Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum, Saint Louis

4.9
#12 of 38 in Museums in Saint Louis
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Landmark
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The Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum is housed in a beautifully restored 1896 building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in the 426-acre historic Jefferson Barracks Park which is a 15 minute drive south of downtown St. Louis.

Members of the Telecom Pioneers, a non-profit 501(c)(3) telephone company employee service organization, and their families and friends have spent over 66,500 hours in repairing and renovating the building.

The self-guided, accessible museum has many hands-on, how-things-work displays. The displays were created to inspire an interest in engineering and history. Boy Scouts can utilize the museum to meet one of their Inventing and Engineering merit-badge requirements.



Besides its extensive collection of telephones manufactured from the 1900s through 2000s, the Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum also contains:

• A working Central Office Step Switch.

• Operator switchboards from the 1920s and 1960s.

• Military telephones from WWII through the Vietnam War.

• Hundreds of telephone-related equipment and tools.

• A telephone pole complete with climbing equipment.

• Hundreds of pieces of telephone-related memorabilia from the 1880s through the 2000s.

• A large variety of novelty telephones.

• A sculpture of Alexander Graham Bell and replicas of his 1876 Liquid Transmitter and 1877 first Commercial Telephone.

Admission costs $5 for adults, $4 for seniors 60 years and older and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 4 years and younger and active military members are admitted free.



Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more and should be scheduled at least two weeks before the tour.

Enjoy nostalgia from the early years of the telephone. It’s a fun family adventure, an educational field trip for students and an enjoyable group outing.
Plan your visit to Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Saint Louis tour planning site.
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Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor
  • Ken, our guide, was very knowledgeable and had fascinating information to share. They have a very large exhibit of telephone equipment from years ago and up to today. It was certainly worth the... 
    Ken, our guide, was very knowledgeable and had fascinating information to share. They have a very large exhibit of telephone equipment from years ago and up to today. It was certainly worth the...  more »
  • Fascinating! I'm local to STL and had no idea this gem was located at Jefferson Barracks in a restored 1896 building on the Nat'l Register of Historic Places. The variety and quantity of phones on.....  more
    Fascinating! I'm local to STL and had no idea this gem was located at Jefferson Barracks in a restored 1896 building on the Nat'l Register of Historic Places. The variety and quantity of phones on.....  more »
Google
  • This is a little gem unbeknownst to me in my local neck of the woods until recently. We decided to visit on a Saturday morning. Our guide through the small, but mighty museum was so informative explaining the exhibits and demonstrating some fun facts too! This is a truly unique museum detailing our historic telephone history. There is even an old Telephone Directory from the 1960’s. Very fun to look up our family and friends’ telephone information. It included some Illinois side of the river listings as well. Also of note, there is historic significance regarding how Jefferson Barracks maintained the phone system during the war with a little bit of background of the various military members who were assigned to this division. Definitely a rewarding visit and well worth spending time at Jefferson Barracks.
  • Quite a nice little gem. See if you can get a guide to take you through some of the displays--it really livens up the experience. They have a switchboard that was used by four presidential administrations, they have an autographed copy of Lily Tomlin's Ernestine, and many other telephone related displays. Most young children have never dialed a phone with an actual dial and here they can try this for the first time. Plan on 40 minutes.

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