Note that this visit was from May 2005, which is historic in itself. Many things have changed since my visit. I’d like to visit again one of these years after the current pandemic. So the information shown here is dated somewhat, but still interesting. The old switches are still there and maintained by a great team of volunteers! Please visit their website, their Facebook page, and their YouTube channel for more up to date information.
The Connections Museum Seattle (formerly known as the Museum of Communications and 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 located on the vacated floors above the current CenturyLink (formerly Pacific Northwest Bell/USWest/Qwest) Seattle “Duwamish” central office, just south of downtown Seattle, Washington.
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 the last several years. I 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
Brochure from the Museum of Communications
The brochure of the museum from 2005.
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 electo-mechanical switching equipment, old teletype machines, analog carrier equipment, old reel-to-reel tape recorders, and even an old AM radio transmitter.
Comments on my visit and what I would do if I were able to visit the museum again