The Old CATV Equipment Museum

Museums: Telecommunications

Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers
The online version of the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress comprises a selection of 4,695 items. This presentation contains correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs documenting Bell's invention of the telephone and his involvement in the first telephone company, his family life, his interest in the education of the deaf, and his aeronautical and other scientific research.

Antique Communications Equipment
This exhibit traces the development of technologies used by offices for two purposes, communications within an office or office building, and communications between an office building and the outside world. It is reasonable to assume that, before our story begins in the mid-1800s, office boys and messengers were used for both types of communication.

Antique Telephone Collectors Association
ATCA is the largest telephone collectors organization in the world. Chartered in 1971 as a non-profit corporation by the state of Kansas, its over 1500 active members are located throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Antique Telephone History Website
When one thinks of an antique telephone, the image of an old crank wall phone generally comes to mind. Since its invention in 1876, the telephone evolved along with the technology of the time. The uniqueness of the old telephones has become very attractive and many people have found these to be interesting collectables. The pages on this site provide links to the history of the telephone and the histories of a number of current telephone companies.

Bell System Documents
This Site represents our continued efforts to preserve some of the historical Bell System documents in digital format and to make these hard-to-find documents available to historians, collectors, students, teachers, hobbyists and other non-commercial, non-profit users. The files on this Site are for historical archive purposes and use by collectors of old Western Electric telephones to repair and test phones in their collection.

Bell System Practices
This Site contains links to complete BSP manuals and also selected "sections" from various BSP manuals of Western Electric telephones and other Western Electric products and parts. These sections generally have schematics, mechanical drawings, photos and technical information that was used by the "telephone man" of the Bell System days to install, test, and fix Western Electric telephones and associated circuits.

This Site contains information about the famous Bell mark and Bell Symbol logo. The Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) - Ameritech Corporation, Verizon Communications Inc., BellSouth Corporation, Cincinnati Bell, Inc., SBC Communications Inc., Southern New England Telephone Company, and Qwest Communications International, Inc. - maintain this Site for your personal information, education, and entertainment.

Cyber Telephone Museum
An Exhibit of Common & Rare Antique Telephones

The Ericofon, made by the L M Ericsson Company of Sweden, is perhaps one of the biggest steps forward in telephone design. World War II had produced a number of new materials. From Plastics to lightweight ferromagnetic materials, the door was opened for a new era in telephone development.

Evolution of the Dial
Most of the telephones shown here were manufactured by Western Electric for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company and the Bell System.

Exploding the Phone
Before smartphones and iPads, before the Internet or the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world's largest machine: the telephone system.

Forgotten Telephone Numbers
A site devoted to building signs bearing the remains of New York City telephone numbers in the old 2L+5D format.

Hawthorne Works Museum
Commemorates the Western Electric's Hawthorne Works facility in what is now Cicero, Illinois. In its heyday in the mid-1950's, Western Electric employed nearly 45,000 at its Hawthorne Works.

History of Communication from Smoke Signals to Smartphones
People have always had the need and desire to communicate with each other.   The tools and abilities to communicate have changed significantly over time from humble beginnings of smoke signals, carrier pigeons, and flags.   Fast-forward to current technology and messages span the globe in mere seconds thanks to smartphones, tablets, and computers.   The pursuit of the latest smartphone cases and tablet cases becomes important to protect modern gadgets. Exploring the history of communication can be a fascinating journey back through time.

History of Phone Phreaking
A phone phreak is someone who loves exploring the telephone system and experimenting with it to understand how it works. Phone phreaking got its start in the late 1950s. Its golden age was the late 1960s and early 1970s. Phone phreaks spent a lot of time dialing around the telephone network to understand how the phone system worked.

History of Telecommunication
Telecommunication is defined as the science and technology of communication over a distance.   The ability to convey information quickly, accurately, and efficiently has always been one of the main focuses driving human innovation.   From prehistoric man with their signal fires to the smartphone-wielding high-powered executives of today, communication still remains a key for survival and success.   The history of telecommunication illustrates this never-ending push for progress as it steadily parallels human growth, becoming more widespread and efficient as the development of modern civilization unfolds.

JKL Museum of Telephony
John K. La Rue's Museum of Telephony, part of the American Museum of Telephony, is dedicated to preserving telephone history.   The museum contains telephones and related items from the dawn of telephony (late 1800s) to the present day. One of the Museum's goals is to have working telephones from all eras.   Many Mid-20th Century phones are already connected to the working Step Switch or XY Switch in the Museum's vintage "Central Office."   The Museum also includes a technical library which is full of telephone related books, catalogs, technical journals and practices.

Morse Telegraph Club
MTC is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the knowledge and traditions of telegraphy. Our membership includes not only those from the craft of telegraphy, using Morse Code (American or International) either wire or wireless, but also includes those who are actively involved in the goals and initiatives of our organization. These goals are, but not limited to, preserving the heritage of telegraphy and educating the public on the history of Morse telegraph communications.

Old Phones as Entertainment
As telephone collectors feverishly pursue the potbellies, wood wall magneto phones, one each of anything made by Western Electric and all the other treasures documented in the collector publications, we often trip over things we weren't looking for, or unusual variations that give us lots of pleasure.

Old Telephone Books
Possibly the world's largest online collection of phone books

Privateline.com: Telephone History
Tom Farley's Telephone History Series

Telecommunications Heritage Group (UK)
THG was formed in 1986 with the aim of bringing together all those engaged in the study, preservation and collection of the heritage of communications.

Telecommunications History Group
The mission of The THG is to preserve and publicize the heritage of the telecommunications industry in the United States.

Telephone Archive
This website is a resource for antique telephone collectors, and a showcase for telephone content generously contributed by a number of collectors (thanks!).

Telephone Collectors International
TCI is an organization of telephone collectors, hobbyists and historians who are helping to preserve the history of the telecommunications industry through the collection of telephones and telephone related material. Our collections represent all aspects of the industry; from the very first wooden prototypes that started the industry to the technological marvels that made the automatic telephone exchange possible.

Telephone EXchange Name Project
A website dedicated to assembling a master list of historic two-letter telephone exchange names -- PEnnsylvania, SYcamore, KLondike, etc.

Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island
The telephone has helped unify people and communities for over 100 years on Prince Edward Island. Today, the telephone has become an integral part of personal life and of business, providing voice, data, and cell communications across the Island, and around the world.

Telephone Tribute
Welcome to the Telephone Tribute Website!   You'll find all sorts of telephone related web pages here on the history of the telephone, technical information, research resources, human interest stories, clubs, pictures, sound files, links, etc.

Telephone World
Telephone World is a hobby website devoted to the mysterious device known as the Telephone.   People have used "the phone" for more than 125 years, yet very few of us know what goes on behind the scenes when we make or receive a phone call.   This website should help enlighten you on this useful yet mysterious device that is in most every home and business in the industrialized world.

Voice of the Network
Pat Fleet's "AT&T" is one of the most recognized sounds in the United States. Described as a "mega star" of phone voices by Ted Koppel on ABC's Nightline and affectionately called "Ma Bell" by telephone workers, Pat has been the voice behind literally tens of thousands of telephone recordings since 1981.

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