Artifact Details


Telephone switchboard

Catalog Number



Physical object


circa 1942


Western Electric

Place Manufactured


Identifying Numbers

Other number 1, 5, 10, 15 On 4 yellow circles, inlaid in to desk top portion of switchboard
Other number 103-127, 201-227, 301-334 Listed in 3 horizontal rows across switchboard, above 3 rows of plug-ins


overall-not including stand: 46 1/2 in x 29 1/2 in x 29 1/2 in


This object is a telephone switchboard in a wood cabinet, with 26 cords, 9 of which are plugged into the switchboard panel. There is a cradle for a telephone receiver on the left-front of the switchboard panel and a rotary dial, with a white face, on the upper-right corner of the switchboard's desk top. A metal manufacture's tag is attached at the top-front of the switchboard panel, which reads, "Western Electric MADE IN U.S.A.". A panel below the desk top is removable by use of an inset handle at its top. When this panel is removed, a cord-and-weight system is revealed. The back panel of the switchboard is removable by use of an inset handle at its center, and is held in place by a tongue-and-groove joint along the top. The telephone receiver associated with this object is a modern piece and reads "ITT" on the handle. The decorative wooden base is also modern, and on casters.


Miscellaneous/tools and hardware


Gift of Jon Harmer

Lot Number