Vintage Video: AT&T’s Production of Consumer Telephones

This is one of my favorite classic AT&T video of designing, testing and producing AT&T telephones post Divestiture. I don’t recall posting this before, but this is kinda cool.

What’s strange is most corporate video moved from film to video such as Betacam, but AT&T was still on film till the end of the 1980s.

Today’s modern world of consumerizaton means disposing things in shorter time because plastics and printed boards are similar to a Michael Kors bag, because technology is a fashion. We have to replace it to be “secure” to be on “the latest and greatest” because the latter will always enable strong “security” – in the sales and innovation units of course! Nortel types tend to vintage shame. I find it unprofessional for people to vintage shame.  I do not agree with things of this nature. I also don’t have a problem if a phone is old as I am, if it works, why are we shaming people?


Comdial 2500 Telephone – Circa Mid 80s – Wang Corporate Phone

A friend of mine gave me his old wireline telephone when he was finding me a training book on UNIX. He used to work for the big ol company once known as Wang Laboratories, or known to the rest of us as Wang. The legendary company (in their own minds) had a huge presence in the northern part of Massachusetts, the company once employed half the city’s population.

As with any technological companies, their demise was to do with corporate greed, the son of the founder just messing up the company and the sales and marketing was the corporate’s priority and the lack of getting into the lucrative PC business helped to decelerate the company into bankruptcy in the early 1990s. Wang’s products never saw the light of day such as Internet connectivity, or graphical user interfaces or other “future proof” types of technologies we take granted today (that’s just as old as I am.)

If I am not mistaken, this was one of Comdial’s first telephones coming from the descendant of ITT or Stromberg Carlson. Comdial made 1A2 sets in the beginning before they went into the electronic sets like the ones I’ve posted before and then went to the Impact series.

From what I’ve been told this phone was in their refurbished operations, where the friend used to repair printers and other related products. I am not sure if they used a PBX or a Centrex environment, however I was also told that when they would page, it went out on a delay, the person would call the paging number and then the page would go out after the user hung up. I still am puzzled by such technology of why there’d be a delay.


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