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My Picturephone

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    Posted 4 years ago

    Jerseymike
    (1 item)

    Picturephones were sold in the 1960s but the idea never really took off. They were used. Into the 1970s. The first time I saw one, and used it, was at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964. I had to have one after that..

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    Metal Sign TELEPHONE public pay coin vintage replica phone booth prop rotary #2
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    Comments

    1. racer4four racer4four, 4 years ago
      Wow what a tech head you were/are! Amazing piece of technological history there.
    2. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 4 years ago
      I had no idea one existed!
      Learn something new everyday on CW...
      Thanks for posting it!
    3. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      Amazing.
    4. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Exactly what is it's use...? Does it record? Is it some sort of connection to another one where people can see and here each other?
    5. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      SpiritBear, its the latter. *If* any two particular people, back in 1964, happened to both have one of these (then terribly expensive) things, they could watch each other "live" on their respective screens while carrying on a telephone call. The (black and white) TV screen is the lower part of its front, and the round spot near the top would be its camera with speaker/mic on either side.

      It was indeed WAY-COOL 'space age' technology (and very much "pre-digital" -- it was all done "analog") back then. Unfortunately, the Bell System never managed (for whatever reasons) to get enough of them into actual service for the 'picture' part to have caught on...and without *somebody else* with a picturephone to call -- the things were practically not much more than a much glorified "speakerphone".

      THANKS FOR POSTING IT, Jerseymike -- any chance we could get a few more pics of it?? (4 are allowed) I've always known they existed, but don't think I've ever actually *seen* one of these things?!! <applause>
    6. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Did it go over normal telephone wires? Or was it a direct line put in place specifically for these?
      I'm rather fascinated by it, but I have never heard of one. It's like something out of the Jetson's!
    7. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      AFAIK, it all worked over regular telephone landlines. (the only kind there were, then...) And indeed -- it was VERY MUCH "Jetson's, in real life"?!! <LOL>

      [speaking of The Jetsons, where the h*ll are our flying cars, anyways...we shoulda had those too, by now??]

      I would imagine there were, likely large, "additional service fees" involved (don't forget, this was also in an era where 99+% of all telephones and related equipment was "rented" from the Bell System on a monthly basis) which is probably one of the main reasons they didn't catch on with the public-in-general.

      Nowadays people do the same thing with computers and cellphones and its no big deal....back then it was *not* the same way!
    8. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTq6Tofmo7E
    9. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      whoops...posted that YouTube clip too soon...THIS one is ever-so-much more topical...?? <LOLOL>

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwOcT3sK8Eg
    10. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      and THIS one explains, concisely, the whole "picturephone" history.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzdCKBZP4Jo

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