Telephone, "Model 302", ca. 1937
Cast and enamel-coated metal, steel, printed paper, rubber-sheathed cord. Museum purchase from the Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Fund. 1994-73-2.
What is this?
Black rotary telephone; transmitter/receiver handset sitting in cradle on raised body with square base; black metal finger wheel above white dial with black numbers; smooth cord, one end attached to handset transmitter and the other to back of telephone base.
Why is this important?
This elegant sculptural telephone has sidewalls that swoop upward from a rectangular base. It resembles an earlier phone introduced in Sweden in 1931, designed by Jean Heiberg for Ericsson. The Swedish model is housed in Bakelite, a hard plastic that was considered an innovative modern material; the Model 302 was manufactured in metal—a more traditional material—until 1946.