Telephone Dialer, ca. 1960
Gift of Henrie Jo Barth. 2012-10-1.
- Made by Tiffany and Co., New York
What is this?
Half-spherical base with thin disc on bottom; slightly curved paddle-shaped handle with indentation for thumb and finger and monogram "FCR", tapering near base.
Why is this in our collection?
This Tiffany & Co. telephone dialer is an artifact that demonstrates the intersection of American telecommunications history and mid-century domestic culture. The first patent for a rotary dial telephone was issued in 1882. The modern version of the rotary dial with finger holes was introduced in 1904 but did not enter service in the Bell System until 1919. Rotary dial technology remained unchallenged until the early 1960s, when dual-tone multi-frequency pushbutton dialing that used a keypad instead of a dial was introduced at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair (also known as the Century 21 Exposition). The touchtone phone, however, did not become dominant until the 1980s, thus giving a long life to the use of... more