The Telegraph Office

Telegraph Key

Museums of Telegraphy and Wireless Telegraphy

by Neal McEwen, K5RW

k5rw@telegraph-office.com

Copyright © 1996, Neal McEwen

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The following museums are open to the public.  As most of these are run by volunteers, please call ahead to confirm the schedule.  Make an appointment if you can.

Antique Wireless Association, AWA

Take a photo tour of the AWA museum. A must see!

Village Green, Rts. 5 & 20 Bloomfield, NY , south of Rochester, NY

OPEN: May through Oct. - Sundays 2 - 5 PM; & additionally, June through August - Saturdays 2 - 4 PM & Wednesdays 7 - 9 PM (CLOSED HOLIDAYS) Group Tours of Museum: By appointment, Museum Telephone: (716) 657-6260 (if no answer dial 716-657-7489) Amateur Radio Station Call Sign: W2AN

"SEE an old shipboard wireless transmitter like those on the ill fated Titanic! VISIT an early Western Union telegraph office with original instruments! HEAR ships at sea talking in Morse code to stations on shore!"

The New England Museum of Wireless and Steam

697 Tillinghast Rd., East Greenwich, RI 02818-1424, Robert W. Merriam (W1NTE) director, (401) 884-1710 Hours by prior call

"In the early days of radio Massie of Providence raced neck and neck with Marconi. The museum preserves the original Massie coastal wireless station which is the oldest surviving, originally equipped, wireless station anywhere. It is a monument that symbolizes the start of the electronics industry - a sort of Plymouth Rock to radio, TV, Computer, CAT Scan, Cel-Phone, Internet, satellite communications and all the other marvelous creations of electrical engineering. The historic value of the original Massie wireless station is enormous."

Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village

20900 Oakwood Boulevard, P.O. Box 1970, Dearborn, MI 48121-1970, (313) 271-1620

Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Interiors of Greenfield Village buildings are closed January through March.

One day admission for each (the museum or the village) is $12.50 for adults; $6.25 for youth ages 5-12; children age 4 and under are admitted free; $11.50 for senior citizens; group rates are available.

Historic Speedwell (for hard core telegraph historians!)

333 Speedwell Avenue., Morristown, NJ 07960 (201)540-0211

Historic Speedwell preserves the country estate of Ironmaster Stephen Vail. The eight museum buildings and collections capture the daily life of the Vail family and their contributions to the American Industrial Revolution. Exhibits highlight their work in machine production, steam powered transportation, and telegraphic communication.

The Factory served as a secret laboratory for Alfred Vail and Samuel F.B. Morse in 1837. They perfected and first publicly demonstrated the electro-magnetic telegraph in 1838 at Speedwell. Exhibits include early telegraphic instruments and display the history of early communication. The Vail Museum was the home of Judge Vail from 1840 to 1864. The Georgian style mansion, renovated in the Greek Revival style, remained in the family until 1956. The period rooms of the mansion include original family furnishings.

Museum Hours: Thursday and Friday 12pm to 4pm Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 5pm May-October Closed July 4 Admission Adults $3; seniors $2; children $1 Handicapped accessible


For more information, visit the Telegraph Office home page

Neal McEwen, k5rw@telegraph-office.com