Telephone Museum of New Mexico

Housed in a charming 1906 building, the Telephone Museum of New Mexico includes three floors of communication equipment in unique exhibits. Officially opened to the public on June 29, 1997, the Museum features historical displays, photographs, and literature from early times in the telephone industry. The history contained within the three floors is incredible. As you walk through the double doors, notice the wonderful mural of "Golden Boy," the statue which adorned the Bell System headquarters in New York. As you move through the museum, watch for the 2000-pound, seven-foot bronze medallion.

Visitors will enjoy the variety of switchboards that were once the "link to the world," including the one used to warn of the attack by Pancho Villa. Switchboard operators, like Susan Parks, played an often heroic role in our country's history. Discover how the residents of Folsom, in northeastern New Mexico, were saved during the devastating flood of 1908 by Susan's valiant efforts.

Phone display, Telephone Museum of New MexicoThere are hundreds of telephones on display as well as teletype machines used for news broad- casts. Stroll through the balcony gallery and view the many photographs documenting the telephone era in New Mexico.

Thanks to early leaders like Theodore Vail, service has always been valued in the telephone industry. The Spirit of Service mural depicts the tireless efforts of telephone man Angus McDonald in the 1888 blizzard that hit New York City and Boston.

The Wall of Tribute adorns the reception area with commemorative plaques. Here a person may remember a loved one, recognize someone's accomplishments, or record a message for all times. The Museum also contains a resource center of historical, social, and technical information starting from the early 1900s.

The Moments to Remember wall is a timeline through 100 years of telephone progress and associated inventions. It chronicles the changes in music through the different years. Watch for the frame at the beginning of the wall which describes the cost of living from 1900 to 1999. Can you remember when a loaf of bread cost 5 cents or a movie cost 10 cents?

Exhibits, Telephone Museum of New MexicoThe System Room displays exhibits from Alexander Graham Bell's workshop through the break-up of the Bell System. It depicts milestones such as the first transcontinental call from San Francisco to New York; the laying of the transatlantic cable that connected the United States and Europe; and a display of teletype machines with the message received of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, as it came into Albuquerque over the teletype. The exhibit moves on to the invention of the transistor by Bell Laboratories, providing a doorway to the computer age. A model and mural of the Telstar communication satellite shows the communication technology that took communications into space. And a final tribute to the Bell System bids it "Farewell and Well Done!"

The "Learning Center" offers children the opportunity to learn about the early technology in a hands-on environment; the Center also lets the children become telephone switchboard operators. On display are many examples of different types of phones and even military field phones, some of the very first portable phones. Children will experience first-hand that communication is the key to learning.

The Gift Shop is open during Museum hours, offering a variety of New Mexico and telephone related gifts, jewelry and books.

Map to the Telephone Museum of New MexicoMuseum Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 am to 2 pm (not open on holidays nor on weekends).

For further information and tours of over 10 persons, please call 842-2937.

Admission is $2/adult; $1/child less than 12 years of age; $4/person on off-hours.

Location of Museum: Albuquerque, NM. From either north or south, take I-25 to exit 225 -Lomas Ave. Proceed west to 3rd St. Turn left/south onto 3rd St. Continue south to Copper, then right/west on Copper to 4th Street Walking Mall. Museum is one half block south of Copper on the Walking Mall. Parking is available at 2 hour meters or at the city parking structure between 4th & 5th Streets on Copper.

Physical Address: 110 Fourth Street NW, Albuquerque, NM
Mailing Address: PO Box 1892, Albuquerque, NM 87103
Web: www.nmculture.org/cgi-bin/instview.cgi?_recordnum=TPM


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PICTURED: (above) The Telephone Museum of New Mexico
PICTURED: Just some of the telephones exhibited at the Telephone Museum of New Mexico
PICTURED: Exhibits at the museum include the teletype and the transistor.
PICTURED: Map to the museum (click to enlarge).