Tacoma Telephone Pioneer Museum Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Telephone Pioneer Museum

Despite being smaller and less well-known than other museums in the area, the Tacoma Telephone Pioneer Museum is a hidden gem that provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of communication technologies in the region. If you are interested in this subject, it is well worth a visit. Although the museum is only open for a few hours every Thursday morning, visitors can expect to be greeted by enthusiastic docents who are retired telephone company employees and eager to share their knowledge.

Located on the first floor of the downtown AT&T Building at the intersection of 9th and Fawcett, the Tacoma Telephone Pioneer Museum features a wide range of equipment and artifacts from the earliest models of telephones to modern-day devices. The volunteers showcase the various designs and processes involved in making phone calls, including hand-cranked calls, party lines, operator-assisted calls, switchboards, and wall-mounted cords.

One of the most unique aspects of the museum is the fact that it is staffed entirely by retired telephone company employees, including operators, switchboard workers, and account managers. Their firsthand knowledge and expertise provide visitors with a unique perspective on the evolution of communication technologies over time.

Although the museum is small, it is packed with interesting exhibits and displays. Visitors can see vintage telephones, including the famous “candlestick” phone, as well as a range of equipment and tools used by telephone operators and technicians over the years. The museum also features a collection of photographs, documents, and other memorabilia related to the history of telecommunications in the region.

The Tacoma Telephone Pioneer Museum is funded entirely by donations and is a testament to the dedication of its volunteers. Despite its limited hours, the museum attracts a steady stream of visitors who are fascinated by its unique exhibits and the expertise of its staff.

To experience the Tacoma Telephone Pioneer Museum’s offerings, visitors should plan to adjust their schedules accordingly since it is only open from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Thursdays. However, those who make the effort to visit will be rewarded with a one-of-a-kind experience that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of communication technologies in the region.