A Visit to the Connections Museum Seattle

Note: These pages regarding the Connections Museum Seattle are from my visit in 2005. Much has changed since then, so consider this as historical and not current.

The Connections Museum, Seattle (formerly the called Museum of Communications and the Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum) is an exciting hands-on museum of telephone history. The museum serves as the definitive museum of not only the telephone, but other communications related equipment as well.

It is  is located on two vacated floors of a the Seattle “Duwamish” central office building just south of Seattle, Washington.

Brochure from the Connections Museum (then the Museum of Communications)
Click on the brochure to see the internal pages.

What’s fascinating is that the museum is that not only do they have old telephones of yesteryear of every type imaginable (primarily Western Electric items), but they also have switching equipment. Yes, actual old-fashioned switching equipment – such as Step-by-Step, Crossbar, and even Panel – in operation! You can actually make calls on these old central office switches! Its like a time machine!

I have wanted to visit the museum for a long time and finally had my opportunity in May 2005.

The following are links to the pictures (and videos) that I took at the museum.

Connections Museum Seattle Pages

Museum Background
Start here. This page provides a brief background about the Museum, why it exists, and who runs it.

Third Floor Tour – Switching Equipment and more
Page 1 | Page 2
The tour starts on the third floor. Here is where you find old electromechanical switching equipment, old teletype machines, analog carrier equipment, old reel-to-reel tape recorders, and even an old AM radio transmitter.

Second Floor Tour – Old Telephones and more
Page 1 | Page 2
After the tour of the third floor, down the elevator you go to the second floor to check out the old telephones and other equipment.

Parting Comments
Comments on my visit and what I would do if I were able to visit the museum again.

Links to Communications Museum Seattle Sites

Connections Museum Seattle Official Site
Official site for the Connections Museum Seattle

Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum (Phone Trips audio)
The above link is an audio tour of the Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum, recorded in August 2000 and can be found on the Phone Trips website. If you want to hear the equipment in action, click on the above link and be totally blown away by the sounds!

Official YouTube Channel

If you’re really into old time switching systems, the Connections Museum Seattle runs an official YouTube channel that describes the operations of various electromechanical switching equipment such as the Panel and Number 1 Crossbar systems. Click here to go check out their YouTube channel!