Frank H. Woods Telephone Pioneer Association
Telephone Museum

Lincoln, Nebraksa

                                  One of America's Hidden Treasures




2047 M Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

402 436-4640 

Hours of Operation
Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m. Closed on all major holidays. 

Special tours 
upon request. 
Call to make arrangements. 

Admission is free. 

Donations accepted.

Frank H. Woods
The Great Independent, A True Visionary 

Frank H. Woods, Sr. (1868-1952) founded Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph in 1903 and served as President and Chairman of the Board until 1946 when he resigned as President. He remained as Chairman until his death in April 1952. 

Mr. Woods, an attorney, was associated with two Lincoln law firms from 1892-1910. He became head of Woods, Woods and Aiken in 1919. Mr. Woods' association with the telephone business began formally on March 7, 1903 when he and three others signed articles of incorporation as Western Union Independent Telephone Company which later became Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph and which officially began business in June, 1904 with 1,800 subscribers.
The Office of Frank H. Woods has been recreated at the telephone museum named in his honor. Photographs of Calvin Coolidge, General F. M. Woods (Mr. Woods' father) and General John Pershing are displayed above his desk. Mr. Woods was involved in coal mining, dairy, farming and acquisitions, among other things.   

Competition was keen during this time. The independent companies banded together in state associations and a national association. Frank Woods, Sr. became the first president of the United States Independent Telephone Association in 1910. This brought him national recognition and new responsibilities. 

Mr. Woods soon saw the need to eliminate wasteful competition between independent companies and the Bell system. In 1910 he announced he was in favor of universal telephone service and interchange of service among all telephone companies. He was appointed to a committee of seven to explore the possibility of national toll connections and other independent needs. 

Held in high esteem, Mr. Woods was commissioned to act for many independent companies in the negotiations with Bell even to the point of selling their companies if necessary. Mr. Woods soon earned the nickname of the "great independent." After negotiating for seven months with the Bell System, the committee of seven reached an agreement known as the Kingsberry Agreement, eliminating competition between exchanges and furnishing national toll service to all exchanges. 

This consolidation of phone service to the whole United States resulted in establishing the industry on a sound basis. Mr. Woods, a true visionary, pioneered the use of the dial for automatic telephones. LT&T was the first large company to use this system and the first successful dial telephone company in Nebraska. 

Mr. Woods also contributed to the direction of the Automatic Electric Company, which now makes all types of telephone equipment, Sahara Kohl Company and Addressograph-Multigraph, where he served for over 20 years. In addition to his business interests, he was very active in civic organizations. 

His most notable philanthropic achievement was the founding of the Woods Charitable Fund in 1941 which still continues to this day. Mr. Woods was elected President of the National Telephone Association in December 1909. Due to his activity and vision in the formative years of independent telephony, it was fitting that the Nebraska chapter of the Independent Telephone Pioneer Association (ITPA) be named after him on June 21, 1941. 

Frank H. Woods was among 16 original telephone pioneers inducted into the ITPA Hall of Fame in 1965. 

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