Western Electric Type 22 Desk Stand

1902 to 1904

                        By Kevin DucK #3042 

               

 

 

The beginning of the 20th century was a time of major change in the design of Western Electric desk stands. In less than a few years, the elegant lines of the 1890ís would give way to the more utilitarian design of the straight shaft desk stand. The straight shaft type 21 desk stand of circa 1901 was produced in very limited numbers, and is consequently quite rare today. Circa 1902 a new design of desk stand was introduced which would see mass production and wide distribution. During the years 1902 to 1904 this new design of desk stand was produced as a number of different subscriber sets, some looking similar, but having their own individual code. The type 22 was one of the code types produced throughout the period using this new design of desk stand. The type 22 was also the standard issue during the period and has survived in the most numbers today. The type 22 desk stand is characterized by itís distinctive lug holder, (transmitter perch), which is commonly referred to as a Hershey Kiss perch, for itís resemblance to the candy of the same name. Another distinctive feature of the type 22 is that it utilizes a shaft hole and screw, to secure the internal switch plate to the lower part of the phone body. This article will deal mainly with the body of the phone. The type 22 desk stand was equipped with a non-insulated solid back transmitter, the face of which could have been either beveled or non-beveled. The transmitter case, (back cup), carried property and patent information, and utilized a grommet fitted wire hole to facilitate circuit connection of the transmitter. The larger, earlier type clamping bolt was used on the type 22 desk stand throughout the period. An outside terminal type 122 receiver would have been that which was most often issued with the type 22 desk stand. The switch hooks found on this set throughout the 1902 to 1904 period differ little, with the earliest being very slightly thicker and more robust than those found later in the period. In general, these switch hooks look very much like those found on the later type 20B desk stands.

Western Electric Type 22 Desk Stand circa 1902.

 

During the first part of the 1902 to 1904 period, code type was not marked anywhere on the desk stand. This fact can make it difficult to tell the difference between the type 22 and some of the other code types that used the same desk stand. With the outer appearance being similar, often the most visual difference between code types will be found in the switch plate terminal connections.  Lug holders of sets appearing later in the period are marked with code type, making identification much easier. Throughout the period, there were no property or patent markings found on the base of the type 22 desk stand. There were many small changes made to the type 22 during itís short run as Western Electricís standard issue desk stand. For the collector, the most important of these changes involve the size and location of the seating notches at each end of the instruments shaft, and the corresponding seating nipples, and their location, found on the instruments base and lug holder. Regarding these seating features, I have identified three versions of desk stand from the 1902 to 1904 period. The base, shaft, and lug holder from one version of desk stand are most often not interchangeable with those of another. The earliest version of type 22 desk stand did not utilize seating features to align the lug holder with the shaft. It did however utilize them to align the shaft with the base. The earlier base cord hole grommets were threaded and screwed into place. Base cord hole grommets of desk stands made late in the period, were not threaded, but instead were simply pushed into place. The earlier threaded grommets are thicker and more robust than the later non-threaded grommets.

First version circa 1902.  No code type markings on lug holder.
Note the lack of shaft and lug holder seating features.

First version circa 1902. Arrow is pointing to base and shaft seating features.
Cord opening grommet is the earlier threaded type.

 

The second version of the type 22 desk stand utilized the same shaft to base seating features as the first version. However, this later desk stand also utilized seating features to align the lug holder with the shaft.

Second version circa 1902. Arrow is pointing to shaft and lug holder seating features.
Note that the lug holder is not marked with code type.

 

The third version of the type 22 desk stand utilized seating features to align the base, shaft, and lug holder. However, the seating features on this late period desk stand were of slightly different dimension and location than those of itís predecessors. The base seating nipple has a higher profile and the corresponding shaft notch a deeper cut. The location of the lug holder seating nipple and that of the corresponding shaft notch, are slightly different than those of the second version of the type 22 desk stand. The seating features found on this third version of the type 22 desk stand, have the same dimension and location as those found on later models of Western Electric desk stands, such as the type 20B.

Third version circa 1903. The arrow is pointing to the seating features.
Note that the lug holder is marked with code type.

Third version circa 1903. Note the higher and deeper seating features.
The cord hole grommet is the later non-threaded type.

 

Early type 22 desk stand switch plates are equipped with eight separate terminals, though they were not all necessarily used. Depending on what was required, these telephones could have been wired for ringing circuits and metered circuits, as well as other applications. With selective terminal use, it is possible that the same switch plate could have been used for different code type desk stands. By the end of the period, in circa 1904, the type 22 desk stand switch plate resembled those that would be found on the later type 20B desk stand, having four separate terminals. Throughout the period, desk stands that were furnished complete by Western Electric would have been equipped with their Old Color grouping of cords.

Early type 22 desk stand switch plate having eight terminals.

 

The threaded stem bolt that was used to secure the shaft to the base, as well as attaching the base cover plate, remained largely unchanged throughout the 1902 to 1904 period, with one important exception. The earlier pieces were made of cast iron and are very strong and durable. The later pieces were made of pot metal and are prone to breaking.

Earlier cast iron stem bolt.

 

The base cover found on the type 22 desk stand throughout the period was made of wood and metal, joined together with rivets. A green woven material covered the bottom. This two mounting hole cover was secured to the stem bolt with screws.

Type 22 desk stand two mounting hole base cover.

 

NOTES: (1) The type 22 desk stand was also issued in factory black. These are believed to be factory refurbished older sets, but may also have been created to use up old stock. This was done circa 1906 at the same time the black type 10 taper shaft desk stand was issued. Because of this, these black type 22 sets often exhibit characteristics that are associated with the type 20B desk stand, which had become standard issue by that time.

                (2) The above examples of type 22 desk stand can occasionally be found exhibiting the transmitters and receivers of various independent telephone operating companies. These independent operating companies purchased desk stands from Western Electric and equipped them for their own use. In addition, there were companies working solely as refurbishers, assembling phone bodies with various transmitters and receivers. The refurbishers often worked with apparatus that had recently become obsolete, including that of the Western Electric Company.

 

Copyright 2003 by Kevin Duck  All rights reserved.

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