Along with collecting full size original antique telephones, I have also picked up salesmen’s samples and miniature recreations of early telephones. Here is a grouping of such miniatures. From left to right across the back row is a Swedish American Model 70 upright desk telephone, a Strowger 11 digit candlestick phone, a salesman’s sample Stromberg Carlson stick, a Wilhelm upright desk set, a generic potbelly candlestick, and a Stromberg Carlson ‘Roman Column’ upright desk telephone. All of these miniatures, with the exception of the black Stromberg Carlson stick, are the creation on Mr. John LaRose of Vermont.

This is a 'Developmental Blake Transmitter #1', Circa 1878




An ‘Annunciator’ by definition is an electrical device used by Hotels,
 Offices, or Older Victorian Homes, to indicate to a central point, that
 some type of service is needed. These types of devices were, in the
Victorian homes, a way for someone to signal the butler or maid staff,
 that their services were needed in a specific place within the home.
 The numbers would indicate
different locations throughout the
i.e. the parlor, the master suite, the kitchen, or the
house as an example. By pressing a button within one of these
 locations, an electrical signal would cause the
indicator arrow to go
 from  horizontal to vertical in
the case of the first example. In the
second example,
the number would rotate up indicating which room
 needed the service. These devices were usually mounted  in a
 location where the staff would be able to respond
to any requests.
 The knob at the bottom of both units
would reset the annunciator
 to its normal position
after service was rendered.
 There also were huge models of these devices used
in offices and
 hotels. In the hotel application, the device
would be at the front
desk. The manager at the
front desk, seeing the arrow indicator move
 to the
vertical position, would then send a staff member to the room corresponding to that arrow. Again, there would be a reset knob
 would be
pulled when all requests were taken care of.


Numerous pieces of  "Telephone Related  Art" are located throughout our home. Here the “Stairway Gallery” houses some of this art.



                   This is a framed German Dye Cut
      of a child speaking on a fiddleback


Having worked for the Independent Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Company, this is one of my prized possessions. It is an original framed document called “Our Ideal of Service” where the founder of the company in 1904 outlined his vision for the company in 7 simple rules. From “If you cannot say something helpful to or about our fellow employees, we will say nothing at all” to “ We will not forget that our customers are ultimately our employers and we will leave no stone unturned to get and keep in good standing with our employer".


Often Advertising Cards would have a telephone theme with general messages written at the bottom with a companies name and address on the reverse.. Here is a group of 4 such cards showing 4 different young women from left to right  with the sayings: “Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon”, “Distance Makes The Heart Grow Founder”, “I’d Like To Get Your Number”, and “The Laugh Is On You”.




Many advertising agencies used telephone themes in their products. Here a customer ‘give away’ hand fan shows a mother and daughter “Saying Goodnight to Grandma     



One of my more favorite piece is this real photo, showing a young woman calling on a Stromberg Carlson “Roman Column” upright desk telephone. You can see a great example of this set up close in the Candlestick Phone section of this web site.



This is metal calendar has removable cardboard day and month cards. The calendar advertises the virtues of privacy on the Automatic Independent systems. The   Automatic Systems proclaimed privacy, as you could dial your call without the use of an Operator, who just might be listening in. Calendar circa 1904.