Volume 28 : Issue 108 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
size not a major consideration in wireline phone sets
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Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 10:01:35 -0400
From: Will Roberts <email@example.com>
Subject: size not a major consideration in wireline phone sets
In Telecom Digest, at 21:34 EDT on 17 Apr 2009, Julian Thomas wrote:
>Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 21:34:25 -0400 (EDT)
>From: "Julian Thomas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Cell phone recycling: delete, then dispose
>On Thu, 16 Apr 2009 07:24:38 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
>>In those days it was tech progress to "miniaturize" telephone
>>components small enough so they all fit into a single set. Prior to
>>the 300 set of 1938, telephones required a separate ringer box and
>>condenser/network. Indeed, I think in those days handset models cost
>>more than candlestick models. No one could've imagined that a land-
>>line phone (forget about mobile phones) could be as tiny as today's
>The WE 200 series dial sets (with a separate ringer box); either deskset
>had a small base and a cradle with a full off-hook actuator (candlestick
>were similar), as opposed to the 300 series, which were squarish with a
>cradle with two button actuators and integrated ringer.
For a very brief history and photos of U.S. rotary dial telephones, please
take a look at my web page at http://www.arctos.com/dial
I believe that the evolution of the dial telephone set was driven more by
the desire to reduce manufacturing, inventory, installation and maintenance
costs than by any desire for miniaturization per se. (The exception to this
was the "Princess" phone which was intentionally designed to have a small
footprint so that it could be marketed as a bedroom extension which would
fit on the typical small bedside nightstand table.)
Portability was never an issue until the advent of wireless technology
which allowed mobile telephony to be carried around rather than bolted to
an automobile. Its precursor was the hand-held "walkie talkie" of
World War II -- a remarkable device given the limitations of vacuum tube
technology and its requirement of sufficient battery power to heat a
filament and to provide plate voltages of 65 to 90 vdc.
"Briefcase phones," "bag phones," "brick phones" and other transitional
designs made from about 1985 to 1995 evolved remarkably quickly into
the pocket-size devices which we use and throw-away today.
Even Dick Tracy did not imagine a disposable "wrist radio." :)
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