(after an article by Kuno Rotter andDietrich Arbenz)
What do these strange orange letter and number combinations on your W28 mean? Perhaps you have noticed them, those enigmatic codes on the base of Siemens & Halske telephones or on telephone parts. Perhaps to your bafflement a fellow collector translated these to a date and production location as if it was nothing. And perhaps by now you have an inkling that they refer to locations and dates, and you found some incomplete information on them on the internet. Possibly even in German, making it hard to read for some.
Well, I have been there too. But I while ago I found an article, in German, on these codes explaining how they work and what they mean. So I finally had all the information I needed to decode them myself.
Below you will find a couple of tables and an explanation how they work. I also made a 2 page PDF with the same information, that you can download and print (on A5 format, double sided) and even laminate it, if you like 🙂. So you can keep it on your work bench or take it with you to flea markets, so you can check right away if all dates match on that Fg Tist 282 that you spotted.
You can find these codes on all kinds of S&H products and components, but this article is focussed on telephones and telephone parts. The coding is the same for all S&H products, but Siemens had more production facilities than those listed here. These codes were first put on the outside of telephones in 1929 or 1930. Before that they were only used on components that made up the telephones, like, hook switches, transmitters, receivers, handsets etc. Dails made before 1938 and capacitors usually do not have a date code, but rather just a production date, stating the month and year of production (for example 2 28, for February 1928).
A Siemens date code is made up of 3 parts. The first part is the production location, the middle the production year and the last part is the production month.
Pictured above is a typical early date code. In this case the item was made on production location B, Berlin Siemensstadt, in the year L, 1930 and in the 6th month, June.
The first part is the code for the production location. Coding styles vary through the years. Not all locations are listed, only those that produced telephone parts.
|WWF/S&H München Hofmannstr.||(J)||(6)||6|
|Vereinigte Bayerische Telefonwerke (VBT)||B||31|
|CGTT Siemens France||P|
|Siemens Brasilien, São Paulo||199||BR|
|Siemens Brasilien, Curitiba||K7|
|Siemens Cherry Hill/USA||SN|
( ) parts only such as dials, hook switches, capacitors etc.
Below is a table with year letters. The blank cells indicate that letter was not used, mostly because they are similar to certain numbers like the o and i.
Usually just a number was used corresponding to the month in question: 1 = January, 2 = February, etc. From the 70s onward letters were used for the months October, O, November, N, and December, D.
Keeping it handy
You can of course bookmark this page, or print it, or just copy the information on it. But to make things easier I have made a printable document in PDF format. Just like in this article the codes are explained and the tables are included too.
Feel free to download it use it and share it with others.