Beginning this week, you can find a new prototype at the front desk of the Woodridge Neighborhood Library.
We call it the “classic 1970s” telephone. Picking up the handset immediately connects listeners to the same storytelling hotline that is in the museum. Listeners can hear excerpts from oral histories from the Right to the City exhibit, or leave new stories of their own.
Beyond nostalgia, the immediate recognition of a classic phone is very useful to set expectations. New kinds of interactivity are often very hard for people to figure out. Visual clues to signal the right verbs (or “frame the mechanics”) are invaluable.
For our recent library desk installation, we used a model that has 80 years of strong visual similarity, and is nearly identical to the 1974 version.
Ours was $45 from Walmart, purchase in 2018:
Touch-tone only arrived in 1963. Here is the 1964 version, which looks remarkably similar: