Telephone News

Seattle Times article on the Connections Museum

January 27, 2024

As some of you probably know, I think the Connections Museum in Seattle, WA is the best place on Earth. Well, not 100% true, but it's definitely in my personal Top 10. The Seattle Times published an article in January 2024 on this wonderful place. Check it out here:


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Preserving a #5ESS Switch for Posterity

June 19, 2023

In June 2023, Telephone World was invited to participate in preserving a small #5ESS switch at a rural telephone company for posterity. This was no small feat as you can imagine! Check out the Preserving a #5ESS Switch for all the details and a TON of pictures!

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A volunteer collective is setting up free pay phones in Philadelphia

December 4, 2022


An “amateur phone collective” in Philadelphia is working to bring back pay phones to the city – just without the actual payment. PhilTel, a volunteer organization that launched in June, is planning to open its first free-to-use payphone on December 17 at Iffy Books, a hacker-focused bookshop and workshop in the Center City district.

For more information, check out the CNN article here:


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A Phone Trip to Head Waters, Virginia (Northern Telecom Centurion)

January 30, 2022

In December 2021, I drove out to a very small rural town in western Virginia to check out a pay phone that is still in service and is central office controlled (not a COCOT). A very rare find in the United States in this day and age!

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Pink Floyd’s Young Lust – Explained and Demystified

October 10, 2021

If you're a fan of Pink Floyd's Young Lust but are scratching you head as to all the beeps and boops you hear during the telephone call portion of the song - this article explains it all.

I've been meaning to write this article for a long time now, but waited until the site makeover was complete. Now I've finally gotten around to it. (grin)


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The Beginning of the End of AT&T Operators Started in 1992

October 4, 2021

It's hard to imagine almost 30 years ago that the first Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems were coming online to eventually replace operators. In fact, AT&T no longer has an operators. At all! They got rid of them several years ago. This video came out in October 2021, but it was recorded back in 1992. So take a look to see the beginning of the end.

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The UK Speaking Clock

April 27, 2021

A great video on the UK Speaking Clock and its history.

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The Old Days -Talkable Busy Signals

April 6, 2021

Evan Doorbell is mentioned in an article about talkable busy signals back in the old days where impromptu conferences were found.

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Fun with a Number 5 Crossbar and trouble cards!

January 16, 2021

The Connections Museum in Seattle finally got their trouble card machine on their #5XB to work again. Fun with trouble cards!

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AT&T Central Office in Downtown Nashville is bombed on Christmas Day

December 26, 2020

Domestic terrorism hits the main downtown AT&T central office in Nashville, TN - knocking out communications for a good portion of town.

Link to news article

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CenturyLink is now Lumen Technologies

September 20, 2020

More name changes and more confusion on the telecom front.

CenturyLink (formerly CenturyTel, Embarq, Sprint, United Telephone, Qwest, US West, and a number of Baby Bells) is now called Lumen technologies, effective Sept. 18, 2020.

They will continue to market their residential and small business services as CenturyLink, but enterprise business is now called Lumen.


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The Death of Sprint

August 24, 2020

The Death of Sprint - once a force to be beckoned with, is now history. A good synopsis can be found here:

Eventually I'll get around to writing a page about this history and demise of Sprint. That may take a while. But it is on my To-Do list.

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How does MF signaling work?

August 21, 2020

The Connections Museum in Seattle released a new video today called "How does MF Signalling work".

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Ann Syrdal, Who Helped Give Computers a Female Voice, Dies at 74

August 21, 2020

As a researcher at AT&T, she helped lay the groundwork for modern digital assistants like Siri and Alexa.

Dr. Sydral's research at Bell Labs in speech synthesis was incorporated into AT&T's Natural Voices, which in 1998 was cutting edge technology. It was later the foundation for the modern Siri and other computer voice systems.

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A very over simplification on how the old phone system used to work.

August 21, 2020

A *VERY* over simplification of how the old phone system used 2600 Hz as the key frequency for handing answer supervision and SF (single frequency) dialing. Of course discovered by accident using a "Captain Crunch" whistle that just happened to be at 2600 Hz.

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Telephone News coming soon!

August 16, 2020

This is where you'll see current events for anything telephone related that I see in the news!



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