Historical telephones and related items from two Verizon museum chapters will be auctioned Aug. 4th
An historical telephone auction featuring items from two regional chapters of Verizon's Telephone Pioneers of America Museum – one in Providence, R.I., the other in Buffalo, N.Y. - will be held Saturday, August 4th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers.
By: Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
The auction comprises an exciting and rare collection of historical telephones, photographs, maps, cables, prototypes, ephemera and more, ranging from the first phone/emergency call box ever installed in the Yukon in Canada to the telephone from President Dwight Eisenhower's Newport, Rhode Island summer White House. In all, more than 500 lots will come up for bid.
A pre-sale auction, starting at 10 am Eastern time, will contain about 100 lots, to be sold in-house only. That will be followed immediately, at 11 am, by the main cataloged auction, with online bidding via bidLIVE.Bruneauandco.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com, or by downloading the mobile app "Bruneau & Co." on iTunes or GooglePlay.
"This is an exciting sale because historically you get a firsthand glimpse into the early days of mass communication,"
The metal and wood phone, according to a museum label, was installed at Dawson, in the Yukon Territory, at the time of the Gold Rush, around the turn of the century, circa 1900. The tag reads: "Combination Telephone and Fire Alarm Box". Made by National Telephone Co. (Chicago), the phone was finally removed from its pole at 5th and Church streets in Dawson in August 1960.
"It was a learning experience like no other," Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer, said of the auction catalog. "I felt like it could be a college course on the history of the telephone. It's wild to think something as simple as a piece of wood could be so historically important, or that President Eisenhower had conversations on a phone, what was discussed."
The Eisenhower phone is made from plastic and metal and marked behind the cradle "Bell System" and "Made by Western Electric". It was used at the Newport home formerly known as the "Commandant's Residence and Quarters Number One". An original museum label identifies the telephone as "President Eisenhower's Personal Telephone at the Summer White House".
Items pertaining to Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, will include an original model of Bell and Thomas A. Watson's first prototype phone, accompanied by original patent paperwork dated 1881; and an original floor plank from Bell's laboratory, indicating the 29 ½ inch long wooden plank was "presented by Guthrie J. G. Nicholson on March 10, 1976."
Other Bell-related lots will include an early example of the inventor's butterstamp turned wooden receiver with brass connections, circa 1890, with a magnet occupying the length of the handle; and an early example of the first long distance double pole membrane receiver from the early 20th century, untested, appearing to be complete, 5 ½ inches tall, made of wood and metal.
A circa 1913 presentation nickel "candlestick"
Other noteworthy lots will include an early 20th century Stromberg & Carlson telephone operator switchboard, 51 ½ inches by 25 inches, in a quarter sawn Mission oak case; and a 1984 Summer Olympic Games (Los Angeles) relay torch, one of only 4,500 made, carried prior to the Games by John Cox of the Pioneers, Hamburg-Olean Council, with a photo of Cox carrying the torch.
Previews will be held on Thursday, August 2nd, from 9-5; and Friday, August 3rd, from 12 noon until 9 pm. Doors will open on auction day, August 4th, at 8 am. All times quoted are Eastern. In addition to live gallery and internet bidding, telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has several auctions planned for September. These include a single-owner train collection that will be sold on Saturday, September 1st; two single-owner movie poster collections that will be sold on Saturday, September 15th; and an estate auction slated for Saturday, September 22nd. All will be in the Cranston gallery. Watch the website for details.
To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the firm's calendar of upcoming auctions, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact the company via e-mail, use firstname.lastname@example.org.