The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island
The photos on this page show the current state of the conversion of our old house to house the "Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island". They will be updated from time to time as displays are added. The museum sign arrived and Jeffery installed it for me the last week of August, 2005. This museum consists of my collection of telephones and telephone memorabilia up till the fallout of de-regulation caused both Automatic Electric and Northern Electric to cease manufacturing instruments. The museum will be opened by appointment only, beginning immediately. I just ask that people realize that set-up is still in progress, and that they won't be seeing the finished product, and realize that as I work evenings, not all times of day may be suitable. Please contact me for details. There is no charge to see the collection.
Many years ago, I began to collect phones, probably due to my upbringing in Brockville, Ont., the Canadian home of Automatic Electric, and because of my interest in technology, communication, and of history. For many years, the collection was housed in buildings across our property and couldn't be shown to visitors. It has been a long time wish of mine that I could share the collection with people. In 2004, our old house became available for use, and I decided it was time to properly display the collection, with work began in Spring 2005 to prepare it for this useage. Displays are reaching the point where they are ready for the "window dressing", photos, posters, etc. - those items which bring interest to otherwise outright displays. Most items are interactive, i.e. both switchboards and the KSU are actually operational with suitable phones in the display. The payphones are operational. This job would have been impossible without the help and support of Linda and Jeffery and others. Jeffery has been indispensable lifting the heavier items which I have cannot do due to my disabilities. Please understand that this museum is funded by myself, and so far the work done on it has been by myself and my family and at times, there are delays at times requiring outside help lifting and setting up equipment, so progress will be slow. Work will continue over the coming months and years to keep this dream growing. The museum is located on the eastern end of Queen's County, PEI. Click for information on arranging a tour!
Special mention must go out to my friend Terry Biddlecombe, and the many others whose advice and help finding equipment over the years have made this museum possible.
Oct 10, 2009 - The year 2009 brought some major updates to the museum building infrastructure. A spring break-in by racoons made necessary roof repairs and the replacement of damaged insulation and ceiling tiles in the upstairs of the museum. A couple of months later, I decided to have the entire roof replaced, with Island Tel coloured blue steel roofing. Doing this made it obvious the museum needed repainting, so that was done, and the trim colour changed to suit the new roofing. Have fun trying to claw your way through that roof, raccoons!.
2009 - 54 feet of Halo-trac commercial track lighting was donated to the project, along with 43 Halo L1760mb commercial halogen lights and connectors, track fittings, etc. These were donated by Carol and Wilfred Nicholson, and came from a gallery and frame shop they used to run. When it was shut down, the lighting was put in dry storage awaiting a future use. The photos below have been updated to reflect the new lighting. There is still some adjustment of lamp positions, and a couple more may be added, but already it has eliminated dark spots, and made it possible to highlight displays using targeted lighting. In some places, I may eventually use the wider coverage 36 degree MR16 floodlight bulbs as opposed to the 15 degree MR16 spotlight bulbs that are currently in them. Thank you, Carol and Wilfred!
New Projects and New Items Page! - This page will show detailed photos of the latest Museum Acquisitions!
Teletype Page: Showing the teletype machines ready and in progress for the museum
1950 Strowger Switch Demo - until finished, updated Daily/Weekly
In August 2012, we had a visit from John Arsenault, and while viewing the exhibits, he videoed part of his tour. This is the video that he took. Note: It shows only a few of the museum exhibits, and was not pre-planned or scripted. I wasn't feeling that well the day it was done, so the narration is not what it would have normally been. That being said, it does give you an idea of what you can expect to see during a museum tour.
Right of entrance door. The backboard is used to display the key system KSU's and wall office telephones covering a time period of the 50's till late 1980's; desk sets are located below on the shelves. To the right of this photo, the lines and insulator display. Photo shows the Northern Electric QUJ9B 1A2 KSU. I have added a 564 to the shelf below along the black 565 and more recently a number of other business sets. The telephone line and power lines have been run to the KSU and a 554 (normal 500 series wall phone) mounted on a backboard, with a 6041QAA key unit mounted underneath. More recently, lines to other phones have been added to this set-up.
New in this photo December 9th 2005 are the TIE Mod Key 16 microprocessor controlled key system unit (the blue box to the left and under the QUJ8A and QUJ9B). This KSU has provision for 6 incoming lines, and 8 extensions as presently equipped. It is fully user programmable and has such features as music on hold, speed dial, conference calling, night answer and paging, etc. The left two phones on the top shelf of the display are connected to this KSU.
New June 15th 2006, is a Nortel Norstar 6x16 KSU, a compact, fully programmable KSU capable of 6 lines, and 16 stations or sets. This is the gray box to the right of the TIE system, and below and to the right of the QUJ9B 1A2 system. This currently operates the two Meridian sets on the right hand side of the top shelf, one on the next shelf, one in the office, and one in the workshop. As presently programmed, one can select to dial out, or to call through to any of the other sets, or to do a system wide page, and many other currently programmed features. As I mentioned, this system is incredible, programmable with a seemingly endless list of features, and I will be kept busy playing with it for a while! Thousands of these systems are still in use across the continent, a favorite of business for many years. Thanks to Terry Biddlecombe who found this item for me. An ATA2 analog terminal adapter was received on Jun 19th, 2006 which will allow standard phones to be demonstrated on this system using a sixth line.
Mar 31, 2007 - A QUJ8A shoebox type four-slot 1A2 KSU was received this winter, and has been added to the left of the larger QUJ10B. It has been connected to a pair of telephones below. Thanks to Don Ferguson for obtaining this from a Bell Canada friend of his and sending it down. Also new to the above display is a Bogen Music on Hold FM tuner/cassette player located under the top shelf, which now provides music on hold to the Norstar system. A RAD (remote access device) which allows the Norstar system to be remotely or locally programmed via computer has also been added to the Norstar system.A line was run from the 6x16 to it Apr. 5th 2006 in preparation to seeting it up. This should be a great improvement over the awkward normal programming done via the keypad of one of the phones.
All of these business systems are operational and can be demonstrated. When the Strowger "switching demo" is completed, it will be assigned a number to call the second line on the Nortel Norstar system, so it will be possible to call this system's phones from the demo and vice-versa. It will be a "melding of the ages".
Also new to the display Jun 22, 2006, showing to the left of the switchboard in the above photo is a plain face Northern Electric 1317 (c.a. 1927) phone with a short mouth, and unlike the Western Electric 317 mounted to the other side of the switchboard and showing in the photo below, has a selective c.o. ringing button. A missing receiver diaphram, bakelite mouthpiece, and its missing original oak shelf have been replaced. This phone was donated by Ross Coffin to the collection. It is now 100% operational with the switchboard as are the other magneto phones on display in the photo below.
Added Jul 01, 2006 are two military phones, to the left of the 1317. Both were manufactured by Northern Electric. The field phone on the mantle is a TA-43/PT complete with canvas carrying bag made in the 50's and 60's for the military here in Canada - an identical Western Electric manufactured version was used by U.S. Forces. Above it is an unusual phone. Based on the N400CG subset, this phone is an N400CG with a handset hook, switch, and handset built into it, just as an N717CG is an N500CG with a handset hook, switch and handset. The phone's military model is an MD2146. This phone was built in March 1940, and features the rare 6 sided type "NU" handset. These two phones were donated by Terry Murphy and kindly brought to the Island by his friend, Stirling Wight.
Added Aug 02, 2006, a 12 line military switchboard for this display found on eBay, model SB-22/PT. You will see it immediately to the left of the two military phones, under its yellow striped top in the photos above and below. This switchboard is a magneto board, with talk battery and night alarm supplied by four D cells located in a self-contained battery holder. A handset and also a David Clark behind the head headset have been located to use with the board, and the board is currently operational with the field phone. As of October, 2006, both military phones mentioned above have been connected to, and are fully operational with this switchboard. The major hold-up was finding a suitable power supply to provide a talk battery source for the MD2146. Until October, only the field phone with its built in batteries was set up to work with the board. Terry and Stirling, you got me interested in military phones. It's ALL your fault :-)
Mid winter, 2006/2007, a small pocket military switchboard was donated by Terry Murphy. It is located in front of the TA-43/PT in a small, flat metal case. This board consists of plugs, one of each would attach to the line of each phone. To connect lines, one plug would be connected directly into the plugs of the other lines to be interconnected. Each clear plug has a built in lamp which would flash when the magento on the line was turned to alert the operator. The advantage of this system was its portability; small size, light weight, and simplicity. Because of these attributes, it was an excellent battlefield system.
Also added the same day, Aug 02, 2006, is a dial American Tel. & Telegraph 151AL candlestick donated by Bill Jackson. This is a wonderful phone, and has an original #2 dial made on May 7th, 1918. The finish on this phone is also original and magnificent! Prior to display, it has required only buffing and replacement cords. When received, it had modern white cords on it - luckily, the last time I worked on a candlestick, I picked up an extra handset cord, and had a mounting cord from another previous project. This phone was manufactured by Western Electric in the early 20's. The number 2AA dial is considered a rarity today. This phone has been placed on the telephone table in the photo below. The WE-20AL previously on it has been returned to the shelf.
Apr 02 2010 - Above photo shows a new display case (center), added for a number of 500 series and other phones which are expected in the near future. A white MDF top has to been added to 4 stock bookshelves. This will be used to display different types and colours of 500 series phones, as well as Harmony and Contempora phones. Some 500s, Contemporas, and Harmonys have been temporarily set up the top, awaiting others which may be coming soon. There is enough room for 40 or so phones in this display on the top shelf, and the shelves beneath.
Apr 02, 2011 - Also from Vivian Bostwick, via her niece, Pam Hanselman, who came across the photos of her aunt's pen and ink drawings on this site, a shadow box display located in the window to the left of this photo. She had created this from items she collected while working for the telephone company, and is a truly interesting display of telephone related miniatures.
June 20, 2007 - Tom Vaughn, one of our readers send a number of photos and drawings he found in a Phoenix, Az. yard sale. These are all on a theme representing telephone operators. The photos are AT&T stock photos, and include a photo of an operator at her board, a couple of fairly famous ones used at one time or other in Bell ads, an operator plugging her cords into a globe, a more modern operator "plugging into history" with images of Alexander Graham Bell, a soldier, and an early operator showing in the background, Service for Victory, and another quite well known early ad photo, "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" - depicting an operator with lines coming from an open wire pole in one hand and connecting to an image of a city, factories, and a farmhouse with the other. Included with these were a number of drawings of headsets etc. used by operators throughout the years. These were drawn by a lady named Vivian Bostwick of Phoenix in pen and ink. She is the same lady who made the shadow box displayed above. These have been framed and mounted above and around the switchboard and magneto telephone display
June 29, 2007, a number of items from Eleanor Meek were added to the displays. In this photo is a large group photo of 70's Island Tel employees added above the left window. Also added today is a plexiglass "Operators Services" sign mounted above the wooden wall phones approximately the middle of the photo. As the sign is clear, it doesn't show well from this distance.
Aug 28, 2006 - Purchased the evening before, a Northern Electric 20L candlestick phone and an accordian mount made by made by the Modern Appliances Co. of Chicago, Ill. has been mounted on the left-hand side of the window frame. This phone is as close to mint as one can expect to find. The scissors or accordion was of the more unusual adonized copper finish type, and with years of use, has worn to present an interesting pattern of copper crosshatches corresponding to the position the scissors were normally left in. This combination of phone/scissor mount were often used by train dispatchers - they tuck against the wall, till you need them, then pull out on the scissors for use. This particular one graced the offices of the Montague Furnishings Company for many years. Montague Furnishings built quality household furniture and caskets earlier in the 1900's, and at the time this phone would have been in active use, their phone number was 13-2.
Viewing to the right of the lines and insulator display. Here, you will see a Northern Electric 1240 Switchboard and some of the oak wall phones in the collection. To the right of the board, a photo of this board in operation in Tyne Valley where it provided service until Nov. 30 1977. Prior to 1950 or so, this board didn't have a dial. This was added in the 50's so that the operator could connect subscribers to Charlottetown and Summerside numbers (and other automatic exchanges as they came into service).
Below the photo, a metal telephone battery box; WE317B then to the right, 211 with N400 subset and below that, N717CG - to the far right, N293GP and N1517CG, and above the 293, a N500CG subset, and to its lower left, another 211 with E1 handset. Calculagraph on left of top shelf, then a series of candlesticks, followed by varieties of 202's.
After a year of procrastination, the vintage 1955 linoleum on the floors has finally been stripped and waxed - I would love to put down a light coloured ceramic tile in the museum, but alas, I can't afford to do it in the foreseeable future. This area looks much better than in previous photos due to the improvement in the floors. New overhead lighting has brightened up the area considerably.
As of the last weekend of June 25 2005, the majority of the magneto sets were connected so they could be used with the 1240 switchboard and could ring, and be rung to/from the board. At this point, they could not talk with the board due to lack of talk battery supply to the phones and board. In mid October 2006, power supplies were added for each phone, to replace talk batteries which are now no longer made, and all phones are 100% operational with the board. From any of the magneto phones surrounding the board, calls can be originated, and through the board, be connected to any of the other magneto phones, just as they would have been when the board was operational in Tyne Valley. It is nice to finally be able to give a complete hands-on demonstration of the magneto sets and of the board.
A newly found phone was added the week of Dec 2 2005. It is a rare Bell Canada phone dating from the 1891 to 1895 period made in the Bell Canada mechanical department in Montreal (previous to the formation of Northern Electric & Manufacturing Co. in 1895). It is a 3 box phone with a Blake transmitter (center box), and a long pole outside terminal receiver. The top box contains a magneto and bells, and sports an old sawtooth lightning arrestor on the top of the top box. The lower box is the battery box. These phones used a battery jar which sat on a shelf hidden inside this lower box. This is the oldest phone I have. You can see it between the two windows in the photo above.
Also added recently is a round base 102 B1 phone with its E1 handset to the left of the three 202's. This phone was manufactured between 1928 and 1930. In the corner, a newly added telephone table which displays one of the early candlesticks.
Spring 2010 - Wire and cable display on backboard above mantle.
Added June 29, 2007 - Several items from Eleanor Meek added in this photo. To the left of the Northern Electric horn speaker is an NE 1120DA candlestick microphone. It was built as a microphone, not as a phone, unlike many so-called microphones which may be seen elsewhere. This is built on a candlestick base with an NE designed push to talk switch located where the hookswitch would normally be mounted. and bears the NE nameplate on the bottom of the upright shaft.
Also added the same day is a dial-less 554 wall phone from Eleanor, 2nd from the left on the right hand backboard. It has been mated with a 1967 NE QK82A magneto in a hard plastic case located directly below it. Cranking the magneto will ring the 554 above.
In addition, third from the right on the same backboard, you will see a British TMC (Telephone Manufacturing Company) magneto wall phone from Eleanor. These phones were exported to Canada in great numbers, mostly to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but in lesser numbers here. They are very rarely seen in Britain today as most of the production came to Canada. These were used here when most of our telephone production was producing dial phones, and when there were some rural magneto exchanges which required equipment. The same stands true with the 554 and magneto above.
Added September 24 2006: Northern Electric speaker driver and horn model R6900, c.a. 1922 located in the corner, found at a local yard sale. This contained the sound producing components in the box under it, and the horn amplified this sound. The box is cast metal, and the cone made of a fiber material. This is a great example of an early loud speaker, and an example of Northern Electric's many non-telephone items.
Right: A Northern Electric 555 PBX [Private Branch eXchange] common battery switchboard, which was picked up the first week of June 2005 with the help of Linda and Jeffery from an antique dealer in the Kensington area. This board is of the type used by businesses, hotels, and motels for their internal phone system and was manufactured in the mid-70's. This also the type of board used by Lilly Tomlin's telephone operator character, "Ernestine" on Rowan and Martin's "Laugh-In" comedy show of many years ago. Ernestine was known for such one liners as; "One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy's" (Snort, Snort), and "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company." This board was originally used at a bank in Summerside.
It was in sad shape, with many parts missing, and the wooden side panels rotted due to poor storage for many years. However, along with it, came a second board, largely stripped, but which contained the majority of parts needed to do a full restoration. New sides were fabricated using shop grade birch plywood, and casters were installed, making the board easier to move to work on. The sides were stained to match the top cover which was dirty, but undamaged. Several cord units were moved over from the second unit, and all units were given a complete overhaul, including burnishing relays, lubricating switches, etc.. The dial mount was broken, but I was able to locate a brand new one still in its box and it has now been replaced. Alas, the parts board had no dial or mount.
The weekend of June 10th, the varnishing of new sides was completed, and power supply and ring generator installed. The switchboard is now operating 100%. Phones on top may be rung from the 555 switchboard, as well as phones on the jacks along the wall added the weekend of June 25 2005, and eventually, other phones will be added to the system. It gives an immense sense of satisfaction to be able to give an old item like this a new lease on life.
Most of these phones shown in the photo above are Northern Electric, Northern Telecom, or Nortel, with the exception of one or two which are Western Electric. The other noteable exception is the RCA magneto ships' phone shown second from the right. Fourth from the right, is a Western Electric 750b panel phone, designed to mount flush with the wall. Aside from other models, there are a 302, and 5302, and many different 500 set variations including wall phones and phones with amplified handsets. Several date from the beginning of the 500 series with the original metal dial. A few of these have been brought in - enough to show some of the colour variations and different varieties available. The display continues with more recent touch-tone versions, princess phones, and more recent Northern Electric/Telecom, and Nortel varieties.
A Northern Electric Uniphone #5 Desk Stand & N400CG Subset is in the far left corner, with a Uniphone #6 wall phone mounted above - a recently acquired Uniphone #2 wall phone has filled the space below the #6, and a Uniphone #1 sits off to the immediate right on the shelf next to the 302. A 325J call box is located in the front corner, right next to the RCA sound powered ship phone.
Just to the left of the #5 and magneto subset is a Uniphone #1 with a very rare handset - the 6 sided "NU" handset. This handset was used shortly after the Uniphone first came out, quickly being replaced with F1 handsets. During service calls, most uniphones later had their handsets replaced with F1's, making these handsets quite rare today.
A framed special series set of stamps issued to telecommunication employees on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the invention of the telephone has been mounted above the N400CG subset, along with a stock certificate from the Kingston (PEI) Telephone Company Ltd., one of PEI's early independent telephone companies.
In this shot, second from the right on the shelf directly below the window, as a Northern Electric AA1, essentially a 302 phone minus the network and ringer which was designed for use with the N500CG magneto subset to its immediate left. This phone would be equivalent to a Uniphone #5. On the lower shelf, just out of this photo, in a leather case, is a CNR Rairoad trackside phone built by Northern Electric and a Stromberg-Carlson 1212 "Fat Boy" desk telephone, the first desk telephone manufactured in North America to incorporate its ringer and network in the base. Also added, three 511 two line 500 sets, two sitting on the PBX board.
The framed telephone prints above the displays are courtesy of George Howard and Jim Barr.
June 23, 2007 - From the 50's to the new Millenium! - A surplus Nevada Bell Northern Telecom Millenium (left) made in 1994 had been added to the payphone collection in the museum. This microprocessor based telephone is the most advanced and secure payphone in the world, and continues to be the payphone of choice across North America. A list of its features may be found on the following page: Nortel Millenium The Nortel Payphone division was sold in April 2000 to Quortech (a Gores Technology Group Company) and the phones continue to be made by them. Because ot its secure nature, this will remain a static display only. The Millenium has been mounted on a metal backboard for display and had been updated with Island Tel bezel and instruction cards, remnants from the recent change from Island Tel branding to Aliant.
Apr 02, 2011 - A desk model Millenniun has been added to the Millennium display. This is one of two I purchased this past winter. The desk model takes only credit cards - no coins, and is on the shelf directly below the wall Millennium. Alarge yellow card reader is located on its right hand side. It is programmed in much the same way as the wall Millennium. This model was used chiefly in hotels and motels.
Added the last week of June, 2007 is a white bookcase to hold our collection of PEI telephone books. The brown bookcase formerly in this location has been moved to the left under the Millenium payphone.
Late fall 2006, a DVD and video display were moved to a new overhead shelf in the corner above the AE payphone. This will allow us to play telephone related videos for museum visitors. These include an instructional video on dialing a phone produced in the 1930's, and old telephone company ad, and a video of an early step by step switch. Anyone have other interesting telephone related videos?
Ex dining room area. Doors which open off this space are to a storage area, office/workshop, and ex-kitchen area which is used for storage for phones not on active display and for parts. The room divider is used for further display of phones. A Northern Telecom DisplayPhone is set up on the divider, and for the kids, a 1970's orginal dial Mickey Mouse phone with G type handset and two Ericophones. Behind the divider, is the payphone, tools and equipment, and new cellular display. Northern Electric 233G, Northern Electric QSD3A, and Automatic Electric LPB82 payphones are located in this area. The Northern Telecom Centurion has been moved out to the new booth in the museum entrance, and the QSD3A brought over from the other house. Phone lines have been run so any of the payphones in this area may be demonstrated.
Various pieces of PEI telephone advertising paraphenalia are also displayed throughout the museum, including booth signs, branded toolcases and notebook cases, as well as advertising dial surrounds and other items which could be classified as ephemera.
This area has been re-organized to hold our growing collection of cell and mobile phones in addition to the existing payphone and switching displays.
While I have concentrated chiefly on wired telephones, I have decided I could not represent the complete history of the telephone on P.E.I. without having a display of early cell phones:
So far on display are: Motorola SCN2532 22 button Bag, Motorola SCN2453 15 button Bag, Motorola SCN2395 18 button Bag, Uniden CP900 Bag, Motorola Brick 89040CACBA, Motorola 76722CARSA, Motorola Teletac 250, Motorola Teletac 650 (Looks like a Microtac 650, but with an older style LED display instead of the larger LCD display on the Microtac), 2 Motorola Microtac 650's (One of these was my first cell phone), Motorola 120c, and a Motorola 120e, plus a number of recently added analog and digital models.
A chance find at a yard sale Saturday, Oct 22 2005 eliminated my shortage of brick phones - in a $5 box of goodies I found a Motorola Signal Series brick, Motorola Omega Series brick, and a Cantel/Motorola brick, as well as a Motorola Pocket Classic 910 non-flip phone, all working, amongst a large variety of other cell related items.
The week of Nov 04 2005, a large number of additional cell phones were added thanks to phones supplied by Don Woodbury of Wireless Express in Ontario. The cellular display, it is beginning to look pretty darn impressive, representing most of the earliest Motorola cell phones spanning the years of 1984 when cell phone were first introduced to the market till approximately 2002. A number of cellphones are not visible behind the room divider.
New to this area, April/May 2006: The frame in the backgound is the Strowger switching demonstration unit, which uses Strowger switches to automatically connect calls. This is 1920 - 1975 or so technology which still works well. When I am done building the switch, it will be capable of handling 3 simultaneous calls on 3 paths, and handle 12 lines as currently configured. I am not done with the project, but it can already demonstrate how a Strowger switch works by putting a call dialed with the butt set on the input, through a selector and connector, and ring through to a phone on the output. Dial tone is provided. See my Demo page. The shelves to the right will hold a display of switching tools, loop leak tester, photos of the PEI Strowger switches, a set of promotional coasters showing the DMS-100 electronic switch, the replacement used when the Strowger switches were removed from PEI service, and the switch test stand.
In the space between the windows, a small but representative collection of entrance protectors dating from the 1920's to 1980's. These were placed where the line entered your building and would protect your phone from voltage spikes and lightening strikes.
Added July 03, 2006. two wonderful items from John MacDonald. First, on the room divider in the photo above, a display case with two NOS Western Electric 1004A line phones! Next, in the corner next to the switching demo, a photo of the original 1950 Siemens Strowger switch, and 1988 photo of the newly installed Nortel DMS-100 exchange, along with a with a commemorative plaque issued by IslandTel on the occasion of the cutover to the new DMS-100 exchange in 1988. This was also donated by John MacDonald. This plaque has one of the original switch wipers from the 1950 switch mounted on it.... Since we can't bring back the long gone Siemens Strowger switch, it is wonderful to have at least this wonderful piece of memorabilia from it
This new photo shows some detail of the tool display. Growing the tool collection has been the major focus of winter 2006/2007's collecting. For the next little while, this area will change from day to day, as new items arrive and I play with the placement of what is there. In this area are a number of toolboxes containing our now quite extensive collection of small switching and line tools (somewhere well over 250 different tool types covering both telephone and teletype types), a climbing belt and pole strap and associated pole spurs, Strowger Loop tester, Megger, Western Electric 145A Test Set and AT-8629 Test Probe, KS-8455L2 Bell System Line Loop Tester (aka.kick meter, also Brownie), a string of linesman's butt sets including a GTE Automatic Electric Type 801 (plus another in the AE display), Western Electric pin dial 1011B set, and hanging on the demo rack a Western Electric 1013 butt set, and more modern Harris-Dracon TS-21, TS-22, and TS-22AL sets, and in one of the tool boxes, a Northern Telecom C.O. butt set similar in useage to the rest, but with a number of changeable cord sets/tips for different uses. In the Automatic Electric display by the museum exit is what was called a West Test set, a device for useage on magneto lines. In one of the cases is a Progressive Electonics 77M toner, leather case, and a 200B inductive amplifier used for tracing lines within a building, and the yellow case at the bottom is a Dynatel 3M 573-573A Sheath Fault Cable Locator for locating and finding faults in inaccessable underground cables. On the top shelf left, a Strowger test stand with selector switch. On the table to the right of this display is an Automatic Electric Test Turret type 21, which originated in the Whistler, BC. C/O. and which was provided to the museum by Terry Biddlecombe. The step by step switching demo shows to the left of the photo. This was used to diagnose switch and line problems from the premises of the C.O. For a complete listing of tool items in the collection see our tool list. I am currently looking for a mannequin to display the linesman's items. This collection continues to grow at a rapid pace.
April 6, 2007 - Another tool case has been added to the display. This is the wider case on the right, and contained chiefly teletype service tools and all teletype tools in the collection have been moved into this case. This case has the logo of the Corporation de Téléphone de Quebec on its top cover. The two cases to the left of it contain mainly C.O. and line tools. On the second shelf, a Stromberg Carlson 19C buttset has been added (on the right of the other butt sets, black with its brass bands holding the transmitter and receiver on). This set dates from before dials were used on phones, and has had a later dial mount installed on the flip side.
April 11, 2007 - A CMC 7336 Coin Test Set has been purchased for the display. This device will test older non-digital payphone's coin collect and return functions for proper operation..
Our new mechanical dialing pencil and telephone company pin displays. Special mechanical pencils were made by the Autopoint and Durolite pencil companies for use by operators at the telephone companies with a ball on the end which was used to facilitate dialing. These were actually patented by Bell; U.S. Patent No. 2,247,027, and they were considered a "dialing tool", model KS-8300. The green and black pencils as well as the pen (3rd from the bottom) were for telephone company use only. On May 13 2007, I added a device designed to slip over the eraser of a normal non-mechanical pencil with the same ball on the end as the earlier mechanical pencils, a model KS-8400-1. This device was made later than the mechanical pencil type and replaced them in use. There is another telephone company device made which I don't yet have - a red version of the KS-8300 pencil with a larger lead, designed for mark/sense useage, filling in blocks on computer read cards used for billing and toll tracking. Other companies made similar devices, but could not for patent reasons duplicate the dialing ball on the end of the Bell System pencils. The white pencil second from top and the gold pencil second from the bottom are examples of non telephone company pencils. For dialing, they had ends designed to "hook" the edges of dials to facilitate dialing by their users.
We have begun a small collection of Canadian Telephone company pins. These are located in the lower frame. In the frame are a number of Canadian pins, an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers pin, 5 year employee's pin from Island Tel, and various other pins from NewTel, BC Tel, Alberta Government Telephone, Telephone Pioneers, Northern Telecom/Nortel, GTE Automatic Electric. A very early and large New Brunswick Telephone Co. employee pin was added May 13, 2007 displaying the employee number 201. This originated from the collection of Russel Phillips, Dorn Ridge, NB, a long time employee of NB Tel.It is not known if this was his employee number, or whether it was one he collected from another, older retiree. Two service pins from his estate are ordered, one for 15 years service, and one for 43 years service, and will be added to the display when they arrive. I have nothing from MT&T from the Nova Scotia yet, or from SaskTel, Quebec, or Ontario, and no Aliant or Bell/Aliant pins. It is my hope that this small collection will continue to grow with time to cover all major Canadian companies, past and present. Another large number of BC Tel and Telus pins have arrived from my friend Terry Biddlecombe and are now included in the display.
Automatic Electric display in progress. Here you will find an AE-40 and AE-50, AE-80 and 90, AE-80e's, AE 87 and 187 multiline sets, Linear phone, AE-182e Starlite phone, AE-192 wall phones, and other AE sets. The odd looking device on the right hand side of the center shelf is a Automatic Electric Secretarial Answering Unit, essentially a mini-switchboard for offices. An AE magneto wall phone is mounted next to the door. Two Swedish Ericophones are shown on the room divider, and ceramic and glass insulators on the shelves above. The enlongated phone between the windows was known as an Enterphone, and was used as an apartment entry system..
July 06, 2007 - Over the winter, several Styleline telephones were received from Terry Biddlecombe, and 3 more received a few days ago. To better display these, a backboard was mounted above the window and the wall mounted Stylelines were moved onto the backboard along with the two AE192's. This, and an additional shelf added below will allow for future expansion of the display. In Spring, 2008, a number of additional wall stylelines from Terry along with another AE-192 were received and mounted on the upper display board
New to this display is a 1954 matchbook advertising the AE-80 produced in the new AE plant in Brockville. This matchbook was distributed within the first year of the new plant's operation. It is located in a frame above the Enterphone. Photos have been added to the display of the old Phillips Electrical Works plant which originally produced AE phones in Brockville, the Strowger switch bank assembly line in the new (1954) GTE/AE plant, an outside aerial view of the new plant, and a 2002 photo of the plant after several ownership changes, at the time owned by SCI.
April 6, 2007, a turquoise SE 183 Spacemaker phone was added to the display, located on the right window frame.
Added the weekend of Sept. 23, 2006, a Leich 901 Convertible magneto phone visible on the top shelf, right hand side. The Leich Electric Company was in later years bought out by GTE, and its phones were produced as a division of the company along with Automatic Electric and produced in GTE plants making this a suitable location for this phone. The 901 was a convertible phone, i.e. it could be used as either a desk phone, or turned magneto up and wall mounted to be used as a wall phone. The cradle is designed to work either way to hold the handset. In place of a dial, it was fitted with a magneto.
Also visible in the upper shot, left, an angle bracket used on farmer's telephone lines which screwed on the side of a pole to mount one line. This is mounted directly above the AE-90 phone and below the doorbell, and is complete with a clear pony insulator.
Newly added to this display the week of Nov 04 2005, a brown dial AE-981 Styleline phone (bottom shelf, 4th from the left, and to the right of the white AE-982 touch call Styleline), West Magneto Test Set (in its leather case) next to the orange AE-801 butt sets, and to the right of that is a device known as a Secretarial Answering Unit (SAU) and its accompanying AE-80. The West Test Set was the early non-dial equivalent of a butt set, and contained a magneto for ringing and internal talk batteries. Two AE-33 ringers have been added to the right of the AE-182e Starlight on the top right shelf. One of these eventually will be added to the Automatic Electric payphone in the payphone/cellular area.
This display would not exist if it were not with the help from Terry Biddlecombe.
Vintage telephone books and service manuals are located on the shelves of the brown (and now the new white) bookcase. Additionally, a 1928 phone book is located on the WE317's shelf next to the 1240 switchboard in the main display area. We are trying to build a full collection of Telephone Company of P.E.I., Island Tel and Aliant phone books, even for more recent years. We currently have the following books: Prince Edward Island Telephone System 1928, Prince Edward Island Telephone System 1929 (Donated by Crystal Squires of Morell, May 5, 2009), Island Telephone Co., 1945 Island Telephone Co.~, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968*, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972%, 1973*, 1973 Bedeque Supplemental, 1974*, 1975*, 1976, 1977^, 1978+, 1979, and IslandTel 1980+, 1981, 1982^, 1983+, 1984+, 1985+, 1986^, 1987, 1988+, 1989, 1990^, 1991^ 1992, 1993+, 1994+, 1995|, 1996, 1997 1, 1998, 1999, 2000%, 2001, and Aliant (PEI) 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Donations of any PEI directories for years which we are missing would very much be appreciated. One relatively recent book, which showed a lupin field and house in Orwell Cove has eluded me, and I would truly love to find that one. Let us know, if you have any year, however, as yours might be in better condition than one of those in the collection. One never knows what might show up while house cleaning! If you have an old phone book, are about to discard it, and are wondering if it might be one still needed, please email me at email@example.com.
To view the covers of some of the books in the museum collection, click on "Gwillim Law's Telephone Book Site", where he has posted images I sent him of these books.
In May 2005, work clearing out the museum entrance area was completed - blinds were installed, and the area was painted. In early June, the alarm system was installed and activated. Additional phone jacks to several displays were added at that time. The entrance floor was repaired and repainted the week of June 25th, 2005.
The next series of three photos will show the Museum entranceway and its collection of teletype and Telegraph equipment. Shown to the left in this photo is an AN/UGC 504 military high speed Ascii/Baudot teletype received in June 2010. To its right is an ASR-33 teletype received in August 2010 from Catherine Fillmore of York, PA. To its right, a Model 28 ASR teletype received in Dec 2009 from Bernie MacIntyre. All units are operational and can be displayed working.
This photo is of the same area, and shows a Model 15 teletype manufactured in the 1930's. This was donated to the display by Bruce Rosen, of Mass. Adjacent to the Model 15 is a Data-Tek 9600 terminal tester, which can be used in loop mode to test the teletype equipment. The Model 15, as with the other teletypes is fully operational. To its left, Benner Nawman BN4000AX lighted telephone enclosure brought over from Nova Scotia by Tom and Rose Dill. This has been mounted in the entrance to the museum across from the ADCO shelf and Centurion, and currently has an Ernest Telecom based COCOT phone displayed in it which was purchased from a seller in Quebec. The porcelain coated sides of this shelf have white handset logos on them with a blue background. To their left, a small collection of telegraph items, keys, semi-automatic bugs, sounders, etc.
A view of the entranceway showing a KSR-33 teletype (essentially an ASR-33 built without tape reader and punch. This machine was received back in 1985 from Island Tel and used as a computer i/o device, then loaned to a friend who used it for a while, then he stored it in his barn for the past 20 years. It was received back from him in April 2010 rusty and inoperative, but I managed to repair it with much help from Greenkeys list members. Videoms of these teletypes in operation may be viewed on my YouTube Channel.
To its left, an Aliant supplied "ADCO 15 Acousti-Call Compact Shelf" which arrived Oct 12 2005, and a Northern Telecom Centurion which was formerly located inside the museum proper has been mounted in it. This phone is modified so it doesn't require coins, and so that those inserted will fall right back out the coin return. It will be for demonstration only, but is functional.
Above those, a Toshiba DK-280 microprocessor based digital business system was added in the first couple of weeks of June, 2008, along with an Octel 200 message (voicemail) server located below the KSU on the floor next to the ADCO booth. This system is equipped with 8 loop lines, 16 digital phones, 16 analog phones and 8 dtmf receivers. The CPU is the large system processor, release 3 or 4 and it has PIOU card for admin, smdr and paging. Three telephones have been set up so far to demonstrate its many functions, resting on a shelf below the system. As time goes by, I will be installing more lines for this system - I have 16 digital phones which can operate from it. One trunk line is connected, and any demo phone can answer incoming calls on this trunk, and page or transfer calls to the other line. The voice mail is not set up yet, but is on the "to do" list. This complete system, including phones and voicemail was donated by Kevin Doyle and Sun Life on Kent Street in Charlottetown.
In the spring of 2011, it was decided, that I had to have the old kitchen area in the museum renovated. Its paint was peeling badly due to humidity and its floors rotten due to poor air circulation. I hired a contractor to do the work, as I was unable for health reasons to do it myself. Then came the heart attack. While I was in hospital recovering, they stripped out the room, replaced the walls and the floors, added ventillation, and half of this area became the new museum workshop (previously, the whole room had served as a quasi-workshop). During this time, Linda and Jeffery supervised the work and laid out the tools. I think they did a fine job, don't you? The contractor was Shawn Power, a local gentleman who has done many projects for our family in the past.
Another View of the workshop portion.
The other side of the room became the new office, with shelves holding tools, and parts, and on the end wall, a power ventillation system and coffee station. Throughout the new area, there is storage below the counters. Vents have also been added to the interior door promote air flow and to allow it to be closed off from the rest of the museum when in use.
The room that formerly used as an office then became free for display area. Shown here are a number of 1950's and later phones which can be demonstrated using a phone line simulator. (Phones not on top shelf are bagged in plastic to keep them clean). In this area, it is possible to dial up other phones on display and to have simultaneous conversations using two line simulators, and visitors are encouraged to do so. The kids will love this area! To the left, is the stairway to the upstairs of the museum, which can eventually become display space when needed. The wall to the left against the stairs, once the location of a large built-in desk, is now completely open for displays, switchboards, etc. For now, there is quite a bit of unused space in this room. After this room was cleared out by Linda, Crystal, and Jeffery, the desk built-in was removed, and wall repairs and repainting completed by the contractors. The door to this room has been removed to make it part of the museum display space and to encourage air-flow throughout the building.
Oct 14 2005, the exterior booth arrived, identical to the Northern Electric MD9021 parts booth mentioned above, but complete in every aspect including doors and concrete pad. Superman would have loved this one! Sorry, Clark - privacy curtains are optional. Aliant brought it down, and plunked it down right where I wanted it, adjacent to the front corner of the museum house. Thank you, Aliant! I am told this is one of only three full booths with intact doors remaining on the Island. It is in great shape for 50 year old booth!
Oct. 12, 2006 - One year later, the MD9021 Booth is now shown with a newly installed NOS Centurion QSD-2400-E touch-tone prepay payphone purchased from Bruce Freedman in CT. Bruce is a reseller of Nortel equipment. This is the second Centurion in the collection, the first installed in the ADCO booth in the museum entranceway. Although this phone is 100% operable, it is for a display only, and not connected to a line. Instruction cards in the phone reflect this fact. As with other payphones in the collection, all coins inserted are set to be returned automatically via the coin return slot. For months now, I had been searching for another Centurion for this booth, or parts to complete a partial Centurion I had. This booth is the first thing one sees when they come in the driveway and has been a frequent topic for conversation. It has always bothered me that I had no phone in it, and I didn't want to sacrifice one of the older 3 slot phones to the weather. A Centurion was a good choice, as there are still many Centurions in booths across the Island. Needed for this display: an exterior telephone book holder and cover, preferably with IslandTel branding or non-branded (must be legitimately obtained as are all items in this collection).
All photos will be retaken when there are significant changes to their respective areas. Please read the "Comments" page for information on the latest proposed museum project!.
The Museum has had a number of visitors since I first started work on it. One of the first was Rev. Dave Roberts, from Sandy, Utah, a minister for the Church of the Risen Christ and Cowboy Christians of Sandy, Utah who arrived to see the museum May 27, 2005. Prior to becoming a minister, Dave worked as an operator on cordboards in both Quebec, and in Saskatchewan, and currently has a small museum set up of his own in Sandy, Utah. Dave is a member of both the ATCA and TCI telephone collectors groups.
Dave had contacted me a couple of weeks before, telling me he was going to visit Quebec, and asked it it would be possible to see the museum. He departed Woodstock, N.B. around 9 a.m., and arrived here around 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon, and he and the young gentleman with him, Colter stayed till 6:30'ish then headed off the Wood Island end of the Island so that his young companion could experience a ferry ride. He hoped to make it all the way back to Quebec that evening. Rev. Dave loved the museum, in particular, the 1240 magneto switchboard, the model he had operated years ago. He marvelled at its excellent condition.
Colter loved the more modern phones - one tends to love the telephones of the time of their youth most - but this lad loved them all! Before leaving, both met Linda's tame neighbourhood squirrel, and the young lad had a number of photos taken while he fed the little beast. Both were surprised by the small, chipmunk size of our native squirrels. I am really pleased that both enjoyed themselves so much after what would have been a very long and tiring trip.
In early July 2005, I had a visit from Grant Munro from British Columbia. Grant, also a telephone collector, runs a business there, "Grant's Telephone Classics" renting telephones, booths, switchboards, and other items for use as movie and stage props. Grant currently holds the record for visitor from furthest away. Anyone from California or better yet, Australia or New Zealand? Grant recently donated an Automatic Electric "West" magneto test set to the museum, shown above in the Automatic Electric display. Thank you Grant!
Also in July 2005, a visit from Bob Grise and family of Richmond, Kentucky. While on a trip to Nova Scotia recently, they popped over to the Island for a day, and stopped by the museum in the evening. They not only enjoyed the museum, but also loved the Island's scenery. Bob is a collector like me and has served on the Board of the TCI club, and is a member of the ATCA group. He has set up a telephone system in a camp near his home town.
August 2005 brought a number of guests, Jim MacEachern, John Collins, Ian MacEachern, and others to the museum. They were the first to view the new museum sign.
Sept 13th, 2005,we had a visit by Terry Miller and his wife Carol, of Alberta. Terry is a former employee of AGT, and is a volunteer in a museum project out there. That same afternoon, a visit from Dawn Ellis, formerly of New Brunswick, and now residing in N. Carolina. Dawn is descended from Robert Ellis and Hannah Darby of Summerside, and has been a regular on the Island Register for years.
The following Saturday, we had a visit from two gentlemen, Garth Bulman of Charlottetown, and Nick Vine Hall, from Australia. Garth is a long time supporter of the Island Register - our partner in producing the Lake Map pages and a provider of many other items for the page. Nick is a genealogist and maritime historian of more than 30 years experience. "The Voice Of Nick Vine Hall" has been heard by millions of people in Australia and overseas. Nick, of course takes the record of the visitor from furthest away from all our other contenders. It was a pleasure having a visit from Garth and Nick!
Visitors Oct 4th, 2005 were Anna and Oliver MacDonald of West Point. Anna and Oliver donated a couple of vintage cell phones to the collection
Visitors Oct 16, 2005 were Edna MacLeod of Mount Buchanan and Carol and Peter Taylor of Montague, Massachusetts
The first visitor of the 2006 season was a courier who had dropped off a parcel for Jeffery. While at the door, he joked tongue in cheek with Linda that he needed a quarter to try out the payphone. Of course, there is no phone in the booth, but Linda told him about the museum. He then asked whether it would be possible for him to have a tour... I took him over, and he spent the next half hour marvelling over the collection. He loved the new switching demo. His mother is a retired Island Tel operator, and during his youth, he had been given a tour of the old Charlottetown Strowger exchange. He told me that this brought back many memories. In the summer, he is going to bring his mother to see the museum as well. It was interesting, especially because of how he found out about the collection.
Vistors June 27th, 2006 were Phil Warren, his wife Pam of California, and two of his Island cousins.
July 05 2006, we had a visit to the see the collection by Mary-Lou MacDonald, Alan Picco, and Ray and Marge Chafe from Ontario. Mary-Lou is the daughter of John MacDonald, the gentleman who has kindly donated a pair of Western Electric line phones in a display case, and a plaque issued by IslandTel following the changeover to DMS-100 from the old Siemens SxS switch in Summerside in 1988. The plaque has one of the original SxS switch's wiper mounted on it. Mary-Lou and guests brought the items down from Ontario while on vacation.
Visitors July 19, 2006 - Eardley and Ethelene Beaton and Eardley's sister Beverley (Beaton) MacPhail. After patricipating in a Beaton Reunion in Alexandra, PEI, they dropped in for a visit before returning home.
Visitors July 22, 2006 - Tonya and Chad Perkins. Both members of the Telephone Museum in Ellesworth Maine, they stopped in on their trip through the Maritimes.
Visitors Aug 15, 2006 - Mitchell Janoff, Patty Greco and Norm Janoff from White Plains, New York. Arriving on Holland America's Maasdam, and driving out to see the collection, this party became the first visitors to arrive on a cruise ship! Mitch is a well known collector, and Norm is an ex-employee of GTE Automatic Electric's Northlake, Ill. plant and AG Communications, of GTD5 switch fame.
The week of August 25, 2006 brought the return of Ian MacEachern and his son, their second visit to the museum, having seen it for the first time last year about this time.It is nice to have repeat visitors.
Saturday, August 26th 2006 brought a visit from Tom and Rose Dill, and Ted and Judy Burgess. Both couples stopped off to see the museum, and to drop off a small lighted payphone shelf which will be mounted in the outer area of the museum soon! Thanks!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 brought a visit from Ron and Eileen Nelson of Calgary, following a brief visit discussing the Island Register.
Thursday, August 31, 2006 we had visits from three separate groups - the first were Gary and Jean O'Brien from Great Britain, our first visitors from the British Isles. Gary and Jean are on the Island for a month or so...
An hour later John Warren, daughter Rachel Warren of Morell, Tony and Kathleen Walsh of Ajax Ontario, and John's grandson Warren Halliday of Cornwall arrived. John works with me at Canada Post and while on vacation wanted to see the museum, as he had heard me talk about it at work. With him were his youngest daughter Rachel and grandson Warren - they had a great time, seeing and using their first dial phone, and seeing and using for the first time in their lives, magneto phones. The highlight for them, I think was the Mickey Mouse phone. Their faces just beamed the whole time they were here. It is exactly this which makes all the work and expense worthwhile - to give young people their first experience with vintage phones! Alas, I didn't get their photo before they left - I had inadvertently left my camera in the other house following Gary and Jean's visit.
In the evening of the same day, a visit from my brother, Stephen, his wife, Cat, and children Fiona and Kier from Ontario. Steve and family saw the museum for the first time, and though he has of course seen the house before, and parts of the collection, it was the first time he had seen the full extent of the collection. Once again, the kids had a great time. It was a busy day!
November 7, 2006, we had a visit from Bernie MacIntyre and Philip Acorn, both retired employees of Island Tel. The last time Bernie was down was back when the museum was just a dream, and we were still living in the other house. Philip kindly brought down a few books to add to the museum's displays. Both enjoyed themselves, surrounded by equipment they were so familiar with from their years with the company.
March 10, 2007 - A very early pair of visitors started off the 2007 season. Mother and daughter Tiffany Byrd and Veronica Bauer (right) visited the museum, so Veronica could research a Heritage Fair project. It was an expremely nice visit, and I hope the experience will help Veronica with her project.!
March 18, 2007 - Another early pair of visitors. This is Stewart MacRae, and his granddaughter Kennedie Ogden who also visited to research her Heritage Fair project. Between her visit and speaking with her grandfather, she should have the jump on a lot of other children. Before his retirement, Stewart worked for IslandTel and often worked in our area on the lines and phones.
April 16, 2007 - A tour by a TIAPEI group as part of a course in PEI history and culture they are taking. A great time was had by all!
June 29, 2007 - We had a very nice visit from Eleanor Meek of Charlottetown, and Irene MacRae and Mary Lantz, both from Southport. Eleanor and her late husband, Roger were long time employees of Island Tel. Eleanor brought with her a number of items for display in the museum. See the "Projects and New Items" page for photos of these. I am sorry but the batteries on my digital camera had run down, so I was unable to take a photo of Eleanor and friends. Perhaps one day, I will get another chance.
July 18, 2007 - We had a nice visit from Joe and Judy Grant of Ontario, and from Fred MacDonald of Charlottetown.
Aug 03, 2007 - We had a nice visit from Jim McElroy, his mother, Madelyn McElroy, and his wife Evelyn of Randolph, Mass. Jim became interested in the museum when I began the switching demo construction, and has been an avid follower of the telephone notes in the newsletter since. Evelyn was reminded while touring the museum of an early job she had where she would be called upon to operate the company switchboard on occasion.
Aug 14, 2007 - Fred and Martha MacDonald dropped in to see the museum. Fred is a retired telephone man (New England Telephone) living in Atkinson, NH, and who has his roots on PEI. The old homestead is only about a mile away from the museum.. It was a very enjoyable visit!
Sept 07, 2007 - We had a nice visit from Hazel (Jenkins) Sanford, of Coquitlam, BC, Hazel was on the Island visiting relatives!
Sept 26, 2007 - Don Ferguson stopped by on his visit to the Island for a quick visit to the museum, and to drop off some key telephone equipment including a 1A Key System Unit, a couple of ringing generators, power supply for the above, a couple of key telephones (a 564 and 565) and a terminal box for the system. Don last fall mailed a large number of telephone parts obtained from a couple of friends involved with Bell Canada. These included various small 1A1 and 1A2 ksu parts, fuses, lamps, etc. and the QUJ8A KSU mounted in the museum (showing in the top photo on this page). What arrived today were those items too heavy to mail. Thank you Don. Sorry, no photo - the camera caught me with its batteries discharged!
April 15 2008 - For the second year running, we had a visit from a TIAPEI group as part of a course in PEI history and culture they are taking. There were ten people in all, including their guide, Dutch Thompson.
Jun 27 2008 - We had a visit from my co-worker, Michelle Dunlop, her daughter, Jennifer Horton, and Michelle's mother, Betty Birt. Michelle and her family will be returning in the fall, at which time I will post a photo of them. They all appeared to enjoy their visit, especially Michelle who had a great time ringing phones from the PBX, with Jennifer trying to catch whichever phone was ringing at the time. It was quite amusing, to say the least! Of course, whenever Jennifer got close to the ringing phone, Michelle would ring another one. These are some of my favorite people :-).
July 5 2008 - We had a nice visit from Rev. Leonard and Ruth Zecchini from Fitchburg, Ma. Both seemed to enjoy their visit!
July 22, 2008 - We had the great pleasure Monday this week to have John Collins from Saria, Ontario for the second time to view the museum, and also Helen and David Hahn. They had an enjoyable visit.
Aug 22, 2008 - David Arnfast from Truro, N.S., visited the museum. David is a dedicated Insulator collector and antiques enthusiast. Alas, when David visited, I as usual took my camera over, but when I went to take a photo, found its batteries dead.
Aug 23, 2008 - We had a lovely visit from Joyce Craven, who vitisted the museum, and brought down a computer for the "Laptops for Kids" program. Joyce, from Duxbury, Ma., was on holiday to PEI..
Aug 27, 2008 - Dan and Louise MacInnis, long time users of the Island Register, and Darlene, Trevor, and Sophie MacInnis were surprise visitors to see the museum today. Sophie was another child who received their introduction of dial telephones during the visit, and all were thrilled to see the switchboards, and the Strowger switching display.
Aug 30, 2008 - Another surprise Museum visit occured today, when the cousin of an acquaintance of ours showed up at the door wanting a tour. He was Hal Babcock of Fredericton, NB., and had been driving down our road on his way to the mussell plant at the end, when he noticed the museum. His comment in the Museum guestbook: Awesome! For a person who discovered the museum by accident, he was extremely interested in all that he saw, and enjoyed his visit very much.
Sep 13, 2008 - We had a lovely visit from Ruth Murphy of Saugus, MA., and Patricia Warren, of Exeter, NH. Ruth is a retired telephone company worker, while Patricia works for the USPS. Both enjoyed themselves, and it was a lovely visit!
September 27, 2008 - We has a visit from Alice Mombourquette and her husband Cliff. They stopped in on their way to a reunion, to see the museum and to drop off a few telephones and a few computer items. Alice got to see for the first time, her PBX operator's notebook, several books she had donated, and photos of her aunt, Aunt Clarice Lina (aka Tas) Whitman Miller, "Tas", a PBX operator at a bank in Halifax during the mid 1900's on display. Alice preferred I didn't take a photo, so, sorry no photo!
October 03, 2008 - Collectors Gary Goff, of Brea, Ca., and Rob Baxter, of Victoria, BC. arrived today on the Royal Princess Cruise ship. I picked them up at the terminal, and drove them out to see the museum. Once the museum visit was done, we came next door to our house, where Gary and Rob spent time answering emails using our wireless connection. After this, we returned to town, and after a short tour around the city, I took them back to the terminal. Both enjoyed their brief visit to the Island.
March 29, 2009 - The first visitors of the year arrived. Elizabeth and daughter Sarah Visser came so that Sarah could research a school project on the telephone. They had a great time, and I hope that it gave Sarah the information she needed. I loaned Sarah a Northern Electric N717CG for "Show and Tell" when she presents her assignment.
.April 04, 2009 - Karen and Tom VanWinkle, and their three children Ryan, Tristan, and Jack visited the museum. One of their children was researching a Heritage Fair project on the telephone. All enjoyed the visit on the wamest day of spring so far.
May 14, 2009 - I had a return visit from Sarah Visser mentioned above in the notes for March 29th. She has won the local Heritage fair with her project on the telephone and is proceeding to the next level. I loaned Sarah a second phone for her display, a Northern Electric dial 302 to display along with the N717CG she already has, to step her display up a notch. Good Luck Sarah!
June 09, 2009 - We had a lovely visit this past Sunday from Jean MacKay and Rosanne Mackay, her sister-in-law. It was a lovely day, and they enjoyed their visit, I am told!
June 18, 2009 - Bob and AnneMarie Conklin from Poland, Ohio dropped in not only to see the museum, but also to talk genealogy. Bob is a regular reader of this newsletter. They were great people and I hope they enjoyed their visit. It is always nice to meet Island Register users. They are on a quick visit to the Island, doing family research, visiting cemeteries and the archives, and took time out of their short trip to say hello! The day was perfect, 26 degrees and sunny - almost 80 f. but with a good breeze to keep it from getting too humid. The only downside is that the Cove was unusually inundated with mosquitoes, though not as bad as earlier in the week. I do hope they enjoy the rest of their visit.
July 01, 2009 (Canada Day) was a fairly busy day for the museum. We had a lovely visit from Donna Gazely and her husband Rick from Hamilton, Ontario. They regular users of the page. It was a lovely visit, enjoyed by all.
The second visit Canada Day was from Adam-Michael James, director of "The Nine Lives of L. M. Montgomery" He has borrowed a period candlestick phone to be used in the play running this summer at the Carrefour Theatre from July 11 until August 22 in Charlottetown. Read more about him, and about the play at: http://www.ninelivesoflmm.com/.
July 08, 2009 - We had a lovely visit from Brian Smith and his son, Gavin Smith Wednesday morning. Brian is an employee of Bell Canada. Both enjoyed their visit. Brian has taken the first steps toward building his own Strowger switch, which he hopes to put on the CNET netork when complete.
July 13, 2009 - Linda Rising and Karl Rehmer visited the museum today while on a bike tour of P.E.I. Linda worked with Norm Janoff who visited a couple of years ago, at AG Communication Systems in Phoenix, Az. Norm recommended this as a "must stop" for her while on her visit to the Island. In the photo above, Linda and Karl are shown holding two DVD's brought with them, a play and video showing in one a day in the life of a new employee, and the other, a play depicting the invention of the Strowger switch (an example of which, they are standing in front of). Sadly, I have not yet had time to view these, but intend to the very first chance I get!. Linda wrote in the musum guestbook, "An awesome museum! Thanks for saving all this history!!" My pleasure, Linda and Karl, and thanks for stopping by.
July 14, 2009 - After two years of replacing various sections of roofing on the museum, I finally decided to replace the entire roof with steel roofing. While not my number one choice, I was able to get a reduced price for the roof in Heron Blue, which just happens to have been the blue used by Island Tel on their phone booths. While working on the installation of the new roof, the workmen from Farnham Roofing asked to see the museum, and were given a tour. Those who took the tour were Philip Farnham, and his two sons Brent and Paul, and Eliot Christian. The new roof should provide many years of maintenance free protection for the Museum. The building will soon be re-painted, and the trim color will be changed to a more neutral blue-grey. As a result of the cost of the new roof, it is highly unlikely that there will be any major additions to the museum collection this year, but it will protect the building and its contents for many years.
Aug 03, 2009 - Larry Kinch dropped by with two computers for Laptops for kids, and to see the museum. Despite the museum building's rather rough looking exterior with its scraped paint, he enjoyed his visit.
Aug 12, 2009 - It was a busy day on the museum front this Wednesday. We had two groups visiting, First of all, Charles and Katherine Dingwell, then following, a visit from Hans and Pat Aylnes of Norway. Sadly, I didn't have the camera out when Charles and Katherine visited, but got it out later when Pat and Hans visited. Charles brought two items for the museum, a Northern Electric 1317 which has been converted for use on modern lines; also a Northern Electric subset, unfortunately stripped of most parts. I will have to locate a new desk and new cords for the 1317, and restore it to its original condition. While this visit proceeded, the painters were busy painting the exterior of the building.
Aug 14, 2009 - We had several visitors today, but one group who specifically came to see the museum. These were Brian Gough, J.P. Gaudet (former host of CFCY's Hoedown show), and last but not least Barry Butler. I mention Barry in particular, as he used to work with me at the post office. I had no idea Barry was to be amongst the visitors - they kept it a surprise for me. They stayed a very long time, and we had some very interesting discussions about their collective memories of the telephone here. They all had a great time, I had a great time, and I was sorry to see them leave.
Aug 18, 2009 - Another group visited the museum today. They were Maxine Drake and son David, of Vernon, BC, and James and Lois Gillis of Pownal, PEI. David also brought down a laptop computer for the Laptops for Kids program. It was an enjoyable visit!
Aug 21, 2009 - We had a visit from Fred Horne, Mary Burke, of Nine Mile Creek, and Anne Burke of Vancouver, BC. They appeared to have enjoyed themselves! Sorry, no photos.
Aug 28, 2009 - We had a visit from Ray and Phyllis Dand from Burnaby, BC today. Phyllis is the contributor of newspaper transcriptions on the Island Register. They spent some time first in the main house talking genealogy and history, then we retired over to the telephone museum. They have a great interest in telephones and antiques, and enjoyed themselves in the museum.
Sept 18, 2009 - Wallace and Valerie Ford of McInnis Point, PEI and Albuquerque, New Mexico visited the museum. They are long term users and subscribers to the Island Register's newsletter, and have heard so much about the museum, that they simply had to visit :-) Wallace during college, was the operator of a 555 PBX switchboard, an example of which is shown beside them.
Oct 09, 2009 - While working on the museum Friday, we had a call from Donald MacDonald of Belfast, who then came down with Rebecca MacKay of the Isle of Raasay. It was an enjoyable visit, and I am glad that they weren't bothered too much with the disorder caused by the work we were doing! Rebecca left the following kind comment in the guest book: "A unique, informative collection - an invaluable aid to education. Your enthusiasm is evident in the amount of work involved in the collection and the amount of knowledge you are able to impart". Sorry, but I don't have a photo - the museum was a bit of a construction zone that day as new track lighting was being installed. I was concerned that the work going on would lessen their enjoyment of the visit, but apparently, it didn't!
May 15, 2010 - Brian Gough's second visit, this time with wife, Myrna., Brian was bringing down a Fairchild Teletypesetter Standard Perforator for a museum display, and wanted to catch up with the winter's additions. Although I didn't take this photo for this reason, you will see the freshly stripped out garden in the background. Linda has spent several days removing the old overgrown garden! It was holding too much moisture against the wall, with the result that shingles were rotting. We are replacing it with several smaller hostas after landscaping cloth is laid down to control weeds. Cedar mulch will cover the cloth to make it low maintenance.
May 25, 2010 - Bernie MacIntyre stopped down to see the teletype display, and to see his old Model 28 ASR in operation. Bernie came with a couple of items for the museum, a West Test set, and a mechanical digital operator's clock. Thank you, Bernie, not only for today's items, but for the Model 28 Teletype we picked up from him before the winter last year, broken down into several sections due to its weight. Bernie is shown in the photo above beside the now working Model 28.
May 29, 2010 - We had a visit from Lloyd and Louise Hardy of Freeland, PEI. They enjoyed the display, especially the Tyne Valley switchboard, which until November 1977 served their area. They brought two of the original poles used there, complete with brackets and pony insulators. Many years ago, he and his father took down 1 mile of the Tyne Valley/Freeland [Conroy] line when Island Tel buried the area's cables.
Longer period poles have been found for these which will allow their mounting outside the museum, and the display of the brackets, insulators, and open wire. They were put up June 12, 1010 and the wire, brackets and insulators the following morning. See http://www.islandregister.com/phones/new.html for a photo.
Jun 12, 2010 - We had a visit from Duane and Lea Reynolds of Colorado Springs who were visiting the Island. They first of all, dropped off two laptops for the kids program, then enjoyed a visit to the museum. Our little neighbourhood fox was there during their visit, something they enjoyed immensely.
July 1, 2010, Canada Day. We had a second visit from Dave and Karen Arnfast of Truro. They brought a small test set, a Northern Electric wooden rate full of insulators, some insulator pins, and a 1910 Northern Electric Book, "How to Build Rural Telephone Lines". Thank you!
July 06, 2010 - We had a nice visit from Jim and Shirley Semple and Jack and Dale MacDonald Tuesday morning. They were ex-employees of MT&T. They enjoyed their visit, and were impressed with the scope of the displays.
July 30, 2010 - We had a lovely visit from Catherine Fillmore (left) and Wanda Miller (right), both of York, PA. Catherine brought an ASR-33 teletype her late husband, Ivan had gotten at the University of Ohio radio station in the late 60's. Ivan, like myself, was a Ham radio operator. The teletype is in very good condition, though a couple of problems have been found in it since, it is very clean and repairable. Catherine planned her vacation around the teletype this year. She has always wanted to visit Cavendish, and decided this was the year to kill two birds with one stone. Thank you so much, Catherine. It was lovely meeting you. Teletype shown between them. See more on this machine on the "Projects and New Items" page
Aug 06, 2010 A.M. - We had a visit from Rick and Eileen Bremner of Austin, TX. They have both been regular users of the Island Register for years, and were very happy to finally see the museum.
Aug 06, 2010 P.M. - Laura and Jeff Weigel of Redlands, Ca., visited the museum on their way out to the Belfast Highland games.
Aug 20, 2010 - Bob Cooke and Melissa Keith of Lower Sackville, NS, visited the museum. Bob's late father was an employee of MT&T. Bob is a collector of broadcast radio equipment, and has a small telephone collection, remnants of his father's collection. They both enjoyed the teletype display, because of former broadcasting backgrounds. Both enjoyed their visit.
Aug. 28, 2010 - We had a visit from Jeff Steeves of Moncton. Jeff donated a Northern Telecom NT9G60AA outdoor weatherproof telephone for the museum display. Jeff's father at one time was an employee of NBTel and at another time worked for Marsland Engineering in Ontario, one of the Canadian manufacturers of teletypes, and the predecessor of Leigh instruments who built my KSR-33 teletype.Jeff himself worked as a com tech in the military. It was an interesting visit! Jeff is also, like me, a Ham Radio operator.
Sep 11, 2010 - We had a lovely visit to the museum by a group of people from Montague, PEI. Included in the group were the honorable Gilbert R. Clements and his wife Wilma, Aileen MacLure, and Mary and Dick MacLean. Gilbert is a retired politician and was the 25th Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, serving in that capacity from 30 August 1995 until 8 May 2001. Many are not aware that Gilbert is also a very accomplished photographer - his photos af the Montague area adorn many a building on PEI. Dick was the founder of MacLean's Ready Mix in Pooles Corners, PEI. I believe they all enjoyed themselves and it certainly was an interesting visit for me.
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 - We had a visit from Heston and Francis MacKay of Ontario, and Fenton and Anna MacKay of Oyster Bed Bridge who dropped in for a tour of the museum and enjoyed themselves! It was a fairly impromptu tour, as I hadn't know they were on the way. Despite this, I was able to give them the "royal" tour :-) Back Row: Linda Hunter, Heston MacKay; Front: Fenton MacKay, Anna MacKay, and Francis MacKay..
Wednesday, Oct 6th, 2010 - We had a visit from Dave Marzola and Wayne Merit from California. Dave and Wayne are retirees of he telephone company down there, and Wayne is a volunteer curator at the JKL Museum of Telephony near Stockton, California. While I was worried that Wayne wouldn't enjoy the museum, since he is used to a much larger museum with huge collection, he had a great time. He particularily enjoyed the teletype collection, as he had cut his teeth on teletypes years ago, and also enjoyed my 3 box Blake transmitter phone, something the JKL museum didn't have. JKL had teletypes, but doesn't have them set up in an operational display yet. It was a great visit, and it was nice to meet both Wayne and Dave.
Saturday, April 10, 2011 - We had a visit from Kimberley and Wayne Turner, and their children Chad, and twins Robyn and Cassidy. Robyn and Cassidy are in the midst of doing a heritage project on the telephone, and they came to learn more about the telephone on PEI. I do believe all enjoyed their tour, and the kids left happily carrying insulators I gave them for a souvenir!
Illness kept me from showing the museum for several months, May to mid-July. My apologies if you had hoped to visit and couldn't due to this. Following an impromptu visit from Dana Sunders in July, I began accepting appointments to see the museum again on a limited basis..
July 10, 2011 - We had a short visit from Dana Saunders of Environmental Tree Service who was removing some trees on the property. Dana enjoyed the museum! As he was already here, I gave him a very short tour with assistance from Linda. Sorry, no photo.
July 18, 2011 - Carol and Pete Taylor, and John & Carol Shiels of Mass. visited the museum. Carol Shiels has had contact with me regarding geneology and donated a bag phone a couple of years ago.
August 6, 2011 - We had a visit from Paul MacKinnon of Holden, Me. Paul brought a Model 15 teletype from Bruce Rosen of Boston for the museum display.
Aug 11, 2011 - Bernie MacIntyre made a return visit to see changes in the museum which have occured in the past 12 months, and to see the new Model 15 brought from Boston by Paul MacKinnon from Boston, and to visit the Model 28 ASR teletype he donated last year. Once again, he loved hearing the old machines and seeing them in operation!.
Aug 29, 2011 - Ken Acorn, Leo Kelly, and Karen Kelly visited the museum. I used to work with Karen and Ken.
September 11, 2011 - We had a visit from Gary MacInnis, Fran Dowling, Andy and Rose Hennessey. All enjoyed their visit. Leo had heard about the museum through the newsletter since I opened it, and finally got his chance to see it! It was nice to see them.
September 15, 2011 - My Brother Steve, his wife, Catriona, and children Fiona and son, Kier visited the museum. Steve lives in Cardinal. Ontario. The kids loved the new display area, where I have two line simulators connected to dial and touch tone phones. They stayed in there calling each other of different phones while Mom and Dad, and I toured the rest of the musem. It was the kid's first exposure to dial phones, and they had a ball!
I didn't get early 2012 visitors posted for one reason or other, but here are visitors from July onwards.
July 28, 2012 - We had a nice visit from Phyllis (Yeo) Beer of Mississauga, Ont. (right), her sister Heather Farrar (left),and their brother's grandson, Anthony Yeo (middle), of Fairview, PEI. It was an enjoyable visit, and they all enjoyed the displays!
July 29, 2012 - In the am, Chad Perkins from Maine visited for the second time. It wasn't a tour visit, Chad brought a Cisco router for use with the VOIP phone system, and spent a couple of hours installing it. It was wonderful seeing him again...Sorry, we were too busy to take a photo.
July 29, 2012 - In the pm, we had a visit from Bob Schaefer and his wife, Bobbi from Gardnerville, Nevada. Bob is a Ham Radio operator, and is a retired senior microwave technician and U.S. Merchant Marine Radio Officer.
Aug 11, 2012 - John Arsenault from Guelph, Ontario visited the museum today. Photo shows John standing next to a Northern Electric Centurion the museum entranceway, suitable, as I was first contacted by John several years ago after he had bought a Centurion for his home. John donated an uncommon 1966 NE 500 L/M to the museum.
Aug 19, 2012 - Jeff Poll, Ottawa, Enka Fyfe, Arden and Ava Fyfe-Garrett, and Alfred Fyfe of Stanley Bridge.
I would like to mention that if you find yourself in the area and haven't made an appointment, try anyway. If there is no-one in the museum house, knock on the door of our house in front of the museum, and if possible, I would be pleased to give you a tour. Please, before you head out only to see the museum, call first to see if we are home and able to show it to you. I would not want you to make a trip out for nothing.
So far, the Museum has had visitors from P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pensylvania, Kentucky, Texas, Utah, Australia, Isle of Rassay, Great Britain, and Norway.If you would like to view the museum, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can arrange for a time you to view it. There is no charge, but the visits will have to co-oincide with my unusual hours. When you arrange a visit, I will fill you in with directions to the museum, phone number, etc. Bring your children - let them see the telephones of yesteryear! School groups escorted by teachers are welcome.
Wanted for Displays:
This is our "Wish List". From time to time, we are looking for various particular items for the museum. This doesn't mean these are the only items needed, but those hard to find items I am hoping that someone reading might be able to help us find. If you have anything which might help, please contact me at the address in the paragraph above...
- Old Phone Index Devices (examples)
- Telegraph keys, Sounders and ephemera.
- Model 19 teletype for teletype display (must be found on PEI due to cost of shipping)!
- Male or Female mannequin (display dummy with legs) to display as a linesman (linesperson) to display the linesman's equipment as worn.
- Exterior telephone book cover and holder for the outside booth display, preferably with IslandTel branding or no logo. This must be legitimately obtained as are all items in the collection..
- Strowger Linefinders for the switching demo.
- More old PEI Telephone Books to add to directory collection. Click to see years already on display.
- Any other items, phones, documents, tools, Island Tel, Aliant or Trans-Canada Telephone System adverisements or other ephemera (i.e. advertising dial surrounds or accessories, or number indexes) you think might be of interest and which may be of interest to visitors!
More Coming Soon... Please call again!
Telecom Museum operators and volunteers - subscribe to the telecom_museum Group! Visit this group The Telecom_Museum group is a discussion arena for all telephone museum operators and for museum volunteers to discuss setting up displays, to share knowledge, and for everything pertaining to running telephone Museums.As it grows, we hope to get some lively discussions on topics common to all involved.