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“Amazing Telephone History”

Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum
Ranked #37 of 226 things to do in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 1896 building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in the 426-acre historic Jefferson Barracks Park which is a 15 minute drive south of downtown St. Louis. Members of the Telecom Pioneers, a non-profit 501(c)(3) telephone company employee service organization, and their families and friends have spent over 66,500 hours in repairing and renovating the building. The self-guided, accessible museum has many hands-on, how-things-work displays. The displays were created to inspire an interest in engineering and history. Boy Scouts can utilize the museum to meet one of their Inventing and Engineering merit badge requirements. Besides its extensive collection of telephones manufactured from the 1900s through 2000s, the Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum also contains: • A working Central Office Step Switch. • Operator switchboards from the 1920s and 1960s. • Military telephones from WWII through the Vietnam War. • Hundreds of pieces of telephone-related equipment and tools. • A telephone pole complete with climbing equipment. • Hundreds of pieces of telephone-related memorabilia from the 1880s through the 2000s. • A large variety of novelty telephones. • A sculpture of Alexander Graham Bell and replicas of his 1876 Liquid Transmitter and 1877 First Commercial Telephone. Admission costs $5 for adults, $4 for seniors 60 years and older and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 4 years and younger and active military members are admitted free. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more and should be scheduled at least two weeks before the tour. Enjoy nostalgia from the early years of the telephone. It’s a fun family adventure, an educational field trip for students and an enjoyable group outing.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed November 12, 2017

The museum is located at the Jefferson Military Barracks in a small building that used to be base housing for junior officers. In this unassuming building you will find a welcoming staff to guide you through the telephone history of the region. Our guide for this venture was Ken, a remarkable, friendly, and funny historian, The museum is divided into rooms with telephones and equipment the beginning. There are hands on displays and a tremendous variety of items to see. We were amazed at how much was carefully displayed in this museum. This is a MUST see when in the area, you will NOT be disappointed.

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank pafabpt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"guided tour"
in 5 reviews
"pay phone"
in 3 reviews
"phone booth"
in 3 reviews
"company employees"
in 2 reviews
"rotary phone"
in 2 reviews
"yellow pages"
in 2 reviews
"walk down memory lane"
in 2 reviews
"fantastic tour"
in 2 reviews
"a true gem"
in 2 reviews
"learn something"
in 2 reviews
"small space"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 2 reviews
"mississippi river"
in 2 reviews
"all ages"
in 2 reviews
"technology"
in 6 reviews
"volunteers"
in 17 reviews
"operator"
in 4 reviews
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24 - 28 of 50 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2017 via mobile

Wow! So much history & so much early engineering in one place. Fascinating whether you like telephony, like great stories, or have ever used a telephone. Demonstrations & stories will be interesting to youth as well. *HIGHLY* recommend. Ask for the guided tour to hear from a real Telephone Pioneer. (I think all the volunteers are TPs.)

Date of experience: November 2017
1  Thank dieRotkehlchen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2017 via mobile

This was a fantastic, small museum, made even better by our knowledgeable docent. I didn't know the history of the telephone would be so interesting. The phones were well displayed, all of the volunteers were friendly, and it was a great way to spend an hour or two in your free time.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank rlgrhb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2017

Amazing display of telephones from the beginning of the technology until the current time. There are hands on exhibits for you and the kids to try: dial a rotary phone and watch the central office mechanically make the connection, try out an old fashioned phone booth, and put coins in a pay phone to watch them drop thru. There are crank phones, candlestick phones, rotary phones, and touch tone phones. Everything is very well documented so a self tour is easy. There are volunteers there that can answer questions. Since I worked for Southwestern Bell, it was even more of a walk down memory lane.

Date of experience: October 2017
1  Thank 612janetteh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 27, 2017 via mobile

This was a fabulous museum of telephones, equipment, and various memorabilia. Our guide was very interesting and knowledgeable. Definitely worth a visit!

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank Sharon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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