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Alberta's Telephone Heritage
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Alberta's Telephone Heritage

The settlement of the West evokes images of sodbusters using steel ploughs to cut through the grassy prairie soil. But other technologies were required to make the Canadian dream of a country stretching from sea to sea a reality. The story of the coming of the railroads and the last spike are well known and a part of the Canadian sensibility.  Another technology—telecommunications technology—also played an important role in that part of the western territories that would become the Province of Alberta in 1905. In 1877, James Walker, a member of the North West Mounted Police, was the first person to receive a telegraph message in Calgary.  Alexander Taylor, Dominion Telegraph Agent in Edmonton, in 1884, ordered two telephones from England and created the first telephone link in the Province between Edmonton and St. Albert.

Discover the telephone story in Alberta—the achievements, the politics, the competitions, the personalities, the equipment and regulations—in this freewheeling period when the Province was being created.  The telephone supported government, business as well as making possible domestic communication.  This was the beginning of the modern age in a territory following on the end of the fur trade. 

Search the site and find out about the:

Communications History—This section provides an overview of  telecommunications from the telegraph to wireless communications.

Telephone Era in Alberta—This section tells the story of the telephone in Alberta including the history, technology, companies and the people.

Virtual Telephone Heritage—This section showcases the dynamic collection of the Telephone Historical Information Centre through virtual exhibits, digital collections, oral histories and educational interactives.


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