Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

"The device he would use is called a Picturephone..."

Illustration for article titled The device he would use is called a Picturephone...

"By this month it should be possible for a New Yorker, a Chicagoan or a Washingtonian to communicate with someone in one of the other cities by televised telephoning. The device he would use is called a Picturephone and is described by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, which developed it, as 'the first dialable visual telephone system with an acceptable picture that has been brought within the range of economic feasibility.' A desktop unit includes a camera and a screen that is 4 ⅜ inches wide and 5 ¾ inches high. AT&T says it cannot hope to provide the service to homes or offices at present, one reason being that the transmission of a picture requires a bandwidth that would accommodate 125 voice-only telephones." [July 1964 Scientific American]

Advertisement

You can read more about the rise and fall (and rise again) of the videophone here.

Advertisement

Getty Images: Tim Heywood Lonsdale, in his Corn Exchange office, talking to Robert Thom, who is in his office in East Cheap, via video-phone, London, June 23rd 1964.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

"By this month it should be possible for a New Yorker, a Chicagoan or a Washingtonian to communicate with someone in one of the other cities by televised telephoning. The device he would use is called a Picturephone and is described by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, which developed it, as 'the first dialable visual telephone system with an acceptable picture that has been brought within the range of economic feasibility.' A desktop unit includes a camera and a screen that is 4 ⅜ inches wide and 5 ¾ inches high. AT&T says it cannot hope to provide the service to homes or offices at present, one reason being that the transmission of a picture requires a bandwidth that would accommodate 125 voice-only telephones." [July 1964 Scientific American]

A picture is worth a thousand words, so this Picturephone is actually 8 times more efficient!