Working AT&T PicturePhone System

The assembly containing the picture tube is called the Display Unit. The larger gray box towards the rear is the Service Unit. The smaller gray box up front is the SpeakerPhone Control Unit.
See: http://computerdesignsolutions.com/SpeakerPhone/index.html


One four conductor and one two conductor cable are required to connect the two systems together, the four conductor is for the video and the two conductor is for the audio.

Note: Two critical components are the Service Units and the SpeakerPhone Control units. About half of the electronics required to operate the PicturePhones are in these two boxes. These two boxes were normally hidden in some nearby closet. All components that did not have to be in the Display Unit were placed in the Service and Control units. This was done to reduce the size of the the Display Unit and the amount of heat that the display units gives off.

Most PicturePhone Display Units available today were rescued from trash when the service was discontinued. People did not realize that the display units would not work without the Service or the Control units and they were rarely taken or saved. They were packed separately and most people did not know about these units. There are a number of Display Units out there but very few are complete operational systems with full documentation.

Box

Display Units in their Original foam rubber insert box and user manual

 

Manual Schematic

 

Original 12 page manual Full 11" X 17" Forty Seven Page PicturePhone schematic
Plus full schematic for service unit.

 

Documentation will be be uploaded here:

518-800-100.pdf
518-800-105.pdf
518-800-110.pdf
518-800-301.pdf
518-800-305.pdf
518-800-401.pdf
518-800-501.pdf

(Work in progress)

Note:
Schematics are 11" X 17" and are too big for my scanner.
Hard copy available.

Line Balance Unit

The Line Balance unit is required to balance the video lines over great distances (i.e. Chicago to New York) and is not required over short distances.


Box Size
2 Boxes: Display Units 20" X 20" X 15" 37lbs (Each)
1 Box: Service and Speaker Phone Units 26" X 17" X 11" 50lbs (Total)
1 Box: Line Balance unit 15" X 15" X 13" 25 lbs (Total)

The PicturePhones were given to my Dad about 30 years ago.
My Dad retired in 1988 after working for the Bell System for 38 years.

The units were new when received and used for only a few hours.
My Father is the original owner. They have been carefully packed and stored since they were received.
My Father is now 80 years old and still remembers how the units work and how to hook them up.
(He is the one who assembled the system for the above photos)

******************************************************************************************************

 

Other items

 

 

Line Balance Equipment used to balance the phone lines
when used over great distances (not required for short distance). Picture Phone uses normal 4 strand phone line.
These units were used by service and install.
One unit is brand new with original packing material.
Second unit has been used.

Have Original 36 page April 1964 issue

 

Issue

Have original 1964 program Have many original company memos.
Just a few samples below:
1964_06_24Itinerary.pdf
1964_05_28Cost.pdf
1964_06_16Commercial_Script.pdf
PicturePhone_Brochure.pdf

 

 

 

 

Documentation

Sample: 7 Page 6/23/1964 Answers for Press Questions

 

 

Original 8' X 10" photo

Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, shown as he took part in the first public demonstration of inter-city television broadcasting. Mr. Hoover, speaking in Washington, was seen on television screens at Bell Telephone Laboratories in. New York. Others in the picture, now deceased, are Gen. J. J. Carty, Vice President of AT&T, A. S. Berry, President of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies, and Judge Stephen Davis, Solicitor for the Department of Commerce.

Original 8' X 10" photo

Walter S. Gifford, former president of AT&T, spoke with and saw Herbert Hoover during the first public demonstration of inter-city television. Mr. Gifford is shown above as he sat in the Bell Telephone Laboratories auditorium in New York and viewed the image of the future President on a small television screen. At the right is the late Dr. Herbert E. Ives, Bell Laboratories scientist who directed the early television work. Others In the picture are four former Laboratories officials, now deceased. Item the left, Vice President E. P. Clifford, Director of Research H. C. Arnold, Vice President E. B. Craft end President F. B. Jewett,

Original 8' X 10" photo

L. H. Meacham at his desk at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, N. J., talks with and views A. D. Hall on the experimental PicturePhone. Both engineers helped. develop the visual telephone system. Mr. Meacham is using the hands-free Speakerphone service while Mr. Hall, at the Murray Hill, N. J., Laboratories uses the familiar handset for the call.

Original 8' X 10" photo

Not sure who this is. Could be
Mayor Richard Daley and Son 1964?

Original 8' X 10" photo

Joseph A. Mazzeo of Bell Telephone Laboratories removes one of the circuit packages in the experimental PicturePhone system. The comparatively small size of the PicturePhone is made possible by the development of modern circuits using transistors and other miniature components.

Original 8' X 10" photo

Have full May/June issue. 1964 press release package

Most PicturePhone units were leased and never sold to the public.
Most old leased units were returned, stored in a warehouse and destroyed in the mid 70's.
Video Conference rooms were to replace all picture phones in the mid 70's.
Bell system papers shows units were destroyed but some units survived.
Do not know how many complete PicturePhone units are still around.
This is a rare operating piece of AT&T's billion dollar mistake.
Please e-mail me if you know of any other working units.

The PicturePhones were given to my Dad who worked for the Bell System for 38 years.
The above plaque is not included in this sale.

The units were new when received and used for only a few hours.
My Father is the original owner. They have been carefully packed and stored since they were received.
My Father is now 80 years old and still remembers how the units work and how to hook them up.
(He is the one who assembled the system for the above photos)

Related Links:

Western Electric SpeakerPhone Control Unit

http://davidszondy.com/future/Living/picturephone.htm

http://www.porticus.org/bell/telephones-picturephone.html

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