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NOTE: There were at least two Keystone telephone companies located in Pennsylvania between 1894 & 1945/46.

The earlier known as the Keystone Telephone Co (approx. 1894-1898) was located in Pittsburgh. Additionally, there is evidence of the Keystone Electric Telephone Company (approx. 1901-1905) operating from the same address as the Keystone Telephone Co. Telephones and telephone parts produced by various manufacturers with Keystone attributes were utilized by Keystone from the Pittsburgh era. Some related manufacturers most likely were Western Telephone Construction, Sun Elec Mfg Co., Manhattan Electric Supply, American Electric, Northwestern Telephone Equipment Co. and Burns.

Keystone Telephone Company of Philadelphia conducted business from approx. 1900-1945/46 and utilized telephones manufactured by American Electric with attributes specific to Keystone. These attributes seemed to vary depending on the production year. There is speculation that all the Keystone companies were in some way related.


Keystone Telephone Co. No. 11 Long Distance Telephone

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c. 1898+ A 2 box wall phone produced by American Electric for Keystone. All the wood is correct and pictured in the American Electric 1900 catalog as the long distance #30 telephone. The magneto is labeled American Electric and inside the door is a Keystone Telephone Co. quality control paper label identifying it as a model #11. The date is not legible, although the month is 8 and year is 9? (pre 1900). The wet batteries (shown on bottom of page) are Keystone.

Interesting is that the triplet, #5 arm and 259W transmitter are all produced by Western Electric. From the original mounting holes for the transmitter arm and wiring, it is obvious this phone was initially manufactured with this WE #5 arm.

NOTE: Related to Keystone Electric Telephone Co. Lightning Arrester Catalog below.


Keystone Electric Telephone Co. Lightning Arrester Catalog

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c. 1898 - This advertising pamphlet has 4 sides. A date of 1/98 is handwritten on the front page.

Most interesting is the two box wood phone on the last page described as a Keystone Telephone; Long Distance No. 11. This is the same phone I have displayed at the top of the page having a tag that identifies it also as a Keystone Telephone Co. #11 (note: no Electric in name). The transmitter arm appears to be the same on both, although a later style WE transmitter on mine, possible an update.


As were most, this Keystone wood wall phone was produced by American Electric for Keystone Electric Tele. Co. But this is definitely a different type of wall phone. In my research I have not found anything similar.

Seems to have the design of a 2 box, but is equipped with a writing shelf where the battery box is normally located. Below the writing shelf are two wire terminals that would connect to a battery located elsewhere.

This phone is all original, likely created as displayed. There is no evidence of any alterations to the wood, ie: no additional filled holes in the backboard to accommodate different screws/parts, and all wire grooves cut into the backside of the backboard are unaltered.

Interestingly, the only "Keystone" identifier is the nickeled metal plate on the front of the magneto. The inscription on the plate is Keystone Electric Telephone Co. Pittsburg, PA. Although not often found on Keystone telephone related items, here Pittsburgh is spelled without the "h" at the end, which actually was the city's official spelling from 1890-1911 which doesn't really help with a production date.

All other identifiers are American Electric. The receiver hook with the American Electric shield rather than the normally found earlier steerhorn type hook. Although often found on early Keystone's, the tag labeled INDEPENDENT SYSTEM with the AE shield located on the front of the mag box is somewhat different than the norm.

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If anyone can offer additional info on this type phone, please feel free to contact me.


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Keystone Telephone Co. (Pittsburgh)

Pair of Glass Battery Jars (Wet Batteries) for earlier wooden wall phone.

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Keystone Telephone Co. (Pittsburg)

Wet Battery.

Note the spelling of Pittsburg compared to the ones shown above. The spelling likely dates this battery after 1890.

In the Keystone Telephone Supplies Catalogue #3 dated 1897, I find both spellings of Pittsburg/Pittsburgh in the same catalog.