Rare Antique Telephones and Where to See Them

Trips Into History wishes to take you on a tour to the several excellent telephone museums spread around the country with their large collections of antique telephones and telephone equipment.

telephone swithchboard 1940

1940′s era telephone switchboard

In this day of instant messaging and mobile phones, antique telephones take us back to the period when communication in the U.S. and the world was in it’s infancy.

Walk through a museum with impressive collections of old telephone equipment and you’re transported back in time. Take a look at some of the earliest experimental equipment and you might find it difficult to recognize it as a communication tool.

There was a time when simple telephone communications represented cutting edge technology. After all, some in 1910 were still arguing that the horse was more reliable than the automobile. Arguably, communication technology continues to move forward with our IPhones and Androids.

magneto wall pay station

Magneto Wall Pay Station

Below are interesting historical examples of what people used to communicate with many, many years ago.

Magneto Wall Pay Station

This telephone apparatus dates back to the year 1900 and was manufactured by Stromberg Carlson-Gray.

Magneto meant that the power to talk was supplied by two dry cell batteries. Customers created signaling power by turning a hand crank on the telephone box. The operators were alerted to a call when a metal hook holding a drop in place retracted and released the drop. The buzzing sound signaled someone wanted to make a call. The difference with using a common battery was that all power was generated from the central telephone office including power for the customer’s phone. This phone was used for coin telephone communications.

gallows frame telephone

Gallows Frame telephone

Gallows Frame Telephone

This particular telephone was designed and manufactured by Alexander Graham Bell and is thought to be one of only two left in existence. It is on display at the Fort Concho Museum in San Angelo Texas.

The Gallows Frame Telephone dates back to 1876, the same year as Custer’s Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

This apparatus takes you back to the invention and early development of the telephone. This device was not good enough to distinguish intelligible speech, but it was a significant breakthrough in the development of the telephone.

Bell was able to send not just a single tone beep, but actual sounds between one room and another. This was accomplished using an electromagnetic signal which was picked up by a metal reed. The metal reed vibrated against a cloth diaphragm. The unit was considered  experimental.

The other Gallows Frame Telephone is one of the exhibits at the Science Museum’s new gallery called Information Age in London, England.

See our Trips Into History articles on the links below. Articles also describe fun venues to visit regarding both subjects.

Crossing the Atlantic With Marconi’s Wireless

Laying of the Trans-Atlantic Cable

bell centennial telephone

Bell’s Centennial Telephone

Bell’s Centennial Telephone 1876

This type early telephone was exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia by Alexander Graham Bell.  “My word! It talks!” exclaimed Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil on June 25, 1876, when he listened to the receiver of Bell’s telephone at the Centennial Exposition. The voice he heard was coming from 100 yards away and this type of publicity helped make Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone the talk of the international scientific community. Prior to all this publicity generated by Emperor Dom Pedro it was said that the Centennial judges were pretty much ignoring Bell’s telephone.

Another interesting fact is that the first U.S. President to have one of Bell’s telephones in the White House was Rutherford B. Hayes. The phone was installed in 1878 and Hayes’ first call was made to Bell. It was reported that Hayes’ first words were said to have been, “Please speak more slowly.”

alexander graham bell postage stampAn interesting venue to see Bell’s Centennial Telephone and other rare antique models is the JKL Museum of Telephony. John K. La Rue’s Museum of Telephony, part of the American Museum of Telephony, is dedicated to preserving telephone history. The museum contains telephones and related items from the dawn of telephony (late 1800s) to the present day. One of the telephone museum’s goals is to have working telephones from all eras.


This museum is located near San Andreas, California. For more information and directions see website…www.jklmuseum.com

(Article copyright Trips Into History. Photos of Gallows Frame and Magneto Wall Pay Station from Trips Into History Collection. Bell’s Centennial Telephone and postage stamp image from the public domain)



All About Dr. Pepper / Waco’s Dr. Pepper Museum

dr pepper memorabilia

Waco, Texas, located about 100 miles south of the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex along Interstate 35 is home to two unique museums, among other Waco attractions, which are very well worth your time to visit.  These include the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum and the Dr. Pepper Muuseum.

dr pepper museum waco

The Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas

This article takes you on a visit to the Dr. Pepper Museum located at 300 S 5th St, Waco, Texas. The building housing this museum  is the 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company structure.

The 100 year-old building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the “Home of Dr Pepper.” The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group supports this museum but is not the owner.

It All Began in an 1885 Pharmacy

Dr. Pepper is a soft drink invented in Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco Texas and is the oldest of the major soft drinks in America.

Waco pharmacist “Doc” Charles Alderton is the man responsible for inventing this soft drink which was sometimes referred to as a “Waco” for the reason that it wasn’t available outside of town. Doc Alderton was an M.D. who graduated from the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston.

dr pepper memorabilia

The first floor entrance to the Dr Pepper Museum

Charles Alderton was born in Brooklyn, New York to British immigrants. He went to England to attend college in Stowmarket and returned to Brooklyn  During the Westward Expansion Alderton traveled to Texas where he enrolled at the University of Texas in Galveston. After graduating there with a medical degree, Alderton made the choice to work as a pharmacist, moving to Waco, Texas to join W. B. Morrison in his Old Corner Drug Store.

The Need For Something New

While working at the drug store the doctor noticed that customers at the store’s soda fountain were becoming tired of the same drink flavors being offered. Dr. Alderton decided to do some experimenting and hoped to come up with a new and original concoction that was pleasing.

dr pepper memorabilia

Memorabilia displayed in the Dr Pepper Museum

Alderton mixed together different fruit extracts and syrups and did the tasting himself. After putting together many different mixtures over a period of time he finally found one that stood out from the rest and pleased his taste buds. The store’s owner, Morrison, was invited to taste the soda and likewise found it quite good. The real proof however was when the drug store started selling the new soda to it’s customers and the reaction was extremely positive. The new soda drink caught on fast with the locals and gained new drinkers every day.

Customers began asking for “Doc Alderton’s drink.” when they visited the drug store. Eventually Morrison came up with the name for it, naming it “Dr. Pepper“, after the father of a girl he had once courted. Over 125 years later this soft drink remains one of the country’s most popular and it’s contents are pretty much the same as originally created by Doc Charles Alderton.

A Unique Museum Visit

The Dr. Pepper Museum, one of the best Waco attractions, occupies three floors of the old 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company.building. The building was donated to a non-profit organization in t988 and work began for renovation in 1990.

According to the Dr. Pepper Museum, the museum is home to the W. W. Clements Free Enterprise Institute.  The Institute was created in 1997 for the purpose of educating school children as well as adults about the economic system that underlies American life. Another important thing to note per the museum is that the Dr. Pepper Museum has received contributions from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the Coca Cola Company, Coca Cola Enterprises, Big Red Corporation, and several independent soft drink bottlers.

You may also enjoy additional Trips Into History Texas attractions found on the links below…

A Trip to Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center / Lubbock, TX

Visit Historic Round Rock Texas / Outlaw Sam Bass and the Palm House

The first floor of the Dr. Pepper Museum has a gift shop and a cute room with a soda fountain along with tables and chairs. It’s the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a cold Dr. Pepper. Memorabilia is found throughout the museum. Clocks, thermometers, signs, all with the Dr. Pepper name are on display and span many years. Also see the well which of course was essential for washing bottles in the bottling plant. You’ll also view interesting bottling machinery from the day along with descriptions of each.

dr pepper waco texas

Dr Pepper Museum soda fountain on first floor

A favorite of many visitors is a touch button TV screen showing some of the most popular Dr. Pepper television commercials spanning decades. You’ll also view many photos taken as far back as when the soda was developed. Also, interesting early photos of Waco are in their collection.

The Dr. Pepper Museum makes a perfect side trip for the entire family while traveling through Texas. The museum is easily reached being just a few blocks west of Interstate 35 south of the Brazos River.

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)

Take a Ride in an Historic World War II C-47

c-47 photos

The C-47 military aircraft was the workhorse of the U.S. military for decades. Trips Into History had the opportunity to ride in one of these historic aircraft and we recommend it to anyone interested in vintage aircraft and twentieth century military history.

Below in this article we have listed several events that may offer these rides but before that we wanted to give you a brief history of the C-47.

c-47 photos

The C-47

An Aircraft With Many Names

The C-47 aircraft was the military version of the civilian DC-3. Nicknamed the “Gooney Bird“, the U.S. Army Air Corps ordered its first C-47s in 1940 and took delivery of it’s first aircraft in 1942.

The C-47′s, which also went by the names “Dakota” and “Skytrain“, carried troops and cargo around the world and when the war ended in 1945 the Army had taken delivery of some 9,348 C-47 airplanes. The planes served in every theater of the war. .At the same time the commercial version DC-3 dominated the civilian passenger business after it’s introduction in 1935.

Differences in the Military Version

Because the C-47 had to do many more things than the DC-3, several modifications were made. Floors were reinforced, the two engines were more powerful (1,200-horsepower Pratt & Whitney radial engines) and large doors in the rear for cargo.
As a supply plane, the C-47 could carry up to 6,000 pounds of cargo. Every branch of the U.S military and all the major allied powers flew the C-47. The British and the Australians designated  the C-47 the Dakota.
c-47 military aircraft

The C-47 radio area

The C-47 / Unparalleled Military Service

There were many many uses for the C-47. Including what was mentioned above, the C-47′s dropped paratroops behind enemy lines and even towed troop carrying gliders that would land without any power in fields.

Add to this the job of being an air ambulance evacuating sick or wounded patients. The plane was capable of carrying eighteen stretchers.

An interesting note is that the C-47 was modified to actually sweep down and hook on to a landed troop glider and tow it back to base for further use. This method was developed when many of the gliders landed in fields to small for a C-47 to land.

The C-47 remained in service long after the war ended in 1945. The plane saw service during the Korean War carrying troops and supplies and evacuating the wounded much as it did during the Second World War. The C-47 was used during the Berlin Airlift and during the Southeast Asian War of the 60′s and early 70′s.

The C-47 was a rugged aircraft. Stories are that it survived mid-air collisions and could land on it’s belly with little damage. This was because the plane’s retracted tires still extended beneath the cowl.

Where to Enjoy a Ride in the Historic C-47

Commemorative Air Force / Falcon Field in Mesa Arizona

The Commemorative Air Force offers rides in the C-47 as well as in several other military aircraft including the B-17, B-25 and the Boeing PT-17 Trainer. Detailed information is found on the website…http://www.azcaf.org/

Airfest in Georgetown Texas

The C-47 Southern Cross that was built in 1941 offers rides each year at the Airfest event in Georgetown Texas, about 25 miles north of Austin along Interstate 35. This particular aircraft not only served during wartime and afterward but also was utilized for passenger service and was used by the president of Mexico. It was also used as a skydiving plane. For information of upcoming Airfest events see wwbesite…https://airfest.georgetown.org/

c-47 plane rides

Looking into the C-47 cockpit during flight

Holiday Lights Flights Over the Dallas / Fort Worth Area

The same C-47 aircraft, Southern Cross, that appears at the Georgetown Airfest offers flights during the holidays over the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Groups of up to 17 passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies before being driven out to the plane.

Flying at low altitudes, they will see Lake Arlington’s Interlochen Christmas Lights as well as views of downtown Fort Worth.

More information regarding the Dallas / Fort Worth Holiday Flights can be found at website…https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greatest-Generation-Aircraft/182241821796002

You may also enjoy the more of our articles on the links below…

Some of the Finest Western Aircraft Museums

More Western Air Museums and Their Aircraft

c-47 military transport

Tail section of the C-47 Southern Cross

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum

An airworthy C-47 Skytrain aircraft is displayed at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum located at the Addison Airport in Addison, Texas, a north Dallas suburb.

The museum offers several rides on a variety of aircraft and presents some excellent aircraft exhibits.  For more information on this museum see website…http://www.cavanaugh flightmuseum.com/

The Dutch Dakota Association / Netherlands

The Dutch Dakota Association was founded in 1982 with the slogan “Working on a future for our aviation past”. It`s main objective to keep its two DC-3 historical aircraft in the air and make them accessible to a wide audience so they can experience romantic flying the way it used to be. While flying at 1400 feet you will enjoy a wonderful view of the Dutch landscape. For more information from this organization see website…https://www.dutchdakota.nl/en

Having the opportunity to take a flight on the C-47 will lead to a fun experience. In addition to the few venues listed above, additional opportunities where C-47 rides are offered will certainly be available around the country during select  airshows and special events.

(Article,photos and video copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

Visit Historic Round Rock Texas / Sam Bass and the Palm House

outlaw sam bass

Some may call it The Daffodil Capital of Texas, but the city of Round Rock has quite a noteworthy historic past and it’s a great place to visit during your Texas travels. Attractions in Round Rock Texas include plenty of historic sites and buildings, excellent dining and unique shops.

Round Rock and Sam Bass

Look back at the history of Round Rock Texas and the name Sam Bass will come up. There is much more to the history of Round Rock aside from the infamous train and stagecoach robber Sam Bass and his gang but it’s a theme that has stuck around for nearly 140 years.

outlaw sam bassThe legend left behind about Sam Bass is somewhat larger than his real life actions. There’s even a major street in Round Rock Texas that bears his name. Bass’ entire life lasted but twenty-seven years however during that relatively short time he was involved in plenty of criminal activity.

Like most legends from the old west there are a few versions of Bass’ exploits. Following is the most common version.

After prospecting in the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory with two other men and losing all their money, Bass decided to replenish their cash by robbing stagecoaches and they were given the name the “Black Hills Bandits“. Stagecoach robbing then turned into train robberies which typically paid better. The gangs big payoff occurred in Big Springs, Nebraska on September 18, 1877 when they robbed a Union Pacific express train of $60,000 in $20 gold pieces being transported east from the San Francisco Mint.

historic buildings round rock texas

The Palm House Museum

The gang, then being chased by lawmen and army soldiers, had to split up. Most of the robbers were killed or captured, one fled to Canada with his share of coins and Bass and another fled south. One year later Bass held up a train in Allen, Texas north of Dallas.

The Texas Rangers made sure that the fugitive Sam Bass met his end in Round Rock when he was gunned down on July 19th, 1878. bass was reportedly in Round Rock with some of his gang planning a bank robbery. He was recognized and lawmen approached. After being confronted in a store the Williamson County Deputy Sheriff was shot and killed by the four gang members. A Travis County Deputy Sheriff was outside the store and entered and subsequently shot Sam Bass. The bandits attempted to flee from the alley and were shot at and hit by Texas Rangers who had heard the original gunshots. Not long afterwards Bass was found mortally wounded outside of ton and was brought back to Round Rock where he died of his wounds.

This particular shooting actually took to being called the “Sam Bass Shootout” and you can view it’s reenactment every July 4th at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park during their annual Frontier Days’ event.

Round Rock and the Palm House

Located in the old downtown area is the Palm House, one of the many historic attractions in Round Rock. The house was moved from Palm Valley to it’s new location in Round Rock in 1976. In 1979 the Palm House received it’s State Historical Marker. The Palm House is located at 212 East Main Street next to the library.

Today, the Palm House serves as both a museum and the offices of the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Palm House was built in 1873 by Andrew J. Palm who moved to a valley east of Round Rock with his mother and siblings in 1853. A.J. Palm and his wife Caroline Nelson Palm raised eight children in this house. An interesting side note was that the Palm family was related to Svante Palm who served as the Swedish Vice-Council to the Republic of Texas. Svante Palm encouraged members of his family to relocate to this area of Texas.

brushy creek texas

Old Post Office and mercantile store in the settlement of Brushy, the first name for Round Rock

You can walk through the house and visit the rooms, filled with authentic period furniture. When you visit the Palm House today you will see early settlers furnishings as well as interesting items donated from local residents. The house has authentic furnishings, an elegant parlor and Swedish kitchen.

You may enjoy the Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center

Visit Round Rock Texas

Round Rock Texas is located nineteen miles north of Austin. Old Town Round Rock is located just east of Interstate 35.

palm house museum

A room at the historic Palm House

The area of Round Rock and Austin offers many historic sites to visit including the historic buildings in Old Town including the Palm House Museum.

You’ll also want to visit the  area of the first settlement which was named Brushy just across on the west side of Interstate 35 along Brushy Creek. By request of the U.S. Post Office the name had to be changed because there was another town in Texas named Brushy. The settlement then took the name Round Rock in recognition of the large rock in the middle of Brushy Creek.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

The Mysterious Vortexes of Sedona / Where to Find Them

sedona arizona red rocks

What are the energy vortexes found in Sedona Arizona? Can they really be explained? Will I feel the energy?  Our suggestion from Trips Into History is to visit this absolutely beautiful part of Arizona and experience the Sedona vortexes first hand.

sedona arizona red rocks

View of Uptown Sedona

Sedona’s Lure

There are many reasons to visit Sedona Arizona and one of the best has to be the spectacular and stunning red rock scenery. Recreation attractions in Sedona include plenty of excellent hiking trails, biking trails and off road jeep tours either on your own or with one of the jeep tour companies.

Sedona is all about tourism and you’ll find an excellent selection of unique shops, including crystal shops and restaurants, as well as fine lodging and resorts. The city is also a cultural center for the arts featuring over forty galleries.Sedona also offers more than 220 miles of dedicated trails for mountain biking and over 300 miles in total for hiking, biking and equestrian pursuits.

There’s something for everyone in Sedona including nightly UFO tours in the nearby desert and of course tours of the world renown vortexes which draw millions of people annually from around the globe.

cathedral rock sedona

View of Cathedral Rock

Sedona’s location in Arizona is also advantageous for tourists being about a two hour drive north to the Grand Canyon, a forty-five minute drive north to historic Flagstaff and about a two hour drive south to Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The Sedona Vortexes

In short, a vortex is an area of concentrated energy to which seekers of enlightenment are drawn. These are also referred to as energy vortices. Another description would be a swirling concentration of energy emanating from the earth. Yet another description would be a formation where visitors have witnesssed a feeling of inspiration from a beneficial source of energy.

Native Americans of this part of Arizona, Hopis, Navajo and Yavapai, were well aware of the special properties of these mystical sites for generations. The term “vortex” as we know them in Sedona Arizona was actually created by a local Sedona medium by the name of Page Bryant during the early 1980′s. Bryant called Sedona the “heart chakra of the planet“.

It’s very true that Sedona vortexes affect different people in different ways. Some may notice the power of the vortex and others may not.

Types of Vortexes in Sedona

The Sedona tourism industry has been in high gear for just a matter of decades whereas, as mentioned above, Native American knew these sites as sacred places for generations. The three recognized forms of Sedona vortexes are the balanced, electrical and magnetic. The balanced vortex is a combination of both electrical and magnetic. A magnetic vortex is of a feminine characteristic and the electrical vortex is of a masculine characteristic.

Where Are The Sedona Vortexes?

sedona hiking trails

View along the hiking trails

Vortex attractions in Sedona include four well known sites. These are found at the Airport, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock.

The Airport Vortex is located high up in the area of the Sedona Airport. This particular vortex is considered a balanced vortex. The site has ample parking and the views you’ll have from this location are second to none. Sunset viewing is stunning from this site. The vortex is located behind the saddle in the rocks near Airport Road. Getting there requires just a short drive up Airport Road, off of Hwy 89 A about one mile west of Uptown Sedona.  on a paved road. This is the closest vortex to the town of Sedona.

The Bell Rock Vortex is considered a strong energy field located just north of Hwy 179 between  Sedona and the village of Oak Creek about three miles south of Uptown Sedona. The youngest rock found in this formation is said to be 272 million years old. The vortex is found anywhere on Bell Rock.

See the Trips Into History articles on the links below…

Could Be the Best Hiking Trail in Sedona

Visiting Arizona / The Roots of the Long Apache War


The Boynton Canyon Vortex is located on a short spur off the Boynton Vista Trail. In fact you can take the spur directly to the vortex. The main trail is considered easy to moderate and is about 2.5 miles in length. The vortex site itself is located between the Kachina Woman and Warrior formations. To reach the trail

and vortex you’ll take Dry Creek Road north from Hwy 89 A about three miles west of Uptown Sedona.

The Cathedral Rock Vortex is said to have a relaxing energy. Cathedral Rock is probably the most photographed formation in Sedona. To reach the vortex points on Cathedral Rock drive south on Hwy 179 about three miles from Uptown Sedona (near the Bell Rock location) and turn right on Back O’ Beyond Road. Drive 0.6 miles to the parking lot on the left and the trail head. This is a steep climb with a 600 foot elevation change and should be taken with caution. As with all hiking be certain to wear hiking shoes and take along sufficient water.

airport vortex sedona arizona

View from Sedona’s Airport Vortex site

Sedona Arizona is known as a gem of nature and an excellent travel destination during all four seasons of the year. As you can see from what’s written above, Sedona attractions are plentiful.

Sedona Arizona is one of the most unique and popular tourist destinations in all of the U.S. and truly has something for everyone. If you’re visiting Arizona you’ll be glad you added this one to your travel planner.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)