by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator
For a brief time on Tuesday the museum was without telephone service. It made us aware of how something we take for granted today, was once brand new technology.
In our collection we have examples of telephones over the years. Below, Myra is with two phones, a black wall phone and a Princess model phone.
One is known as the “Princess.” The Princes was made by Western Electric Co from 1959-1994.
The Princess model was the Bell System’s first try at consumer marketing. The target audience was girls and women.
Telephones were no longer just for the main hallway of the house or purely utilitarian. The public wanted telephones that fit the decor of the room and teenagers wanted to talk to their friends in the privacy of their own bedrooms, not the main hallway of the house.
The Princess phone was the first model designed from a marketing perspective instead of an engineering perspective. Originally the phone was available in any color but black, which was added in 1963.