The way in which telephones have helped to shape history for over a century now is often overlooked, but the Roseville Telephone Museum, which has been around since 1994, aims to celebrate this. With four main galleries that feature exhibits covering everything from the history of telephone communication to quirky modern phones, this is a one-of-a-kind museum that boasts the most extensive collection of antique telephones and related memorabilia in the country.
Alexander Graham Bell
A Scottish born scientist and inventor, Alexander Graham Bell is most famous for his invention of the telephone in 1876. The Roseville Telephone Museum has a special display dedicated to Alexander Graham Bell, along with some of his original telephone inventions, from his Centennial Telephone to the “Liquid” Telephone. Also on display is the very first commercial telephone created by Alexander Graham Bell in 1877, and features a brick-sized wooden body with just one spout that was designed to be both the earpiece as well as the mouthpiece. With no ringing system designed yet, users were supposed to shout into the spout in the hopes that someone on the other end of the line would hear them. This is the part of the museum that should be visited first, as the original prototypes that can be found here are what today’s modern smartphones have stemmed from.
Step By Step Switching Demonstration
The museum’s Step by Step Switching Demonstration is always popular with visitors, with this particular model dating back to the 1950’s. This interactive display demonstrates how telephones work, and the way in which a person is able to use a phone to call another.
Morse code has been in use since before the telephone was invented, and has been a significant part of the way in which phones have developed and evolved over the years. For those that are interested in learning Morse code, there is a dedicated display at the museum to teach you this, as well as give you the opportunity to try it out for yourself.
Underground Cable Exhibit
The museum’s Underground Cable Exhibit is guaranteed to captivate anyone that is interested in technology. This exhibit teaches visitors about the time before portable phones, when the method of communication was, in a way, similar to a tin can tied on a string.
The museum’s exhibit on novelty phones is always a highlight amongst visitors. From the popular Mickey Mouse phones of the 1950’s to vintage models complete with attached ashtrays, the colors and models that you will find in this exhibit are most definitely unique, and this part of the museum is guaranteed to be a hit with any children you may be visiting with.
The Roseville Telephone Museum is open to visitors by appointment only, so be sure to phone ahead to check opening hours and availability before turning up. With displays that feature just about every example of telecommunications technology, this museum is a fantastic way to learn more about the history of what many would argue is the most important product in their lives today.