If you're in Seattle, check out the the Connections Museum, nee "The Museum of Communications." It's well worth the trouble. Filled to the ceiling with every kind of telephone and communications equipment, it has the earliest operator-run switchboards, mid century phone switching stations, and more. The Connections Museum even has a working "Audichron," an automatic time-telling machine. You'd call up from your land line phone and hear "At the tone, the correct time will be …four..seventeen…pm…and twenty…seconds…BEEP!"
I loved seeing all the communications-related artifacts. There's the guts of an old pay phone, showing how the coin slot worked to directed the dimes, nickels and quarters to fall and hit the different bells and chimes. That's how the operator, listening in, confirmed how much money you had deposited!
If you can't make it in person to the Connections Museum, you can visit on line exhibits.
Also enjoy this charming write up in the Seattle Times.
Previously: Revisit the toaster museum.