The Hewitt collection was the personal hobby of Mr. Ted Hewitt. Ted was a Division Plant Manager for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in Seattle. Among his interests, historic preservation of the telecommunications industry was one of his passions.

As modernization displaced many of the historically significant telephones and switchboards, Ted asked for—and was given—permission to acquire and restore these beautiful telephone sets. This permission was granted with the agreement that when he no longer had interest in them, the Telephone Pioneers would receive them for a museum display.

With that agreement, Ted collected, restored and installed these telephones as part of his own telephone exchange. The exchange was a small one and did not extend beyond the basement of his home. He called it the Timbuktu Telephone Company.

Equipped with a Western Electric 105A magneto switchboard, each telephone set was wired to the board. All telephones were restored to working condition.

In the Timbuktu room, we now have all sets wired to switchboard jacks. This lets us ring each set.





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PICTURED: These four photos are of a private collection that was donated to the Telephone Pioneers of America by the estate of Theodore R Hewitt.