are, for the most, self-contained; that is, the bells, network, etc., are located in one unit.

This is a W.E. set first known as the D76869, but later named the “A” Handset Mounting. It was the first widely circulated deskset offered by the Bell System. In its early existence, it was issued with a special 2E or 2G dial, but later issued with a newly designed dial, a 2H. This set was followed by another round base phone that did not resemble a “cut-off” candlestick that was known as the “B” Handset Mounting. This set is circa 1926.
This is a rather rare AE34 in ivory. This is the model that preceded the model 40, several of which are pictured on my website in various colors. From all indications, this one must have been hidden away and seldom used. I added the original new extensicord seen with its original tag. I have this same model in black and walnut, and would like to find the additional seven colors.
This is a very early and rare AE 40 that has no finger grips on either side. Instead the phone is equipped with a handle that attaches in the cradle to the plunger hardware. Note that the trim on this phone is real gold, one of the two finishes provided when the phones were issued.
Pictured are four, W.E. 400 Sets. The two center phones are basically “302” sets with added features. One of these is a two line, 410 set. The other is a single line plus intercom and an exclusion key, known as the 411 set. The latter is very difficult to find. The two end phones are the second generation multi-line phones. The one on the left is three lines plus hold key and the other is five lines plus hold key. The left hand phone has solid buttons with no illuminated keys, requiring instead an external busy lamp unit. The model on the right has the ringing/busy lamps built-in under the lucite keys. All of these sets were in major use during the forties and early fifties.
All of these sets are special in some way. The orange and black side-by-side are my Halloween phones, both two line models. The black has a dial centered timer with a special fingerwheel. The two black sets to the right are standard AE 40 and 34 models. The bottom left end model is an early card dialer with a touchtone lock over the pad which is one of the early 10 button pads. The center black and white sets are standard non-dial 302 models, and the set on the right is a 5310 set, a two line model of the transition phone between 302’s and 500 sets. It too has a special timer in the center of the dial. The timer is wound by dialing the phone.
This phone is among my favorites for its design and color. It’s one of the early AE 1A models that were issued in 9 colors and black. This is the walnut color. This phone required a subset (bells and coil in a wall mounted unit). These phones came with or without dials, nickel or real gold trim, metallic or bakelite cradles, handset extensicord, etc. They were primarily issued by independent phone companies as the Bell System did not buy this equipment. The Bell System issued colored sets about the same time (1929 on) but they were painted metal. Other colors of this set are found in my Collection Views.
This is a special W.E. 500 deskset. It has a small “mushroom” lamp just above the “4” on the dial. The light can be turned on with the turn knob in the lower left, and acts as a low intensity night light. When the handset is removed, the light comes on brighter to provide adequate lighting for using the phone. This model is relatively rare and is probably the most valuable of the 500 sets.
This is a North H7 deskset. It is ivory with gold (not brass) trim. The handset cord is metallic gold and silver to match the phone. This is one of rarer of the colored North sets, but the rarest of all is this model with an ivory fingerwheel, ivory number plate, and ivory leather feet. This set is in mint condition and the only North in my collection.
This is an A.E. Type 2 or Type 12 Monophone. It was one of the first desksets to contain the bells and coils, all of which were originally mounted in a wall subset resembling the base of this set. These sets are difficult to find especially without cracks or other damage. Until recently, none had been seen in any color but black, but a maroon model does exist. Automatic Electric made phones in 10 colors including black, an option they apparently made available very early.
This is a Western Electric Model 305. It has a switch for turning the bells off or on. It was apparently made for bedrooms and hotels where a ringing phone might not be welcome at all times. This is one of the early painted sets, all metal housing and brown bakelite handset. Except for the paint wear on the handset, this phone is in perfect condition. It is believed that all the painted F1 handsets were brown rather than the usual black bakelite. It may be that paint adhered to the brown material more easily and wore better.
This is a special AE40 equipped with a handset locking device, for sea going vessels. The handset sits in steel cradles on each side of the phone and is locked in place. To use the phone, one grabs the handset in the usual manner while pressing upward on the lever to release it. This phone was removed from the USS Hornet by Steve Hilsz who is a communication system salvager. Steve gave each purchaser a Certificate of Authenticity with the phone.
This is a two line, W.E. 410 set. Attached to the back of it is a special music box which provides music to the caller when the handset is placed in the cradle to the rear. It’s sort of like today’s music-on-hold. This phone is sitting on a metal tray attached to a scissor bracket attached to the back of my desk which permits the phone to be pulled toward me when in use. This phone is in constant use as are two others on my desk.
This is an early English deskset mfg’d by Ireland and Robertson. It was probably part of an internal intercom system. The unit has a buzzer, but the unmarked bell set appears to go with this phone. The set is very unique and in beautiful condition, and was one of the first phones I acquired.
Here is a large group of some of my nicest colored sets. The four on the bottom were manufactured by Western Electric in the forties and are commonly referred to as 302 sets. The others were manufactured by Automatic Electric who made nine colors and black. The round base models came out as early as 1929 and the rectangular or art deco style beginning in 1937. The most difficult color to find is orchid.
These are very special desksets that were issued about 1930 as part of a large home or small business telephone system. A large equipment cabinet (relays, power supply, etc.) was required to operate these phones. The phones were equipped to answer up to three “outside” phone lines and also served as dial intercom sets for the home or office. Lighted busy lamp units (red, green, white) were installed near the desksets. A different style phone was used in those locations where access to outside phone lines was not desired or necessary.
This is the third deskset model produced by the Bell System, circa 1929. It is known officially as the D handset mounting, but more commonly called the 202. This one is sitting in a specially designed tray made of bakelite. The tray plugs in to regular current and a switch between the two bulbs turns the lights on and off. I suspect this attachment of sorts was sold by department stores for those who wanted to use the phone in bedrooms without disturbing others or in hallways or other areas with poor lighting. There were many lighting attachments made over the years that were generic in terms of the phone model. In the early fifties, the Bell System produced a phone with a built in light for darkened room use and after these sets the lighted Princess phones.