Victorian Telecommunications Museum

Edit profile
Victorian Telecommunications Museum
The Victorian Telecommunications Museum is a small museum located in the Hawthorn Telephone Exchange, Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia. It houses historical telecommunications equipment that had been used by what originally was called the Postmaster-General's Department which in 1975 split into Telecom Australia and Australia Post. In 1993 Telecom Australia was renamed Telstra. Apart from thousands of items housed there are a number of items that the visitor can actually use - of which the best example is a working mini telephone exchange with four old phones that can call each other. The visitor can watch the exchange manually step up and click around as the numbers are dialled. The phones have all the original dial tones and rings that were standard for this equipment. Currently the most significant exhibit is one of the original mechanical Speaking clock made with rotating glass discs, this is one (number 2) of the four mark II machines produced in England for use in Australia and were received in the early 1950s. The discs were originally read using an exciter and a detector made with valve technology. These devices are no longer available and since all the originals had failed, replacements had to be fashioned using digital technology adapted to plug in to the original valve sockets. This development has enabled the speaking clock to be restored to full operation. The site is managed by volunteers and at present is open to the public by way of appointment only. A mark II speaking clock is also on display at the Telstra Museum, Bankstown Sydney, 12 Kitchener Parade, next to the Bankstown Telephone Exchange and is open to the public every Wednesday. This museum is also run by volunteers. The Brisbane Telstra Museum is at Albion Telephone Exchange, corner of Sandgate and Oriel Streets Albion. Volunteers also run this site and is open to the public every Wednesday.