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September Singing Wires is now available in the members login area.

Telephone Collectors International is an organization of telephone collectors, hobbyists and historians who are helping to preserve the history of the telecommunications industry through the collection of telephones and telephone related material. Our collections represent all aspects of the industry; from the very first wooden prototypes that started the industry to the technological marvels that made the automatic telephone exchange possible.

If any of this interests you, we invite you to join our organization. Look around and see what we have to offer. Thanks for stopping by!

Telephone Collectors International
3805 Spurr Circle
Brea, CA 92823

Sample from the November 2014 Singing Wires
Is Everything OK?

During the 1950s and early 60s, the Bell System developed and tested the concept of tone ringing. Early electronic switching components available for use in the all electronic switches then under development precluded the use of standard 20 cycle (now Hertz) ringing. The plan was to send a low voltage ring tone in the voice band and use a new transistor unit in each set to detect the signal and increase its volume. This system was incompatible with normal loops, so required special equipment at the CO for the tests.

When an aqua 500-type set with louvers in the right side of the housing sold for over $2,200 on ebay on October 7th, it generated quite a stir among collectors (Fig.1), as the louvers......

For the rest of this story along with many others, access to our Bonus Pages which contain many more photos, online access to all back issues of Singing Wires from 1986 on and many other benefits, join our club. It's easy and it's not expensive.

Sample from the October 2014 Switchers' Quarterly
Ending of an Era
By Chris Mattingly

Slowly the 1A ESS switches in this country are being replaced. We are down to our last working one here in St. Louis. That leaves several sitting dead, and most are currently being removed. Their replacement is a newer digital switch that isn't nearly as fun or rewarding to work on. It's not much fun either to see perfectly good equipment you so lovingly cared for all these years to be taken out and junked. It's also the last type of equipment we had that took a real technician to work on, who had to use schematic diagrams, a multi-meter and occasionally an oscilloscope (and I might add experience and intuition). Nowadays our work is just replacing a circuit board whenever a voice on the phone tells us to. How many years until my retirement?

Our Journal for those interested in telephone switching systems, both old and modern. For the rest of this story and online access to all back issues, join our club and add the Switchers' Quarterly option for $5 a year more.

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