Landline Telephone History


There is a lot of history behind the telephone that we know of today in the early 21st century. The following are links to websites (at Telephone World and elsewhere) that help describe the history of the telephone from a technological perspective.

Tom Farley’s Landline Telephone History

A multi-part history of the telephone originally by Tom Farley at (and updated by Telephone World as needed)

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11

Other Telephone Historical Pages

Preserving a 5ESS Switch for Posterity
In June 2023, Telephone World was invited to witness the dismantling of a #5ESS switch for the purposes of preservation. We took plenty of pictures!

A Visit to the Connections Museum Seattle
Pictures taken at the Connections Museum Seattle (then called the Museum of Communications) in May 2005.

AT&T Crash of 1990
An excerpt from a magazine with details of the “crash” of the AT&T long distance network in January 1990.

Morris, IL Electronic Switch Experiment
A technical history for the first “electronic” switching system field trial experiment in Morris, IL from 1958 to 1962.

History of the (former) North Pittsburgh Telephone Company
An unofficial technological history of the former North Pittsburgh Telephone Company in Gibsonia, PA (suburban Pittsburgh) from its origins to when it ceased to exist.

Telephone Signaling System Technologies Past & Present
Details on the signaling methods used within the North American telephone network to allow central office and tandem systems to “talk” with each other.

Telephone Transmission Technologies Past & Present
Details on the physical means on how a telephone call is handled through the network between different systems.

Old Bell System Operator Routing Codes
A historical listing of old routing codes that Bell System (AT&T Long Lines) operators used to use that performed special functions within the toll network.

Old Number 4 Crossbar Toll Tandem List
An extensive historical listing of Bell System Number 4 Crossbar (#4XB) toll tandem systems from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Other Telephone History
Technological history on various telephone company systems from the webmaster’s personal perspective over the last 40 years.

Historical Videos
Various videos from YouTube that we’ve found that showcase telephone history.

Pink Floyd’s “Young List” Explained and Demystified
A very thorough explanation of the sounds that you hear during the telephone call part of Pink Floyd’s “Young Lust” from 1979.

867-5309/Jenny in All US and Canadian Area Codes
Ever wonder what happens when you dial 867-5309 in all the active Area Codes in the US and Canada?