How to identify faucet manufacturer

I have a shower faucet that is original to the house. Is there a good way to identify the manufacturer/model of he faucet? The plastic nipples that hold the chome-plated flanges on have broken, so the flanges don't stay tight to the wall. I don't know where to start looking for replacement parts, I imagine every supplier is going to need to know manufacturer/part #?
Thanks, Phil
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if you're like me, after you look at an incredible variety of such parts at www.hdsupply.com virtual catalog, you will give in to having an old time plumber identify the parts and do the first repair. don't wait for the floor to get water damage. never bury the shower handles in silicone seal, only plumbers putty which never hardens.
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On 4/11/2006 8:48 PM or thereabouts, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com appears, somewhat unbelievably, to have opined:

Surely there is an old-fashioned plumbing supply house in your city. Take a part from the faucet to them. They will know what make it is, and they will have the parts you need. Stay away from Homo Depot, Lowes and other big stores. You want a small local place that's been in the same location for 30 years.
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