Library Fun Finds 3.18.22

by Lauren VanDenBerg on

Library News

Welcome to Library Fun Finds! An ongoing series where we share some of the fun and unique items we come across in the library and archives collections.

You might have noticed my love of telegram related ephemera in this Fun Finds series. Looking at previous posts there have been telegram stickers, a decorative holiday telegram, and a telegram cipher code book, so it will come as no surprise that I couldn’t pick just one item today. Let’s enjoy an assortment of goodies from the museum’s Telephone and Telegraph files in the Central Archives.

From Central Archives, February 1932 Dots and Dashes journal cover.
From Central Archives, February 1932 Dots and Dashes journal cover
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH

February 1932 Dots and Dashes journal. To keep you up to date on the world of sending and receiving telegrams.

From Central Archives, May 21, 1945 telegram
From Central Archives, May 21, 1945 telegram
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH

This telegram might not be the most visually exciting item, but historically it is significant. May 21, 1945, Western Union announces telegram service to Norway and Denmark have been restored and service to Luxembourg and the Netherlands will begin the following day. With the allied advances in the war communications with liberated nations were restored.

From Central Archives, Dial tone reminder sign, late 1940s
From Central Archives, Dial tone reminder sign, late 1940s
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH

From telegraphs to telephones! This reminder to always wait for the dial tone before making your call comes from the late 1940s.

From Central Archives, Notice of new Museum phone number, July 24, 1950
From Central Archives, Notice of new Museum phone number, July 24, 1950
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH
From Central Archives, Press release about new Museum phone number, July 24, 1950
From Central Archives, Press release about new Museum phone number, July 24, 1950
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH

A number to squirrel away, the new phone number for the museum and planetarium! But of course, there were phones throughout the museum, so many that staff directories were printed up. The Central Archives has directories from the 1930s through the 1960s.

From Central Archives, cover of 1938 museum telephone directory
From Central Archives, cover of 1938 museum telephone directory
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH
From Central Archives, cover of 1962 museum directory
From Central Archives, cover of 1962 museum directory
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH

In addition to being fun artifacts, they also help me piece together a who’s who of the museum.

This entry was written by Lauren VanDenBerg, Shelby White & Leon Levy Project Archivist.