Detaljbild av texten Stockholmstelefon i guld mot svart botten.
Photo: Jens Mohr, the Hallwyl Museum/SHM (CC BY).

The telephones

The company Wilh. H. Kempe was one of Stockholm’s telephone subscribers from the early beginning. In 1880, three years after the first telephone had been introduced in the capital city, the company had telephone number 22. It was primarily companies that subscribed for a telephone line, due to that the cost was considerable.
Detail of the telephone book for Rikstelefon 1897. Photo: the Hallwyl Museum/SHM (CC BY).

There were three competing telephone companies in the 1880s: Stockholm Bell Telefon, Telegrafverket, and Stockholms Allmänna Telefonaktiebolag. Due to the fact that the companies had different prices, different telephone networks, and different products and services on offer, many companies and wealthy people had at least two telephones in the house.

Three telephones in the Butler's Pantry. Photo: Jens Mohr, the Hallwyl Museum/SHM (CC BY).

The house at No. 4 Hamngatan received its telephones before the house was completed. On the office on the ground floor there were two telephone booths that were put into service in 1896, one for Allmänna Telefonaktiebolaget (connection North 492) and one for Rikstelefon (connection 2166).

The subscription to Allmänna Telefonaktiebolaget was exclusive, a “star subscription” that granted the subscriber an unlimited right to make telephone calls. But it came at a cost. An initial connection fee of SEK 50 and an annual fee of SEK 100.

Allmänna Telefonaktiebolaget's exchange at No. 30 Malmskillnadsgatan. Photo: Tekniska museet (Public Domain).

For private use, two telephones were installed in the Butler’s Pantry. There was also an internal intercom for communication within the house. When the telephone network was automatically switched on in 1929, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl decided that the older telephones should remain as museum objects.

Do you want to contact us?