Telephone Collectors International
Our Board of Directors
|First Posted June 26, 2013|
Last update Jun 28, 2021
Joshua Alberts, 2024
I have been interested in telephones for as long as I can remember. In my teenage years, the magic of the internet gave me the opportunity to start learning about how telephones and telephone switching systems actually work. I had no way of knowing that I was beginning what is shaping up to be a lifelong journey to learn about how we got from the very first telephone to where we are today. Being a member of TCI has accelerated and facilitated very much of my learning and interest. I very much value what the club as a whole has done for me, as well as the contributions that individual members have made to my personal growth and development. I am pleased and proud to serve as a member of the Board so that I can help be sure that TCI serves the current and future needs of its members and helps to achieve its mission to educate the public and to preserve the history of telephony. At this point in my journey I am primarily interested in switching systems, and I have built a step-by-step system which I have connected to CNET. None of that would have happened if not for TCI, but that's a whole story in itself! I currently work in IT for a healthcare company, and in addition to this hobby my other interests include hiking, photography, cycling, and riding motorcycles.
Dennis Hock, 2022
I am a past President of TCI. I worked for some 36 years in Telecom, have been a member of TCI for 34 years since its inception and collect a bit of everything. A particular interest is researching rural telephony - - especially understanding the details of how service was extended into rural areas of the country. I also enjoy penning stories of my adventures in telecom for publication in the TCI Singing Wires newsletter.
I enjoy engaging in spirited group discussions when I have something to contribute, and feel good when we discover and share new sources of information. Finally I am on C*Net, the Collectors Network.
Rick Miles 2020
San Diego, CA. USA
My first job in telephony was as a thin-film engineer at the Indianapolis Works of Western Electric; my last job was as a technical writer/manager for Qualcomm (maker of cell-phone chips) in San Diego. Western Electric Indianapolis made ALL the telephones for the Bell System.
Even though I worked for six non-telephone companies between Western Electric and Qualcomm, I never stopped enjoying telephony. Now, through TCI, I get to know telephone collectors, a special group of knowledgeable, dedicated, and obsessive folks who put unbelievable amounts of work into, and gladly share, their private collections of phones, switching equipment, and expertise.
In addition to being TCI secretary, I also work on Singing Wires, TCI's newsletter, where I write, edit, and stamp out typos. Finally, I get to put my 30+ years as a technical writer to good use.
Russ Kirk, 2024
I have been in telecommunications for over 30 years. I started with Pacific Telephone as a PBX installer in those pre-divestiture days. I presently work for AT&T as a wireless engineer. My love for phones goes way back to my pre-teens when I tinkered with my parent's home phones. I remember when my dad placed a phone dial lock, which I still have, to keep my sister from making so many calls. I taught her how she could fiddle with the switch hooks to make a call which certainly upset my parents. That event was the start of my love for telephones. In my early years, my desire for collecting phones was limited due to raising a growing family. Now in my older years, I have been concentrating on expanding and growing my collection and knowledge of telephones.
Jim Churchill, 2023
I am retired from 35 years of working in two 9-1-1 centers. My interest in phones began in college where I became friends with the PBX operator. My senior year in college, I worked part time for a helicopter company and became the evening PBX and Telex operator receiving calls and Telex messages from all over the world.
I began my 9-1-1 career in a small PSAP and was there when basic 9-1-1 was installed in the mid 1970's. I moved to the largest PSAP in the northwest at the City of Portland and became a call-taker, dispatcher, trainer, supervisor, and finally technical support for the Computer Aided Dispatch computer and the 9-1-1 telephone system.
After I retired, I began collecting telephones in earnest, building my own Asterisk server, and now have 96 FXO/FXS ports which allow me to connect to C*Net users. My focus is key telephones and I am very fond of Western Electric Call Directors and my 555 cord switchboard. My seven year old grandson is a keen telephone fan and we often have telephone games. I have been fortunate in assisting with various museums in the United States.
I have helped install and maintain a SXS system at the JKL museum, built a display of over 500 telephones in Waikiki, Hawaii, and assisted wiring and operating multiple switchboards in Rockland, Massachusetts. I continue to learn various restoration techniques and am eager to share with new younger members and to support the TCI values and goals for the future.
Alan David, 2024
I first started collecting telephones as a teenager in 1983 when I came across some Deco-Tel phones with GTE guts outside a business near my home. I also became interested in switching about the same time when I aquired the book "Basic Telephone Switching Systems", which gave detailed descriptions of Step by Step switch components, mostly using GTE drawings. Between this information and a will to tinker, I built a small, very simple switch to serve my parents' house. This also explains my love of GTE and Automatic Electric, even though I grew up in a Bell System served area.
When I bought my first house, I revisited my desire to have a small telephone system. Searching for parts and information led me to start a membership with TCI around 2000, mainly due to the Switchers' Quarterly newsletter. I found the information very valuble, leading to the formation of the "MADhouse Telephone Company", a 200 line Automatic Electric Step by Step System. As I gain knowledge, I share it, having written several articles for Switchers' Quarterly and Singing Wires.
I explain my interests as "old electro-mechanical systems". This covers my interests in old trains, ships, signal systems, telephones, and other things. I was a trolley operator at a museum in Southern California for 8 years, but my job as a truck driver prevents me from being anywhere on a regular basis. So now I meet up with friends as I travel, and do volunteer work when and where I can while laid over. I also take phone projects with me to work on while out on the road.
Steve Dunne, 2022
Stephen Dunne has been a long-time collector and TCI member from Northern California and bought his first non-dial nickel WECO candlestick for $10 with his first paper route money when I was 11 years old. That original phone sits right next to him at his desk even today. In 1964, he was given the opportunity to use the Picture Phone Service between Disneyland and the NY World’s Fair. His telco education started in a High School Pacific Bell Explorer Post (part of Boy Scouts) that educated him on key systems and BSP’s. Career-wise, he spent fifteen years at Pac Bell in sales and marketing, later at Nortel handling sales to large corporate and hospitality accounts. During the dot.com boom, he participated in two successful startup call center technology companies that have since been bought by Cisco Systems and are the basis for their call center capabilities today. In 2007, he moved to Verizon Wireline, the former MCI Advanced Services group, predominantly handling the state and local governments focused on their call centers and the highly integrated solutions around this part of the industry. His primary interests have been Western Electric Card Dialers, 3A Speakerphones, Picturephones, Panel Phones, prototypes and unique touchtone sets. He is a regular attendee of the San Jose and Southern California TCI shows and enjoys supporting the JKL Museum any way he can.
Remco Enthoven, 2022
I started my career in telecommunications almost 30 years ago. I worked for KPN, a huge Dutch/Netherlands corporation that provides most of the PSTN, ISDN, VOIP and mobile phone service in the Netherlands. I worked in the department that manages most of the Netherlands' transmission of cable and other television and radio signals. Before I started working at KPN, I had a four-month internship at the Dutch national telephone company and served one year in the Dutch army signal corps. I am one of the founders the Dutch Telephone Museum Foundation.
For the past five years, I have been employed as the curator of the JKL Telephone Museum in northern California. I am proud to say that I have played a significant role in the re-establishment of the JKL Museum after the original museum was totally consumed by fire in September, 2015, just two months after I arrived to assume the role of curator.I have been collecting telephones since 1999. I own a small in-house museum in the Netherlands with various wood, metal, Bakelite and plastic phones from all over the world, and other telephony related collectables.
The people I meet are what I enjoy most about our hobby. Some have become close friends and many have been of great help to me. I am very committed to TCI and would like to continue to provide my services as a board member in addition to my other TCI roles as one of the webmasters, online librarian, and editor of Singing Wires.
The Membership Chairperson has been an appointed position the past ten plus years, which provides stability in this important role. The volunteer in this position is primarily responsible for processing membership renewals on an annual basis, enrolling new members, and keeping the membership database up to date and accurate. In addition, the position has for well over ten years included the packaging and mailing of the monthly newsletter. For the past several years I have also been a member of the editorial group who publish our newsletter, Singing Wires.
Westford, MA. USA
I am a member of the Singing Wires Editorial Board, author, administrator of the TCI Library, participant in the Classic Rotary Phones Forum and developed the web site, www.paul-f.com. Much of the info on the site came from collaboration with countless collectors since 1997, and demonstrates the power of volunteering a few hours a month over a long period of time with a vision and a common purpose.
My collecting "hot button" is studying evolutionary product trends that are evident from detailed examination of sets, plus the technical and marketing documentation produced throughout the product's life cycle. The interest was sparked by tinkering to build a phone patch for my amateur radio station in the 1960s, when parts were traded "under the table" at hamfests. The collection grew slowly until the internet made it possible for us to communicate at warp speed. It now encompasses mainly Bakelite sets thru the WE Design Line series, plus BSPs and other documentation and working demo 1A2, Comkey 416 and Merlin systems. A favorite area of research is WE prototypes and field trial sets from the 1930s to 1960s.
Coatesville, PA. USA
I am a member of the Show and Events committee that has the responsibility for budgeting, coordinating and staffing the TCI sponsored shows; primarily Lancaster PA and Mattoon IL. I've been interested in making telephones work since the 1970's when my dad brought home a bunch of black 500 sets from work and I collaborated with a neighbor kid to do some unsanctioned nighttime aerial outside plant work.
I am an avid Switcher and have been lucky to acquire an interesting collection of SXS and crossbar machines and have been a huge beneficiary of the experience and generosity of many member of TCI, allowing me to find and make operational some interesting machines.
Professionally, I have never held a job in telephony but I am a data network architect working for Siemens Healthcare for over 25 years. My experience with Cisco routers has enabled me to help a number of people get and stay on CNET, an endeavor I enjoy immensely.