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17.02.2015

The Museum of Telephone History (Europe’s largest) continues to grow with new exhibits

This telephone was created by the talented inventor Hakon Brunius and was used by local businesses and individuals.

Hakon Brunius was born in 1842. As a young man he worked as a telegrapher in the Swedish state-owned company ‘Telegrafverket’ and on the railroads. He also worked in a small engineering workshop where he carried out technical experiments. He developed safety equipment for trains, such as a fire alarm. The magazine ‘Industritidningen Norden’ called him ‘Sweden’s first electrician’.

In the autumn of 1877 Brunius began experiments on his ‘telephone’. On 27th November 1877, a local Jönköping newspaper reported that he had designed a ‘telephone’ that was tested and worked successfully. By March 1878, with Brunius’ assistance, an internal telephone line was installed at the city’s paper mill. Brunius actively advocated the establishment of public telephone networks in Jönköping. This wasn’t possible until the autumn of 1881, a year after the creation of Bell’s network in Stockholm. Brunius ruled the city telephone network until 1888 and then sold it to ‘Stockholms Allmanna Telefon AB’. Three years later the network was acquired by the state-owned ‘Telegrafverket’. Brunius then founded ‘Hakon Brunius AB, Göteborg’ and tried to set up the production of telephones on a large scale, but with no success. He was a talented inventor but he had no talent for entrepreneurship.

Today it is difficult to assess the significance of his inventions. We know that Brunius came up with a special magnet design for his phone and constructed his own wall-telephone with handset. It is known that Brunius sought cooperation with Ericsson but to no avail. Hakon Brunius died in 1902. Brunius’ natural curiosity, which was the driving force behind his inventions, ultimately caused him harm. While in hospital, Brunius decided to check what was behind a particular door. Unfortunately, it was an elevator door, which he managed to open despite the fact that the elevator was on a different floor. Brunius fell into the elevator shaft and to his death.