20 Jan 2009

Must-Visit: Museum of Communications, Seattle

I just finished reading an email from one of the sysops here on the SDF (the system this website is hosted on, among many other more important things) announcing that the SDF’s original hardware has found a new home at the Museum of Communications in Seattle, Washington.

I’d never heard of the museum before, but it seems like a very cool place and it’s definitely on my list for the next time I’m on that coast with a Tuesday (it’s only open on Tuesdays) to spare. Aside from the SDF hardware – an AT&T 3B2 – they also seem to have a huge variety of telephone and telecommunications-related equipment, spanning decades.

Their collection of central office equipment is perhaps the most impressive, especially because they are – at least according to the web site – all operational. (Since the organization behind the museum is composed at least in large part of ex-telecom workers, this is not as hard to believe as it might otherwise be.) Check out all the Strowger switches! And as a bonus, the museum is located entirely inside a working switching center – probably one of the only times you’ll ever set foot in one. (The modern digital switches are not on display.)

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be making it out to Seattle any time soon, but I’m glad to see this sort of history being preserved so competently.

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