Telephone Collector Clubs and Other Organizations

If you have an interest in telephone collecting, telephone restoration & preserving, or telephone history you should check into the various national and international clubs for those interested in telephones and telephone systems.  It will provide you with a source for trading, selling and buying phones and phone parts that you won't find anywhere else, not to mention the new friendships that are sure to form after joining.  Most of these clubs have "telephone shows" or conventions where you can browse, buy, sell, or trade phone stuff and meet fellow members.

There is also an online discussion group started by the TCI club but open to anyone to join.  It's a great place for newbies and seasoned collectors to interact with questions, comments, announcements, etc.  To read about this free list serve group and/or to join in the fun, go to:

Before I get into listing and describing the various clubs out there, let's take a peek at what a typical collector's work bench might look like. Not all members will win the "Neatness Award" for organized and clean work benches where they fix up the phones they find in garage sales, flea markets, etc.; but some seem to go to the other extreme as noted in the following two photos from two club members (names withheld to protect the guilty!):

It would appear from the above photo that the tin can in the back of the workbench was this member's first attempt as a kid at building a "Tin can and string" telephone when he couldn't afford a real telephone like the nice 3-slot payphone on the left.  You know how the saying goes - "The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys!"

This member recently graduated with a PhD degree in telephone collecting.   Well, it's really a Telephones "Piled higher and Deeper" degree in this case!

Now onto the real purpose of this section of my web site . . .

Here are just a few of the world-wide organizations (in no particular order):

Australasian Telephone Collectors Society (ATCS):

The official web site for the Australian Telephone Collectors Society is located at:

  • The A.T.C.S. is a world wide organization of private collectors.
  • The Society issues a regular newsletter which includes interesting articles pertaining to collecting and restoring telecommunications memorabilia.
  • Hosts an annual show for public viewing of members collections.
  • Holds regular meetings in Sydney and Brisbane Australia.The Society gives enthusiasts the opportunity to further the enjoyment of their hobby by the exchange of knowledge and ideas with others having similar interests.

Meetings are held in Sydney and Brisbane during the 3rd weekend of January, March, May, July, September and November. Please click the links for locations and meeting times.

Email to ATCS for further details.

Also check out the Switchboard page of links at :

Antique Telephone Collectors Association(ATCA):

The official web site for the Antique Telephone Collectors Association is located at:

Please visit the official web site for more detailed information and to apply for membership. The following is a brief summary of what you'll find at the official web site:

"The Antique Telephone Collectors Association (ATCA), is the largest telephone collectors organization in the world. Chartered in 1971 as a non-profit corporation by the state of Kansas, its over 1000 active members are located throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The office is located in the Museum of Independent Telephony, Abilene, KS.

ATCA Membership Benefits:

A multi-page newsletter is mailed monthly to each member, a large part of which is devoted to member-only classified advertisements to buy, sell and trade telephones and related items. Newsletters also include articles and member contributions which are deemed to be of greatest interest to the membership.

A membership list is compiled and mailed annually to each member with additions reported in the monthly newsletters. The membership lists include addresses and telephone numbers to assist with networking among members

The annual ATCA Spring Show is held each April in Abilene, Kansas. This is a great event for members to attend, as it combines fun, fellowship and phones. One of the highlights is always the members-only auction of antique telephones and related items.

An official Fall Show has been held each year since 1971 at different locations throughout the United States. This huge show is national in scope, drawing collectors from all over the United States and Canada. This event is a must-see for anyone interested in antique telephony.

In addition, local members frequently sponsor regional shows at various locations throughout the year.

A member internet listserv (e-mail mailing list) is maintained to provide on-line members the opportunity to communicate with each other.

The principal aims and purposes of the ATCA are as follows:

  1. To promote the collecting of old telephones and related items.
  2. To publicize the historical importance of telephony.
  3. To establish and promote common courtesies and guidelines for use by association members when buying, selling, and trading old telephones and related items.
  4. To provide a means of communication between association members.
  5. To structure events and activities necessary for the accomplishment of the objectives stated above."

Telephone Collector's International:

The official web site for the Telephone Collectors International, INC., (TCI) is located at:

Antique Telephones, History, Preservation, Restoration, Education, Collectability

"Telephone Collectors International, INC., (TCI) is organized not for profit. The nature of its business is: to educate the public, as well as the members of the corporation, regarding the history of telephony, the value of old telephones and related items, their Collectability and preservation; to research telephone history and publish and promote literature thereon; to promote the public exhibition of old telephones and related items; to promote the exchange of information about old telephones and related items; and to promote common courtesies and guidelines for use by the public. Any person or organization sympathetic to the purposes of this corporation may apply for membership."

Visit the official web site at:

The following information is found on the official site:

  • About the Organization
  • How to Become a Member
  • Upcoming Shows, Events, Auctions/Sales
  • Singing Wires Newsletter
  • Switcher's Quarterly
  • Antique Related Web Sites

Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association:

ITPA is the volunteer organization created by and for the telecommunications industry.

Dedicated to community service, ITPA has been serving the public on behalf of telecommunications companies for over 75 years. ITPA represents over 26,000 telecommunications employees and retirees nationwide.

The mission of ITPA, a diverse membership of telecommunications volunteers, is to:

Serve our communities through good works;
Add value to sponsor companies;
Preserve our industry history;
Provide leadership and networking opportunities

Telecom Pioneers (formerly the Telephone Pioneers of America):

The official web site for the Telecom Pioneers is located at:

The Telecom Pioneers club is a non-profit organization of over 800,000 active and retired employee volunteers from sponsoring companies within the telecommunications industry in the United States, Canada and now Mexico. They are the world's largest industry-related community service organization, and their special focus is education.

For those of us living in the South-East United States, the BellSouth Pioneers now have a web site! Click here ( to visit their new site.