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 Western Electric Color Charts


Sewing Machine - Automatic Answering Service
"Mirrophone" wire ribbon recorder/player
Telephones - PicturePhone - Bell Chime


So many times people don't know what color Western Electric (Bell System) phones they have. Although the colors on your monitor may not accurately reproduce the scanned colors, it should help you in color identification of the telephone(s) you have.  An interesting piece of information is that SYSTIMAX and Avaya still uses some of the color codes to this day on many of their parts they manufacture.  An example is the MPS100E-112, which is the Cat 5e data outlet, which the (112) signifies orange or the M104SMB-A-03 surface mount box, which the (03) signifies black.  This shows the continuity and legacy that Western Electric still has to this day.

Chart 1 shows the standard colors of the Western Electric telephones made until 1984 when AT&T released new colors such as the peach Princess.

Chart 2 shows colors for the telephone parts / components, i.e. transformers etc.

The gray dots showing in the middle of each color are holes in the original chart to let you view the phone or phone part through the hole for a better color comparison. Keep in mind that the original charts have yellowed slightly due to age of the paper, so the ink colors may have changed slightly from the original colors. Also note that the assortment of colors offered by Western Electric was not always as these 1983 charts show; some colors were discontinued or added over the years.

Many thanks to Todd Bernstein for this contribution!


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