The Sumter Telephone Company was established in the town of Sumter in 1896 by C.T. Mason, and by 1900 it boasted in its advertising that it was "one of the largest and best equipped factories in the US. [They] have a wide experience in the manufacturing of telephone apparatus, and the telephone instruments, switchboards, etc., manufactured by this company are now in use in many hundred exchanges." The wood of the instrument pictured in this brochure was white oak, and to many South Carolina households in 1900 it would have been considered the most modern of 20th century luxuries.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.