Business Telephones

Business communication has relied on multi-line and private exchange systems since the early days of the telephone industry.  Today’s IP based business telephones and software based telephone clients may seem like distant relatives of yesterday’s analog and digital phones.  However, our relationship with them and their basic interface remains intact through time.

I’ve had the opportunity to install, configure and repair business telephone systems of many varieties over several decades.  Here are some I’ve collected through the years:

Nortel Norstar M7324

Northern Telecom Meridian Norstar Digital Key System

It seems odd that the Nortel Norstar digital phones only required two wires, while today’s IP phones require eight wires.

AT&T 7405

AT&T System 75 PBX 7405 Phone

Inspired by the AT&T Merlin Key System, the original System 75 phones had a unique style.

AT&T System 75 PBX Console

AT&T System 75 Attendant Console


AT&T Horizon Keyphone

AT&T Horizon Key System

The AT&T Horizon Key System is typical of the analog electronic key systems of the late 1970s and 1980s.

AT&T Dimension Console

AT&T Dimension Attendant Console

In 1977, AT&T introduced the Dimension PCM analog electronic PBX.  Burdened with deregulation, AT&T introduced a technologically outdated PBX system at virtually the same time that competitors ROLM and Northern Telecom introduced pioneering digital PBX systems.  The Dimension console and equipment cabinets even featured simulated woodgrain accents to firmly cement them to the 1970s.

AE 186

GTE Automatic Electric 186 1A2 Key Phone

This Automatic Electric five line 1A2 key system phone required a 25 pair cable to connect it,  but featured LED line indicator lamps.

SC 1810

Stromberg-Carlson 1810 1A2 Key Phone

The Stromberg-Carlson five line 1A2 phone with rotary dial in stylish orange.


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