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The Western Electric model 1554
was the first touch-tone wall phone made by Western Electric and only had ten
buttons (the "asterisk" and "pound" symbol keys were not present). It was the
touch-tone replacement for the model 544 rotary dial model and the compliment of
the 1500 touch-tone desk set model. From what I have been able to find
out, it was first introduced in late 1963 or 1964
Soon the 2554 (the 12-button model like you
see today and in the photo above) began it's debut
The 1554 and 2554
started out with a chrome-plated metal hang-up bracket but was later replaced
with a matching color plastic bracket in the early 1980's. I have an
original 2554 made in 1982 (see photo above) that has the chrome bracket.
I was the first and only owner and the date codes match on all parts so I know
it was not a refurbished unit.
When the Bell System came to an end at the end of
1983 there was no more incentive to build phones that lasted 50+ years so they
started cutting costs anywhere they could and plastic was cheaper than metal.
My guess is they went to the plastic hang-up bracket in or shortly after 1983.
2554B, 2554BM, 2554BMP, and 2554BMPG
in PDF format), 2555BM, 2555BMP, and 2555BMPG
2558D, 2558DM, and 2558DMG