Houston Telephone Museum finds a permanent home

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HOUSTON, TX – Believe it or not kids, there was a time — long, long ago — when a telephone required a cable. That’s right. No games. No fancy graphics. And imagine this: no text messaging. Yep, they called it the ‘good ol’ days.’ Seems like it was just yesterday.

Mostly because it was.

Technology changes so fast these days, it seems like an eternity has passed since landlines and phone booths were the norm. And when’s the last time you called the operator?

Now the folks at AT&T`s Houston headquarters are doing something to preserve the ‘good ‘ol days’ of telephony. Welcome to the Telephone History Exhibit.

“Quite a bit of what you see in this space actually is originally from Houston,” says AT&T Regional Vice President Alice Aanstoos.

The exhibit has been around for a while, but after moving from location to location, it’s finally found a permanent home at AT&T’s corporate offices in Bellaire.

It’s everything from the earliest crank telephones to antique switchboards and everything in between. And it’s named in honor of a former southwestern bell employee, Gus Porter, who began it all.

“When he retired he and his wife, Oleta, really kind of made it their passion — their mission — to really start actively collecting old telephone memorabilia,” Aanstoos says.

“He was such a history buff,’ Oleta Porter explains, ‘and he loved this museum with a passion.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public. No need to call ahead.