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Personal Phone Collection is off the Hook

Posted by Joe Talbot on Jan 3, 2018 12:30:00 PM

Joe TalbotIt may come as no surprise that Telos Systems Product Manager Joe Talbot likes telephones. It kinda helps in  his role with the Telos Alliance. But let's be clear... Joe Talbot really likes telephones! So much that he's created his own personal "Phone Museum" at his home. Joe gives us a little insight into his phone fascination and how they connect him to the broadcast industry. Get the story and check out the slideshow we've created of (some of) Joe's phones!

Telephones got me into broadcasting. Since (at the time) nobody understood any of the Bell System Black Magic, it was a foot in the door for me. It's how I met Steve Church and did some of the more demanding installations of Telos systems back in the '80s and '90s.

I began collecting phones as a kid and it got really out of hand since I moved to the Las Vegas area (Pahrump, Nevada). I had room to store, fix and display the phones. I started buying specialty or "odd" phones, then that turned into collecting every model of a certain brand or type of phone... It's really a slippery slope! I mainly get them on eBay, but also am given gear that I remove to install shiny new stuff. I prefer business phones (because they're weirdest) and have about 15-20 operating PBX systems here at the house. The goal is to have them all connected and displayed in working order. I work on this whenever I can.

The oddest phones that I have include a pay phone from Iraq, several "explosion proof phones" (used in mines and refineries for safety), every type of key system ever made, every type of coin phone ever made, elevator phones, military phones, early dialers, cordless phones, speaker phones, and transmission equipment. There is a even a phone booth in the back yard next to the pool. It's a "charge a call" phone, because I figure no one ever has coins when they go swimming... I also have mechanical switching equipment (central office type) and Lily Tomlin-esque cord board type switchboards. 

Working on my collection reminds me of the great changes we've made in such a short time in telephony technology.

Take a stroll through the museum!

Further Reading

For more about Joe Talbot and unique or vintage broadcast gear, check out these stories:

The Man on the Front Lines of Telos IP Telephony

Telos Visits the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording

Museum Tells the Tale of U.S. Broadcast History

Topics: Broadcast Telephone Systems, Telos Systems, Telephones

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