Gregory R. Russell, Founder of Telephonymuseum.com got his start as a telecommunications history professional in 1976 when he was named Curator of Illinois Bell's Telephony Museum in Chicago.
His responsibilities included amassing historical telephones that would tell the fascinating story of telephony, creating some of the dioramas and displays, and vigorously promoting the museum. The museum opened in 1977 and was immediately one of the finest telephony-related museums in the world. By 1980, museum attendance had doubled and 14 tour guides were needed to guide the hundreds of school and tour groups through the museum.
As a professional, he has been a consultant for countless telecommunications-related museums in the United States and the world, including the telecommunications exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. After the success of the Telephony Museum, many of the Bell companies designed their own museums and Greg helped with many.
He was a consultant for the Jim Beam Telephone Bottle project, which helped the Telephone Pioneers raise money for deaf children. He also consulted with the staff at Time-Life Books when they produced their series on Antiques and Collectibles. He has been a consultant on several movie and stage productions.
Greg has appeared on television, including most recently the nation-wide WGN-TV Morning Show and radio, and has been interviewed by many daily papers around the United States including the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times. He appeared twice in segments devoted to telephone history on WGN-TV's "Bozo" Show in the 1980s.
In 1996 he left the business world to concentrate on caring for his father, a victim of Alzheimer's. While caring for his father, Greg found the Internet and began selling phones.
In 2004 Greg was a consultant for a Capstone Press Children's book about the telephone and his website was featured in Vitals Magazine. In October, 2004, Greg's youngest son was wounded in a rocket attack in Fallujah, Iraq. A very lucky Marine, he was hospitalized for three weeks, then shipped home. Today he's doing fine and is attending college.
In 2005, Greg was a consultant for a 20/20 ABC television program segment. In May, 2005, his oldest son, Jon, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BFA.
2007 was a busy year. Greg was interviewed for an article in Plastic News about the use of plastics in telephones. And, he was consulted about telephone history for the AMC series, "Mad Men," and the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Changeling." In 2008, Greg Jr. graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Communication.
In 2009, Woody Harrelson's production company, "Children at Play," purchased two antique phones. The HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" will be using a telephonymuseum.com candlestick in an upcoming 2010 episode.