The Second Floor
The second floor is especially 'kid' friendly. Kids of all ages can crank the phones, learn how a step by step switch works, be a telephone operator and try to stump the 'computer'. This is also where are archives are located for most of our slides, pictures and negatives as well as much of our documentation.
What Else is ThereThe second floor also has the Red Box, an exhibit dedicated to WECO, an ESS switch, cord switchboards, TSPS, and part of the orginal Fredrick and Nelson PBX.
The Hewitt room is dedicated to a collection of old telephone's, all with different ringers, connected to their own PBX, donated by the family of Ted Hewitt, who was a general plant manager for Pacific Northwest Bell and interested in telephones from the time he was a small child. The "Timbuctu" central office was in Mr. Hewitt's basement prior to his death.
- Red Box
- Western Electric
- X Bar
- Operator and PBX Equipment
More Display Information
One special display on the second floor is a working British Call Box (The Red Box) donated by British Telecom. Assistance in delivering it to us was provided by the British Prime Minister and Seattle British Consulate, Boeing and U S WEST Communications and many other volunteers. It has a working call box and directory. The Red Box weighs three quarters of a ton without the flooring or telephone. Of interest is the top which has the crest of Queen Elizabeth II. We were told that when the monarch changes, the new roof is cast with the new crest and the old roof is merely removed and replaced. Not an easy task considering the weight of the roof alone.
The famous Red Telephone Box that we all know and love was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, RA, known as the No.2 and dates from February 1925.
Another display area is dedicated to the Western Electric Company, the manufacturing arm of the Bell System that existed prior to 1984. WECO made many items other than those associated with telephone use. Some of these are displayed in the museum and include hearing aids, fans, clothes washing machines, sewing machines and radios. We are looking for a Western Electric toaster and vacuum cleaner. We have the vacuum cleaner bag.
As equipment was added a need was seen for other telephone history to be preserved. This cordboard comes from Portland and was the last Pacific Northwest Bell one in service.
We have about 70 years worth of documentation, pictures, slides and all those items collected over the years from paychecks to Pioneer jackets.
We have several slide shows available for presentation to your group if you are located in the greater Seattle area. Please send any comments or questions concerning the Museum of Communications to email@example.com