MANAWA, Wis. – Tom Squires, one of three members of the board of directors for the shuttered H.G. Allen Telecommunication Historical Museum, said the board will meet in July to discuss what the future of the museum contents.
The Feb. 3 edition of Antique Trader documented the board’s struggle to find a home for the museum’s contents – hundreds of antique and vintage telephones and equipment – since the museum closed five years ago.
“The president is coming back in mid-July … and will be in the U.S. for about a month So we plan to meet to discuss the next step,” Squires said. He has received about 25 responses from interested collectors, organizations and museum curators eager to help the museum board find a home for the collection.
“I was surprised that there were that many museums of this type out there and some in the same position,” he said. “Each of them were more than sincere about helping our cause and had a passion for the history.”
Squires said the most innovative ideas so far include a traveling museum exhibit, such as the one used by the Antique Telephone Collectors Association, as well as a permanent exhibit used by the Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association, which developed a grant program and has a means to fund additional items for their existing museum.
The Allen Museum includes a comprehensive history of the evolution of the telecommunication industry in the Midwest, comprised mainly of items donated by ravenous telephone collector Robert Prosser, with exhibits from the 1880s to the 1980s.
The museum is online at www.manawatelephone.com.
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