Adelaide Central

Recording the History of Communications

The Journal of the South Australian Telephone Collectors Society Inc.

recent events

Geoff King and Taffy the Cairn Terrier

Geoff King ties a pull-rope onto Taff in a roof well

The ABC recently spoke to Geoff King about Taffy the Cairn Terrier, Australia's first union-registered dog. It's a beatiful story and it's on the ABC WEB site

Read the article and see the film on the ABC WEB site


At the Sir Thomas Playford ETSA Museum

The tour of the museum was very interesting with various generators, control panels, light fittings, and a full working Tesla Coil producing a frightening spark. In another part of the museum a complete range of vintage electrical appliances was on display.

The last of the members departed well after 5.00 pm and this meeting would hold the record as the longest ever.

Thanks to Max Steen and Roger Williams, the Volunteers at the museum for conducting the tour and to Phill Fechner for arranging it.


Power Generation...


Magneto Electric Machine...


Tesla Coil...










At the National Military Vehicle Museum

View of one section of the museum

I had never been to the National Military Vehicle Museum and I did not know what to expect. Well, now I have been and I was very impressed. The Museum and its members have done a fantastic job fitting out the buildings, gathering all manner of military vehicles and support material, restoration and presentation. In addition, the museum members did a marvelous job of showing us around and sharing their expertise. If you haven’t been, go - and take your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


A magneto field exchange


A beautifully restored staff car at the museum


An RCA SSB (Single Side Band) receiver

The Burra Telephone Show - 6th and 7th May, 2017

John Lovell's display of wood telephones

What a fantastic show! The organising committee must be congratulated on the planning and execution. The display itself was outstanding and a credit to the owners of the equipment who packed, transported and then constructed the display. Of course after the show, it all had to be packed away again and brought home. A special thanks to George who supplied framework, lighting, transport and his own employees to help - well done George! Visitor numbers were down on expectations but there was, never-the-less, much interest in the display. The interactive items were very popular with, for example, Rob Olding in high demand with his “dial-a-bell” display. Marilyn Monroe and the other novelty phones were also very popular. There was a lot of interest in the antique and vintage telephones and payphones as well with reactions ranging from fascination to nostalgia. I can’t remember how many times I met someone in town who recommended that I visit the telephone display - they told me it was an excellent display and probably the best of the Fair.

Jess Tiver and the Children next to Rob Olding's interactive bell display

One group of visitors was Jess Tiver and children from Burra. Jess was so impressed by the display and those who showed it to her that she sent a message of appreciation:

On the weekend I attended an amazing telephone display at the Burra Anglican Church, SA. We are Burra locals and because we were out riding our bikes, I thought I would take the children up and have a look. I was absolutely blown away by the range of telephones, the interactive displays and the movie of Taffy the dog. What made it, was the passion of the society members. They approached us straight away, learnt our names, got us involved with hands on activities. It was fantastic! Thank-you so much for sharing this with us. The children’s names are Bree, Zoe, Alice, Jarad, Sophie and Harriet. Jess Tiver, Burra, SA

After such a wonderful endorsement I feel really bad about chopping the top of Jess’s head off! Mobile Phones...

The Strathalbyn Telephone Show

The Adelaide Branch of the ATCS Inc. put on a display at the Strathalbyn Antique and Collectables Fair for the week­end of the 15th and 16th August 2015.
Various interactive displays of magneto party line phones were set up about the room. Also an SMS to Morse setup was popular with the younger visitors where they could send an SMS and hear it sound out on the tapper. A Ringing Ma­chine was there which allowed the public to hear the original dial tone, ring tone, busy tone and number unobtain­able tone to be heard. There was also a series of bells and receivers which enabled the public to hear what real phones and bells sounded like when rung.
A steady crowd came in from 10.00am Saturday and was continuous till 5.00pm Saturday.
Overall the display brought back many memories of the past from attendees and not a moment went past without hearing something like “We had one of these phones on the farm” or “ I remember when we used 4 pennies to make a call on a public phone” (long tom).


On the Radio...

Geoff King on the Radio

From radio station Adelaide 891 on Sunday morning, 12 July, Geoff King and Paula Coward participated in a radio talk com­pered by Ashley Walsh. As Membership Secretary, Paula was able to promote the Adelaide club and Geoff was able to give a capti­vating talk about telephones and his working life with the P.M.G. This was interspersed with a deluge of call-ins but in the time that the duo had on air, many interested callers could not get through. The calls were diverse and included an ex-postmaster from Anda­mooka talking about operating the only telephone there for over a thousand inhabitants.

Listen to the inverview on ABC radio