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Telephone switchboard Magden

A STR Pentaconta PC60 telephone exchange

The pavilion-like, flat-roofed functional building has a ground floor and basement. It has the typical appearance of a Scandinavian-style 1960s building. The Magden telephone exchange building was designed by PTT and was operational from 1967.

On the ground floor the exchange housed an electromechanical exchange of the Pentaconta PC 60 type with 2000 connections, and a WC. The ground floor accommodated the electricity supply, the incoming phone lines and auxiliary equipment. In was in public use from 1967 to 1992. Today it is still fully intact but disconnected from the telephone network.


Historical telephone switchboards

The Museum of Communication in Bern has four historical switchboards. The electromechanical telecommunications devices were manufactured in Switzerland by the companies Hasler, Siemens and Standard Telephon & Radio AG (STR). The technology that has survived in situ is therefore part of Swiss industrial culture.

Switchboards such as these would have used dials or telephone keyboards to switch the numbers dialled. Electromechanical boards were introduced in the 1920s, whilst today everything is done digitally. Switchboards are points of intersection in the telephone network. It is where telephone communication is directed. Manual switchboards and telephone operators were eventually replaced by automatic telephone exchanges.