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Western Electric K-type Handsets

Variations and Evolution

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Western Electric K-type handset

Related pages on this site:  WE Handset Styles    WE Design Line

K-type handsets were initially released with Design Line sets in the early 1970s.

For basic info on Design Line sets using K-type handsets and BSP references
see the Handset Styles Reference Table.

BSP 501-210-105, issue 1, December 1973 is one page and only includes the K1A.

Other variations were soon added for other telephones.
BSP Issue 2 was not added until November 1980.
Several issues are available for reference in the TCI Library.

This page contains some highlights. See the BSPs for details.

Thanks to Steve Hart for noticing the differences in several handsets on ComKey sets
and posting photos on Facebook. (Photos used with permission.)

K1 handle- no logo
No marking on handle

K1-type handset - modular jack
K1-type handset - modular jack

K-type handset - mark in "hanger indentation"
Some Marked in "hanger indentation"

(Photos from Steve Hart)
K1-type Handsets

Sealed (nonrepairable).

"Hanger indentation" under the receiver is used to hold the handset on wall mounted phones.

For Design Line sets in 8 colors:
   K1A - lightweight, with L-type receiver, no logo.
         (not compatible with hearing aid pickups)

For business, including ComKey 416, and Touch-A-Matic 16 sets:
   K1C - ivory, standard weight, "Bell System Property, Not For Sale"

   K1D - black, standard weight, no logo.
8 colors of K1A handsets used on Design Line sets
K1A handsets for Design Line sets - colors
-3 black, -50 ivory, -58 white, -93 yellow, -104 brown, -105 dark green, -106 lime green, -115 blue

See the Design Line sets on this site page: Design Line
K2 handset - Bell System marking on handle
with Bell System Marking

K2-type handset - Western Electric marking
with Western Electric Marking

K2-type handset - modular jack
K2-type handset - modular jack

K2-type handset - screw access hole
K2-type handset - screw access hole

(Photos from Steve Hart)
K2-type Handsets

Replaced the K1-type handsets.

Repairable (screw access hole in hanger indentation), U-type receiver.
       (compatible with hearing aid pickups)

For Design Line sets in 8 colors:
   K2A - no logo initially. Logo added later.

For business and Touch-A-Matic 16 sets:
   K2C - ivory,  Western Electric logo or "Bell System Property, Not For Sale"

   K2D - black or ivory, marked K2D in hanger indentation.
         Additional receiver gaskets reduce background noise.
K6-type handset - control
(Photo from Paul-F)
K6-type Handsets

With transistor amplifier and volume control wheel on handle.

   K6A - used on sets originally supplied with K1A or K2A handsets,
        supplied in 8 Design Line colors.
        no logo initially. Logo added later.

   K6C - ivory, Western Electric logo or "Bell System Property, Not For Sale"
K handset marked AT&T
(Photo from Steve Hart)
AT&T K-type Handsets

After divestiture in 1984, handsets were marked AT&T
some AT&T post-divestiture K-type handsets
Post-divestiture AT&T K-type handsets
          K2-type, K6-type (amplified)                                K2M2, K2Y2 (dark gray)              Amplified handset with battery

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©2017 paulf.  All rights reserved.