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The Telephone Historical Centre is a telecommunications museum located in Edmonton, Alberta dedicated to preserving the history of the telephone in Edmonton. Founded by a group of retired ED TEL employees, the Telephone Historical Centre was opened on December 3, 1987, in a former telephone exchange building in Old Strathcona. In 2004, it moved to its current location in the Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre in Central Edmonton. The Telephone Historical Centre provides both group and individual tours and, as a hands-on museum, allows for visitors to interact with the artefacts.[1]



The Telephone Historical Centre has a large collection of original telephones from as early as 1878, two years after the telephone was invented. The museum also contains replicas of several early telephones including Alexander Graham Bell’s Gallows Frame Telephone, Thomas A. Watson’s Thumper Phone, and the first phone imported into Edmonton by Dominion Telegraph Agent Alexander Taylor.[2]

Exhibits include a manual telephone switchboard, a Step-by-Step private automatic branch exchange (demonstrating the stepping switch principle), and a phone booth from the 1930s. A mobile-telephone exhibit traces the changes in mobile phone technology from 1980s car phones to current cellular phones. Other exhibits allow visitors to learn about electricity, sound, and magnetism.


The Telephone Historical Centre Archives houses a collection of Edmonton telephone directories from 1895 to the present. Additionally, the archives include technical manuals related to telecommunications dating as far back as the 1800s, and a variety of books on the telephone and its history. The Telephone Historical Centre Archives also contain photographs chronicling the telephone’s use in Edmonton.[3]


  1. ^ Faubion, William (2007). Treasures of Alberta. Oregon: Morgan & Chase Publishing Inc. p. 92.
  2. ^ Stinson, Margaret (1980). The Wired City: A History of the Telephone in Edmonton. Edmonton: Edmonton Telephones. pp. 13–14.
  3. ^ "Telephone Historical Centre". Retrieved July 25, 2011.

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