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What is this?

Black rectangular plastic body with sloping top; circular clear plastic dial in center, surrounded by white numbers 1 to 0, the letters A to Y, and the word "OPERATOR", all arranged in a circle around the dial, their positions corresponding to fingerholes in dial. Barbell-shaped handset of black plastic sits in cradle on top of body; coiled black wire at one end of handset plugs into telephone body.

Why is this in our collection?

From Acquisition Justification: "Prominent  American industrial designer  Henry Dreyfuss was born in Brooklyn, NY, and was among the first generation of professionals in the field of industrial design. By 1923, he was apprenticing with Norman Bel Geddes, theatrical designer and one of the founders of the industrial design field, working with him on several of his Broadway productions. Dreyfuss also became a consultant for Macy's Department Store, where he not only designed displays, but showed a desire to collaborate with manufacturers on the design of their goods.  In 1929, he opened his own office in New York, and went on to open a second in Pasadena, California. In 1965, he was elected the... more

This is a telephone from United States. It is dated 1953 and we acquired it in 2009. Museum transfer from Exhibitions Department. This object is currently resting in our storage facility ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Its medium is

plastic, metal, rubber

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (not including cord): 12.3 x 21 x 22.7 cm (4 13/16 x 8 1/4 x 8 15/16 in.)

This object was made for (as the client) Bell Telephone Laboratories and manufactured by Western Electric Manufacturing Company and firm: Henry Dreyfuss Associates and designed by Henry Dreyfuss

This object was donated by Private Collection

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18732761 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18732761/ |title=Telephone, "Model 500", 1953 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 August 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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