Western Electric 5302

How to buy this phone if you live within the USA

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Place your order by telephone by calling 651-368-9479 to pay by credit card or arrange payment by money order.

If you live outside the USA, please e-mail me to get a shipping quote and make purchase arrangements.

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In 1952 Western Electric came up with a new model of telephone to replace the 302 which had been in service since 1937. The new design was the 500, which went on to be produced for the next several decades.

The problem with the newly designed 500 was that the network used was not very efficient and long lines (houses far from the central office) suffered a terrible quality problem. The phone company decided not to replace the reliable 302 models in these situations. Well, the rural customers wouldn't have it, they wanted the fancy new phones just like everybody else. To make these customers happy and have a phone that works properly at the same time, Western Electric developed a 500 like shell to replace the original 302 shell giving the impression of a newly designed phone. With this change, the rural customers had a reliable 302 and a good looking 500 all in one. Later in the 1950s they developed a network that overcame the problems of long lines and the 5302 was no longer needed and phased out.

About the only way to tell the difference between a 500 and a 5302 is to look behind the handset cradle. On the 500, there is a ledge of about 1.5 inches, on the 5302, it cuts off right after the cradle ears.


Item #WE5302

If you would like reproduction cloth cords, you can upgrade for an additional $30 by clicking here after purchasing the phone.