Deciphering Siemens date codes on telephones

S&H VsaTist66c4 onder
S&H VsaTist66c4 onder

(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.

S&H date code 11 P 8
S&H date code 11 P 8

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.

Siemens & Halske date stamp
Siemens & Halske date stamp

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.

Production location

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.


until 1938


after 1950

after 1974

Berlin-Siemensstadt B (1) 1
WWF/S&H München Hofmannstr. (J) (6) 6
Siemens Bocholt 11 CT
Siemens Gladbeck EX
Siemens Leipzig E3
Siemens Speyer (12)
Siemens Östereich W 15 15 Q7
Vereinigte Bayerische Telefonwerke (VBT) B 31
OLAP Milano O 42
Elektrotechna Prag C 44
CGTT Siemens France P
Siemens Argentinien 151 L1
Siemens Brasilien, São Paulo 199 BR
Siemens Brasilien, Curitiba K7
Siemens Australien AU
Siemens Thessaloniki 230 N4
Siemens Austin/USA E4
Siemens Cherry Hill/USA SN

( ) parts only such as dials, hook switches, capacitors etc.

Year codes

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.

Letter Year Year Year Year   Letter Year Year Year Year
A 1920 1945 1970 1990 N 1932 1957 1981 2001
B 1921 1946 1971 1991 O 1933 1958
C 1922 1947 1972 1992 P 1934 1959 1982 2002
D 1923 1948 1973 1993 Q 1935 1960
E 1924 1949 1974 1994 R 1936 1961 1983 2003
F 1925 1950 1975 1995 S 1937 1962 1984 2004
G 1926 1951 1976 T 1938 1963 1985 2005
H 1927 1952 1996 U 1939 1964 1986 2006
I V 1940 1965 1987 2007
J 1928 1953 1977 1997 W 1941 1966 1988 2008
K 1929 1954 1978 1998 X 1942 1967 1989 2009
L 1930 1955 1979 1999 Y 1943 1968
M 1931 1956 1980 2000 Z 1944 1969

Month codes

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.

S&H date code (EN) PDF


    • Hi Margaret, thanks for you comment.

      Fg Tist 92b = model nr. In this case a metal telephone from the 30s.
      Fg 20/165 IX pertans to the eletronics used inside.
      BR4 production date code
      B Berlin (until 1939)
      R = 1936
      4 = april


  1. Arvin – you’re the best. According to your scheme, I easily determine the date of the release of the telephon of my friend. Long live Arvin! Long live the internet!
    Mykola Tsiapa {Oldphonerestore}

  2. I have a qunestion…
    I have a Soiemsn und Halske telephone with F-gtist 159b2 on it and than there is bier 31/4
    it looks like I can see one line occupied dus to a round sign, is it relay from 1931? and what are the marks telling

    can you help me?

    with kind regards

    Maarten Oberman

    • Hi Maarten,

      Thank you for your message. Not sure what the code is on your Phone, as 31/4 cannot be correct. The / should be a letter.

      Fg Tist in stead of Vsa Tist indicated it not an early model. 31 does not mean the year of production. It indicates the production location. In this case 31 was used between 39 and 45 for VBT, Vereinigte Bayerische Telefonwerke.

      The next digit should be the letter that indicates the year of production. 4 means april.
      What ever that middle letter, your Phone was made between 39 and 45, as this was the only time that phones were produced at location 31.


  3. The codes on my phone are BR4. How do I confirm that it was produced in either Berlin-Siemensstadt, or Vereinigte Bayerische Telefonwerke (VBT) in 1936 in April and not a later year?

    • Hi Bill, thank you for your message. I would not know at this time how to make that distinction. Do you read German? If so, I have scans of the original article on which my list was based.
      Perhaps a clue is in there. It has been a while since I read it myself.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.