Telephone Collectors International
|First Posted Jun 24, 2013|
Last update Jul 19, 2013
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Telephone Collectors International was incorporated under the laws of the state of Kansas on May 13, 1986. The goal of the organization is "to educate the public, as well as the members of the Corporation, regarding the history of telephony, the value of old telephones and related items, their collectability and preservation; to research telephone history and publish and provide literature thereon; to promote the public exhibition of old telephones and related items; and to promote common courtesies and guidelines for use by the public." Telephone Collectors International is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization, to which tax deductible contributions can be made.
Our members' interests range from the restoration of early wooden sets and the preservation of electro-mechanical switching technology to the collection of books and ephemera related to the telephone industry. There are, in fact, so many unique interests amongst the membership that it is almost impossible to describe a typical member. The membership represents all manner of professions both related and unrelated to the telecommunications industry.
TCI publishes a monthly journal, Singing Wires, that features educational articles, newsworthy features and a section where people can advertise telephones and related material for sale or trade. The articles feature a wide range of subjects from the evolution of telephone equipment to the histories of unique telephone people and organizations.
TCI also sponsors at least one historic telephone exhibit each year. The exhibits, or telephone shows as they are some times referred to, serve as a means of bringing together those who share an interest in historic telephony. These shows give the collectors an opportunity to exhibit their material and to help each other to build their collections. The public is invited to all TCI exhibits.
TCI sponsors an extensive on-line documentation library which provides practices, schematics, catalogs and other hard-to-find documentation to telephone collectors and historians. New material is being added on an almost daily basis.
Telephone Collectors International has been a partner in the sponsorship of the International Telecommunications History Symposia. The Symposia, attended by telephone collectors, members of the academic community and representatives of the telephone industry, have served as a unique opportunity for these diverse groups of people to share their mutual interests in the history of the telecommunications industry.
Switchers' Quarterly is a special interest publication from TCI. Established in 1994, Switchers' Quarterly serves the telephone collector who is interested in Central Office and PBX switching technology, both automatic and manual. In 1996, TCI arranged to distribute the Quarterly four times a year to select members by special request. The articles in Switchers' Quarterly feature everything from historical research to technical training.
Telephone Collectors International's latest accomplishment was it's participation in the creation of the Collectors Network, otherwise known as CNET. CNET allows collectors of vintage telephone switching equipment to use the Internet to interconnect their equipment in a worldwide network. CNET began as a discussion on TCI's List Server and has grown to include the participation of collectors and enthusiasts all over the world.
Telephone Collectors International invites the participation of the telecommunications industry as it works to achieve its goals. TCI is proud to have companies such as US West, Southwestern Bell, Cincinnati Bell as well as organizations such as the Telephone Pioneers and the ITPA serve as co-sponsors of its events. By participating in TCI events, the employees and associates of our co-sponsors find a rare opportunity to learn more about the historic and yet ever-young phenomenon that is the telecommunications industry.