From the community

GOT OLD PHONES?

Posted July 05, 2012, at 9:56 a.m.

Do you miss the ring of your old dial telephone? Do you want to feel the weight and shape of a real telephone handset when you answer a call? Would you like to teach your grandchildren how to use a rotary dial? If you have an old phone that you want to bring out of retirement and use again, come to The Telephone Museum in North Ellsworth for the Work Day on Saturday, July 21 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

The experts at the museum will tell you if your old phone is repairable and, if so, can provide services to repair and restore your phone in exchange for a donation to the museum. You might also enjoy a tour the museum during visitor hours from 1-4pm.

Every year telephone enthusiasts gather at The Telephone Museum to wake up the big electro-mechanical switches that are the essence of “old tech”. These machines connect visitors to telephones throughout the buildings and grounds, and are a significant part of the history of the telephone network.

Before the advent of digital switching, all telephones were connected by means of large, complex electro-mechanical devices, or by a real human being – the telephone operator.

These switches and manual switchboards are exhibited at The Telephone Museum where tour guides demonstrate how they work and encourage visitors to participate in placing and connecting calls.

The Telephone Museum is always looking for volunteers. From selling items in the Gift Shop to maintaining the equipment and operating the switchboards, a wide range of opportunities exists. No experience is necessary, just a sense of history, a curiosity about how things work, and a desire to meet some interesting people. The Work Day on July 21 is a good way to get acquainted. Come and find out how you can help, or, to learn more, visit www.thetelephonemuseum.org or call 667-9491.

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