BLR, Oct 1968, p283.
The first public demonstration of television as an adjunct to the telephone
took place on April 7, 1927 when Herbert Hoover, then Secretary
of Commerce, and other officials in Washington, D. C., spoke "face-toface"
with WalterS. Gifford, President of AT&T, and other Bell System
officials at Bell Laboratories in New York City.
Bell Telephone Laboratories conducted experiments with "Two-way Television" culminating with a demonstration on April 9, 1930.
A "phone call" was held between the 195 Broadway headquarters and the BTL facility at 463 West Street in New York City, as representatives of the press looked on. Signals were sent over normal phone wiring, suggesting that distance was not a limiting factor.
It was noted that while interesting, commercial prospects were "uncertain."
Behind each booth was a room full of complex electrical and mechanical equipment, including water cooled neon receiving tubes, rotating scanning disks and racks of gear. The bandwidth required for thousands of stations was well beyond the capacity of existing exchanges.
Click here for more details.
(Photo from The Northwestern Bell, May 1930.)
Concept from Pacific Telephone Magazine, 12/56
"Scientists and engineers at the Laboratories have used an experimental 'Picture-phone' system to transmit recognizable pictures over short and long distances, even as far as from New York to Los Angeles.
Experimental pictures vary in size from one by one and a half inches to two by three inches..."
Uses a WE 592 speakerphone (see photo)
Bell Laboratories Record, Sept, 1956, p. 334
| BLR, Sept. 1956, p.
Popular Mechanics, Oct. 1956
| BLR, Oct. 1956, p.
Picture quality standards were established in preparation for field trials.
BLR, Oct. 1968, p. 285
Concept from Southwest Telephone News, 1/59
"A Peek at the Picture Phone," Detroit News Article, Feb. 7, 1960
LIFE, Sept. 29, 1961
"Vista Phone" Video phone concept
From a photo used in the October 1963 issue of Western Electric News Features.
(Courtesy of Wayne Merit)
Wall panel picturephone concept model.
Packaged in a briefcase for the travelling pitchmaster.
(Photo courtesy of Rick Walsh)
Picturephone - Mod I
From Bell Telephone Magazine, Spring 1966
Picturephone - Mod II
From Bell Labs Record, May/June, 1969