reconnect & relive


Vintage Telephone Consulting Services



How it all started: Andy first learned about how telephones worked in 1964 while visiting his grandfather Emil in Seattle. In the 1960s Emil's home exchange was Emerson 3 (363) which was the Northgate / Lake Forest Park area. This naming convention started on March 16, 1958 when telephone numbers changed in the Seattle metro area from 2 letters + 4 digits to 2 letters + 5 digits. In this new system you had to dial the first two letters of the prefix (exchange) name plus the following digits to make a call.

History Lesson: Emil arrived in the U.S. from Lundar, Manatoba in 1920. As an adult he worked in the real estate business. Over the years he collected a number of old telephones from abandoned buildings in the Seattle area. When Andy showed interest in these, he generously gave him some of the old telephones so he could take them apart and figure out how they worked.

In those days the Bell system was the dominant player. Andy quickly learned that the way to insider knowledge was to get to know anyone he could who worked for the company. So he made it a point to talk to every repairman, lineman, or central office worker he happened to meet.

Being a young lad at the time, Andy was looked at as somewhat of a curiosity because he had so much interest in what they were doing. This seemed to charm them into opening up. What was to follow was a lifetime interest in all things telephone.

Not only did Andy's early contacts share insider knowledge, but also insider secrets including technical manuals and even speciality tools of the trade.

Today: In today’s post Bell-monopoly world, many of these tools and manuals are readily available. However the insider knowledge is almost lost. Today’s phones are disposable.

Back in-the-day, a telephone was build to last. Parts were interchangeable, making repairs and retro-fits easy and practical. Many telephone sets from the 40s and older are still in good working order today.

There is something to be said about getting back to a little analog in your life. That is why Andy works to keep the dream of these well made communication devices alive.

In closing: Andy still uses vintage dial telephones and enjoys the solid ring of brass bells.

The Salt Spring Telephone Exchange™ was set up to help those looking for assistance keeping their vintage telephone sets working and useful on today’s VOIP networks.

If you need such assistance, you have come to the right place. We encourage you to contact us.

Emil Curie Gislason
June 2, 1916 Lundar, Manitoba - June 2, 1989 Seattle, Washington




Let us help you with your vintage telephone.


Don't hesitate to contact me.

I would love to have the opportunity to discuss your project.

  • Andy Stark
  • Salt Spring Telephone Exchange
  • 3342 Whilabout Terrace
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Canada ON L6L 0A8
  • 905-901-1937
  • M-F: 9 AM - 3 PM
  • Sat: Closed
  • Sun: Closed