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February 15, 2019

22 Old Photos That Show What Telephones Looked Like in the 1960s

In the USA, at the start of the 1960s, telephones were generally the desk model with a rotary dial. Invariably in shiny black or possibly red, or “industrial” dark green.

Around 1962 or 1963, phone designers started thinking about the aesthetics of the apparatus itself. It was small enough to fit unobtrusively on a bed nightstand. It also came in the then-chic plastic colors of pink, sage green, shrimp, powder blue, aqua, butter yellow and others.

Around the middle of the decade, you started seeing the wall-mount telephone in people’s homes, installed usually in the kitchen. Its coiled receiver cord was often very long indeed, so the user could wander up to 50′ away from the hung chassis. By this time, the phones came in a much wider range of fashionable colors, such as tangerine, purple, chrome yellow, harvest gold, avocado, flame red, mint green and others.

Around 1968–69, many Americans switched out their rotary dial phones for the then-new “touch-tone” dialers.



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