There’s a really cool telephone museum in the TDS community of Warner, New Hampshire (and you don’t even need to go there to enjoy some of its collection!).
Alderic O. “Dick” Violette began work in the telecommunications field in 1946 as a field worker at Merrimack County Telephone Company. Years later, after the company had merged with neighboring Hopkinton Telephone Company, Dick found himself as president & CEO of Merrimack County Telephone. After his retirement in 1986, he remained a chairman of the board of MCT until it was sold to TDS in 2002.
Throughout his career, Dick accumulated a collection of telephone equipment throughout the years with the possibility of creating a museum in his mind. He collected almost 1,000 telephone treasures and in 2005 the New Hampshire Telephone Museum Inc. opened in Warner, New Hampshire, featuring all of his artifacts and more.
The museum is now a classic in the area. It attracts visitors from all over the country and has received numerous donations of telephone memorabilia from the public. Photos of the museum are absolutely charming, and various organizations hold events there.
The public is intrigued by the long history of telecommunications technology – and for those working in the industry, the museum’s displays are particularly relevant.
Many TDS employees have visited the museum themselves. To describe her experience, TDS employee Jean said, “Can you imagine getting service from out here to the rest of the world in the 1920s?”
Visitors can experience the history through guided or self-guided tours. The museum now offers a mobile tour on its app, a testament to just how far telecommunications has come since the first phones.
If you can’t make it to New Hampshire any time soon, check out the museum’s online exhibit, featuring an A to Z history of the telephone.
Guest Blogger: Mary Mulcahy
Mary is PR Intern at TDS Telecom and a Journalism student at UW-Madison. She recently returned from studying abroad in Galway, Ireland. In her free time she enjoys traveling, running, cooking, and reading