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The Telephone on P.E.I. - New Items Received

Telephone Co. of P.E.I.
This page will show you new items received for the museum, and details the progress of any needed restorations. These items will be left on this page for a couple of weeks after they are received, or after any needed restoration is completed. Not all items received will be shown, but some of the more interesting items will be.

Many items have been added recently - too many to mention here. I have started a Museum Facebook page you can join to see all new acquisitions. You can join it by going to

The largest recent addition is a 1938 Bell Canada LIU Telephone Truck Back found in January in Picton Ontario. It belonged to Gary Batchelor who was clearing out a family home. It had been used to store plumbing parts outside for the past 30 years or so. Brian Gough picked it up in Picton, took it home and stored it over the winter, then brought it to the Island with him a couple of weeks ago.

I have spent the past two weeks repairing it, building a trailer for it so it will be appear similar to the way it would have looked on a late 20s truck, and painting it inside and out. It now displays some of the Museum's tools.

Jan 24 2015 - Among many other iems received recently that I haven't posted, is a Bell System Dietz "Little Wizard" kerosene lantern. It will be quite suitable for display with the truck back below, as these were used in the days before battery operated lanterns to mark pole construction sites, etc.

Other recently added items is a Bell System Brace and bit (hand drill), various tools, come-along used to tighten newly installed lines, and other items!

Jan 24 2015 - Picked up and stored in Ontario by Brian Gough and friend Mel Norwick from its donor, Gary Batchelor, 1938 Bell Canada LIU Line Installation Utility truck back (Sadly, not truck as shown iin the lower photo(. Brian is storing it safely until it can come down this spring. Along with this came a wooden spool of Northern Electric inside wire, and a 4 button multi-line set!

2014 - I made very many additions last year, but due to illness, didn't get them listed here. Most noteable, were 3 high paletts of phones, parts, switchboards, military phones and test equipment donated by Don Woodbury in Ontario and brought to the Island; some via visitors, and fifinal shipment by freight. Much of this remains to be sorted, but I hope I will get it done this spring!


Jun 01 2014 - Items from Don Woodbury during unpacking and sorting. Large number of military phones, test sets marine phones, etc.

Jun 02 2014 - Panasonic 308 KSU sjmilar to the Panasonic 616 below. 3 lines in, 8 llines out, obtained from another source. I like these, as they will operate both dial and touch tone phones.

Jun 01 2014 - Siemens & Halske Linienwahler, line selector phone.made in the Wien Apostelgasse, Vienna, Apostle Street, Austria Works in November 1930. Jun 01 2014 - the "Pregnant Pink Beluga", Tekcell Electronics Corp. SD-10, a desktop payphone designed for store and bar counters. The phone contains an internal rate table and uses quarters only.

The above phones are part of a very large lot of phones from Don Woodbury. More will be added to this page as I get a chance to go through them.

May 15 2014 - Two operator's headsets from the Milner batch.

May 15 2014 - Two dial QSK100AX Contempras from the Milner batch.


May 15 2014 - NE41BN magneto and 500 Q3A made durng the latter magneto days for customers wanting a modern looking phone while still maintaining acess to the magneto lines. This was used for similar reasons as the NE554 Q3A and NE41BN shown further down this page. These are scarce, as there were not that many placed in service.

Along with these, were a large number of other phones picked up the same day. I will not be posting all of them here, but these include a pair of operator's headsets, two 202 phones plus matching subsets, red and blue Contempras, plus a nnumber of 500 and 554 sets plus parts. Thank you, Wayne and Alice T. (Flemming) Millner!!-


Apr 24 2014 - Phillips Electrical Works monophone, model Z 5196-A5 made in Brockville, Ontario in 1945. I had several of these when I was young, but my collection went missing when I was in college. These phones were relatively common in basements in Brockville and area when I was young, but I have been searching for one to replace the one I had had for the past 40 years...

I have always been happy to add Phillips Electrical Works items to the collection, as they were part of my youth!

One more off the Bucket List!


Apr 04 2014 - AE Tools and Test Equipment Catalogue TT from Automatic Electric (Canada) Ltd.

It is in binder format similar to the NE T9 catalogue, and encompasses approximately 300 losse leaf pages.

It lists not only AE tools and test equipment, but also other manufacturers such as Arrow, Klien, Utica, GMP, Bradley, Scotchlok, CMC, Neuses, Jonard, West, and many other companies, all of the pages printed by AECo (as opposed to other manufacturers pages being placed in the binder).

Sections list::Small Tools
Maintenance Tools
Large Tools
Central Office Test Equipment
Outside Plant Test Equipment
Safety Equipment

Wanted: For some time now, I have been looking for an affordable battery jar for my Bell Canada 3 box Blake transmitter, long pole receiver phone. The earliest telephones used a sal ammoniac filled battery jar mounted in the lower section. I have been unsuccessful finding a jar and cover I could afford, but may have come up with a solution.

Last week, I found a flint glass battery jar minus lid on eBay and purchased it. To display it, I will need a lid. I am hoping one of our readers might do pottery. The lids for these were made of unglazed porcelain. So, it ahould be fairly easy for someone with a potter's wheel and kiln to make one to fit the jar. The lid's dimesions are in the drawing below. The inner lip would have to go inside the 9 cm top of the jar. I can drill the holes for leads in it afterwards. The to[ can be raw porcelain, and does not need to be glazed.

One of our readers who does pottery has agreed to produce a lid for it!

Mar 07 2014 - Antique Eagle No. 66 brass oiler used for general lubrication, and for lubricating portions of Stowger witches.





Mar 06 2014 - Northern Telecom's Alexander Graham Commemorative phone from the 70s and 80s. This was part of NT's "Imagine" series of phones. These phones have retained their value and are very popular. I picked up this one to interest children visiting the museum. Despite its unusual shape, it is a fully functional phone, the propeller being the dial, and the wings, the handset. The phone is very close to the same size as a 500 set.


Jan 24 2014 - Western Electric 35F Test Set 194714B, a current flow test set designed for adjusting relays. This one came from Bob Smith of, Prescott, AZ, and these are becoming quite rare these days. This instrument is in excellent condition. I need to find a set of cables and test clips for it.

Jan 24 2014 - assorted Dental tools used for a number of purposes. Picks are used to remove solder from PCB boards, spatulas for repairing plastic and bakelite cases, mirror for viewing under boards, titanium/diamond burrs and drills to grind and repair cases, hemostat for holding wires while soldering. All are contained in a cheap double-sided pencil box from the dollar store.

Below is a Chinese flexible shaft rotary tool similar to a dremel. By using the flexible shaft, it eliminates the gyroscopic effect one feels when using just the rotary portion. When doing close up work, that effect can make it difficult to control the fine bits, therefore the flexible shaft is far better.

To repair case cracks, the crack can be V'ed out using burrs to help glue bonding, the dust removed can be mixed with the epoxy glue to give it the correct colour, and it can then be applied and smoothed out using the dental spatulas. Final polishing is done first with the dremel, and then using Novus plastic polish to make an invisible and strong repair.

Dec 02 2013 - Two new computers built running Linux destined to become Asterisk servers for the museum. I was given two Mini-ITX boards and ordered two new cases. One board turned out to be bad, so I ordered another board new, a Biostar NM701-847 Integrated Celeron Board, 2 gigabytes of memory for it, and a SATA hard drive for it - the other machine on the left was constructed with the good used board, memory I had, and a disk drive I had. As parts arrived over the past few days, I have constructed both of these.

The larger one with the Biostar board is displaying on the right hand screen in the photo. That one will dual boot, either into Windows XP or intu Ubuntu Linux. Two nice machines!

These both are designed to be compact, low power consumption machines. Just what I needed - more computers!

Oct 21 2013 - Another phone donated to the Museum in a batch dropped off yesterday by a lady who bought it in a yard sale. This is a Dutch PTT (Post, Telefoon en Telegraaf) Ericsson phone made in Rijen, Holland some time around 1951. It needs a new handset cord and receiver element (which I have located), but otherwise is as new and perfect as the day it was made.



Oct 09 2013 - A very early Northern Electric N-1317F with picture frame front given to the museum. This 1317 pre-dates the others I have and features some items not seen in the later manufacture. First of all, early 1317s had the long transmitter arm as opposed to the much shorter arms in later ones. Additionally, the doors in the early ones were supported by four hinges; not because they needed the strength, but because the bells and transmitter leads were routed through the hinges, giving a nuch cleaner look. Additionally, the attractive picture frame front was available only in the early years. Later they were produced only with a plain front. This phone needs a new transmitter arm; the arm which was on it was not the correct one - someone had placed a Kellogg switch and arm in it, but left the original switch flopping around in it. I located a correct switch in my parts supply, and was able to find a new arm which I am waiting for. The wires to the bell had been cut and replaced by dicrete wiring. I have returned that to normal.Wiring inside has been neatened up and restored.

Sep 23 2013 - Two new items for the Museum this week, a Tempo Sidekick TN, and a Tempo E2520 TDR unit. The sidekick will help locate line faults by doing a number of tests on it.

It is from the same family as the 7B shown below, but provides an additional 5 functions.

The TDR works on a process similar to radar, sending a signal down the line, and analyzing any signal reflected back down the line. As a result, with a TDR, you can tell the length of the line, number of feet to a cable fault, diagnose opens, shorts, water problems in the cable, etc.

I need to find a set of test leads for the TDR, but it works 100%, as does the Sidekick TN.



Sep 20 2013 - Some of the items found at last weekend's 70 Mile Coastal Yard Sale for the museum. In the sale, I found a JYDSK Danish wall phone from the early 1900s, several incomplete N717CG phones, a Holzer-Cabot subset, a Northern Electric 202 D1 handset phone, and a hundred or more tools designed for the servicing of a Crossbar Central Office. It was a great weekend!

I have identified most of the tools from vintage catalogues and they will soon be listed in the museum tiool listing. These are not for sale!








Sep 05 2013 - Tempo Sidekick 7B Tester

The SIDEKICK 7B, which combines the functions of a Longitudinal Balance Tester with a Volt- Ohmmeter/ Kickmeter, is used to quickly determine the noise susceptibility of dry or idle working pairs.

The SIDEKICK’s patented Stress Test determines the capacitive and series resistance balance characteristics of telephone pairs.When this test is activated, the SIDEKICK excites the pair in a longitudinal, or simplex fashion, through a network that is perfectly balanced between Tip and Ring.

The SIDEKICK’s analog meter simultaneously measures the audible noise produced when the 90 dBrnC power influence encounters imbalances on the pair.

Sep 03 2013 - The 1012Ais a large kit of tools expressly made for replacing coils on these relays in Central Offices - I have a similar kit made by Northern Electric; a 1014B kit for replacing parts of AF, AG, AJ, and AK relays, also specifically tailored for those specific relays. As I have said in the past, what makes collecting these tools interesting, is there was a special tool or set of tools made available for just about every purpose!

ATT 123a Touch Tone Dialer Accessory. Designed to dial touch tone digits on a dial phone. Set this device over the telephone transmitter, and enter the digits. The audio from the pad dials the phone without ever touching the rotary dial. These were big in the 80s during the change-over from dial to Touch-tone. It has ten memories which can be programmed with your most frequently called numbers, and incorporates a redial function. Sound is transferred to the transmittet of the phone via a small speaker on the back,



Controller and NE233QF shown below installed in the museum. This phone (right, above) is operating on the controller (left). Insert a dime or two nickels and you get dial tone. Dial a number and if the call goes unanswered, you coins return. If the call goes through, the coins are collected. Eventually, most of the pay phones in the museum will operate on this controller. Controller courtesy Stan Schreier.

Jun 05 , 2013 - 798A - Modular Notching Tool used to convert non-modular phones to accept modular connectors. and 799 tool - A notching template - used to guide installers to place notches in the correct position when using the 798A tool. Now, in the days of all modular phones, these have become quite scarce!

Also received the day before, two scope or equipment stands to be used in the museum for holding and moving heavier equipment and as a portable work surface for working at items around the museum while sitting.




Jun 03 , 2013 - Bell System Numberall 3-16 tool - used by cable splicers to tag cable counts on lead tags and sleeves.

May 31, 2013 - Two Chrome Northern Electric Payphones, an NE233H and an NE233QA. The NE233H (right) was missing a number of internal components and has been fixed up as a non-pay phone for Jeffery. The NE233QA on the left is complete, and will be used with the museum's payphone controller for display. Both shown on top of one of the new rolling equipment stands.

May 31, 2013 - A very large lot of teletype and telephone items from Ontario, some of which are shown below:

1958 8 inch Telephone Service Decal - Unused
CDC SDA-103 Distortion Analyzer
CDC TMG-303 Fox Generator
Digitech 2652 Distortion Analyzer
Antistatic Mat and Wrist Strap
Northern Telecom "Installation Tool" NR-2315 stamping set, similar to the Neuses N-2315 kit below.

Teletype Magnetic Service Vehicle Sign

Also included are a Model 14 teletype, loop supply, 2 power supplies, boxes of Teletype parts, rolls of paper tape, ribbob, etc. etc.

Apr 05 , 2013 - Island Telephone Company 1962 Apr 05 , 2013 - Island Telephone Company 1964

Apr 05 , 2013 - DDI Transmission Test set , model 100P, measures level and frequency.

April 03 , 2013 - Putnam Rolling Ladder Inc. C.O. oak Stool made for telco use and used for splicers and C.O. repairmen.

Since 1905, the Putnam Rolling Ladder company have been producing these for industry. When the Bell company was disbanded, it was expected that Putnam might also meet its demise. However, at the time, designers were discovering the popularity of industrial design, and that has carried the company forward to the present day.

They produce fine wooden items with the quality expected in the early 1900s, and still do.

Watch a video showing these still being made:

March 24, 2013 - It didn't look like much, then, but last week, I finalized a deal for the above AE-34 coming from Washington State.These were made for 4 years pre-1938, It was filthy inside and out *what collectors call "farm fresh"). You cold practically smell the meadow muffins! AE-34s have become quite rare these days - the similar AE-40s are much easier to find, so I am thrilled to find this one, farm fresh though it was, so to speak! I ordered new cords and a dial number plate for it as well. It is mostly comleted now, and works like it did in 1938!.


It took a lot of cleaning if you compare it to the "as found photo" on the linked thread above, and still needs more buffing, but it is coming along really nicely, and works like a charm.

The AE 34 monophones were made only from 1934-1938, at which time they were replaced by the newer AE 40. AE 34s had a single hook switch button, mounted halfway between the handset support ears, and only a single cord entry/exit point halfway across the back as compared to the late AE40 which had a button on each ear, and two cord holes, one in each back corner. The AE 34 also has the heavy L-900 A-0 handset with the earlier transmitter in it that doesn't break when opened. Setting its receiver angle requires the use of a monophone tool.

Extensicords have become quite rare today - I have put the NOS Extensicord on it to replace the threadbare cloth cord. Extensicords were patented by AE in the early 30s and offered as an option on AE 34s.

I had been looking for a very long time for an AE 34 for the museum, but any I saw on eBay had very high prices, so I had to wait until I found one in farm fresh condition, as this was when it came, to be able to afford it. It will soon take its place of pride alongside an AE 40 in the museum AE display!


1957 PEI directory bought on eBay March 6th, 2013
1969 PEI directory bought on eBay Feb 07, 2013

Pair of 60 year old splicer's scissors donated by an anonymous donor Mar 2013. This filled a gap in the tool collection unbenownst to the donor - previously I had a splicer's knife and sheath which had a space for scissors, but no scissors. This completes that set!

Jan 21, 2013 - Payphone controller designed in 1997 by Stan Schreier. Stan manufactured these until costs rose to the point where it became prohibitive. Stan had this one left, from his business, where he took it off the wall when he closed it down. At the time, he powered 9 payphones with it.

It makes a normal phone line work like an old fashioned dedicated payphone line. When you insert a coin, dial tone appears, and you can make the call. Amount of the call is dependent upon the totalizer setting of the phone. If a call doesn't go through, the coin(s) are refunded through the coin return of the phone.

Sadly, those available today, only allow one phone to run on it - this one will allow me to run most of the museum's payphones on it.

Jan 16 , 2013 - Left, OK G-100/R3278 squeeze wire wrap tool; Right, Electric H.F. Wilson W4496A Wire Wrap gun

Dec 31, 2012 - These were sent to me by our friend Terry Biddlecombe, who has been a big supporter of the museum since its inception. They are left to right, then back to front, RED Meridian M7310 with optional BLF, M7324, M7208, M7100, and just for good measure, a red Harmony phone.

All but the Harmony will work with the 6x16, and of course the Harmony will work with any POTS line, or with the Panasonic PBX. It has pretty well filled out my collection of Harmonys!

Red is a rare colour in these - most others are Black, Beige and Grey. These will certainly brighten up the displays over my Black, Beige and Grey ones!

Dec 17, 2012 - Pair of Dictograph Office phones, both made by Dictograph Corp., but one of the two branded on the front Telematic.

Dec 15, 2012 - My Raspberry PI computer arrived the other day, and I have been having a great time with it. No, its not a phone, but there are a very large number of phone related applications it can run, Asterisk, PBX, Web Servers etc. etc. All on a $35.00 computer smaller than a package of cigarettes, even when housed in a case.

I just put mine in a case tonight, and installed a heat sink on the CPU, and just wanted to post a photo I took of it.

These also have a reputation of being excellent as a HD Multi-media server.

Dec 13 , 2012 - A Western Electric "Imperial" set. These were phones recycled in the 50s by Western Electric from D1 202s of the 30s. The bases were plated with silver or gold, and they were totally refurbed, and sold as premium sets. The gold finish on this one is flawless, and it now requires only a bit of touch-up of the handset paint.

A similar, less flashy line was also produced by painting of the sets. It was called the "Continental". I have one in green.

A very smart bit of recycling by WE!

Oct 19, 2012 - Metro Tel Corp Model TPM32 Digit Grabber - ordered in unknown working condition. What allowed such a low purchase price was the fact the speaker had come loose inside, making the unit rattle severely when shaken, and the vendor had no way to test it. I only had to re-fasten the speaker when it arrived, and wound up with a unit in near NOS condition. This device was used, for example, to verify the digits dialed by a touch tone phone. The digits dialed will be placed on the display screen and scroll as they are dialed. This will be a very useful tool.

This is unlike the test given by a BK or Radio Shack tester - they display one digit at a time. This tests to closer tolerance, and will display full numbers on its screen. It will also show the timing of a pulse dial. It will give the PPM on the left hand side of the screen, and the make-break ratio on the right. A great way to make sure a dial is within specs.

Sep 24, 2012 - The fellow I bought the switchboard from yesterday called me up just after I got it in the door, and offered to give me come phones, so I went back in today. Among this bunch, is a NE Uniphone #1 in Burled Walnut, and with the very rare NF handset, and the rarer D96337 transmitter! It is a keeper - the rest are duplicates of ones I already have.

Sep 24, 2012 - This is a Northern Electric N317A switchboard, which would have been used for an independent farmer's line. Bearing many of the features of the much larger N1240, this one is designed for a maximum of 15 lines - this one is equipped for 10 lines.

I will have to replace the three key switches on it, as one is missing, and the other two have the knob and shaft broken.

A number of wires are off on the left hand side of the key shelf, and I will have to restore those connections.

It was purchased from a gentleman in Charlottetown. He also gave me a number of other items along with it, battery boxes, three subsets needing work, operator's headset, extensionbell, external key, etc.





Sep 24, 2012 - This was the weekend of the 70 Mile Coastal Yard Sale on PEI. While I find it really difficult to get around to many of the sales with my disabilities, I do try to get to at least a few, and I have over the years found a few hot spots for the items I look for. Saturday, I only found one item, a vintage Northern Electric butt set with a GPO #1- dial.

Sunday, at one of my identified hot spots, I got a number of items, all interesting.

QTH36B Seicor - Punch Down Tool for CO quick connect frame blocks.. 4055 3M/MS - Insertion tool for SAC boxes, the light green cross connect boxes at the side of the road serving neighourhoods
BIX Tool - Original BIX tool for Northern Telecom Bix blocks LRC Thomas & Betts - For snap and seal connectors. There is a plastic grommet put around the wire, then you manually force the wire into the plug and this tool is used to drive the grommet into the end of the plug sealing around the cable.
3M MR1 Hand Crimping tool for Picabond Connectors - These were primarily used to splice outside plant cables and as you mentioned do in line or butt splices and it splices, cuts off excess and insulates all in one pull of the handle.
Gamewell Alarm Box - used in cities as a fire alarm. One was located in the center of a neighbourhood, and if a fire occured, the Gamwell would send a signal to the fire department. Each Gamwell would identify its location using a clockwork mechanism. These were used before the age where mostly everyone had their own phone.

Sep 12, 2012 - This is an Avocado green 500 c/d set with an adjunct NE 1035BQA dial connected to it. It will allow one to dial either in pulse using the dial, or with Touch Tone when needed to access special features. This combination was often used in the 80s where they had to access a PBX by pulse, but when connected to the PSTN, they needed touch tones to access certain services. These adjunct dials are getting quite hard to find now - this one came in a trade with Michael Hartwick. The dial is connected as per NTP 501-1651-200 (page 67 of the 1980 Key Systems manual)

Aug 22, 2012 - This is a 1014B donated by Barry McCallum and was a kit which included the NE-20B case, an NE715A tool, NE 716A tool, NE716B tool, NE717B tool, 1 Box containing four NE 718A tools, Container containing eight P12B536 tubes, NE 666B tool, NE 674 tool, and a container holding one NE 689A contact separator.

The kit was made for replacing coils of NE-AF, NE-AG, NE-AJ, and NE-AK type relays. (line and cutoff type). A BSP for the use of this kit maybe found on the TCI document library, 040-272-801.

Jul 29, 2012 - Chad Perkins spent a few hours from his vacation bringing down and installing a Cisco 2650XM on our Asterisk VOIP system. (Router sitting under keyboard). Chad had to leave for a prior comittment before we had it quite set up, and my son, a Cisco trained network administrator took over from there later in the day. It was a piece of equipment Jeff had never worked on before, nevertheless, he was able to solve a persistent ptoblem related to the asterisk installation on the server which had plagued Chad and I earlier in the day. Note the Asterisk server above the left hand monitor and the router temporarily placed under the left hand keyboard. The 1500 set is on the first FXS port of the router.

Sunday Aug 05, 2012, after a marathon conference call between myself, Chad Perkins, and John Jones we got the router properly calling from Asterisk to the Demo (this is the demo system shown on the main museum page). Number for line 1 is 1- 651-3211, and for line 2 is 1-651-3212. You can also call in to the Cisco Router FXS Port 1 at 1- 651-5110, a 1500 set. The museum announcement.message system is on 1-651-0001, and you can reach me any time I am home but not in the museum at 1-651-2762 from CNET. One must, however, be a member of CNET (the Collector's VOIP Network), and it must be done during periods I have the Demo turned on. I will announce on the CNET list times when it will be on. All but the Strowger demo switch will be accessable 24/7..

Jul 09, 2012 - Often seen in Ebay ads advertising them as linesman't test sets. They are NOT! They are a Western Electric 331B Portable Telephone set - used by radio companies to do their remote broadcasts. Each location that they remoted at would have a private line set up, and when they prepared to remote, the 331A would be plugged into the line so they could coordinate the broadcast. Their sound equipment would be connected to the line once the broadcast began. A beehive warning light attached attached to the phone, or an internal ringer could be used to let them know when the other end called. I remember one time the operator of one of these units forgot to mute the bell, and it rang out across the church just prior to the service. These were used to air hockey games, church services, grand openngs, etc.

A handset or operator's headset would plug into a dual socket on the left of the phone. Mine hadn't arrived when this photo was taken..

This has a broken neon tube in the beehive light. A new one has been received from Jeremy Walters. Thanks!

Jul 07, 2012 - 2500 DMG with clear plastic case.

The plastics were taken from a Cortelco 2500 and fitted on a WE 2500 base. People visiting the museum can view the internal components without removal of the cover.







Jun 28, 2012 - Wilcom T136B circuit test set in NOS condition. Tests loop ma., CKT loss, noise, PWR Infl.., in a simple multi-function unit. Has a battery test position to test its internal batteries. This was a staple in many a troubleshooter's trucks during the 80s and 90s.







May 29, 2012 - This is a telegraph demonstrator built in 1997 by Bill Smail for the Alberta Railway Museum. On May 24th, 1844, Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) sent the message "What hath God Wrought" from the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland. This device sends Morse's message to the vintage sounder on the right so people can hear the old landline morse just as it was heard back on the sounders of the day. To start it, a button is pressed. While old technology is used in its design, nothing nearly as old as the technology of the sounder, and the diode matrix driving the code results in a perfect rendition of Morse's "What hath God Wrought" message. It is like hearing an echo from a century and three-quarters ago. This has since been built into a metal case to make it more robust for display. The entire unit runs off a 6 volt DC source. It will be added to the museum's telegraph display shown further down this page.

May 07, 2012 - Donated by Ken Langilleof Brooks, Alberta, a tool kit put out by Etelco, British Ericsson. Many other manufacturer's tools have been added including some PK Neuses, BT, and some AE. It will take me quite a while to identify some, while some like the gram gauges and switchboard lamp removers on the left, feeler gauges in the center are obvious. So are the Strowger bank cleaners on the right. Thank you so much, Ken, for your wonderful contribution to the museum's tool collection!

May 05, 2012 - Atom ITX PC based linux/asterisk server providing VOIP service on C*NET, a worldwide network of telephone collectors and museums. This system will allow all collectors and museums worldwide on the network to access and operate the museum's various switches using the VOIP protocol. Shown is the answering machine which provides answering/messaging through the Panasonic 616 KSU. One calls the first line in the system, and they get an announcement about the museum, and can leave up to 40 minutes of messages. This system was put into operation May 5th, and in the next two days received calls from over 35 collectors and museums from Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, and Germany in the first 48 hours of operation. Likewise, I can call any collector who is a member of C*NET without charge. This unit was donated by Dean Clark.

Apr 04, Apr 11, 2012 - (Left) A Western Electric 1D2 which arrived last week, and (right) An Automatic Electric GTE 120B (which arrived Wednesday this week) payphones mounted in the new room of the museum. Both are operational with the Panasonic KSU, making both of them demonstrable without depositing coins. These were the period of payphone immediately following the 3 slot payphones elsewhere in the museum. These were classified Fortress phones, as was the Centurion phone, of which I have also have examples in the museum. Both work well. Between phones, six GTE payphone test coins,

Apr 02, 2012 - I had a visit from a couple of retired Island Tel techs who brought the above UK Strowger switches saved when the Summerside switch cut over to DMS-100 in 1988. These were part of the UK Strowger switch ordered in 1948, delivered in 1949, and which went into service in February 1950. I have been looking for switches from that exchange for many years. These include 2 first selectors (linefinders), two second selectors, and one unusual ten party final selector (connector). I have been locating the rest of the support parts needed since so that a demo switch can be built using these original Summerside switches. Most items needed have been found, and/or are on their way!

March 21. 2012 - Automatic Electric Monophone tool. These tools have become quite rare over the years. One end was designed to remove the nut over the hookswitch on a monophone, and the other designed to loosen the nut in the monophone transmitter, to adjust it for differing user requirements. Without this tool, it can be very difficult to loosen these without scratching and.or breaking them.

March 01. 2012 - Panasonic Easa-Phone KX-T61610 KSU and accompanying programming phone. These KSU's are quite useful for displaying and demonstrating phones, as they will operate normal POTS telephones, unlike most KSUs. I can plug 16 normal phones in this and use them as if they were all connected to the normal line, and they can be used to call each other, too.Toll restrictions may be set up so that no long distance may be called. This will be used in the new room of the museum to demonstrate phones.

February 28 . 2012 - Left, size compared to a Motorola 120c cellphone, a salesman's sample of the AE-80 telephone in the Dawn Gray colour. To give you another perspective as to size, it is about the size of two packages of small cigarettes piled atop each other. No cords, of course are mounted. I will be the kids wish they could get hold of these! These were used to show the telephones without carrying around a full-sized set.

February 04 , 2012 - A courtesy Coin Box Co. Candlestick courtesy box. These were used in locations where many people used the phone to recover the cost of the line. The idea was for each person who used the phone to voluntarily pay for the call. These were not official telephone company accessories. In locations where it was an official phone, pay collectors such as shown below were used.



January 20, 2012 - This is my second Gray Paystation - the first was the Gray Number 11 shown below. It was made for use with a wooden wall phone, this one is a Gray Number 14, made for portable use with a candlestick phone. These were used in restaurants for courtesy phones, and this one dates from about 1909. I bought this one for $75 needing a replacement candlestick support and bottom plate, and needing keys made for the the lock to the cash drawer. These parts have been replaced, and the lock has come back from being re-keyed in Calfornia, and the collector is now in 100% condition.

Internally, this collector and the earlier purchased Model 11 are quite similar. Both consist of a Gray lead coin chute which channeled the coins to the proper gong/bell. The Model 14 has a cage around the coin box, presumably as it is portable and as a result, there had to be a means of keeping the coins inside the box as the phone was moved. The Model 11 doesn't have this cage as it is used normally screwed in one place. The Model 11 doesn't have the drilled and tapped holes for the mounting of the side racket or the candlestick strut, for the top handle, or for the candlestick under-plate that the Model 14 has. On the other hand, the model 11 has its larger back-plate designed to be screwed to the wall behind the wooden wall phone it is paired with.

Both are acoustically coupled to the phone. The operator would listen to the coin drops via sound transferred to the phone's transmitter acoustically though the brackets. The caller would call the operator as normal, and she would determine the rate, and ask them to insert the correct coinage. The Bell and gong inside the collector would allow her to ascertain that correct coinage for the rate had been inserted by the caller before putting them through.

These are definitely cool devices, a big improvement over the so-called courtesy boxes used privately!


January 29, 2012 - AE Linefinder Test Stand H - 85829-1-2 - used for testing Strowger linefinder switches. This isn't the exact unit I have bought, but is representative of the model. I am hoping this will help me get the linefinders in my demo switch 100% operational. It should be here in a couple of weeks!

January 12 , 2012 - Presentation mounts by Northern Telecom from the 1980s. These sections of cable were presented to a retiring employee, inventor and signator of several important wire and cable patents for NE/NT, John Joseph Stefaniszyn of Beaconsfield and Point Claire, Quebec, and will now become part of the wire and cable display in the museum. John Joseph Stefaniszyn (son of Ignacy Stefaniszyn and Mary Unknown) was born June 21, 1924 in Naluze, Poland, married Helen Mary Kulas on November 01, 1957 and died April 01, 1986 in Montreal, three years after the presentation. Left, power cable, right a telecom cable with 12 coaxial cables and a dozen or so smaller cables. These cables were made here in Canada by Northern Electric during the 1980's.

December 23, 2011 - Western Electric 17B line test set. Originally thought to be a 17C, this is the earlier 17B version with the push button on the door. Used by linesmen on open-wire magneto lines prior to WWII. The equivalent of a modern day butt set. The line would be connected to the top terminals, and the watch-case receiver located in a depression on the left hand side would be held to the ear. A magneto on the right would be used to call the exchange, and the linesman would talk into the transmitter on the front of the box. Similar to the later leather West test set. This unusually nice example was purchased from a Quebec vendor on eBay for $10.50


December 23, 2011 - An almost NOS Lucent 2520B Explosion proof set! These were used in mines, refineries, and other industrial locations, where the air might have explosive fumes in them that could result in an explosion if the phone sparked. These are extremely heavy (about 40lbs.) and that is why I hadn't added one to the collection before. This one was purchased for a really good price, allowing me to get it despite the high shipping cost. One wouldn't want to drop this on their toes!


December 22, 2011 - Left - AE Number 8; Right - Gray #11 Paystation for use with magneto phones. Made in 1909, it would mount to the right side of a wooden magneto phone, making it a payphone.As coins were dropped into the collector, the operator could count the coins dropped by the sound of the gongs and bells in the collector. A nickle would make a single "ding" sound, a dime would make a double "ding" and the quarter would make a "bong" sound when dropped in the collector. When enough had been deposited, she then put them through to the desired number, This is the ancestor of modern payphones.

Jan 02, 2011 - A second Gray Paystation is on the way, a Model 14. Designed to be used in a restaraunt to take a phone to the customer's table, the model 14 looks similar to the photo above, but has a handle on the top the waiter can use to take it to the table, and instead of the extended backplate on the one above, has struts to hold a candlestick phone to the left of the collector.


October 20, 2011 - A rare Number 1 dial-less Uniphone dated May 1952.Most of these phones were converted to dial in the 1950's. It is now hard to find one which hasn't been converted to dial. Unlike the Uniphone number 5s which consisted of only a hookswitch inside, and were designed for use with external subsets, these were complete phones with induction coil and capacitor and ringer. According to an inventory tag still attached, this phone was owned by the RCAF, and likely saw service in the 50s at CFB Summerside. This phone has since been cleaned up, and as it adds interest to the phone, the tag attached has been laminated in plastic and left attached..

September 29, 2011 - A rare Northern Electric 10 button touch-tone Princess phone was received from Jeff Lamb. This phone is in the the aqua blue colour. Shown next to it is a rotary Princess in the turquoise colour. The difference in colour is even more noticeable in person, the turquoise phone on the right having a decidedly green cast. When the 10 button set was received, it was indistinguishable from the turquoise phone to the right due to discoloration caused by sunlight and the environment. This is quite common in light blue sets.See buffing.html for another example of this. It was brought back to its original colour by sanding off the discoloured layer, and subsequent buffing. Still dome work to do and further buffing to return it to original condition. Both phones work like a charm.

September 25, 2011 - A great day for phones. Today at a yard sale, I found a Northern Electric N1717GP for $40, only needing a new switchhook, and otherwise in very good condition. As I already have a photo of one already in the collection posted, I am not going to post a photo of it...

But the best thing today was an original Strowger 11 digit wall phone from AE's Chicago works, bought on eBay. It is in great shape and will make a wonderful display in the museum of the earliest dial phone in widespread use in North America. Previously, I had only a photo of one of these displayed. . The 11th (first) digit was used for Long Distance, later found unnecessary and incorporated along with the Operator digit. The digits ran top to bottom, first the Long Distance digit, then O-1. These phones are becoming very rare. This phone will soon be winging its way here from Saskatoon. Some of these phones were sold to farmers to use as an intercom betweek their house and barn after they were removed from active service. This has preserved many of them in Western Canada. Despite this, they are considered quite rare. Isn't she a beauty? I have been looking for one of these for a long time, but as they were never used here, they simply don't show up. These preceded the rotary dial.

September 15, 2011 - Thursday, I took a trip into Charlottetown, to look at a number of items I had been told I could have. Included were two Northern Electric 211 phones, another Number 1 NE Uniphone, an interesting transmitter control unit made from a 43A turret and a type NU Handset, a Fairchild/Dumont frequency meter from the days of FM business radio, two early 50 mhz. Motorola Handi-Talkies (used in the days before cellular), and two Wilcom T194 Transmission and Line Noise test sets in great shape. Along with these (and not pictured) were a number of 66 and other new unused blocks.

All have been cleaned up, the Wilcoms have been checked out, as have the 211s, the Uniphone has been wired for private line and outfitted with a spade-modular cord. Love to hear from anyone with a manual for either the Wilcom or the Dumont test sets. Wilcom and Fairchild can no longer supply these manuals.

May 23, 2011 - Just back from the museum, after a large number of 500's, 2500's, Harmony, etc. were received this morning dropped off by Dave Swan.It was short but enjoyable visit. Along with them came a 354, another Model 33 Calculagraph, Princess, Contemporas, and a box full of NOS cords, dial centers, plastics, handsets, etc.

These had been promised a few months ago - Linda and I later unpacked many of them on the new display case to photograph. I took these photos later after a quick rest. Not all would fit on, but I have taken a photograph of the remaining pieces in the boxes.

Most are Northern Electric, but there is one aqua blue WE 500 set in the bunch... In total, there are 24 in all, plus the great box of spares!

The parts included a number of NOS dial plastics (haven't counted them but in the vicinity of a dozen), spare handsets, including one with volume control, receivers, transmitters, and a large number of NOS in the bag spade cords. The handsets include about a dozen NOS Harmony handsets in great colours.

There were also three beige NOS Round dial plates for TT dials, and 3 NOS beige face mats for 2500's.

Still a lot of sorting to do! Meanwhile, Dave continues to look out for more. My favorites - the aqua blue 500, green 500, the yellow 500 in the box in the last photo, and the two red 500's. The yellow 500s need new handset cords, but there are a couple of NOS yellow cords in the spares box.

As of noon, May 25th, 2011 all if these phones have neen changed from party line wiring to private line wiring, repairs made where needed, stickers removed, and all have been thoroughly tested. The last one done was the white 500 in the second photo with the G6 (amplified) handset (which was disconnected in the photo). It was a fun and relaxing job done in several spells sitting at my desk in the museum.

Thank you so much Dave!

Items For Telegraph Display:

Start of the Museum's Telegraph Display

Western Union 3A telegraph repeating sounder Western Union 4D telegraph relay
May 05, 2011 - A Western Union 3A telegraph sounder
May 05, 2011- A Western Union 4D telegraph relay

These will be placed along with a Speed-X key in the museum's small collection of telegraph items. See below for details of the Wilson key being donated. These two will be left in their natural state. Brass and wood surfaces have been cleaned and polished but not overcleaned. The WU3A sounder has the uncommon silencer on the upper left which could be rotated out over the sounder bar to keep it from clicking. The 3A sounder was manufacured by Thompson Levering of Philadelphia, and the 4D relay by Spies Electrical Works of Chicago, both manufactured for and stamped Western Union..

May 11, 2011 - Western Electric 15-B 120 ohm main line sounder

A Western Electric 15-B 120 ohm main line sounder. It has an adjuster lever on the resonator plate which moves the coils in and out. The cross-bar and coil pole ends are oriented at an angle instead of being horizontal as in the above sounder.

These work on the same principle. The line connects to the coils which pull their steel armature towards the electromagnetic pole when powered. The sounder design creates a clicking sound each time the voltage pulses on. The current is interrupted on and off by the key, powered by a battery supply in series with the line. Using American Morse or International Morse code, characters created by the key at one end of the line can be deciphered at the other end by the clicks of the sounder.

Basic Telegraph Circuit

On the relay, when it's armature is pulled in, it acts as a switch which connects to another line, repeating what comes in on the first line. Therefore, the relay can be used as an amplifier of sorts, taking a weak signal from the incoming line, and repeating it to the outgoing line. The most noticeable difference is in the sound generated - The armature/sounding bar on the sounder is designed to make more noise so the operator can hear the signal, as compared to the quieter relay.

WWII Wilson RCAF key

A WWII Wilson RCAF key is being donated by George Curtis in Kensington, here on the Island. This key was manufactured in Toronto during the war. it should be here the weekend of May 28. I have made a mahogany base for this key, and it will be included in the display.

Vibroplex, S/n 252634 ca. 1967

Vibroplex, S/N 252634 ca. 1967

May 20, 2011 - A Vibroplex "Original" bug in great condition has been found thanks to Robert Baumann in Colorado. These are high speed morse keys which automatically create multiple "dits" when the paddle is pushed to the right by means of a vibrating pendulum, and which manually creates individual "dah's" when the paddle held to the left. With a "Bug" a telegraph operator could send code with a more uniform hand and at higher speeds, while avoiding "glass arm", or "telegrapher's paralysis", a repetitive strain injury caused by the up and down single motion of using a straight key. These have remained essentially unchanged since the beginning of the 20th century and are now used by Ham Radio operators.As each telegraph operator had different preference in how the bug was set up, they generally had their own bug in a carrying case which they brought to work with them. A wedge shaped plug as seen on the Electro-Bug below would be inserted in the station key shorting switch to connect the bug. Someday, I hope to find a vintage carrying case for the above Vibroplex to go in the display.

I have always thought these were beautiful and intriguing instruments, and back when I was a beginning Ham Radio operator, I would have loved to have one. Thank you, Robert! Vibroplex has been manufacturing keys since 1890.

Telegraphy is worth mentioning in the context of the telephone, because much of the background for the telephone was provided by the earlier research and design work done on the telegraph.

I would love to hear from anyone else with a telegraphic collection. Just click on my name where it is given at the bottom of this page..

Electro-Bug Jr.

Electro Bug Jr., S/N 1342, Electro Mfg. Co., San Francisco, ca. 1927-1934

July 28, 2011 - An Electro-Bug Jr. manufactured by Electro Mfg. Co., of San Francisco, California between 1927 and 1934. An early Bug type key. A lightly stamped impression on the bottom gives the serial number 1342 (serial photo inset right). This key is complete with the cord which would have been used to connect to the telegraph company's straight key. Each operator would have their own key, set for their individual preferences. It has been cleaned of 80 years of dust, nicotine, and grime, and the base has been stripped of several layers of paint and re-painted. The key does work well considering 80 tears of dis-use and neglect. I am still awaiting a set of new rubber feet for it to replace those on it which have gone very hard with age.

In 1933, the company was bought by Stewart Johnson - the name changed to Speed-X in 1934. In 1937 Les Logan bought the company, and it changed hands again, ten years later - this time to E. F. Johnson in 1947, and finally in 1974 the brand became the property of the W. M. Nye Company where the ownership remains today. I have the Electro-Bug displayed alongside a much later (60's) Speed-X straight key.

This bug brought up a lively discussion on a collector's list - the design of the dit screw/pendulum area differs from that of later models. Later models appear to have been changed to a hollow spring loaded dit screw, whereas this one has a solid dit screw, which meets a flexible reed mounted contact on the pendulum arm. When depressed, the contact on the pendulum arm will depress into the pendulum shaft, serving the same purpose, but in a different way.

This key has only a 4 digit serial number, though those on the above mentioned list have keys with 5 digit numbers. As with all Electro-Bugs, numbers are hand stamped and out of line. There are no other digits on this one (even lightly imprinted, an advantage of seeing it with, then without paint - I can be certain), which may indicate a very early production model - quite likely, considering its different dit screw/pendulum design! Originally I had difficulty even locating a serial number on it - it was obscured by so many layers of paint, and I was looking for it on top, and not the bottom. If you have one, with the bug laying on its back, paddles to the left, the number is located adjacent to the front right foot. I don't suggest anyone strip the paint off to read it - this was done by accident during the cleaning process, but looking at it with a flashlight shining from different angles may give you a pretty good idea of what the number is, even through multiple layers of paint. My initial guess as to what the number was was borne out when I cleaned it and destroyed the original coats of paint:-)


March 28, 2011 - This is a NE 1500. These are getting increasingly rare these days, and were only manufactured from 1964 until 1968, at which point, the 12 digit dials began appearing in a newly designed case.

Now, I confess - this is a Frankenphone of sorts, though genuine in style and parts. All parts match in year, and were in the genuine 1500's. The body is a 500 c/d dated 1965, the dial surround and 1965 dial replace the original dial. I intend to overstamp the date on the base to reflect the fact it is now a 1500 (just add a 1 with my Neuses stamp set.)

The scratches and paint specks showing in the photo were buffed out a few hours after this photo was taken, and it looks truly great! There should be a law against painting in the same room as a classic telephone. From the look of these, they were paint specks from the use of a paint roller nearby.

I got the dial surround/mount from OPW and using Krylon, repainted it from its oridinal white, and the TT dial from Vern. Smudge on dial surround is only a little bit of Novus polish I missed wiping off.

So, although a frankenphone of sorts, this phone it made from genuine parts, and was really manufactured. Western Electric made these phones, too, but used a case like the later NE 12 digit ones from the start. In the US, only the first prototypes were produced using these dial plates - but in Canada production of these lasted some 4 years before the 12 digit phones and new cases were introduced...

A number card window has been ordered for this phone. This one will be on display in the museum until I can find a genuine 1500 at an affordable price, then will be converted back to a 500 c/d

March 18, 2011 - This is a Western Electric ED-30712 30 GR-1 Strowger test stand received this week. These stands were used to test Strowger SxS switches such as those used in my demonstration strowger unit. The switch hangs on the upper part of the stand, and the fingers on the shelf jack mate with the connector of the switch. On the back deck are a terminal strip for power connections, a fuse block, and a test jack. Additional connections to the switch may be made using clip leads. This is an invaluable aid to diagnosing individual switch problems before they are mounted in the exchange. They are extremely hard to find nowadays, as Strowger electro-mechanical switches fell out of favour in the last quarter of the 20th century in favour of electronic switching. I have a home-built stand in the museum on which the Type 51 AEI Strowger 1st Selector switch is displayed - I needed another one for working on additional switches. This switch was thoroughly cleaned and repainted today, and a broken fuse-holder was replaced Mar 27th.

March 5, 2011 - In the museum I have a number of pen and ink drawings by Vivian Bostwick.She passed away March 18th, 2009. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by her niece, Pam Hanselman, who asked me if I would be interested in having a beautiful and large shadow box she made of her years with the telephone company in a display for the museum..One interesting item on the display is an operator's call counter, shown in the middle right-hand photo. The following photos depict some of the scenes seen in the display: Thank you, Pam.

Jan 08, 2010 - This chair was given to the museum by Leo MacDonald. He called me a couple of day before, asking if it would be useful in the museum. Of course, I told him it would be perfect to display with the 1240 switchboard. These are often seen with a turquoise finish. It is shown with the seat in its lowest extension.

This came many years ago from a test position in Charlottetown.

The chair has been cleaned and lubricated, taking years of grime and paint off it and its upholstery, and after ArmorAll 'ing of the upholstery, ready for Jeffery to take over to the museum.

Thank you, Leo!

Jan 06 2011 - This is one of two Millennium Desk phones I have been expecting. One has been received, the other received Jan 09 2011. One is brand new in the box, the other is used but NOS. The two phones have different cords on them. One has traditional colour coding, red, green, black and yellow with a security cable running through the cord - the other had a modern 3 pair cable ending in a modular connector.

Experimentation on the first type shows the black and yellow are the power input pair. Power was applied using a Motorola POE supply (minus its POE connector) giving 24 VDC at .5 amp. When the polarity is correct, it clicks, then boots up to the default message, "Out of Service" as it should. On the second type, the power input will go to the second pair on the connector. I am looking for a programming or key interlock card for these phones. As these phones are credit only, and don't have a key, the key card is used in the programming process where is asks you to unlock the phone. Even with it, I won't be able to give demonstrations with it, as Millenniums need a connection to the Millennium Manager at Quortech.

Programming won't be discussed - It is important to keep advanced information off the net to preserve the security of these phones. Jaqnuary 9th, I got into the craft level interface, but will require the card to get further into its programming.

Dec 09, 2010 - The above unit was found on Ebay and purchased. It is an Atlantic Research DATA TECH DTS-1-M470/483 teletype loop tester. Several months ago, I took my two model 33 printers over to Nova Scotia to have Ken Gartland set them to factory specs, which he did with a unit which, if not exactly the same, is very similar and which does the same tests. It is a complicated device, and one which I imagine was worth a King's ransom back in the day, but which does many different tests on teletypes and other loop terminals. You can either use it as a loop keyer, or, if you need loop power, it will provide that as well. It can send distorted signals up to 44 per cent switched bias, and can measure incoming bias and distortion as well. This allows you to test a machine pushing the limits and to see how well it will work without showing the errors in timing which it is being fed. There is a built-in FOX generator (the Quick Brown Fox Jumped over the lazy red dog - which tests all characters on a terminal), that will do baudot, ASCII, Teletypesetter, and EBCDIC. I was pleased to find this, and it should help keep my units working for many years.

Oct 25 , 2010 - A lady emailed me the other day regarding prices for old phones. In those she was trying to sell was this one, a great 1930's Automatic Electric AE32-144 A. I have purchased it, and given her an idea of what she should ask for her others, and it arrived the first week of November!.

July 30, 2010 - The above is an ASR-33 brought by Catherine Fillmore. Her late husband, Ivan had gotten it at the University of Ohio radio station in the late 60's. Ivan, like myself, was a Ham radio operator. Ivan, like me with my KSR version of the same machine, used it back in the 60's and 70's as an i/o device on his computer, prior to the days of affordable printers, and it has spent the intervening years under excellent storage conditions..

The teletype is in very good condition, though a couple of problems have been found in it since, it is a very clean museum quality piece and is operational now. The top cover was missing its plexiglass, and though the missing pane was there, I decided to mount a brand new Teletype cover I had here on it. In addition to the machine, Catherine also brought some much needed teletype paper. 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.

Catherine also suprised me with a box of 9 rolls of much needed paper rolls for it.

Aug 02, 2010 - This machine has been set up using a Telebyte M65A converter to allow communication and feeds to and from the museum computer. I still require DB-25 Female to DB-9 Female serial port adapter on order to connect it to the computer, but external loop is now being provided by it. I picked up this converter last fall when I saw it on eBay for a good price. It is small and inobtrusive, and provides for the 20 ma. loop current needed by the ASR-33 without using a bulky external loop supply. It is perfect for interfacing an ASR-33.


June 25, 2010 - Canadian Military AN/UGC-504 high speed teletype purchased from a Dartmouth dealer. See my page on the machine for more details. See also page describing other museum teletypes

July 01, 2010 - the above itemswere brought down by Karen and Dave Arnfast from Truro, NS. Dave last visited in August, 2008. They brought with them a number of interesting items: Firstly, a large Northern Electric wooden crate with various types of insulators, an interesting test set made with an individual receiver and separate transmitter, and a wonderful 1910 Northern Electric book, "How to Build Rural Telephone Lines", a guide to people setting up lines.

Open Wire Returns to Orwell Cove

June 16, 2010 - A recent donation of cut off poles, brackets, insulators from the Tyne Valley - Conroy line (the same line our 1240 switchboard came from) has resulted in the above addition to the museum displays. The poles were too short, so I went on the lookout for a pair of vintage poles to display the hardware on. These were found in a place also connected to a museum display. Another piece in the collection is a 1927 quote from Northern Electric in Halifax for the material to do a one mile extension in Wheatley River. The line was extended in 1928, and the residents listed in the 1929 phone book. These vintage poles came from that section of line.

All in all, a great addition to the museum display. One note of interest, the Tyne Valley - Conroy line was one of those damaged by the 1956 PEI Ice Storm. The wire installed on the poles still shows splices made necessary by that storm.

Teletype Model 28 ASR for the Teletype Display and Demo

November 28, 2009 - M28 ASR Teletype from Bernie MacIntyre. There is some work to do to this machine, but it is generally in very good shape, and 28's had a reputation of running forever! The 28 ASR was a Baudot encoded machine.

A loop supply has been constructed for this, and the printer and keyboard are now operational after 30 years of disuse. The Tape perforator (center unit) was made operational the weekend before Christmas, and the last weekend of 2009, I rewired the control circuit for the TD (tape reader shown on the left of the unit). This was made necessary by modifications made during its manufacture to add Selective Calling, mentioned below. This machine is 100% operational now, despite the fact it has been 60 years since it was manufactured. It is a testament to the wonderful design and quality of these units made by Teletype Corporation, a subsidiary of Western Electric up till the date the Bell System was broken up. They were solely electro-mechanical units, bearing more resemblance to electric typewriters than to todays computers and printers. The intricacy of them is fascinating, and they served their purpose extremely well. The model 28 ASR is considered by many to have been the Cadillac of teletypes.

This unit was equipped with a selective calling option, and much of the time taken getting it working has involved disabling the mechanism, cleaning and re-lubrication. This machine was used by a stockbroker back "in the day", and they had all their machines in different locations set up so that the main machine could poll the others individually, and see if any information was waiting to be sent in their reader. If there was a tape in the reader, it was sent to the main office. This feature had to be undone to return it to normal operation. As is expected, years of storage had turned much of the original oil into gum requiring a thorough cleaning and re-lubrication.

December 21, 2009, a box of replacement light bulbs were received from Don House and the missing upper bulbs were replaced.

January 14, 2010, a new ribbon was received for the above machine. [continued below]. March 14th, I added a re-inking device to the machine to stretch out the life of those hard to find ribbons. This device re-inks the ribbon as it advances, assuring a fresh supply of ink at all times.

March 29, 2009 - the past few days have been spent setting up the computer interface for the teletypes. I am using a device called a Black Box CL-050 which is an RS-232 to loop interface. Sunday, the 28th was the first successful attempt printing off AP wire news using a program called Heavy Metal. There are a few little bugs left, which I am tackling one by one, but it is now operable for demonstrations. It has taken a few months to get it to this stage, chiefly because of the cold winter weather and lack of heat in the museum over the winter.

To view videos of this machine in operation, see:

28 ASR Cover Open:

28 ASR Cover Closed:

Baudot Level Tape for Teletype


I am also looking for an older Model 15 Teletype for the display. As with the others, it will be repaired and will be set up for working displays. These do not need to be functional machines. I can repair them. Even machines suitable only for parts or parts would be appreciated.

March 29, 2010

Top Left: GEC Strowger Rotary switch (Uniselector)

Bottom Left: AE L-965-A2 Buttset

Right: Type 51 AEI Strowger 1st Selector switch (XT 10616)

The above items were sent for the museum's displays by Gary Stoutenburg of Calgary. What a wonderful donation of items! The AEI 1st selector above is particularily significant, as the first automatic exchange on PEI was made by AEI and used these 1st selectors. That exchange was installed in 1950. A second similar exchange was later installed in Charlottetown. A photograph of the Summerside 1950 exchange is located in the museum.

Gary at one point worked for AEI. Note: This is a so called "pre-2000" Strowger switch made in Britain. It is a "jacked in" first selector based upon the Seimens pre-2000 switch and made by AEI. Both GEC and AEI made similar switches - the AEI had a grey cover, while the GEC sported a red cover. Note the shorter cover than used on North American switches.

Both exchanges have been gone now for many years, with many items scrapped, and others sent to Newfoundland for spares. I consider this find a wonderful stroke of luck, as it is the first switch I have found which was used on these long gone exchanges.

Summerside 1950 Exchange - A photo of this historic exchange is located in the museum.

Commemorative Plaque - In 1988 Summerside's step by step switching system replaced by a Nortel DMS-100, and commemorative plaques were issued to employees and suppliers. These plaques had a wiper from the original switches mounted on them. One of these plaques is located in the museum.

Thank you so very much, Gary!

Wire and Cable Display

Completed December 19, 2009 - Wire and Cable display showing many of the types of cable used in the telephone industry since 1900. Samples courtesy of General Cable and Corning Cables as well as samples sent by a number of collectors and by the Amherst Telephone Company in Wisconsin. Top left shows a number of types of open wire line, and below a section of 1950's switchboard wire, Middle top shows trunk and drop cables, bottom left fiber optic cables from Corning, and bottom right, wire cable samples from General Wire and Cable. A plexiglass display easel has been ordered to display wire catalogues, etc. It has now been installed in the museum, and now sports a section of submarine cable in the blank space on the lower left.

November 24, 2009 - AE Test Turret Type 21

Another item from Terry Biddlecombe in BC, this cabinet was formerly used in the Whistler, BC. central office. The unit, made at the Automatic Electric plant in Brockville, Ontario, was designed for making the test required to maintain small automatic step by step exchanges. It was effectively used in exchanges of 1000 lines or less, or in PAX'es of all sizes. It was often used in Canadian exchanges. This unit is huge, and heavy!

This unit was used to test a number of functions in the office and on the line.


N1317 with MD-2127 conversion:

N1317 phone given me Aug 12, 2009 by Charles Dingwell. The phone as received had been improperly converted by a former owner to a handset phone without a proper apparatus blank installed in the location of the former transmitter - instead it had been replaced with a wooden dowel in the hole. When doing this conversion, one must replace the switch hook with one designed for an F1 handset - this phone still had the original switch-hook designed for the hanging receiver. The handset, instead of proper cords, had two lengths of lamp wire run to it. The former desk had been removed from the phone. Other than this, the phone was in good shape - all parts operational, and the wood in good shape.

This conversion was common and sanctioned by Northern Electric when they came out with the N1315, but there was a proper way, and a wrong way to do it. The Northern Electric T8 catalogue on page 71 covered the correct procedure and NE's MD-2127 conversion kit designed for the purpose. The old transmitter and transmitter bracket was to be removed from the front of the phone and replaced with a proper apparatus blank. The Receiver and cord were to be likewise removed. The switch-hook fulcrum pin was to be removed and a correct handset fork was to be installed. These parts were ordered, and this is the end result, a proper N1317 with MD-2127 conversion completed August 29.

Bell Gallows Phone:

August 11, 2009 - I won an eBay auction for a small relica of Bell's 1876 "Gallow Phone", so named due to the shape of its frame. This was the phone which won Bell his patent (U.S. Number 174,465) for sending speech over wires. It has been called the most valuable patent ever issued in the U.S.A.

Although the gallows never did work terribly well (muffled and noisy audio), it did work sufficiently to win him the title of the inventor of the telephone. His patent was issued just hours before that of Elisha Gray for a similar device.

This particular replica was made for delegates to the 1951 annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Telephone Pioneers of America held in Louisville, Kentucky September 25-27, 1951.

It will receive an honoured spot directly under my earliest phone, the 1890 Bell Canada 3 box, Blake transmitter phone in the museum.

"Principles of Electric Applied to Telephone and Telegraph Work"

October 02, 2008 - I received a call from Eleanor Meek, who gave a number of phones and documents to the museum last year. Both Eleanor and her late husband, Roger had worked for Island Tel. Eleanor told me she had found a book, "Principles of Electric Applied to Telephone and Telegraph Work". It is a training course text prepared for Employees of the Long line department of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company published in June 1961. This book was printed in hard cover in 1961 by the Communications Equipment Division of the Northern Electric Company Limited, "for those individuals interested in the Communications art". Thanks again, Eleanor!

TA-5012/TTC Military Phone
SC 5721-01 Interphone


Sep 10 2008 - Tel.Set TA-5012/TTC, made by Marsland Eng., Ltd. Can. and marked Service Test Model ser. #9, Date 1966. It is powered by a 1 1/2 volt AA cell located under the fluted cover at the lower end. The large lever at the side spins a magneto within when depressed through a mechanical linkage. The PTT button is located above with a missed call indicator to its right. Two terminals for wired connections are located in a v-notch at the bottom. The switch on the lower right is labelled Buzz on/off and the left hand switch is labelled Norm/WSPR? It fits in the military green pouch provided.

Stromberg Carlson Interphone No. 5721-01

Sep 10 2008 - Interphones were designed to be used as intercom systems in a house or business. They could be obtained with more than one call button - this one has one. This Interphone was made by SC in 1929. The wiring diagram may be viewed here or from the Phonelinks page in PDF format. Noteable on these were the separate transmitter (located on the phone body), and receiver (located on the switch hook)

These were designed for local use only, and were not intended for use in normal telephone service.

This and the TA5012 were given to me by Terry Murphy. Thanks Terry!


May 06 2008 - 1972 Island Telephone Co. donated by Debbie Denham This is an interesting period on PEI, as larger exchanges were in the proccess of being automated, and smaller exchanges were preparing for automation within the following 5 years.

As a result, both dial and magneto listings can be found in this book, depending upon which exchange a number is located within.

Prince Edward Island Telephone Directory, April 1945.

January 13, 2008 - Here is a gem received this week. I received a call this afternoon from the widow of a neighbour who passed away last week. She had a 1945 Island Telephone Company book that they had been meaning to give me for some time....

Her departed husband, Clifford McLeod was the son of D. D. McLeod, who ran a store here in the Cove for the early part of the century, and which contained the only phone in the Cove up till the early 60's. The mailing label and stamp (all 2 cents worth) are still on its cover (the mailing label was a wrap around affair which held the book closed during mailing...)


Toshiba Strata DK280

This is a Toshiba DK280 Digital KSU, phones, and an Octel 200 Message server picked up for the museum this week.

The KSU (top) is equipped 8 loop lines, 16 digital phones, 16 analog phones and 8 dtmf receivers. The CPU is a large system processor, release 3 or 4 and it has a PIOU card for admin, smdr and paging.

The Octel 200 is a very capable scaleable voicemail and fax server which was used with this machine in its original installation in a downtown Charlottetown office.

Along with the system came 14 phones designed for use with the system for display.

Our thanks goes out to Kevin Doyle and Sun Life for donating this system. The system would be about ten years old. It had been removed from service when a new system was installed, and was taking up space in their offices. They were pleased to know it would be of some use, and I was glad to see it kept out of the dump!

This system has been set up in the museum entrance-way for demonstrations. The voicemail has not yet been installed, but the system is currently operational with 3 digital sets..

The next item to be shown will be a Stromberg Carlson 1212 "Fat Boy" telephone which was bought locally a few years ago for a few dollars. These commonly sell restored for $250 to $350. Its base was severely cracked and chipped, and its transmitter spitcup and mounting ring missing - both cloth cords are attached and in excellent shape. Recently, I found a new case for the phone, as well as an intact spitcup and mounting ring. This phone was the first desk phone to have all components including bell and network internally mounted. These phones were manufactured during the 1930's. A before photo of this phone is shown below. Note the cracks on the left hand side on the original case - these required that the original case be held together with a wrap of electrical tape around the bottom (shown on "before" photo). All internal components are present and operational. The replacement body for this phone was received Apr 20th, and has now been installed and a first buffing has been done. May 23, the replacement handset cup and retainer were received, and installed - final buffing only needed now. I have scanned a very small wiring diagram from inside the set - [1212schem.pdf] for anyone interested.
SC-1212 "Fatboy" Phone Before Restoration showing some of the cracks in the original case and tape holding the case together!
SC-1212 in progress with new case installed,and transmitter retainer, spitcup, and final buffing - as you can see, major improvement!

Most recently, a Nortel Cap unit has been received. CAP and KIM are busy lamp fields by default but have the ability to have lines put on them as well. A CAP has to be connected to a 7324 Norstar phone. The line cord comes to the CAP and then a short cord from the CAP to the phone. Multiple CAPs can be used on a phone as well. Terry Biddlecombe tells me you can program pretty much any function onto it that could go on the phone. On a 6-16 you probably can't put lines on the CAP but feature keys, internal extensions with busy indication and one button calling or external autodials etc. I will have to find a power supply to provide 24vdc to it, and then will use it on the office phone in the museum to display the status of the other Norstar phones in the museum. This unit is in NOS (new old stock) condition.

May 11th, copies of the T7, T9 Northern Electric Catalogues and a Northern Telecom Product handbook were purchased to add to the collection. The T-7 catalogue was issued in 1947, and the T-9 catalogue, issued in an updateable binder, issued first in 1962. It differed from the T-7 and T-8 catalogues in that replacement pages and change notices were sent out to keep the issue current. As a result, there are no two T-9 catalogues exactly the same, as it was up to the customers to add/remove pages to keep them current. This T-9 binder is not complete, missing some pages, and the missing pages have been supplemented by pages reprinted from my CD rom copy of the catalogue. Also found was a Northern Telecom Product Handbook - Internal Use Fourth Edition June 1981, described as in very nice condition, hard cover, 216 Pages, Some of the index: Telecommunications, Terminals, Electronic Office Systems, Cable, outside plant products, Business Communications and networks, Central Office Switching, Transmission Systems and Equipment, Network Support and Test Systems, Repair and overhaul Telephone Sets. This is a manual which I hadn't previously seen. I also have PDF copies of the T-3, T-6, T-7, T-8 and T-9 catalogues also on CD for daily reference (see the note about Fred Coady's catalogue scans at the bottom of the Links page).

A brand new copy of the T7 catalogue has been found. This catalogue has been sitting in a box full of unused/unsent T7's in their unopened mailing envelopes. The one shown below will be the issue that will be used, and the NOS catalogue kept as a spare.

Nevada Bell Nortel Millenium

Shown to the left is a Nortel Millenium Payphone received mid-June. This phone was surplus from Nevada Bell. Because of the Millenium's need to "call home" to a Millenium manager, I won't be able to get too much on this phone working, and it won't be able to be connected to a phone line, but it will make a great display piece. It is an early Millenium, made around 1993 or perhaps a little later. It contains the first revision of boards and eerom.

The Millenium is a common site today on the Island, and indeed in much of Canada and the U.S.

This is a so-called BOCOT/COCOT- like "Smart Phone", featuring a digital instruction display, adjustable volume, options accepting credit and calling cards, coins of 5, 10, 25¢, and dollar. Originally developed by Northern Telecom (Nortel), and typical phones of the series carry the designation, NT5U411BA2011 R11(Just an example of the numbering from a Millenium shipping box I have). Loved by operating companies, and despised by phone phreaks (telephone hackers), the Millenium series are the most advanced payphones in the world.

The Millenium is the most secure payphone on the market and to keep it that way, information on the phone is very hard to find. Only details which are publicly available on the phone will be noted here. Millenium phones call daily to their "hive" and contain internal alarms to monitor activity on the phone. Dial tone heard when the handset is raised is computer generated, and the rate tables are contained within the phone and programmed and updated by the Millenium manager. A scrolling advertising line on the phones may also be programmed via the Millenium Manager to show up to 20 advertisements on the display's second line. The Manager can provide constant checks of the phone right down to the number and denominations of coins in the box, credit card verification, self-diagnostics, logging of operational notes such as cleaning and delivery directory dates, and detailed call activity statistics which may be used for planning.

The Millenium is available with or without a smart card reader or a multicard reader option allowing users to use magnetic stripe commercial credit cards, calling cards and smart cards / chip cards, and with an optional jack which allow users with portable computers to connect through the phone. The options are seemingly endless

A Island Tel bezel and instruction card has been obtained for it - a remnant of the Island Tel - Aliant rebranding a few years ago, and it will be upgraded to a yellow multi-card reader when I have the time. Along with the bezel, new Medeco locks were installed. All appears to be working as it should.

The following items were received June 29th 2007 from Eleanor Meek in addition to a number of useful manuals and photos as well as a lucite Operator's Service sign. Both Eleanor and her late husband, Roger had worked for Island Tel. One of the photos is a 70ish photo of a large group of Island Tel workers - most are identified, and this has been framed and located to the right and above the switchboard and magneto phone display. Thank you, Eleanor!

[Back Left] A Northern Electric 352 wallphone - the wall equivalent of a 302, the "I love Lucy" phone. The major work needed on this phone was to remove layers of paint from the back edges of the phone, where paint had inevitably gotten on the phone during many years of use and wall painting.

[Back Middle] A Northern Electric dial-less 554. This could be used as a non dial extension phone or in conjunction with a magneto, as shown below, on magneto lines. This phone is just about mint. This phone and the QK82A magneto below have been mounted and connected on display in the museum.

[Back Right] This is a wall magneto phone manufactured by England's Telephone Manufacturing Company. It required some repair to its case - a crack ran down much of the length of the phone - this has now been repaired, and though it shows a little, the case will not crack further. The phone is 100% operational. These phones were very popular in Manitoba - and apparently were also imported in some numbers here, though they are seldom seen. This phone is now on display in the museum.

[Front Left] Beautiful Northern Electric Communications Division Candlestick microphone Model Number 1120DA - designed for use as a microphone. PTT switch on side. Rivets holding the bulldog microphone had failed, leaving the head dangling. These have been replaced as seen above. This was built as a microphone, and not just a converted candlestick phone. This is now displayed alongside the Northern Electric speaker driver and horn as examples of "other items" made by NE..

[Front second from Left] 60's vintage NB Tel coffee mug bearing the logo of the time. I also have a belt buckle with this logo.

[Front second from Right] 3 slot coin box full of examples of slugs people had used in payphones in attempts to get free calls. These are items Roger had found in payphones over the years. These range from French coins, to tiddley winks, to drilled quarters attached to monofilament string (I guess so it can be recycled :-) to electrical box knock-outs, washers, hammered quarters, a test slug, and a Ureguay coin, TTC tokens, etc. This box and the slugs are now displayed with the payphones in the museum!

[Front Right] NE QK82A 1967 Small square magneto in hard plastic case for use with stands. This is now displayed connected to the dial-less 554 in the museum, and turning its crank will ring the 554.

The sign to the left was brought by Eleanor, and has been mounted alongside the Tyne Valley 1240 switchboard and magneto phone display in the museum!

Aug 7th, 1007, I was called in the evening to see if I was interested in a farm fresh (untouched and original finish) N717CG at a good price. At first I balked, as I already have one, but finally decided I would take it. These phones saw a lot of use on PEI in the country. I remember one in use at the little store which used to be next to the schoolhouse up at the corner. My next door neighbours also had one. They saw service until the 60's when the area switched to dial service.

I am extremely pleased that I did decide to purchase the phone. When they brought it down, it was in great condition, needing only cleaning, but there is another reason detailed below. Since this photo was taken, the phone has been tested with the switchboard, waxed, and the handset buffed back to a flawless shine.

The phone's handset is the unusual NE FN1A in grained walnut coloured bakelite as opposed to the normal black - quite rare, and this is perhaps the first brown handset I have seen on an N717CG, probably a field replacement many years ago. This handset was most often used on brown uniphones.

New Tools Received Aug 17, 2007:

A). United Seal Company HC7 lead seal hand presses- used to install lead seals on payphone money boxes to prevent tampering.
B). So far unknown.
C). ATI Handset Cap remover.
D). Bell Systems - Cleverly - probe with pointed end to puncture wire Insulation and clip lead cord.
E). Bell System "D" Crimpers HKP INC Crimps Sleeves used on Drop Wires, 20 gauge "JKT" first generation copper/steel jacketed pair/triplex or quad inside wiring cable.
F). 840A Tool - tool used to trip off excess wire after splicing with WE/ATT/Lucent modular 710 connectors in OSP.
G). So far unkown (connector)
H). Bell System - Number not currently known - tool to punch a hole in the sheath of lead cable for insertion of an air fitting.

Finally, a Western Electric KS-21250 L1 Coin Crafts Test Set - Checks payphone coin relay, sidetone, Refund/Collect Function, etc. Shown at centre top.

View KS-21250 L1 instruction cards

New October/September 2007:

A) Neuses N-2315 stamping and lettering kit - used to stamp identifying marks and dates on switchboards, phones, etc.

B) Dynatel 745 - microprocessor controlled Subscriber Loop Tester - Used to check the incoming loop for such things as loop voltage, current, opens, loss, Will measure the number and type of ringers on the line, will measure resistance, inject a test signal into the line, and more.

C) "Stop Lite" Voltage Tester - Used to check for hazardous voltages on telephone equipment in contact with electrical lines.

D. B Voltage Tester and case - used to check for dangerous voltages on shared poles.

E) Connecticut Tel. and Elect. Co. Ltd. Pocket Volt/Ammeter from the early 30's or 40's. The company which made this was a manufacturer of telephones, intercoms, and of other electrical items. Despite its age, when it arrived, I decided to see if it worked, and voila, after many years of sitting in someone's sock drawer, it still worked! These meters were used to check the voltage of batteries used in local battery telephones, etc.

F) "Banjo" 6 wire Modular adapter - for using a butt set or loop tester on modular lines. Gives a place for larger test leads to connect.

New, September 22, 2007 - KS-8455L2 Bell System Line Loop Tester found for 50 cents at the 2007 70 Mile Coastal Yard Sale. New, September 26, 2007 - Northern Electric 1A1 301Q1A KSU (Key Systems Unit) and power supply which were brought down to PEI by Don Ferguson. This is the older relay based system which preceeded the 1A2 KSU's like the QUJ9B. These are shown with the covers off.

Found at a yard sale, October 06, 2007. For some time I have been looking for a Uniphone in the rare burled walnut colour manufactured by Northern Electric. The closest I have come is an N717CG with a burled walnut handset. This Saturday, I didn't feel like going to many sales, but did go to one sale nearby. The sale was held in a fairly dark basement, and I failed to note that this phone was burled walnut. I almost didn't buy it as I have several #1 Uniphones, but decided at the last moment to buy it since they were only asking $10. As I took it out the door and the sun's rays fell upon it, I nearly dropped it, as I then could see it wasn't the usual black, but the quite rare burled walnut colour. As found, the phone was a dial-less #1 - I completed the conversion adding a dial. Dial-less number 1's differ from a number 5 in that they contain an inductor and condenser whereas the number 5's don't. This phone has not been buffed and won't be - its bakelite is in mint condition - why mess with perfection! This is quite a valuable phone compared to the run of the mill black Uniphone.

As a diversion, I also collect cameras, mostly vintage. My favorites are vintage TLR's (twin lens reflex cameras), but this interest also extends to Brownie, Kodak, box, and folding cameras. This was a collection interrupted for many years by the collection of telephones, but recently I have gotten back into it in a small way. My fascination with cameras is similar to what I enjoy about telephones - it is the technology involved and watching the improvements in that technology through the years. I have recently placed a PDF listing of the cameras in my collection on the server. You can view it by clicking on camera_list.pdf

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