A Bell Telephone Publicity Picture

Here's a color publicity photo dating from about 1959. It features Dr. Francis Davis, weathercaster on WFIL-TV. The phone in the photo was the "new" Bell Princess telephone.

The "Princess" telephone was introduced in 1959, and it illustrated a major change in telephone design. Actually, it didn't get the name "Princess" until 1960. In the first year, it was called "Cinderella." It was designed by Henry Dreyfuss and Associates, the designer of the first cradle phones in the 1920's. The base of the "Princess" was oval-shaped, rather than circular. The result was a more compact set which required less space. In the 1950's, many American families began to lease more than one telephone for their house. The "Princess" design was a reaction to this trend, because it allowed people to "match" the decor of rooms to the phone. Because the phone was intended to appeal to women, ads described it as "lovely" and "graceful." It has a dial that is illuminated when the handset was lifted. The "Princess" was made from 1959 to 1983. The first version of the "Princess" came in white, rose pink, light beige, aqua-blue and turquoise.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Dr. Francis Davis
© 2009, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

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