Collections
Other Name
CANDLESTICK TELEPHONE
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1970
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, COTTON, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20180007000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
CANDLESTICK TELEPHONE
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1970
Materials
METAL, COTTON, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
31
Diameter
13.4
Description
BLACK CANDLESTICK-STYLE TELEPHONE WITH RECEIVER AND SPEAKER. TELEPHONE SPEAKER IS ATTACHED TO BLACK ROUND BASE AND BLACK MIDDLE ROD WITH HOOK FOR HANGING THE RECEIVER; METAL STAND ON BROWN PADDED BASE WITH BLACK PLASTIC SPEAKER AT THE TOP. BASE HAS WHITE STAMPED TEXT AROUND BASE OF THE STAND “WESTERN ELECTRIC, MADE IN U S A, PAT IN U S A JAN 26 15”. TELEPHONE HAS BLACK METAL PLATE BENEATH PLASTIC SPEAKER WITH ENGRAVED TEXT “9298W, WESTERN ELECTRIC, MADE IN U S A, PAT IN U S A JAN 14 1919”. BASE HAS TWO BROWN CLOTH-COVERED CORDS EXTENDING FROM BACK OF BASE; FIRST CORD IS CUT OFF, SECOND CORD IS ATTACHED TO BLACK PLASTIC RECEIVER. RECEIVER IS CONE-SHAPED WITH WIDER MOUTHPIECE AT END. RECEIVER IS WRAPPED WITH BLACK TAPE AROUND MIDSECTION; RECEIVER HAS ENGRAVED TEXT AROUND CORD, “PAT. IN U.S.A. APRIL 16, 1918, MAY 20, 1913, JUNE 3, 1913”. RECEIVER HAS ENGRAVED TEXT AROUND BACK EDGE OF MOUTHPIECE “WESTERN ELECTRIC MADE IN U S A 143”. TELEPHONE HAS CHIPPED PAINT ON RECEIVER HOOK; SPEAKER OF TELEPHONE IS CHIPPED WITH LOSS IN PLASTIC; TELEPHONE BODY AND RECEIVER ARE STAINED WITH WHITE PAINT. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
TELECOMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
BUSINESS
INDUSTRY
History
ON APRIL 3, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JOHN WENSVEEN REGARDING HIS DONATION OF A CANDLESTICK TELEPHONE. WENSVEEN HAD RETIRED FROM ALBERTA TERMINALS LIMITED AND HAD KEPT THE TELEPHONE AS A SOUVENIR FROM HIS TIME EMPLOYED. ON HOW HE CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE TELEPHONE, WENSVEEN ELABORATED, “WHEN I RETIRED [IN THE FALL OF 1989] FROM THE ELEVATOR, THESE PHONES WERE NOT USED ANY MORE SO THEY WERE MORE OR LESS DISCARDED. WHEN I RETIRED I [WOULD] JUST TAKE ONE HOME. SO I DID. I DIDN’T STEAL IT OR ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T USED ANYMORE.” “[I WORKED FOR] THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT ELEVATOR LATER KNOWN AS ALBERTA TERMINALS LIMITED.” “THESE [PHONES] WERE IN THE ELEVATOR AND AS LONG AS THEY WERE WORKING, WE USED THEM. [THE COMPANY] DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO ANOTHER PHONE AND HAVE THE SAME THING SITTING IN THE OFFICE…THE PHONE WOULD RING AND THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO OVER THERE AND ANSWER IT. THEY DECIDED WE’VE GOT TO GET SOMETHING THAT WE CAN CARRY WITH US AND THAT’S WHAT WE DID. WE COULD HAVE GONE THROUGH A REGULAR PHONE AS SUCH BUT, AGAIN, YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT OFFICE AND ANSWER THE PHONE.” “WE HAD A BOX, [THE] WIRE WAS CONNECTED ON TO THE BOX…IT WAS ON THE WALL AND IT HAD DIFFERENT FLOORS MARKED IN A LITTLE SPACE [WITH] A LITTLE BUTTON BEHIND IT. IF YOU WANTED TO CONTACT ANOTHER FLOOR, YOU WENT IN THERE AND YOU PRESSED THAT BUTTON FOR THAT PARTICULAR FLOOR. THEN THE PHONE WOULD RING. THEN YOU WOULD GET IT OVER THERE AND YOU WOULD ANSWER THE CALL.” “I STARTED IN ’58 AND I THINK WE USED THEM FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS AFTER THAT [UNTIL ABOUT 1972]." “WE WENT OVER TO WALKIE TALKIES…[WHEN] I STARTED WORK THERE...WE WERE USING ALL THESE PHONES AND THEY HAD ONE OF THESE PHONES ON EACH FLOOR. IF YOU WANTED TO CONTACT SOMEBODY, THAT’S WHAT YOU HAD TO USE. THAT’S WHAT WE DID AND, LATER ON THEY WERE OFF-LISTED AND PUT IN THE BASEMENT, AND MORE OR LESS FORGOT ABOUT. SO I DECIDED TO TAKE ONE HOME.” “THESE PHONES WERE NOT THAT CLEAR. WALKIE TALKIES WERE MUCH CLEARER…[YOU] HELD THE MIC CLOSE TO YOU. IF YOU WERE TOO FAR AWAY FROM THE PHONE AND SOMEONE WAS TALKING YOU COULDN’T PICK IT UP VERY WELL. IT WAS SOMETHING AT THE TIME, IT WAS GOOD AT THE TIME BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE. BUT WALKIE TALKIES WERE MUCH BETTER.” “WE USED THIS PHONE ALL THE TIME WHEN WORKING THERE, SO IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE WERE USED TO USING…THAT’S THE MAIN REASON [I BROUGHT IT HOME]. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE NICE TO TAKE ONE AS A REMEMBRANCE OF THE ELEVATOR AND I’LL USE IT HOW IT USED TO BE.” “I PUT IT OUTSIDE, I HAVE A SHED, AND I PUT IT IN THE SHED AND IT MORE OR LESS STAYED THERE...I THOUGHT EVENTUALLY IT WOULD BE A KEEPSAKE AND WOULD BE A REMINDER OF MY PLACE WHERE I WORKED. [NOW] I’M DOWNSIZING. I’M GOING TO BE MOVING OUT OF THE HOUSE AND I KNEW I HAD THIS IN THE SHED OUTSIDE. I THOUGHT MAYBE THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO SEE IF I CAN DONATE IT AND I DIDN’T WANT TO THROW IT OUT.” ON HIS TIME WITH ALBERTA TERMINALS LIMITED, WENSVEEN RECALLED, “I WORKED ON THE SCALE FOR 8 YEARS. THE SCALES WERE UPSTAIRS AND THEY HAD 6 PITS DOWN BELOW WHERE THE GRAIN WOULD BE DUMPED. IN THE EARLY DAYS THEY USED BOXCARS, CPR, AND THEY WOULD HOLD 1500 BUSHELS. THEY WERE MADE FOR [TRANSPORT] AND THE GRAIN WOULD COME UP…ABOVE THE SCALE AND WE COULD CONTROL THAT AND WE WOULD WEIGH IT. I WORKED UP THERE FOR ABOUT 8 YEARS. THEN A POSITION CAME AVAILABLE DOWNSTAIRS FOR RECEIVING AND SHIPPING SO I PUT IN FOR IT AND I GOT THAT POSITION. I DID THE RECEIVING AND SHIPPING LATER ON, TAKING GRAIN IN AND SHIPPING GRAIN OUT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180007000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180007000
Acquisition Date
2018-04
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail