Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Museum | Cle Elum, WA

1920


This brick building replaced the original building destroyed in the 1918 fire, and housed telephone switchboards, operators, and maintenance crews until 1966. Cle Elum was a link on the "Old Transcontinental Lead" connecting western Washington with the rest of the country at a time when copper wires were the only means of telephone communication. Until 1966, calls in or out of Cle Elum required a switchboard operator. The town was the last in the Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone service area (WA, OR, ID) to install rotary dial phones, although Seattle received its first dial phones 42 years earlier in 1924. In recognition of that milestone, Bell donated the building and equipment to the Cle Elum Historical Society, which illustrates the development of telephone technology from 1876 to 1970. The exhibits include models of Alexander Graham Bell's early patents, one of the switchboards "retired" in 1966, and a working dial phone switching system.



Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Museum
221 E. First | Current Business: Cle Elum Telephone Museum







           

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