No-finger dialing (Apr, 1971)

No-finger dialing

It’s here at last—relief for your throbbing dialing finger. Just slip this plastic card into Bell Labs’ experimental dialer phone and the number is dialed automatically. The card could also be used to transmit information over telephone lines to computers, or even to check bank balances.

8 comments
  1. Don F says: September 29, 201112:42 pm

    What dial?
    I don’t see a dial.
    WHERE’S THE DIAL??

  2. Toronto says: September 29, 20111:22 pm

    It distinctly says “NO… dialing”, Don.

  3. Mark C says: September 29, 20111:27 pm

    I can’t see it from this photo, but the phones like this from the early 70′s had the plastic card about the size and thickness of a credit card. To “program” the card you punched out the pre-scored plastic holes. To use the card you pushed it into the phone, then pressed the button along the bottom of the place where you stuck the card in. The card was then released, and the number was read as the card came out of the spring-loaded slot.

  4. Hirudinea says: September 29, 20111:40 pm

    Mark C – So you could make your own card with a piece of cardboard and a pencil (to punch holes?)?

  5. Mike says: September 29, 20118:10 pm

    I would imagine these cards would go in a Rolodex and perhaps have the information also printed on the card. You look up the contact in the Rolodex, pull the card out, stick it in this phone and it dials. If that isn’t how it works I can’t imagine fumbling through a stack of cards would be easier than dialing the number outright.

  6. jayessell says: September 30, 20113:35 am

    There was an episode of “Mission Impossible” where the team substituted one of their cards so the mark would phone them for customer service.
    “We’ll be right over!”

  7. Mark C says: September 30, 20115:20 am

    Hirudinea- No- the cards were a lot thicker. A little bit thicker than a credit card and very rigid. You could use a pen to punch out the number- the “holes” were attached in a couple of places. Don’t know what would happen if you punched out two numbers in the same column- guess it would not work. I actually had one of these at home (“liberated from excess stock” shall we say)- it was the precursor to speed dialing.

  8. Mark C says: September 30, 20115:22 am

    Mike- I don’t remember holes for the rolodex, but if you look in the top right corner of the phone you will see they had a little well (with index cards no less) for the filing of the cards. They thought of everything, except the march of technology!

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