Bell System 302 Dial Phone

Brooke Clarke, N6GCE

          System 302 Dial phone qtr view


The Bell System 302 phone is the first phone I can remember my parents getting.  Although there was talk of a party line, somehow we managed to get a private line.  I think it was used from the 1930s up to 1955.

This phone was a big improvement over the Western Electric 202 Dial phone that was in two parts, the sub set box mounted the wall and held the bell and some circuitry and the phone with the dial was a seperate item.  The 302 phone holds all the parts inside one enclosure.

The handset is heavy and has a pointed back side so you can not easily hold it with your shoulder.  These "features" may have been designed that way to get you to make your call shorter.  This would be important in party line systems.

The 302 is designed for what is called "Tip party" and "Ring party" referring to which of the two voice circuit wires the bell is connected to for party line service.  The other side of the bell being connected to the ground wire.  Because of this there are 3 wires coming out of the phone that were hard wired to the building.  The 4 prong plug was added later.

The handset cord is on the left side and you're expected to hold it in your left hand since most handed people will dial with their right hand index finger.

This phone came after the 202 and was replaced by the 500.

12 Feb 2013 - moved a wire to change the bell to bridged, i.e. the bell and 0.5 MF cap are in series across the red and green line.  Now the phone rings on the KX-TA824 phone system.
But when the phone was moved to a different extension it failed to ring.  The solution was to move the bias spring to a weaker notch (it was on the strongest position, now in the center position).  Now it rings nicely.

Military TP-6 Version

The TP-6 designator applies to the following 6 phones that could be converted to dial operation by installing dial TA-45(*)?GT.  No other dials were military authorized. so if what appears to be a military TP-6 phone, but has another dial, it was a civilian retrofit.
TP-6-A phones:


TM 11-468
TO 31W-1-102


Bell System 302 open 2
Bell System 302
                  Dial Inside close up
Bell System 302
                  ringer inside close up
After loosening the two screws on the bottom the upper half of the phone with the dial can be hinged open relative to the lower half with the bell.  Both halves have a lot of parts and  can not easily be separated like on the Bell System 500 phone.

This particular phone is connected as a "Tip party" with Red to L1 and Green to L2.  It has the optional anti dialing click filter installed behind the dial.

Component Parts

Number Disk

In the center of the dial there is a disk with the phone's number printed on it.  The disk for the 302 dial phone is the same size as for the Bell System 500 dial phone.  My phone number can be described as HOUsehold 8783. The word used for the prefix usually was two syllables so although HOUse works household is better.   I just used a word processing program to print the letters and used the clear plastic overlay to mark the outline.

Wiring Diagram

For connection to a modern phone system only the Red and Green wires are used.  The ground was needed for party line use.


The Red wire from the bell goes to the "GND" terminal n the small board and the Black wire from the bell goes to the "K" terminal on the same board.  This phone came with the bell disconnected.


Western Electric 202 Dial phone
Bell System 302 Dial Phone
Bell System 500 Dial Phone
Bell system 2500 Touch Tone phone 
Western Electric 2554 Wall Touch Tone Telephone
Western Electric Candlestick Dial Telephone
 Panasonic KX-TA824 Small Business Phone System (PBX)
VOIP Voice Over Internet Protocol


WESTERN ELECTRIC 300-series Types -

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Page created 29 Oct 2003.