Collections

The Museum's collections consist of objects representing the most important stations of the evolution of telecommunications in the world and Greece, from the earliest phones to the first computers. The main body of collections includes telephone sets, telegrams, telexes, photographs and telegrams. As exposure of all the objects in the Museum's premises is impossible, most of them have been digitized and documented in order to make this hidden treasure accessible to the general public via the Internet.
As the main means of communication to this day, it is natural that telephony-related objects constitute the backbone of the Museum. The collections present various aspects of Alexander Graham Bell's invention that have changed radically and still affect our economic, social and daily lives in a variety of ways. Considering that phones today have become multimedia with unlimited possibilities and prospects, a return to the beginning of their history offers the visitor of the Museum a reason for reflection on this dominant media.
Telegraph was the first stop for the development of telecommunications in Greece. From the launch of the first underwater cables that united Piraeus with Syros in 1859 to the Balkan Wars and the Asia Minor Catastrophe, telegraph was linked to important moments in Greek history, but also to the modernization of the Greek state. The Museum enables the public to browse the fascinating world of telegraphy via telegraph devices and telegram collection.
The archive is made up of photographic material collected by various services of OTE during its long operation. The bulk of it consists of telephoto pictures that combine the intensity of photojournalism with the nostalgia of facsimile technology, as well as photographs depicting OTE's employees, officials, and buildings.
Telecommunications is a technological field with multiple economic and social implications. The “telecommunications equipment” collection reflects precisely these diverse aspects of communication. From measuring instruments and mufflers to satellite antennas and underwater cables, the collection offers general oversight of the telecommunications industry. Special mention is worthy of the first television studio that operated in Greece and has been precisely reconstructed historically in a special room of the Museum.
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The collection consists of photographs circulated through OTE's telegraph service to 35 newspapers in Athens and Thessaloniki, depicting various aspects of the country's political, social, athletic and cultural life. These are 13.320 telephotos covering the period 1949-1988. The archive contains almost all of the Greek press and photojournalism (94 agencies and photographers). The timing of the collection makes it an ideal source for studying not only photography or the media, but also Modern Greek history itself.
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The collection reflects the history of OTE from its founding in 1949 to the 2004 Olympic Games. Employees, technicians, female telephone operators, officials in the inauguration ceremonies of buildings, exhibitions and celebrations, call center clusters, advertising posters and commemorative employee photos are the most diverse material of the archive. The archive contains 3.723 images most of which are printed, while others are film or digital.
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The history of OTE's buildings is important not only for the study of the evolution of telecommunications in Greece, but also for the history of Greek architecture. With this in mind, the photographs depicting OTE's buildings were put together in a separate collection. The archive covers the period from the 1930s to the 1990s.
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The collection traces the evolution of the telephone from the early years of its creation, in the late 19th century to the present day. Particular stations along this path include the candlestick, the Sceleton, the W28 and, of course, the still evolving mobile models.
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The phonecards were first launched by OTE in 1992 and immediately changed the landscape of public telephony. Their various depictions (paintings by famous painters, portraits of important personalities, scenes from historical life or Greek nature, advertisements) made the phonecards not only useful but also collectibles. Our collection contains most of the phonecards that were released between 1996 -2017.
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The call centers that constitute a completely separate and unique collection of the Museum cover the period 1950-1998. With call centers, we move into the backdrop of telephony, where the visitor can understand the mechanisms of telephone operation and understand its evolution from analogue to digital technology.
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The relatively small archive of telephone directories kept in the Telecommunications Museum gives us valuable statistics and information on the demographic and professional profile of telephony subscribers, both in the Interwar period and in the modern era. The telephone directories come from donations and purchases, numbering around 250 and covering the years 1925-2001.
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Telephone booths, until the proliferation of mobile telephony, were landmarks for the city's urban landscape and everyday life. The Museum has one of the first AETE telephone booths of the 1930s, coin-operated and currency-operated machines, from the 1950s and 1980s, as well as modern pay phones.
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Based on the Morse telegraph system, the first almost complete telecommunications system to be implemented, the Museum visitor is introduced to the first telegraphic devices and their technological evolution. The collection consists mainly of transmitters, receivers, recorders, telexes, but also telegraphic equipment such as bicycles, telegraph maps and distribution offices.
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The collection contains eight thousand telegrams, from 1859 to 1977, composed of purchases and donations to the Museum. Telegrams are mainly commercial in content, but they are not lacking in political, military and private. Handwritten or printed on white film, with stamps and logos indicating their time, with advertisements, luxurious but also censored, telegrams reflect the economic, social and daily life of a bygone era.
ΦΩΤΟΓΡΑΦΙΕΣ
Telecommunications is a technological field with multiple economic and social implications. The “telecommunications equipment” collection reflects precisely these diverse aspects of communication. From measuring instruments and mufflers to satellite antennas and underwater cables, the collection offers general oversight of the telecommunications industry. Special mention is worthy of the first television studio that operated in Greece and has been precisely reconstructed historically in a special room of the Museum.

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