OLD AUSTRALIAN TELEPHONES
Most recent updates (click on the highlighted link):
Carnarvon (WA) Tracking Station website (added 1 Feb 2021) here
Public telephone update (Dec 2020) here
1880 Melbourne telephone directory (Oct 2020) here
Storing and displaying your collection (Oct 2020) here
PMG-Telstra workshops (Oct 2020) here
Recruitment advert for Australian Post Office Technician in Training ca 1968 (Sep 2020) here
New acquisitions - PAMTS carphone and W.E. USA 302 telephones (July/Aug 2020) here
WA Historic Telecommunications Society - Facebook group
I am a Western Australian collector of vintage and antique telephones and related memorabilia and I have an interest in preserving our local telecommunications history. Apart from an obligatory stint in the Australian Army, I worked for the PMG and Telecom Australia from the mid 1960s until the early 1990s. The changes wrought by deregulation of the industry after 1991 resulted in a career change and my final major career was in the adult education and training sector in WA. For a look at my 15 seconds of fame go here.
Please note; any text in RED (may be a different colour on mobiles) links to either another website, local page or a topic within a page. Simply click once. External websites should appear in a separate window. My thanks to all the people and organisations whose sites I have been able to link to or draw upon for information. Collectively they enable us to access a great range and depth of information.
I started this site (2014) because, as far as I know, there weren't any similar websites in WA for historic telephony enthusiasts/collectors. Like minded people are invited to drop me a line and introduce themselves via the Contact link above.
This began as a simple, single issue, site about collecting telephones. It has grown as I keep finding other neglected topics and I've wandered, albeit superficially, into writing on a range of subjects. These include transmission systems, telegraphs and data, NBN etc. Related areas, but not specifically telephony. I don't apologise, no-one else here appears to be doing it!
I am also a contact point for the W. A. Historic Telecommunications Society (WAHTS), the WA branch of the Melbourne based AHTS. We are a small but enthusiastic group of collectors of telephones and related memorabilia who meet every second month in a private home in the Perth area. For further information contact me or click on the above link.
The WAHTS and AHTS are associated with the national body, STAA, and other Australian clubs. If you are outside of WA, more information about joining these interstate groups can be found by simply clicking here.
Why collect telephones?
Collecting early telephones, and related items, is a pleasant and interesting hobby. A.G. Bell patented his telephone in 1876. The first practical/commercial applications of phones in Australia date back to 1878 and by the early 1900s they were becoming fairly common - albeit in businesses and in wealthier households. Over 140 years, telephone technologies, styles and availability developed in step with technological and social change. What this means is that the hobby can fill many collectable niches. For example, antique collectors can focus on 19th and early 20th century items, "vintage" enthusiasts have a wide range of 20th (and early 21st) century telephones to pick from and researchers/historians can use them to track social and technological progress from the 19th to 21st centuries.
I hope this site will be be useful to you.
Good luck with your collecting
The information on this site is provided voluntarily and as a public service. It is provided in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. There is no intention to infringe ownership rights to material and, where possible, sources are appropriately acknowledged. Readers are advised that they are responsible for making their own assessment of any matters discussed within and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information as required.