animated gif of a telephone

This page contains an assortment of various image files plus, International Telephone Posters, collectors photos, scans from books, etc.  Links to those pages are as follows:

For some nice photos of the Frank Woods Museum, click HERE.

Here are two photos of drop wires in Mexico City sent to me from "Russ" of Southwestern Bell Telephone.

A famous New York Telephone phone book cover was scanned and sent to me from Remco Enthoven of the Netherlands.  To view a larger image, click on the thumbnail size images below.  Full-size scans are available by contacting me.

A big thanks to Michael Hagan who contributed the following photos of his phone collection.  Click on the thumbnail images to view the full-size pictures.

John Carson has an unusual collection of phones.  Here are some photos he sent of his collection (click on thumbnail images below to view full-size images):


"Alexander Graham
Plane" telephone

"I believe the Alexander Graham Plane to be strictly a Nortel piece, and was part of their "Imagination" series, which included the Kangaroo, Doodle, Diplomat, and likely a few others I can't remember. They were offered in the USA, as well as Canada (their home turf)" - Greg Stewart 

Click on links below to see larger views:

Front  Close  Front Off  Side   Plane

Eric Korenman sent me these photos of a phone he sold on Ebay.  It is the Western Electric A1 model:

Click on above thumbnail images to view full-size

A big thanks to Paul Wills for the following photos and descriptions!

First, a photograph of his Western Electric Number 5 Toll Test Board. It is what got him started. It came from the Pennsylvania Railroad 30th. St. Station in Philadelphia. It was installed around 1935 and retired in 1981.

It was used to test and monitor the railroad telephone facilities originating out of Philadelphia. Similar installations were also found in the other major cities served by the PRR. The three main positions are:

  • The Voltmeter position where the initial tests for shunts and grounds were made. This is also where the Wire Chief talked to the field people and applied various test tones from.

  • The Telegraph position where Morse and Teletype circuits were maintained. This had several monitor keys and sounders and a milliamp meter for checking the loops.

  • The Wheatstone Bridge which was used to locate the exact distance to a fault in the line. The bridge uses a reflection galvanometer.

It's a spectacular piece of equipment!

Here are some more photos of his collection:

(See my Signals and Circuit Conditions page for actual sounds from this equipment).

Automatic Electric
Number 5 PAX.

1926 Vintage.

312 fiddleback and

135 Hz. interuptor.
This is the source of
the 135 Hz. tone.
(Western Electric 156B Panel)

135 Hz. Panel.
This is the J68602AD
135 Hz. Signalling
panel. It contains the tuned relay to
receive the 135 Hz
ringing signal.

J68602AW 1000-20 Hz
ringer Oscillator
This acts as both a receiver and transmitter for the 1000/20 tone.

Western Electric

Central Office Photographs (Courtesy of Steff Kerman)

Close up of Panel system Linefinder bank and brushes.
From Queensor Brooklyn, NY.
Taken late 1993. Equipment had been dead inplace from 1978 or before.
1884 Central Office Brooklyn or Queens NY, 3Q93.
Dead #1 XB

Misc. Files

Phone lines of days gone by

Thanks to R. L. (Jake) Jacobsen

Clear Western Electric model 500 telephone

Touch Tone Wave File Generator

A Touch Tone (DTMF)
dialer program using your
computer's sound card.

Centennial Birthday of the Telephone

Official First Day of Issue US Post Office envelope

Automatic Electric Colored Monophone brochure

Independant Telephone Companies Logo

Sunset Telephone and Telegraph phone bill from 1899!

Sunset Telephone and Telegraph was one of the many small California telephone companies attached to Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph.  It was later was absorbed into Pacific Telephone & Telegraph, all part of the Bell System.

Close-up of logo on bill

Thanks to Steve Hilsz for sending this piece of history to me and Gary Goff for some additional information.

Scans from "The Birth and Babyhood of The Telephone", published by the Bell System, April 1976:

Birthplace of the Telephone Bell's First Telephone and Bell's Vibrating Reed used for Receiver

Scans from "Legacy and Promise - The Story of Southern Bell" by Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company

Photo of early plant installer Photo of early switchboard Photo of "information" operators

Hawkins Electrical Guide Image These are scans from "Hawkins Electrical Guide" published in 1917!

I have the complete set (10 volumes) from my grandfather. These books cover almost every imaginable topic on electricity including electrotheraputics, motors, elevators and other "modern" devices of that era eighty years ago!

Magneto telephone set Western Electric Automatic Intercommunicating Telephone Set Automatic Selector Telephone Desk Stand with dial in base Hotel, Wall and desk stand set with bell box
"Telephone Troubles" shows the first two pages of a chapter on troubleshooting phones and phone networks of the 1917 era. Other scans available from this chapter by e-mail request. Bell bi-polar receiver Bi-polar hand receiver Carbon Transmitter

Some weird things that people do to telephones can be seen in the following images.   Most of these were from actual items people were trying to sell on eBay! Click on thumbnail image to see full-size image:

hfphonea_125w.jpg (5073 bytes)

striped202_125w.jpg (5877 bytes)

Made by Paul Nelson Industries in the early 1980's

Toilet Phone?

ToonTown PayPhone

Duck Phone!

Toothbrush phone.  Well, it's not really a phone, it's just a battery powered toothbrush!


This is what happens when you've got your fingers on the tip and ring wires of the telephone line when a call comes in and the 90 Volts ringer current makes your hair stand on end!

Gray Manufacturing Company Stock Certificate - (Nice scan by Paul Rauth who bought the original certificate) Has Gray pay station image on it.