Telephone Network Museum

MCTN museum 1

Moscow city telephone network museum, or just MCTN museum for short, was opened on 8 July, 1982. Viktor Vasiliev, who at the time served as the director of MCTN, took the lead in establishing the museum. Now, 20 years later, the museum is home for more than 3,000 exhibits.

It is not an easy thing at all to get there as the museum is open only for sightseeing groups, and, moreover, prior booking is required. But if a possibility sprouts, even if a remote one, you must surely use it, especially when the question is about recapturing past that seems to grow less and less tangible with every single day.

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A guided tour was pretty dull one and began with a story about creating the first telephone set that dates back to the 19-th century.

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A rare telephone operator’s textbook. Unfortunately, the most interesting exhibits were cased in glass.

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There are various diagrams on the walls and statistics of the regional distribution of subscribers around the 19-th century Moscow.

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Good fellas these guys who work at the place, they are. Somehow they managed to drag a 1901 year’s conduit system manhole to the museum.

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Jack cables from the beginning of the last century.

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Some of the old telephone sets. There are letters written on few phone discs, that’s because some of the old telephone numbers were assigned letters to them, according to a location of the subscriber.

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An analog telephone traffic meter from the then-central-office.

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A proper steampunk in real life.

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This ATS was constructed back in 1930’s and was in service for as long as 68 years and, what’s more, it was registered in Guiness Book of World Records. By the way, it is still pretty well tuned.

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A manual exchange machine.

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An old-styled telephone booth made of plain wood.

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“Guts” of a step-by-step decimal ATS. A freaky thing, it really is. New ATSes are no fun to watch at all after you’ve seen this dazzling process of a motion that happens inside.

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A vintage poster. It’s actually a strange thing to see three-car trolleybuses depicted on it.

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A public payphone produced at Kaluga in 1938.

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User lists.

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Data cables. This lead sausage of a cable is awesome (1200 twisted pair cables crammed into it.)

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And as a special treat goes a room where almost all telephone boots are displayed.

Story and photos via victorprofessor

27 thoughts on “Telephone Network Museum”

    • This museum will probably close down very fast now that DUMA signed a new law that will determine all governmental financial support to health and cultural institutions by the amount of visitors.

      Meaning: little visitors / clients [like in smaller cities] will lead to closing down of the institute.
      Meaning: no hospitals and schools worth mentioning anymore in rural areas. No cultural activities unless financed by locals.
      Meaning: Russia is effectively kicked back to 19th century.

      Thank you Med.vedev for signing this hor.rible law

  1. Built in wifi and bigger hard drive–360 fans don’t have to be extra peripherals
    — I think it looks better than the old one

    My Cons:
    — $299 dollars–PS3 offers blu-ray movie capability, what is the new 360 gonna get me at that price (other than a larger hard drive, but still not enough for me)?
    — No slot load disc drive–minor complaint, but the competitors have it

  2. Komrades, all of the cable shown here is still used. Despite attempts to modernize phone systems, customers will hold out and keep the old dial up phones. The old equipment worked incredibly well. However, not for the new world.

  3. If I was a little kid on this tour, I would want to play secret spy in all those phone booths! That looks like fun, playing in all those.

  4. I try using this equipment to tweet Putipoot, but is impossible. All I get is noise and static. Any suggestions?

  5. What you identified as “Step-by-Steph” is not that at all. SXS uses electromagnets which advance the brushes one step each time they are energized. The brushes advance vertically and then in a rotary motion, a maximum of 10 steps in each direction for a maximum of 100 possible choices. The switches are driven directly by the dial.

    Your photo shows the L. M. Ericsson of Sweden ARF system, which rotates and then plunges into the bank. The drive is provided by motor driven shafts and clutches to engage and disengage the selector from the shaft. There are 500 possible choices for each selector. The selectors cannot be driven directly by the dial so they are counted and accumulated in register circuits usually consisting of simple relays. Once the full number has been received then the call is set up rather than one digit at a time in SXS.

  6. Pretty cool old stuff! Wish they can make museums more interactive, like we can touch the pieces – which, of course, is never gonna happen lol.


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