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Almon Brown Strowger collection

 Collection — Folder: S1268
Identifier: S1268

Scope and Contents

There are two items in this collection. The first item is a photo of the gravestone of Almon B. Strowger in Greenwood Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Florida. The information below the picture was typed by W. H. Adkins, 3118 East 102 Street, Cleveland, Ohio. He wrote: "Under this stone of the unkept grave lies the dust of what was mortal of Almon B. Strowger; who died May 26th 1902. Friends say he died with a broken heart; for 1898 he sold his dream of 1887 to Leon Bailey for ten thousand dollars and went to St. Petersburg, Florida. He often remarked in his long period of sickness he would never live to see what he was dreaming."

The second item is an article from Science and Invention entitled "A Fortune From A Collar-Box." In the center of the page is a picture of Strowger's First Automatic Switch. The article explains that Almon Strowger used a pasteboard collar box, some pins, and a lead pencil to put together "the first automatic telephone device forty years ago." The first installation of Strowger's automatic switching device, which made the telephone operator unnecessary for local calls, was installed in La Porte, Indiana, where Almon lived.


  • 1902-1939

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Almon Brown Strowger was born in Penfield, New York, on February 11, 1839. On March 10, 1891, he obtained a patent for his "Automatic Telephone Exchange," which was called the Strowger switch. In 1897, he married Susan (1846-1921), his second wife, and resided in La Porte, Indiana. He died on May 26, 1902 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2017/3/9 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Almon Brown Strowger collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.