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.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.