Telephone Collectors International
Our Board of Directors
|First Posted June 26, 2013
Last update Dec 16, 2023
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, 2025
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 2026
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.
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.
Valerie Flores, 2025
I started collecting when I was seventeen years old. I was a junior in high school at the time, and my favorite class was AP US History. I liked it so much that I was always ahead by one chapter by taking notes prior to class. Because I already knew what the teacher was talking about during class, it allowed me to research things that I found interesting. While my teacher was talking about the Louisiana Purchase, I looked up 'Bell' since I knew he invented the telephone. From there, I fell down a rabbit hole and began to learn about the telephone system specifically the Bell System which was completely foreign to me. I attended my first TCI show that year and purchased a green 702B and began to tinker with it. I had never seen a princess phone before, and I knew nothing about relays or even the name of any of the components.
Now, three years later, there are still many things to learn and collect! My favorites in my collection include a very special black refurbished 702B, and my very first 702B which I purchased from the JKL museum. Despite never being on a board, I believe that I can offer some valuable skills. I am confident with social media, specifically Tik-Tok, and have informed many people my age (about 32,000) about the hobby of telephone collecting. I've also volunteered with the U.S. Army and assisted them with their extensive archival process, and I believe that my computer skills can assist with the process of archiving material for future generations. I am currently a tax intern for a small local firm in Monterey, California.
Joshua Meyers, 2025
My name is Joshua Meyers of Kimberly, Wisconsin, I grew up in Mercersburg, PA and started collecting telephones when I was about 7. My collection has grown over the years to around 200 telephones, including 1A1 key equipment and several Call Directors, also several wood wall phones. My favorite phones are the Stromberg Carlson 1543 and 1553 along with the Ericofon. My goal is to have phones that work and not just look pretty.
I began my career in Telecommunications in 1997. My partner (Mike) and I moved to Wisconsin in 2017 when I took a position at AIT Business Technologies as a Senior Telephone Engineer.
I originally found out about TCI from a story WGAL Channel 8 ran about the Lancaster TCI Show, I attended that show and joined as a member of TCI, I attended the Lancaster show yearly until moving to Wisconsin. Along with TCI, and attending the Lancaster show, I have been to the Cincinnati (Erlanger) show and Mattoon, IL I am also a member of the ATCA and have attended the Shipshewana show as often as I can
Shane Young, 2026
I am Principal Voice Architect for a large CLEC. I am also one of the volunteer coordinators for C*Net (The Collectors' Network).
My telephone collecting hobby started at around age 7, when our family moved Wawina, Minnesota, a rural town in northern Minnesota. I was given a couple of Stromberg Carlson desk telephones by Bob Riddell, who owned Northern Telephone Company (the local ILEC), and who had come to install our new telephone service. Bob showed me how I could connect the two phones together with some batteries. At that point, I think I was hooked on phones, and wanted to work for the telephone company when I grew up.
When I was about 10 or 11, Bob helped me build my first single-link dial system. At about age 13, the main dirt-road through Wawina was widened and paved, requiring both the local and toll cables to be replaced. My parents took me out of school for two days, to assist Bob with the splicing of the new cables.
At about 22 years of age, I had designed and planned Northern's digital conversion from a Federal/ITT step by-step office to a recently acquired Redcom MDX384.
One of my primary interests in the collecting community is with switching. This includes manual (magneto and common battery) switchboards, electro-mechanical central offices and PBXs, as well as analog and digital electronic central offices and PBXs.
I don't have a specific phone that I would say is my favorite, but I might lean towards 1A2-type telephones, more than others.
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.
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.