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.
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:
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.
(C43.291.1) (Issue 1, April 1959)
|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)
Reference: 473-411-101 (issue 1, August 1977)
KS-21764 Teletrainer, controls
Pacific Northwest Bell
(Click drawing for larger size)
in 473-411-901PA, issue 1, Oct. 1967
Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania and
Diamond State Telephone Co. (Delaware)
- 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-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),
(Issue 1, March 1975)
and addendum, SD-69925-01.
||Northern Electric T9 Catalog
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
MG Teletrainer control unit
audio-only version, with no apparent dial tone or ringing
suspiciously like the KS-16605 by Sentinel with a more angular
housing and no handle on the back.
unit made for Western Electric by Sentinel, but with a GTE
||Model WX111A, Ca. 1976
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