Before phones were computers, cameras, and gaming devices, they were, well, phones. An upcoming auction from Bruneau & Co. is transporting bidders back to that time with nearly 100 pieces of vintage telephone memorabilia.
“Verizon’s Telephone Pioneers Museum Collection Auction" features rare items spanning more than a century of telephone history. When The Telephone Pioneers of America was founded in 1911, it included some of the most influential figures in the telecommunications world, including Alexander Graham Bell. Today the group is better known as the Pioneers volunteer network, and members work to preserve artifacts related to the telephone.
Now, Pioneers is preparing to shut down two of its museums, and it's sending dozens of items to the auction block. Some of the most intriguing pieces going up for sale include the rotary phone Dwight Eisenhower used at his “Summer White House” in Newport, Rhode Island, and a floor board taken from Alexander Graham Bell's laboratory. Bidders will also find switchboards, vintage pay phone signs, and a variety of styles of old phones dating from the 1980s all the way back to the 19th century.
All items are listed at an estimated price of $10 to $10,000. You can bid on an artifact online or at the Bruneau & Co. auction house in Rhode Island on August 4.