Retiree News

Artifacts and History

Artifacts and History By Jim Killion

Retires from the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company have reached the age where they are thinking more about their end-of-life than just enjoying each day. Most have now been retired longer than they worked. Many have witnessed the evolution of the communication industry. Being like most humans they were curious about the changes that were taking place around them. Thus they were prone to collect some of the items they worked with day to day.

Now, looking forward, what do we do with these items of telephone history? Our families are not interested in these artifacts nor do we wish to see them trashed or just thrown away. This has led to several discussions at luncheons and coffee gatherings.

After several telephone calls to other retiree groups across the five states we have come to see that there are some museums that collect telephone items. Most seem to deal with contributions from just their state. Minnesota and North Dakota have such museums. Nebraska has one, but it is small with limited space.

During some travels west, I have located one being developed in North Platte, NE. This being the “Lincoln County Historical Museum.” During a visit there and meeting with the curator, Jim Griffiths, he told me that they are in the planning stages of developing their display. They are also willing to accept additional items relating to the telephone business in Nebraska. Fortunately, I have also located a retired telephone employee, Chuck Scripter, who lives in North Platte who is willing to act as a go-between and will help with the donations. This should make such transactions easier to complete.

Contacts for working with these persons can be made by calling the *Lincoln County Historical Museum at 308-534-5640. *Chuck Scripter can be contacted at 380-539-2392. Like most museums, this one is more interested in physical items. These draw more interest from visitors.

I hope this bit of information will be helpful in making your artifact transactions easier to complete.

Editor note: For those further out west, the Telecommunications History Group in Denver also accepts items for their museum.  See their donation page at

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