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The Museum Conservation Institute- Taking Care


We provide information so you can learn how to preserve stuff

Caring for Antique Communication Devices

Phonographs, radios, telephones, and other communication devices

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
1717 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 452-9545
FAX (202) 452-9328
E-mail: info@aic-faic.org
Provides referrals for conservators.

American Radio Relay League - Museum of Amateur Radio
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111
(860) 594-0200
FAX (860) 594-0259
Radio apparatus collection; library; tours; publications.

Antique Phonograph Collectors Club
502 East 17th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(718) 941-6835
FAX (718) 941-1408
Provides information and encourages communication for antique phonographs and records.

Antique Phonograph Monthly Archives
502 East 17th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(718) 941-6835
FAX (718) 941-1408
APM Library of Recorded Sound.  History of recorded sound, discography, antique phonograph repair.

Antique Radio Club of America
3445 Adaline Drive
Stow, OH 44224
(216) 688-4144
Preservation of antique radio apparatus; publications.

Antique Telephone Collectors Association
PO Box 1252
McPherson, KS 67460
(620) 245-9555
E-mail: office@atcaonline.com
Collecting of antique telephones; library; publications.

Antique Village & Museum
8512 South Union Road
Union, IL 60180
(815) 923-2214
Collection includes Edison phonographs, cylinder and disc music machines.

Antique Wireless Association
Box E
Breesport, NY 14816
(607) 739-5443
FAX: (607) 796-6230
Preservation of radio and telegraphy; museum; educational programs; library; history of radio, television, telegraph; electricity; communication.

Association of Recorded Sound Collections
PO Box 10162
Silver Spring, MD 20914
(301) 593-6552
Information center; publications.

Billard's Old Telephones
21719 Regnart Road
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 252-2104
Complete range of restoration parts for all antique telephones; service includes repair, refinishing, and conversion; free literature available.

Canadian Antique Phonograph Society
c/o Bill Pratt, Treasurer
122 Major Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2L2
Canada
Information on antique phonographs.

Center for Magnetic Recording Research
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
(619) 534-6198
FAX (619) 534-8059
Audio and video preservation.

Chicago Old Telephone Company
327 Carthage Street
Sanford, NC 27330
(919) 774-6625
FAX (919) 774-7666
Restoration of old telephones; provides restoration, parts, general repair; free literature available.

Cle Elum Telephone Museum
221 East 1st, PO Box 11
Cle Elum, WA 98922
(509) 674-5702
Commuincations museum with collection of phones and related items.

Edison Birthplace Museum
9 Edison Drive, Box 451
Milan, OH 44846
(419) 499-2135
Museum of telephones; information.

Edison National Historic Site
Main Street & Lakeside Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
(201) 736-0550
Home and laboratory of Thomas Edison.

Edison Winter Home & Museum
2350 McGregor Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(941) 334-3614
Collection includes Edison inventions, phonographs and memorabilia; library.

Electronic Industries Association
2001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006-1813
(202) 457-4900
Trade organization representative manufacturers of parts for radio, tv and video systems, audio equipment, government electronic systems and industrial and communications electronic products.

French Cable Station Museum in Orleans
41 Route 28, Box 85
Orleans, MA 02653
(508) 240-1735
Cable message equipment and related items collection; exhibits.

Historic Speedwell
333 Speedwell Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
(201) 540-0211
FAX (201) 540-0476
Collection of telegraph instruments; educational programs.

International Printing Museum
8469 Kass Drive
Buena Park, CA 90621
(714) 523-2070
FAX (714) 523-3704
Large collection and research library covering the history of printing and communication.

John Rivers Communications Museum
58 George Street
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424
(803) 953-5810
FAX (803) 953-8019
Collection includes pre-1950s phonograph, radio, telegraph and tv items; library; educational programs.

Johnson Victrola Museum
Bank & New Street
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 739-3262
Phonographic and record collection.

Library of Congress
Madison Building, LMG-07
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20540
(202) 707-7833 Recorded Sound
(202) 707-1000 Film & TV
(202) 707-5213 Preservation Office
(202) 707-5608 Conservation
Preservation of recorded sound and related items.

Lightner Museum
75 King Street, PO Box 334
St. Augustine, FL 32085-0334
(904) 824-2874
Collection includes phonographs and other related items.

Mahantango Manor, Inc.
Hickory Corners Road
Dalmatia, PA 17017
(717) 758-8000
FAX (717) 758-6000
Replacement parts for telephones; literature available.

Midwest Phonograph Museum
2255 State Road
Martinsville, IN 46151
(317) 342-7652
Large phonograph collection that also includes related items.

Miles Musical Museum
US Highway 62, PO Box 488
Eureka Springs, AR 72632
(501) 253-8961
Collection includes phonographs.

Museum of Broadcast Communications
Chicago Cultural Center
Michigan Avenue at Washington Street
(78 East Washington)
Chicago, IL 60602-3407
Collection includes broadcast tapes and memorabilia, vintage tv's and radios; archives;educational programs.

Museum of Radio and Technology
1640 Florence Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
(304) 525-8890
Exhibits; library.

Museum of Television and Radio
25 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 621-6600
FAX (212) 621-6700
Collection of items relating to tv and radio; educational programs.

Museum of Television and Radio
465 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 786-1000
FAX (310) 786-1086
Collection of items relating to tv and radio.

Museum of Transportation
3015 Barrett Station Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
(314) 965-7998
FAX (314) 965-0242
Collection contains communication devices; history of the technology and design of communication; library; educational programs; exhibits.

The Music House
7377 US 31 North, Box 297
Acme, MI 49610
(616) 938-9300
Collection includes the history of phonograph and early radio.

National Cryptologic Museum
Colony 7 Road
Fort Meade, MD 20755-6000
Mailing address: DIRNSA, ATTN: E32 Museum, Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755
(301) 688-5848/5849
FAX (301) 688-5847
Collection includes cipher machines, cryptologic equipment and historical computers.

National Museum of American History
Divison of the History of Technology
Smithsonian Institution
AHB 5119, MRC 638
Washington, DC 20560
(202) 357-1963
FAX (202) 357-2476
Large collection; information.

National Museum of Communications
6305 North O'Connor, Suite 123
Irving, TX 75039
Mailing address: 2001 Plymouth Rock, Richardson, TX 75081
(214) 869-3456/690-3636
FAX (214) 644-2473
Communications museum with large collection and library; educational programs.

New England Wireless & Steam Museum Inc.
Frenchtown Road
East Greenwich, RI 02818
Mailing address: 697 Tillinghast Road, East Greenwich, RI 02818
(401) 884-1710
FAX (401) 884-0683
Electrical communication equipment and stationary and steam engine collections; library; educational programs.

North American Radio Archives
5291 Jacks Creek Pike
Lexington, KY 40515
(606) 272-7341
Maintains library and collection of tapes.

Olden Year Musical Museum
131 West Fairmeadows
Duncanville, TX 75116
(214) 298-5587
Collection includes phonographs, early radios and tvs, and related items.

Phoneco, Inc.
207 East Mill Road, Box 70
Galesville, WI 54630
(608) 582-4124
FAX (608) 582-4593
Cleaning, repairing, testing and assembling various antique telephones; parts available; literature available.

Rebel State Commemorative Area Louisiana
Country Music Museum
State Highway 1221, PO Box 127
Marthaville, LA 71450
(318) 472-6255
FAX (318) 472-6255
Collection includes victrolas and jukeboxes; educational programs.

Record Collectors Club
5129 Joe Bond Trail
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Locates, buys and sells old/rare audio tapes.

Shelburne Museum
US Route 7, PO Box 10
Shelburne, VT 05482
(802) 985-3346
FAX (802) 985-2331
Collection includes phonographs.

Society for the Preservation of Film Music
10850 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 770
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(213)474-5525
FAX (213) 474-2132
Audio preservation.

Telephone Collectors International
PO Box 124
Newark, IL 60541
(815) 695-5763
History of telephony; exhibits; researches telephone history; publications.

Telephone Museum
Bell Building
2 East 1st Street
Monroe, MI 48161
(313) 243-6227
Telephone history collection and preservation; library and archive; museum.

Telephone Pioneer Communications Museum of San Francisco
140 New Montgomery Street, Suite 111
San Francisco, CA 94105
Mailing address: 1515 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 542-0182
FAX (415) 661-1077
Telephone history museum - collection covers antique telephones and memorabilia; library; educational programs.

Telephone Pioneer of America Museum
201 Third Street, NW, Station 710
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 245-5883
FAX (505) 245-5886
Communications museum; library; exhibits.

Telephone Pioneer Museum
445 Commack Road
Commack, NY 11725
(516) 543-1371
Exhibits traces history of telephone.

20th Century Classic American Telephones
2780 Northbrook Place
Boulder, CO 80304
Restoration of vintage telephones from 1910-1937 period by rebuilding original equipment; literature available.

US Army Communications - Electronics Museum
Kaplan Hall, Building 275
Ft. Monmouth, NJ 07703
(908) 532-2440/1682/4390
FAX (902) 532-3788
Collection includes heliographs, early radio and telegraph equipment, international communication equipment; library.

US Army Signal Corps & Fort Gordon Museum
Building 36305
Fort Gordon, GA 30905-5293
(706) 791-2818/3856
FAX (706) 791-6069
Collection includes c.1860-present signal flags, communication, science and technology, equipment and weapons; library; educational programs; exhibits.

Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society
PO Box 165345
Irving, TX 75016
(214) 337-2823
Promotes preservation of early radios, phonographs and telegraphs; educational programs.

Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum
7000 East Marginal Way South
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 767-3012
Museum has history of the telephone and central office switches; exhibits.

Yesteryear Museum
Regina Place & Harriet Drive
Whippany, NJ 07091-1906
(201) 386-1920
Collection includes early broadcasting material;edisonia; mechanical and automatic music; library; educational programs.

Internet Resources:

American Gramophone & Wireless Company
Information on antique phonographs, etc.

Antique Radio Page
Information on antique radios.

Antique Telephone Collectors News
Information on antique telephones.

APSCO
Antique Phonograph Supply company.

Canadian Antique Phonograph Society
Information on antique phonographs and their preservation.

Cylinder Early Recorded Sound
Information on early recorded sound on cylinders.

Edison Innovation Fouindation
Preservation of Thomas Edison's legacy and promotes innovation in the future generations. Houses an authentic collection of many of Edison's inventions.

Michigan Antique Phonograph Society
Information on antique phonographs and their preservation.

Musica Mecanica
Information on automatic and mechanical music and related items.

Radiomania
Information on antique radios.

Radiomania Repair and Restoration
Information on antique radio repair and restoration.

Tinfoil
Dedicated to the preservation of early recorded sounds.

Ultimate Phonograph Bibliography
Short bibliography of phonographic references.

This list is not all-inclusive. Your local library may have some journals and books that may be of some use. The following books will help get you started:

American Association of Museums. The Official Museum Directory, (updated annually), R.R. Bowker Publishers.

Bunis, Marty and Sue Bunis.  The collector's guide to antique radios: identification & values.  3rd edition.  Paducah, KY: Collector Books, 1995.

Collins, Philip.  The golden age of televisions.  Los Angeles, CA: General Pub. Group, 1997.

Dooner, Kate E.  Telephones: antique to modern.  West Chester, PA: Schiffer Pub., 1992.

Encyclopedia of Associations, (updated annually), Gale Research Inc. Publishers.

Encyclopedia of International Organizations, (updated annually), Gale Research Inc. Publishers.

Encyclopedia of Regional, State, and Local Organizations, (updated annually), Gale Research Inc. Publishers.

Frow, George L. and Albert F. Sefl.  The Edison cylinder phonographs: a detailed account of the entertainment models until 1929.  Sevenoaks: G.L. Frow, 1978.

Johnson, David and Betty Johnson. A guide to old radios.  Radnor, PA: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1989.

National Trust for Historic Preservation. Landmark Yellow Pages: All the names, addresses, facts, and figures you need in preservation, Preservation Press Publication, 1993, John Wiley & Sons Publishers.

Old-House Journal Restoration Directory, updated annually, Dovetale Publishers.

Proudfoot, Christopher.  Collecting phonographs and gramophones.  1st American edition.  New York: Mayflower Books, 1980.

Reiss, Eric L.  The compleat talking machine: a guide to the restoration of antique phonographs.  1st edition.  Vestal, NY: Vestal Press, 1986.

Sideli, John.  Classic plastic radios of the 1930s and 1940s: a collector's guide to Catalin models.  New York: E.P. Dutton, 1990.

Stein, Mark V.  Machine age to jet age: Radiomania's guide to tabletop radios, 1933-1959.  Baltimore, MD: Radiomania Pub., 1994.

Wood, Scott, editor.  Classic TVs: pre-war thru 1950s.  Gas City, IN: L-W Book Sales, 1992.

The Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute (MCI), gives no endorsements for any products, materials or services mentioned in this pamphlet and is not responsible for problems from their use or misuse. MCI does not make and warranty, expressed or implied; does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or process disclosed; nor represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. If any organizations or other pertinent information has been inadvertently excluded please contact MCI.

Compiled by: Ann N'Gadi
Created: September 1997
Updated: March 2004

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