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for teaching users "How to use the Telephone"

KS-16161   KS-16605  KS-21764  Instruct-o-Phone  MG Teletrainer  Automatic Electric Compact

TOPICS ON THIS PAGE:    Bell System    Non-Bell System
MODELS ON THIS PAGE:     KS-16161    KS-16605    KS-21764    "Key Telephone"    KS-21564 - Business
KS-21102     NE QKC1B     Instruct-o-Phone     MG    with SC 1543     AE Electronic Secretary     GTE
 AE Compact
RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE:     WE 500-series     WE 300-series     COLORS    Dial Desk Phones

Teletrainers were used for many years to help educate users, particularly school-age youngsters, on the finer points of the effective use of the telephone.  Many of us are old enough to remember using the equipment in grade school in the 1950s-70s.

Hardware included a control unit and two or more telephones, usually in a hard carrying case.  The control unit permitted the teacher to simulate dial tone, ringing and busy signals, letting students make and answer calls from each other.  Most also included an amplifier and speaker, so the teacher and class could listen in, record and cirtique the participants.

Beginning in 1950, the Bell System provided the equipment and film and/or filmstrip presentations on a free loan basis and also donated class materials, such as student and teacher workbooks and posters.

A Bell Telephone Magazine article in autumn 1965 stated that The "Telezonia" program was revised and modernized, and that 3,707,089 students participated in the 1963-64 school year.  During the year, they printed four million pupil's booklets, 200,000 teacher's guides and 185,000 posters.  Orders were received for 4,200 prints of the film, 5,700 sets of filmstrips and 3,600 Teletrainers for the Bell Operating Companies.  Installers occasionally attended classes and demonstrated their skills.

Telezonia filmstrips  Installer
                  climbing a pole  Telezonia
                  Teacher's Guide cover

The 1964 Teacher's Guide is in the TCI Library.  Search for Telezonia or Teletrainer.

The guide references a film, "We Learn About The Telephone," which is available for viewing or download here:

You can also view these strange 1949 and 1970s Telezonia videos here:

Also: "The Bell System in the Schools," by Russ Kirk, Singing Wires, October 2018.

The first chart below summarizes some of the hardware that was produced and provides the Bell System Practice references, where known.  Most of the Teletrainer BSPs are in the TCI Library.

The second chart presents photos of teletrainer hardware produced for use outside the Bell System.  Detailed identification and technical reference info are more elusive for these sets.

A goal of this page is to provide photo ID for as many varieties of teletrainer as possible.  Please contribute any related photos and documentation you may have, including catalog and marketing literature, operating instructions, etc.  Many of the photos were contributed or sourced from the internet and are believed to be in the public domain.  If one of your photos has found its way onto this page, I'll gladly replace it or give appropriate photo credit.

More details are available in discussions archived in the Classic Rotary Phones Forum and TCI Listserv.  See the site links page.

Under Construction - Please send additions and corrections.

Bell System Teletrainers

KS-16161 Teletrainer

                Teletrainer Kit

Made by:
   List 2 -  Robco
   List 4 Stromberg-Carlson

Reference: 473-410-100   (C43.291.1) (Issue 1, April 1959)

KS-16161, back view
KS-16161, back view

KS-16161-L2 by Robco
KS-16161-L2 by Robco
KS-16161-L4 by Stromberg-Carlson
KS-16161-L4 by Stromberg-Carlson
KS-16605 Teletrainer

Made by Sentinel

The Bell System logo in the center of the speaker lights up when the unit is powered on.

KS-16606 carrying cases for control unit and two phones.

Reference: 473-411-100   (C43.291.2)

KS-21764 Teletrainer

KS-21764 Teletrainer
Replaced the KS-16605.

Reference: 473-411-101  (issue 1, August 1977)

KS-21764 Teletrainer, controls
KS-21764 Teletrainer, controls


Instruct-o-Phone internals in 2500-style housing
Instruct-o-Phone internals
Used by Pacific Northwest Bell

Instruct-o-Phone logo

Instruct-o-Phone lights
Key Telephone Teletrainer

                    Telephone Teletrainer Cabling
(Click drawing for larger size)
Defined in 473-411-901PA, issue 1, Oct. 1967
  Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania and
  Diamond State Telephone Co. (Delaware)

Consists of:
- one six button key telephone set
- one to four non-key telephone sets
- one to four teletrainer control units
    (KS-16161 or KS-16605)
- one modified key service unit (551A)

References: 473-410-100, 473-411-100
KS-21102 Business Phone Trainer

KS-21102 Business Phone Trainer
KS-21101, List 1 carrying case for control logic and speaker.

KS-21101, List 2 carrying cases (2) for two key telephones and cords each.

References: 473-401-100 (Issue 1, September 1973),

KS-21564 - Business Phone Trainer

KS-21564 Business Phone Trainer
References: 473-401-101 (Issue 1, March 1975)
            and addendum, SD-69925-01.

NE QKC1B Teletrainer Kit

NE QKC1B Teletrainer Kit

QUC1B Front Panel
Northern Electric T9 Catalog (1972)

  QUC1B Control Unit
  NE-500Q4A-51 Telephone Set (single line)
  NE-564Q5A-51 Telephone Set (six button)
  QCE2B Carrying Case

  Set cords are 25 feet long.
  Only available with green (-51) rotary telephones.

Photos courtesy of Dave Hunter,
  The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island

                  back view

                  inside view

Non-Bell Teletrainers
MG Teletrainer

MG Teletrainer
MG Teletrainer control unit
MG Teletrainer control unit
Teletrainer with Stromberg-Carlson 1543 Telephones

Simplified audio-only version, with no apparent dial tone or ringing simulation.

Control Unit
Control Unit
AE Electronic Secretary Teletrainer

AE Electronic Secretary Teletrainer
Looks suspiciously like the KS-16605 by Sentinel with a more angular housing and no handle on the back.

AE Electronic Secretary
                  Teletrainer, back
GTE KS-16605

KS-16605 used by GTE
The same unit made for Western Electric by Sentinel, but with a GTE logo.
Automatic Electric Compact Teletrainer

Automatic Electric XW111A Teletrainer
Model WX111A, Ca. 1976

Please send comments or photos of your favorite phones to: 

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