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Telephone Table

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (4 items)

    My father-in-law worked for the phone company and collected all types of phones. This table has always been my favorite. I haven't been able to find any information on it.

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    1. potrero potrero, 11 years ago
      fyi, I posted a link to this on the Telephone Collectors International Yahoo discussion group and got this reponse:

      Well, I'd say it's a telephone table, as labeled!

      Apparently if you lived in an upscale home during the early years of the 20th century, the telephone table was a showpiece for your living room. Not only was it an elegant piece of furniture, but it let your visitors know that YOU had one of those newfangled telephone things. But of course, you wouldn't be so ostentatious as to leave the little door open.

      The Doc Porter Museum of Telephone History in Houston has several of them in various designs. A few of them even have stained glass windows in the little doors that hide the phones.

      They're not in the public exhibit -- they're still hiding in a back room pending installation of an exhibit. But the staff at the museum is happy to conduct tours. Oleta Porter (Doc Porter's widow) would be delighted to show off the telephone tables on request.

      The museum is located on the second floor of the AT&T building at 1714 Ashland Street, Houston, Texas 77008 (in fact, it occupies the entire second floor).
      It's only open on Tuesdays. Most of the collection is devoted to telephones, although there's a new exhibit of outside plant under construction. The only switching exhibit consists of three or four Strowger switches, and they don't actually do anything.

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