Cle Elum was one of
the last cities in the country to use a manual telephone switchboard. In
September of 1966, the Cle Elum Historical Telephone Museum was established when
Pacific Northwest Bell deeded its building to the Society for a museum of
telephone history. It is now the oldest complete telephone museum west of the
Mississippi, with displays covering the history of telephone technology from
1901 to 1970.
In addition to the
telephone displays, the museum features a collection of coal mine artifacts
which were donated by local miners, and a selection of memorabilia from Cle Elum
State Bank, built in 1906 by Frank Carpenter and run under his direction for
over 50 years.
The Museum holds several switchboards dating back to the early 1900's, as seen on left.
This switchboard is one the operators used in Cle Elum until 1966.
Watch how the gears work when making a phone call.