In June 1927, an item that had been on public display in the window of William Cooper's jewellery shop, Hastings St, was presented to the Hawke's Bay Museum.

At that time the museum was located in the Athenaeum, on the corner of Browning and Herschell streets.

The gift was a pair of wooden telephones built in 1876 by Thomas Hyde in Napier.

Thomas, a self-taught man, was interested in engineering, electrical and scientific inventions. In June 1876, the Scientific American magazine published an article about Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone.


From this description, Thomas was able to design